TiD&B Interview & Mix: TemahPosted by Lady V on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
The word Temah has been floating around since the end of Summer, leaving D&B heads in suspense as to what it was actually about. In October, it was announced that Temah was a collaborative project including like-minded artists Digital, Outrage, Raiden, Meth, Morphy, Kiat, Genotype and 2Shy. Â As a brand new artist agency and label, and also hosting its own club night, the concept behind Temah is fresh, forward-thinking and very exciting for Drum & Bass right now.
To kick things off properly, the Temah launch party takes place this Sunday 28th November at Plan B, London and with free entry and a heavy heavy back-to-back line-up, TiD&B had to know more! Â We caught up with Outrage to find out what Temah is all about…
TiD&B: How did the idea for Temah come about, and how did each artist get involved?
Outrage: About 8 months ago, I was talking a lot with Raiden, he’d been sending me loads of newÂ material which both Digital (who I’ve know for years) and I were really liking. At that point, all three of us were also between agents, so we thought ‘shall we start our own agency?’ We thought it’d be cool to have our own agency where we could be ourselves as artists and push the sound we were really passionate about. At the same time, I’d been talking with Digital about putting on a rave on a Sunday night in London where we could play whatever we liked â€“ there hadn’t been anything like that which had been successful since the Bluenote days so we thought, why not give it a go?…Then we thought, why don’t we have a label as well? That’s how the collective began, as we realised we could create a whole package; an agency, label and club night.
All the Temah artists are linked closely in some way; from being old friends to collaborating with each other on tunes or releasing each other’s material on our own labels – we’re all connected. So we thought why not bring this group of artists together and push our sound as a unit rather than individually? The kind of D&B we make is quite rare at the moment with very few artists producing it…so it kind of made sense that we all came together.
TiD&B: As quite a large collective and with having to manage both an agency and label, who makes the decisions?
Outrage: It kind of stems from Digital, Raiden and myself and then we discuss it with the other artists and listen to their feedback. Temah is about establishing a real mutual ground for everybody involved, it’s not about ego or telling each other what to do. We’re already established in our own way as artists and worked hard to achieve that so now its about having fun…and it really is a lot of fun! We share ideas and bounce of each other and this is motivating in terms of pushing things forward. Our collaboration is not about taking stuff too seriously or getting distracted by greed or money – our focus is to keep it as neutral as possible.
TiD&B: Something which definitely binds each artist in the agency is their similar style of D&B, focusing on the darker, harder-sounding side, was this accidental or a chosen trademark of Temah?
Outrage: I’d say it’s more of a deeper sound. To be honest, it’s just that we’ve got drums and got bass â€“ which sounds funny to say but nowadays some styles of D&B don’t really even have that!
The sounds of Digital and Spirit were really big 10 years ago and that’s the kind of D&B which I really got into and loved. Today, this is still the kind of music we like to make – we don’t pigeonhole ourselves deliberately. For example, personally, as a DJ, I’ll play what I like and it just happens that the stuff I like are the deeper sounds.
Don’t get me wrong though, we’re not holding onto the past, but using what we’ve always been good at making and giving it a modern twist to sound fresh. A great example is Raiden’s new album, it’s mind-blowing as it’s so refreshing to the ears but still has that old-skool kind of sound.
Another way to think of our sound is ‘streets beats’ â€“ I’m not even too sure how that term came about and we’re definitely not making a new subgenre (I’m not into that!) – but it’s music which consists of the b-boy breakbeat, which was often used in old Hip-hop and Drum & Bass….I guess it’s a good way to describe our sound!
TiD&B: What defines Temah from other agencies and labels?
Outrage:Â Temah is a very unique concept and there’s
nothing like it that currently exists. We’re a crew of like-minded artists providing the whole package; an agency, label and night. We also know what we like and have already established our sound and we want to push it! I guess the closest thing to Temah is A Bunch of Cuts, as they’re an online store and they have their clubnight… but there’s no-one doing what we’re actually doing!
TiD&B: In terms of being a label, can you explain more about how Temah works, as individually some members also own their own labels?
Outrage: I started my label Backlash as an outlet for my own work so I wouldn’t have to worry about who would like it and would want to release it. I’ve been working on it for almost 15 years and the concept has always been ‘this is me, I’m going to make music how and when I want’ and I plan for this to always be the case. I’m sure this is similar to how Digital and Raiden feel about their labels too (Digital owns Function and Raiden owns Offkey)…although I know that they have released material by other artists too. So the idea behind Temah is that it will be a platform to release all our collaborative work. For example, I’ve been working recently with Raiden and Digital and we completed 5 tunes – these collaborations would never come out on Backlash or Offkey and so it makes sense to release them on Temah. Having Temah also saves any arguments on which label to release which tunes on!
But of course, individually we are all still working on our own labels too, they’re part of our individual identities and we don’t want to lose that.
TiD&B: Is there scope for more artists to join the agency and for it to grow or is it quite an exclusive collective?
Outrage: For now Temah will remain as it is, mainly because being an agent for several artists is hard enough. We’re also wary of how easy it is to make mistakes, for example, if we took on loads of artists, some might get pushed more than others and then it’s not fair. Right now, we’re concentrating on building Temah and becoming a solid thing….but, who knows what could happen in the future! Once we’ve achieved our aims of having regular releases and nights as well as all the artists getting regular work, then we can think about expanding. Now though, we’re happy where we are.
TiD&B: We’re really looking forward to the Temah launch party this Sunday 28th November at Plan B, Brixton, what can we expect from the night?
Outrage: Yeah we are too! I’ve heard that people are coming down from Manchester â€“ so people are travelling to get to the first Temah night! It should be a really good night and as it’s on 7pm to 1am, you could even been in bed by 2am!
What to expect…really good music all night! We want DJs to play what they really want to play, try out new material and not feel like they need to compromise which is something I’ve never done as a DJ. Of course we’ll entertain, but maybe educate a bit with new music and of course we’ll make you dance! Hopefully we’ll get a wicked crowd in and it’ll be a lot of fun!
We’ll be recording all the audio from the night and we’ve got a film crew coming down too â€“ we are hoping to make a mini documentary for the new year!
TiD&B: So will the Temah night become a regular?
Outrage: Well we’ve got a lineup already planned for January, but it really depends on how the first party on Sunday goes. If we think it’s gone well and the venue’s happy then we need to sit down and plan for 2011! But the intention is to put on a bimonthly night and I think it’s possible as the concept is a good one and needs to be out there!…Particularly as we’ll be bringing something different to the rave scene as at the moment there are very similar lineups and so crowds don’t really have much of a choice. Temah lineups are going to be varied and I’m sure will draw in quite different crowds. If January does go ahead, it’ll be a really fucking good line-up!!
TiD&B: What can we look forward to from Temah in 2011?
Outrage: Our first 4 track EP will be probably be released in January. It will feature a track by me and Raiden, another by me and Digital, there’ll be one by Meth and 2Shy and the final track will be by Digital. All of the tracks have been played out over the past couple of months and have gone down really well.
What’s key to us is keeping consistent so we’ll have digital releases every 6 to 8 weeks. There will be some tracks released on vinyl too but unfortunately the process for vinyl releases is very long, it can take 4 or 5 months to complete and as we’re trying to make a point with our sound and push Temah forward, our focus will be digital.
But keep an eye out as there are big things to come for Temah in 2011!