"South Bavarian producer Unimog is someone I’ve coordinated releases with closely for the past couple of years, and it was only a matter of time until we got together to release some sort of album on 4D. Consisting of 7 tracks written over the years, ‘Lord of the Farmers’ conveys a varying of his styles, from dungeon dubstep, to future garage, to trap-influenced beats, to sometimes simply unclassifiable bass music. Starting off with the orchestral-infused (yet powerful) ‘Elfenlied’, Unimog wastes no time conveying to the listener that he is capable of combining a plethora of influences to make something totally unique, and in my humble opinion, awe-inspiring. Unimog puts on his tribal mask for ‘In The Mountains’, a hectic mix of deep bass, percussions, and groove. One of the most notable aspects of this track is Unimog’s ability to convey a tribal feel, without relying on bongos and other over-used concepts that we’re hearing more and more each day. Next up is ‘Future 808’, an aptly named tune that describes what the sound is all about. A mix of hip-hop and futuristic nightmares, this is definitely another example of Unimog’s ability to combine separate ideas into something of its own. ‘Green Hills’ changes direction, bringing in future-garage beats with cinematic ambiance. ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ fans are in for a surprise with this. There’s a lot going on here- it’s something you’ll definitely have to listen to a few times to catch everything. ‘Take My Hand’ is a melting pot of various different sounds, that all converge together to be a very interesting dubstep track. Unimog hops onto remix duties with a re-working of GeNRL’s ‘Nine 0’. Here is a more traditional dubstep tune, showcasing a midranged bass, sliding subs, familiar percussions, half-time beats, and a blipping lead synth. For the last tune on this release, Unimog and his brother blΔnc team up to create a trappy- yet emotional- back-beat for a French female rapper, closing the album with yet another showcasing of genre-combining mastery. With such a wide range of music on this, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Out to Unimog on this quality free music- believe me when I say there’s a lot more where this came from." - @echomaker
South Bavarian brother-duo blΔnc (featuring 4D friend Unimog) are up with another 4D exclusive, and what a tune it is- the first time I heard this one, I knew the blog had to feature it. What on the surface appears to be a poppy garage tune, is brilliantly so much more. A small blipping melody accompanies the slightly stretched trance vocals, and in an instant, the burial-esque percussion and surprisingly heavy sub take command. Upon this change-of-pace, the vocals pitch shift and take a back seat, itself becoming an instrument (a blΔnc trademark). The sub dominates the headspace, only to take breaks and let the beautiful percussion and dark background FX shine in what is one of the best uses of “stop-and-go” I’ve ever heard. Eventually a trance saw comes in, which only adds more to the dark and hopeless feeling of this tune, and further shows the true genius of this duo. Nothing less than breathtaking, this is a truly special one, and while we at 4D know not everyone will appreciate it, out to those who do, and out to blΔnc for the constant stream of quality.
Behind 4D is a mission to find, support and share the most forward thinking deep bass music and we have been given the opportunity to do just that today. Emerging from the Colorado mountain air rolls a fresh, vibe-centric record label – Mad Madam. Backed by the instantly recognizable el Jeffe alongside his partner in crime Leroy O’Shanahan, these two bring a passion for music rooted in the vinyl days of the 90’s and the vision to share proper music on a proper medium.
As a preface to our interview (a bit ironically so, as we conducted our chat well before the show), I was able to meet up with both of these fellas at the recent Submission 7 year. Along with the astounding sounds and wonderful people I ran into along the way, these two helped make one of the most memorable weekend getaways I’ve yet experienced. Both genuine and altogether fun-loving, I cannot think of two sets of more talented hands to entrust a label with….
4D: Alright Mister Jeffe, introduce us all to Mad Madam… and you’ve only got one word to do it.
I know loads of labels are doing vinyl these days, but we really just wanted to press up tunes we both like…and then have limited copies.
4D: Personally I’m glad to see labels recommitting to vinyl, it’s nice to see a little movement towards the roots, if you will, of both the music and the medium.
Now before we dig in any further, tell us a bit about your partner in crime, as well as your personal inspiration for stepping in behind a label.
J: My partner in crime is a good friend of mine, Leroy O’Shanahan. I’ve known the kid for 20+ years. We used to DJ together all the time, so starting a label just seemed like the right idea. It’s also an idea that we’ve tossed around for years.
As for my personal inspiration would have to be all the of the good music that has been sent to me over the last 6 months. Who knew that once you start producing, you start receiving loads of unreleased music.
4D: Right on man, one of those things where you get what you give… if you’re sharing quality tunes, you’re sure to get some gems in return. Speaking of your own productions, you’ve carved out quite a laid back, melodic style for yourself — is your aim to press tunes of a similar style?
J: Kinda. We don’t want to limit ourselves to any certain sound for the label, we just want to release the tunes we are feelin….so in the process we will press up some el Jeffe tunes.
4D: Judging by the mad madam freebies , you guys have quite the keen ear for tunes— that being said, what artists would be on your ‘dream’ release?
J: Ooh dream release is hard. i’d love to have all my friends on a release. Drooka, Karnage & Mark IV, Gerkle, Freud, Echomaker, and many many more. the list could go on forever.
4D: Kind of set you up there didn’t I – thanks for playing along. But back to the label itself, whats the story behind the name?
J: The name came from Disney’s The Sword and The Stone…Mad Madam Mim
4D: From Disney to Dubstep… lot of heads going to be rushing to watch The Sword and The Stone once they read this.
As far as what we’ve got to look forward to, any releases that you can chat about as of yet?
J: Well Mad Madam 001 is gonna be a 3 track EP from Dillard. Was sent off to mastering and everything this week, so we should have an idea of release date pretty soon. As far as 002, it’s in the works is all i can say…gonna be a split 12” from a couple of peeps on the Launch EP.
4D: Making a serious (and local) statement there with Dillard kicking things off, whatever else you have up your sleeve will surely impress.
Alright so before we get to know your partner in crime, tell us a bit about the two tunes you’ve so generously offered up for us?
J: Well it’s a tune I wrote about 5 months ago, it was kinda the start of my jazzy feel. I then asked some of my mates to provide some remixes of it. So Morning High provided one hell of a remix.
4D: Seems a fair representation of the forward-thinking style you’ve alluded to for the future of Mad Madam, a teaser of more to come perhaps?
At that I’ll just leave it to you for any last shout outs man! It was a pleasure chatting with ya and getting into the head of one of the Mad Madams — many thanks from myself, Ron and the 4D family.
J: This is this hardest part of this interview, the shout outs.
First and foremost I’d like to thank you and the 4D for taking the time to talk to us about the label. Secondly I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who is feeling my productions, wouldn’t be doing it without all of your support!!!
4D: Alright Leroy I’ll kick you off with the same question that I shot Jeff, a bit of a test to see if you two are on the same wavelength… introduce us to Mad Madam, and you’ve only got one word to do it.
That’s probably the worst answer you’ve ever had.
4D: Not at all man, its perfect cause now you can open up your dictionary and elaborate…
L: The label is a way for us to release music that is interesting and stimulating to us. It’s all about fresh ideas and music that is good for the head but equally quality on the dancefloor.
The three of us (Jeff, Aaron & I) are all very much in the same boat as far as what we enjoy musically so it just made sense for us to start a label.
4D: It’s refreshing to have that sort of balance between dance and headphone, especially with the intention to press on vinyl. You kinda already touched on it a bit, but where did your inspiration for this label, and interest in vinyl for that matter, start?
L: I started djing in the late 90s and if you wanted to dj you pretty much had to play vinyl and that’s where it started. It becomes an addiction…an expensive and wonderful addiction. When we all started talking about starting a label I immediately knew that I wanted to press vinyl. I love the tangibility of records. There is something special about putting a record on a turntable.
We still plan on releasing digital as not everyone has access to a turntable and we want the music to be able to reach everyone.
4D: I think that’s a fair tactic to grab the attention of some digital heads and help to acquaint them a bit with the vinyl side of things.
L: Would be great to see more people take an interest in vinyl. My dad had a massive collection..mostly blues and rock and I pretty much inherited all of it. Gotta say my DMZ collection is the stuff that I really love. I have all of them and pretty much kiss all of them at night.
4D: Man you’re pretty spoiled with the DMZs. I’ve been collecting a few bits recently but the price of some of those old DMZ and Medi bits bums me out a bit. Those ‘ holy grail’ tunes are definitely worth the penny if you’ve got it though.
L: I was really lucky to get on some of those before the prices got out of control. I’m still buying up old Deep Medi tunes and sometimes you just get baffled by the prices. It’s good to have the digitals available of those.
It’s a love/hate thing…I LOVE buying and playing records…I HATE looking at my credit card bill every month.
4D: Agreed man, that availability is nice though sometimes i feel a bit guilty picking up a WAV of a tune that was built for a turntable and dingy small room.
Alright, going to take a step back from the music for a second and chat a bit more about the dudes behind the label. How’d you and Jeff meet up? Was it a product of music or did that come about later on?
L: Jeff and I have known each other for about 20 years. We both kind of fell into the scene after high school and realized we liked the same kind of music and over the years our sounds haven grown together. We met Aaron , our other label head, at a club back in 2005ish and got to talking and we all became great friends. Aaron and I rented a warehouse with some other people and would throw parties in it. Mostly techno but some of the most amazing parties. It wasn’t exactly legal and it became a constant headache so we both fell out of that.
All of us had talked about starting a label and it wasn’t until about 6-7 months ago that we said “let’s stop pissing about and do this”. That’s where we stand today.
4D: Pretty amazing how music has a way of bringing like-minded people together like that. I, for one, can say I’m glad you guys stepped out of the ‘pissing about’ stage, quite excited for what you have in store for us. I talked to Jeff a bit about it as well, but what can you tell us about what Mad Madam has on the menu?
L: We would love to do another 2-3 releases this year. The second release is coming from Jeff and it’s a pretty beautiful tune — he really has a way with melodies. It will come loaded up a remix and a collab with Jeff and someone else. There is such a brilliant scene loaded with amazing up and coming producers and thats what we would like to showcase.
4D: Thats a bit more of a teaser than what we pried out of Jeff, hope we’re not getting you in any trouble over here. Really looking forward to the news about the other releases you have in store, seems you guys have your sights set on a ripe part of the scene. before we wrap up, can you tell us a little bit about the mix you put together for us?
L: The mix is just a little teaser of some forthcoming Mad Madam stuff and also some artists and labels we’ve been digging on like Chord Marauders and FatKidOnFire. Good selection of fire producers like el Jeffe, Morrison, Drooka, and even a nod to the classics with Peverelists “Roll With The Punches”.
4D: Seems fair to say there’s a bit for everyone there, I was especially happy to see Peverlist make the cut closing things out… such a good, defining tune of the good ole deep vibes.
L: Really one of those special classics that still sounds fresh as it did when it came out.
4D: Alright, I’m gunna put you on the spot for one last question and then let you have the floor for any shout outs… Jeff told me i had to ask about a certain Mortal Kombat obsession so… Mortal Kombat obsession, what’s the story?
L: Hahaha! Mortal Kombats were MY JAM. We would print out sheets of moves and fatalities and trade em and then go dump hundreds of quarters into those machines not stop. The glory days…Coki is playing here next week in a place that has a Mortal Kombat 2 game so I hope he cranks out Spongebob right in the middle of a match.
4D: Sounds like the ultimate bucket list achievement right there! Alright man, it’s been quite a pleasure getting to know you; many thanks from myself, Ron and the 4d family for the words and of course the mix. So now I’ll leave it to you — any last thoughts, shout outs, or Mortal Kombat tips have at it…
L: Just huge thanks to everyone who has supported us and welcomed us in with open arms. Big shouts to the 4D crew for helping us along the way!
Tracklist - -Dillard - Winds Of The East [Mad Madam] -Dillard - Rocks N’ Trees [Dub] -Karnage & MarkIV - Cyan [Mad Madam] -el Jeffe & Drew Dubz - Rhodes To Nowhere [Dub] -Morrison - Eyes For Days [Mad Madam] -el Jeffe - There She Goes (Morning High Remix) [Mad Madam x 4D] -Nanobyte - Want For Nothing [FatKidOnFire] -Congi & Geode - Flow One [Chord Marauders] -Wulf - Roots [Milc] -Drooka & Krease - Tinman [4D Exclusive Download] -Drooka - ID [Mad Madam] -Peverelist - Roll With The Punches [Punch Drunk]
4D’s own Drooka teams up with 4D regular Krease to put together this dark mechanical one called ‘Tinman’. A sparse and clean minimal intro starts off the tune, with basic percussion and an accompanying ambiance. At the 51 second mark, the Tinman announces his presence, at which point all hell breaks loose. Krease’s trademark oldschool wobbles and deep 808’s take the listener without mercy, as a screeching metallic sound dances through the air. Percussion that screams Drooka (with hints of Krease’s work) hold the track together. This beautiful formula plays on for the most of the tune, and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. Krease switches up his bass work for the second drop, with more presence of his wobbles and the interactions of them between the other elements of the tune. Both producers’ individual talents really shine through on this one, out to Drooka and Krease for the free download! Let’s hope this isn’t the only collaboration the two see.
Epoxtacy presents his darkly written ‘Multiverse’ to the 4D world. Straight from the 00:00 mark, a dark ambiance fills the air. Hi-hats create a sort of life-raft for the listener to hold on to, later joined by kicks. This sea of darkness continues until the heavy sub and waving growl intertwine the sparse, yet groovy beat. As the tune progresses, the midrange takes more varied dominance over the track, as bongos and an even more chilling ambiance are introduced. A tastefully minimal one, despair fills this multiverse.
We at 4D are extremely proud to present the 2013 4D Xmas release, this time around it’s grown from an EP to an LP! With 15 tracks from us and our good friends especially for you, we hope you enjoy the variety of these sonic textures and the journeys these tunes present to you. Written by producers from all over the world- from Brazilian kingpin Mishva, to German producers Love the Cook and Unimog, to Canadian bossman iNTRiKeT, to Rotterdam’s finest Christopher Yikes, to New Zealand badman Kismet, to the UK and USA crews, the holiday cheer is everywhere, and we hope all involved have a great end of the year/beginning of the next. It’s safe to say that 2014 will see even more quality free bass music coming from the 4D camp, and we hope to see you there. All we ask is that if you enjoy these tunes, share them with the ones you love. Cheers and bless, 4D.
4D Xmas 2013 LP Tracklisting: 01 Christopher Yikes & M.A.K.Z. – Reformists 02 Mishva – Zephyr 03 Drooka – Quiver 04 Echomaker – Rudeboy Dub 05 Weapon X – System 06 Unimog – Diamond Tower 07 Love The Cook – Snakes 08 Karnage & MarkIV – Currents 09 Atnos – Arnica 10 el Jeffe – When It’s Cold 11 Step-A-Side – Optionless 12 Kismet – Mind Sphere 13 Krease – Krypton 14 Black Sun Empire & Noisia – Hideous (Fabricator Remix) 15 iNTRiKeT - Fanaa
South Bavarian producer Unimog (also known as Moguri, Stratos Zero, and the co-producer of Blanc’s latest release) is a new one to the 4D blog, but not to music production. Having (silently) been in the game for almost 10 years, Unimog produces an almost impossible array of music, from italo disco, to 80’s synth pop, to IDM, to future garage, and as you can hear today, to dubstep. Unimog wrote a plethora of dubstep tunes back in 2011 and 2012 that are finally now seeing release, ‘Shuriken’ is the first of these. An oriental flute soars throughout the track as minimalistic percussion and a tearing bass line accompany. Towards the end, the music slows while the familiar flute takes on an echoing solo, with small ambiances in the background, not unsimilar to some of Unimog’s other work. The tearing bass takes over, to pick the pattern back up and conclude this menacing tune. I’ve been pushing him hard to get some of his other tracks out, so hopefully more of these gems will see the light of day.
Seems to be that time of the year again, Dubstep Forum are hosting their awards nominations for 2013.
If you like what we do, we’d really appreciate it if you’d write our name (Deep, Dark, Dungeon Dubstep) in for nomination.
Running this blog takes up a big chunk of our free time (which we don’t have much of these days), so to even get on that ballot would mean the world to us. (NOTE that writing our name in isn’t voting for us, it’s simply getting us on the ballot.)
Anyways, much love for all the support so far, it’s been a bit rough with M.A.K.Z. gone for Drooka and I, but we hope you’ve all enjoyed these past 6 months.
We’ve got something big in store for this month, so keep an eye out.. 4D isn’t done with 2013 yet