As the dispute of the genre’s validity and lifespan rages on and on (in a somewhat dull manner), I’m often surprised by the frequency of new labels popping up and releasing great music based around the 140bpm dubstep/ bass music area. Underslung Audio is one of these new imprints.
Announcing themselves with label founder Devnik’s ‘Fear EP‘, this young record label instantly impressed me with their style.
As is so often overlooked in the haste to release a debut, Underslung have taken the time to start properly. There’s the responsive website, the Twitter account, the YouTube channel, the Facebook page, the SoundCloud account – but most of all, there’s the brand. Unmistakably Underslung. Young labels, take note. This is how you do it!
When I discovered how healthy their release pipeline was, I started to get properly excited. Korrupt got in touch to discuss what the future holds…
“Fear, an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly move away from it and hide. But what if there is Nowhere to Hide? Fright. What if you get brainwashed by the Month of Fury? Dismay. What if even the Emergency Broadcast has stopped playing? Panic.
“Fear. It is the father of despair, the brother of procrastination, the enemy of progress, the tool of tyranny. Born of ignorance and nursed on misguided thought. It has darkened more hopes, stiffled more ambitions, shattered more ideals and prevented more accomplishments than history could record.
“Devnik’s ‘Fears‘ EP will take you to the darker side of emotion. A place we would rather not go, but sometimes are forced to go to no matter what. Some hate it, some are afraid of it, some even like it… What about you?”
A word I had never heard before. I didn’t even know it existed until FKOF fam Yuri enlightened me about a newly signed Illuminated track! My interest piqued, I learned that a new Dutch label had recently released its first EP. I simply had to know more, so I got in contact with the label owners Bart (Devnik) and his girlfriend Eva straight out of Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Bart has been around for quite some time now. As a Dubstep DJ/Producer, he has been playing the big gigs throughout the Netherlands – as a prolific member of the Subway crew. Eva, his partner and manager, is about to finish up her Communications degree at Iemes.
Together, they’ve been receiving a lot of support from our little ‘scene’ here in the Netherlands. I set up a Skype meeting interview with them and ‘The Illuminated’ to get some answers – my gut feeling was theirs was quite the label to be keeping an eye on.
The interview we set up was great (big smiles involved!), as the crew were really excited to announce that USL had been coming along nicely. The team have a lot of great releases scheduled, keeping us supplied with ground shaking low-end and pounding drum patterns. ‘Refining bass music’ is their motto – one underlined heavily. This sounded very appealing to me, as I’ve been feeling that some other newer labels hadn’t been touching keeping true to this ideal.
Keep reading to find out more; interview ahead! Get ready for Underslung Audio…
Hi guys, hope you’re all well! How did the label come about? We both already had the idea in our heads, but had never executed it. For Bart, the label is a way to be able to showcase the music he loves and of course to release his own tracks independently from other labels. For Eva, the label is a way to put her skills and expertise (marketing and communications) to the test – making others aware of great music.
We have no idea if now is the right time. For us it is. We think it’s time for us to put new and renowned talent in the spotlights. The scene is collapsing and developing simultaneously so we feel that we have to show the world what quality bass music actually means.
What does ‘Underslung’ mean to you? We liked the name because it pretty much represents our music. One of the definitions of ‘Underslung’ is: ‘Having a low center of gravity’. For us this refers to bass music in general; where the centre of gravity is in the low-end frequencies.
What kind of music can we expect from Underslung? Good music. Bass music we find interesting and well produced. Not genre bound because we feel that that will only limit us. As a producer, Bart has been trying out all kinds of styles throughout his production career. He still loves to produce what he feels like and not limit himself to one specific genre. This also is the idea of Underslung Audio; to be diverse, to give producers creative freedom, to keep the quality high and to keep evolving and developing.
What does your slogan ‘Refining Bass Music’ mean? We are like a filter, we separate the gold from the rocks. We take the gold and share it with the rest of the world.
How excited are you guys about ‘The Illuminated’ joining the Underslung family? Very excited. We’ve been following these guys for a while since they live in the same city as our HQ. We see them growing and think they have a lot of potential still to be discovered. Since the start of Underslung, they have been really involved with the label and they have become an irreplaceable part of our family. They’re not just artists to us, but also a helping and supporting hand with tons of great ideas for the label.
Is there anything you can say about upcoming releases? We’ve been working hard for quite a while to put great and diverse releases together for our schedule. The first release was ‘Fears’ by Devnik, a dark and bass heavy EP that came out August 12th. The EP features three original tracks and two remixes; a dark drum and bass remix by The Illuminated and a jump up remix by Nostalgia. This EP is a good example of the diversity of Underslung Audio!
After this release, we have several more lined up. In September, Addergebroed will be releasing his ‘Sacrifice’ EP, which will feature ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Power Shake’. Addergebroed expanded his boundaries by creating ‘Power Shake’, an experimental drum and bass track. We’re really excited for this EP and can’t wait to release it.
The Illuminated will follow up with the third instalment of Underslung Audio, coming out in October. Their ‘Expect Us’ EP takes us back to where dubstep began. Minimal sounds and nothing other than huge subbass. Watch out for these guys because they are going places.
After these three we have even more lined up, but we don’t want to spoil it just yet! More info soon.
‘Dubstep ain’t dead’. Although you guys don’t focus on a specific genre, what is your view? Unnecessary hyperbole or fact? Of course dubstep is not dead. A genre is never dead when there are still dedicated producers. Dubstep has developed itself and still is. Some people see it as a bad thing because of the hype, the changes in the sound and the popularity around the genre. We think people shouldn’t be too narrow minded if it comes to electronic music. There’s so much to enjoy if you just give it a chance.
When can we expect the first release party? We can’t say anything about this yet. But we have plans to throw a party. Not just a release party, but more of a ‘meet the Underslung family party’.
Anything else you like to share with us? Keep an eye and ear out, stay open minded and enjoy the music!
Anyone you like to thank? We would like to thank our friends and family for their continued support, The Illuminated and Addergebroed for their involvement since the start, our other artists for their dedication to Underslung Audio and of course you guys at FKOF for helping us get out there. We are looking forward to the future.
Without a shadow of a doubt, this label will have some serious impact on the bass music scene in both the Netherlands and world wide. Be prepared for what’s coming. This is the label you’ve been waiting for!
Korrupt’s review of USL001:
“The first release of ‘Underslung Audio’ is an interesting blend of flavours, containing powerful and forward-thinking productions that will keep your ears locked on target. Devnik’s ‘Emergency Broadcast’ is a noisy stepper, containing a large amount of resonance on its reeses and aggressive percussion to set off the dancefloor with ease. Nostalgia’s remix of ‘Emergency Broadcast’ heads towards the ‘DJ Hazard’ sound with interesting stabs and spacious sounds that will keep the step in your dance for sure.
Devnik’s ‘Month of Fury’ holds a completely different vibe and makes his ‘Fear’ EP come around with astonishing precision due to the impeccable flow of the percussive elements and a mystical feeling that make your hairs stand right up. The Illuminated come in hard with a solid drum & bass remix of Devnik’s ‘Month of Fury’, with drum patterns that keep switching up – enough to drive you completely mental.
“‘Nowhere to Hide’ is a title that holds everything you need to know about this track: a sinister half stepper that signals to the destruction of the listener. With a little reggae tip during the break, it will definitely set off the crowd!
“This is a furious EP that will receive support from across the world. It’s time for ‘Underslung Audio’ to make moves, you’ve been warned. Get ready!”
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Peace, love and respect.