03.11.2009, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Dummy Mix 16 // Slugabed

There’s a lot to be said for electronic music having a sense of place. I’m thinking the urban decay of Cabaret Voltaire’s Sheffield, Belleville Three-era Detroit or more recently the hauntological South London Boroughs of Burial’s imagination. It’s too easy to get tied in to the whole romance and mythology of that endless search for authenticity though, so it’s lucky that once in a while something comes along to blow apart what you thought you knew like a heat-seeking missile. One of the new breed of beat makers, SLUGABED’s music comes from the moon, the stars or just some other place than here. Like George Clinton before him he’s built a rocketship and set sail for parts unknown. Except of course he hasn’t, Greg Feldwick is from Bath and it’s about as hard to reconcile his wonky-aqua-gloop-step with the sandstone-clad World Heritage site as it is to find your keys for that Night Drive Thru Babylon with Juan Atkins. His massive under-the-counter remix of Pharoahe Monch’s Simon Says and a clutch of his other unreleased productions are all present and correct on this exclusive mix for Dummy, alongside killer cuts from Rustie, Zomby, EPROM and loads more. I caught up with him on a windswept beach in Brighton for a quick chat.

How did you get started?

Making music was a gradual thing. I started on Music2000 when I was about 12, it was mostly looping premade loops and making weird cheesy dance. I got some love for it at school though! Then I got Fruity Loops and a crap computer and I’ve been messing around ever since.

While it’s not messing around, there’s something pertinent there; a playful element and a kind of looseness that comes with restless experimentation. When did your distinctive sound start to evolve?

When I was 17 I started making a lot more kind of smoky, sat-in-your-bedroom-at-3am stupid ambient stuff, and I was really influenced by Madlib obviously. Gradually though I became slightly more extrovert in my own life and my music followed so it’s become more club based. The more parties I play the more that happens.

So it’s inevitable I’m going to ask you about Dilla…

I always like him a lot obviously because he’s so good but I wouldn’t say he influenced my production particularly, although Slum Village’s Raise It Up opened my eyes to weird sample sources, I think its like German hard tech or something!

Your big break came with underground hip hop heroine Stacey Epps who included some of your beats on The Awakening. How was that?

It was amazing to be a part of that having not released anything before but I made the mistake of sending parts not a final mix so they kind of played around with it and it ended up sounding a bit wrong, I didn’t care though I was so happy to be on there.

What’s it like being grouped together with Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and Flying Lotus under the banner of ‘wonky’?

I like the idea of it becoming more of a scene, I don’t really care what it’s called but I think it’s exciting. There is something that ties it all together, it’s not just a hype thing, just don’t ask me what it is. I love Rustie, Hudson Mohawke, Mike Slott all those people, I don’t quite know what ties it together musically but obviously other people feel the same way, like my new residency in Brighton at Donky Pitch, those guys are on the same wavelength.

And finally, who would your dream collaboration be with?

Jan Hammer.

Look out for Slugabed’s upcoming releases on the newly formed Stuff/Wireblock co-op label, Ramp and Planet Mu.

Slugabed’s myspace

Like this? Check out the review of Hudson Mohawke’s Butter.

You might like