Saturday, 30 November 2013

Featuring: Boofy

As far as statements of intent go, 'Since When' is up there with the best. One of the sharpest instrumental cuts to have bust into the grime scene for some time, it's first play on Rinse FM - courtesy of Messrs Kahn & Neek - had a lot of heads turning. Though those already familiar with the name Boofy, most likely off the back of his earlier, sub-drenched dubstep beats, might not have guessed in his direction, this assault of flutes, skittering hats and belching bassline was no one-off. Since then - pun wholly intended - Boofy has come with a steady stream of perfectly balanced heaters, carving his own corner into grime and contributing, in no small part, to the sound's recent resurgence. And while some might complain of producer's of simply re-hashing old staple sounds and themes and presenting them to a virgin audience, Boofy manages to show off his influences proudly - everyone from Maniac, to early Dizzee, to Dot Rotten - without surrendering to them: his beats incorporate an inventive approach to rhythm, most notably in those hi-hats, and, perhaps most importantly, the structure and control of a tune's energy, effectively removing the need to ride a whole track out on one cliched sound or sample.

Hedmuk: To introduce yourself, what's your name, where do you hail from and how would you describe your sound?

Boofy: I'm Boofy. I sleep and eat in Bristol and my sound's heavily 140-based and with a major UK influence.

H: Some people may have first come across you through the deeper, rolling dubstep tunes you initially became known for, but had you always been making a broad style of music? How much has your recent grime output been a big switch in focus in terms of what styles you're making?

B: Well, I haven't made a great amount of material of every genre but I experiment a lot, if that makes sense. Regardless of my releases, I haven't really just stuck to making one desired sound, but I put out what I'm confident with.

And yeah, it definitely has. I still get a lot of people still reppin' my older sounds which is wicked because I didn't know it reached out to that many. I won't stop making what I want, but I think at the very least, I know what direction I'm aiming to head in.

H: Have you always been involved in making music?

B: I have. As long as I can remember. I started playing instruments from young and learned how to write and read music, but it wasn't until my early teens I had a chance to sit down on a computer and get to grips with the tech side.

H: An obvious characteristic of the grime tunes you've been coming out with is the clips cut from old radio sets: how much, would you say, is that about trying to capture that sense of energy from grime's early pirate radio days, where the MC took centre stage?

B: Yeah it is, but at the same time all I've done, without consciously thinking about it, was run through some of the old sets I had on my block tower of a PC that's been out of use ever since I got my Mac. Pirate days definitely had energy that we all still feed off. I think it was the rawness of the genre.

H: Have you plans to be working with any MCs in the near future? Are there any that you'd be particularly keen to hear vocalling one of your beats?

B: One of my favourite MCs at the moment is Merky ACE and there's quite a few MCs I'd be keen to get some vocals down from. But then again it's another one of those things where I'd want to focus on sculpting something with someone, rather than make a beat and fling an MC on top of it. I've sent a few bits off to some Bristol heads, old friends who've I've always rated and other guys who have put in work so just got to see what we can come up with, but it's definitely in my interests.

H: Along with signing the Nank EP to Tumble Audio you've played at a one of their notorious Nottingham label nights; how did you get first get involved with the label, and how important is it, do you think, for labels to be getting involved with the actual live/performance aspect of the music that they're releasing?

B: The involvement with the label was due to a mutual hook-up with this skeng-man called Willum. Pretty sound guy, you should meet him (laughs). In all seriousness though, it was shortly after 'Nank' was uploaded to your YouTube channel that we got in touch with each other, so big ups to you.

What those guys are doing in their city is important, they've got a sound and a live audience along with it: it goes hand-in-hand. I now think it's essential for other labels to do the same, or at least something similar. You can see how a DJ reacts to their crowd and whether they can play the right stuff; anyone can make tunes, but not everyone's a "selecta", if you know what I mean.

H: You took the step of setting up your own label recently, alongside Lemzly Dale; what was it that made you want to take things into your own hands and start doing things independently, and how important was it that you'd be releasing on vinyl?

B: The whole vision started off as "I miss grime white labels" and not many people were doing them as much as they used to - obviously due to the way the industry has rapidly changed over time. Then before I knew it, I was on a roll getting it all sorted. Releasing on vinyl is something, in my opinion, that you aim towards. As well as that, Bristol has a healthy vinyl culture: I thought it would be important to get involved and play my part in it.

H: What are your plans for the future of Sector 7?

B: Future plans for S7S, we're back in the blueprint stages again. There's quite a few projects that are possibilities but nothing's concrete at the moment; just planning for next year really and the aim is to step the game up after a successful first release. Just taking our time and not rushing, building on the foundation we have made for ourselves really.

H: Logan Sama caused a stir recently by suggesting that the current crop of producers making grime in Bristol were making life difficult by keeping things close-knit and releasing mainly on vinyl; how important to you, though, is that sense of community that is apparent between the Bristol school of producers? How much would you say that it's about keeping an aspect of dubplate culture going in a largely digital world?

B: I could say so much on that situation, but I think I'll keep it simple. Our community for music is important. We all constantly strive to better ourselves, and what's more motivating than surrounding yourself with people who all want the same thing? It's not like we don't send tunes out to people or whatever, because we connect with a lot of artists and producers all over, but our city isn't the largest so, being on the same page with music, we all bump into each other and just link up.

And as for Logan, he basically just said he plays what he gets sent and vinyl's dead ever since he stopped cutting dubplates. Don't get me wrong, I do respect Logan and he plays a big part in bringing in new producers, which is what the scene needs. But because he doesn't take vinyl out with him anymore, and some Bristol guys are doing physical only releases, he can't play it. The whole point of physical is 100% not because hipsters are trying to take a step back, we're just trying to keep an aspect of physical in an industry full of files and desktop folders. But I don't know, that's just my opinion.

H: Take us through how you approached the mix you've done for us.

B: I've got together a bag of tunes which are some all time favourites, personal favourites of today's age, vocal's I particularly rate at the moment and producers who I rate. Thought it would be important to start with one of my favourites from when I started producing back in 2007.

H:Finally, are there any forthcoming releases or anything else in the pipeline that you'd like to put the word out on?

B: Release-wise, there should be some news on one of my bits coming out next year, which I can't give specifics on just yet because I haven't been given any myself! But I'm looking forward to letting everyone know what we have in store for Sector 7: hopefully you'll all have a chance to come and see for yourselves!

Download: Boofy - Hedmuk Exclusive Mix


Young Dot - Ride Or Die [Rotten Riddims]
Kahn - Burnin' Riddim [Dub]
Boofy - Bayonet [Dub]
J Beatz - Wave Down [Crown Jules]
Jakes - Certified (feat. Footsie) [Hench]
Saga - Friction [Lost Codes]
Lemzly Dale - Katana (Boofleg Refix) [Dub]
Wiley - One Step Further (LJ Remix) [Dub]
Commodo - Space Cash [Deep Medi Musik]
Merky ACE - Strawberry Rain [No Hats No Hoods]
Hi5Ghost & Trends - Duppy Maker [Dub]
TMSV - Gutter [Dub]
Boofy & Lemzly Dale - Banshee [Sector 7]
KIlljoy - Straight 2 Tha Neck [Dub]
Lyka - Whole Meal [Dub]
Exemen - Storm [Manchu]



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