We first spoke to Arkaik back in late 2013 after he released the punching Cutting Edge EP (interview here) on the label he calls home; Diffrent Music, so it was a bit of a suprise to see another four tracker drop into our inbox so soon. Continuing Diffrent’s agenda of pushing inventive, playful d&b that still retains it’s dark edge, The Hustle EP sees him further his own murky explorations of deep bass and spacious, pattern hopping drums as he’s joined by Coma, Dexta and Mauoq for an all out tribal assault. From the monstrous synths, cavernous dripping hits and cold vocal samples of title track The Hustle, it’s clear that he’s once again pulling no punches as he brings a more menacing energy to the early summer’s blue skies.
Soon joined by Coma, the shuffling, squirming Heat Seeker builds tension dramatically before machete sharp hats slowly build into the mix of punching kicks and speaker terrorizing basslines for another militantly stepping floor shaker that leads nicely into the swoops and quickfire mechanics of Babylon Dub, melodic pads later joining the mix to sum up the contradictions in the strong yer immoral city it shares a name with. Lastly, Dexta and Mauoq help out with perhaps our favourite beat of the EP, a simple yet hard hitting break working through a blistering range of growling bass, a melancholic atmosphere helped along by it’s silkily soulful vocal samples.
With a sound at once sparse and overwhelming, it’s a solid continuation of his dedication to explorations of the lower end of the Hz spectrum that sees him once again pick up the Diffrent mantle in fine style. With our last interview with the man himself still fresh in our ears, we decided to get back at him to delve deeper into his insprations and influences across the board. So kick back, grab a pen and pad and let Arkaik lead you all the way from his favourite musician to his favourite decade.
dBridge – not only makes amazing music, but runs a forward thinking label, DJ’s like a king and can also sing. This mans got skills!
Alix Perez & Sabre- Old Flame
One of the most played vinyls I own, it’s got so much soul and Sabres sampling is masterful.
Renegade Hardware, all the way from The End through Area, Cable and now Brixton Electric.
Dispatch the label that inspired me to start making d&b so it has to be them, I probably have more dispatch tunes on vinyl than any other label.
Daim. He’s a wicked 3D graffiti artist, it just trips my eyes out just looking at his stuff!
Tracks – “Mans on road”. Quality filming and great shots, perfect syncing with the vocals, awesome track haha! But on a serious note: Hexer – The Bomb (Videomix)
Critical All Sounds Electric part 1, I love the way the vinyl circular pattern bends round on the sides so you can see the order of the vinyl, nice clean graphic design.
London the main hub of the all consuming drug D&B.
1996-2006, so many wicked tunes were made in this era!
Has to be Dance 2 Records in Guildford. I’ve been going in there since I was 15, massive respect for Jazz T who runs the shop, he always has good drum n bass in stock.
Kai’s restaurant in Slough. All you can eat to order, fresh, really good salt n pepper squid!
Pick up The Hustle EP direct from Diffrent here