05.04.2012, Words by Charlie Jones

Dummy Mix 116 // Elijah & Skilliam

Elijah & Skilliam are two of the most important players in grime at the moment. The London and Rinse FM regulars have championed the raucous, action-packed sound through their label Butterz, and their frequent DJ sets. One of them was recorded for us in Paris, and another will be at the fantastic Rinse party tonight at Fabric.

Hi Elijah & Skilliam, how’s life?

Life is good! Time seems to fly pretty quickly it has been 3 years since we joined Rinse FM this month, and 2 years of the label. If we keep this up for another couple of years who know what can happen.

Love the mix. Can you tell me a bit about it?

This was a crazy night, I dont even remember that much of it, but it is an excerpt from a 3 hour set we played at Paris Social Club with Rinse. We played all the Garagey stuff together in a club for the first time all in a row and it sounds fresh. There’s music in there from Preditah, DJ Q, Flava D, Royal-T, Swindle and Champions new release that’s coming out on the label soon. I don’t normally drink, but it was one of those nights where the promoter kept bringing over vodka and it knocked me out after a while, I didn’t even hear the other sets… We missed our Eurostar home and everything.

What’s the difference between playing a dance and doing a radio show?

Radio is definitely more experimental. Because we have only ever been on late we have never felt like we have had to please a big audience. If you are listening Thursday nights 1-3am you know why you are there. In the clubs it is definitely still up front, but then we may throw in things from other areas every so often for the people that don’t know what the hell is going on. Then the dynamic totally changes when you are playing with an MC. We did a couple of shows with JME this month and it changes the type of tunes you would play totally. A variety of all 3 is what keeps us sane I guess.

Butterz is one of the most forward thinking British labels around. How would you describe music you release?

Thank you man that means a lot. We are consciously trying to avoid putting out similar records so even though we work with a bunch of talented producers sometimes people moan about the amount we release compared to the amount of unreleased stuff we play, its just because when we invest in a release we feel like it has to be covering new ground. Thats why P Money – Boo You, Trim – I Am, Swindle & Silkie – Unlimited are all really different. We could do a million decent Grime instrumental releases but we want to push a few more barriers. So maybe only having 5 or 6 releases a year that are all totally different, but still Grime is the way that will do it. I think Butterz is the label we wanted to exist about 5 years before we even started as Grime fans going to record stores and picking up vinyl every other week. Hard to imagine London music without Grime for the last 10 years, and we are trying to put out music that makes it a fixture for the next 10 years.

It seems like a lot of music you release and play is really new. Do you think this is another “wot-do-u-call-it” moment, or is it all grime as far as you’re concerned?

I think it is just a continuation of what was already there, that not a lot of people were taking notice of anymore. So it would be wrong to call it something else, and as many doors as its closed sticking by the name Grime, it has opened others that I never thought it could. We are all happy with it at the label and people that send me music knowing I only play Grime are cool for me to represent it. There have been way too many wotdoucallitmoments over the last couple of years. Seems a bit artificial to me.

What’s the best thing you’ve heard this year?

When Champion decided he wanted to do a Grime release for our label and sent me the final version of ‘Crystal Meth’ it was that and all the sets from our recent show at Cable Butterz wise. I like Redlight a lot as well. All his stuff bangs in the clubs. I got the Planet X / Mosquito vinyl a couple weeks ago and if I ever start playing out multi genre sets that wouldn’t leave my bag.

What are you most excited about at the moment?

As a label we are sorting out a small club tour for the winter at the moment so looking forward to taking our vibes across the country and Europe properly for the first time. We are working on a new vocal at the moment that is pretty promising too, may be the only one we do this year, which will make it even more special. We just finished a collaboration t shirt with Mishka which is pretty cool too, and Im going to New York next week to launch it with a bang. As a DJ/badman im most excited about working on some new projects that aren’t really related to Butterz. I know thats vague, but I spent so much time running around doing other things that I barely put in any time to developing what I want to do with my own ideas. I mention them on my personal blog from time to time over at http://elijah365.com/

What’s your favourite thing to do in London?

Eat anything from Tayyabs. Go to Heatwave bashment parties. Listen to Rinse FM. Roller Skate. Have you got all day? I have lived here all my life for a reason.

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