Throughout the UK bass scene’s rise to it’s current prominence and dancehall domination, there have been a definitely few labels that can be classed as leading lights, who have consistently provided high grade fire for the rest of the scene to take inspiration from and grow. There is no doubt in our minds that the Yorkshire based giants at In:Flux audio are one of these projects.
The label, formed in 2013 has been a major contributor to kick starting the bassline scene particularly into prominence, producing high quality releases from the likes of heavyweight names such as Dr. Oscillator, Sample Junkie, Pelikann and more, cementing their names into the stones that laid the foundations.
Why are we bringing all this to your attention? Well, a little birdie told us that their 5th birthday as a label was coming up, along with a gargantuan celebratory compilation, so we had to get involved with the party. We were lucky enough to grab half an hour with bossman and co-founder Tik (of Tik&Borrow fame) for an in depth interview, looking through the highlights of the last five years, from early raves in Leeds to being able to assemble such an impressive roster. To go with this also, the In:Flux team have allowed us to properly join in the festivities by giving you guys an exclusive early listen at one of the tracks from the compilation. You are now able to stream this track EXCLUSIVELY through threethousand.co.uk.
Q: It’s been a long road for In:flux. For those who weren’t there at the beginning, how did In:flux begin?
In:flux started out as the brain child of myself (Tik) and Borrow. We were finding it difficult to get a break in the scene, so decided to take it upon ourselves to do our own events in Leeds. The main aim was to give a platform for up and coming DJs from Leeds to play alongside a big headliner, you know, to try and give people the opportunity that we ourselves weren’t getting. After the first year of events we branched out and launched the label with the same MO, to give new artists a platform to launch from. With the launch of the label, we moved the events to Sheffield and we’ve been putting on events in the city ever since.
Q: How were the early parties and events?
The early parties were good fun, if a little daunting at times. Going from playing mostly in your studio to running your own events with artists you look up to is definitely a change of pace, but we think the early parties and bookings made it a lot easier to establish the label as quickly as we did.
Q: Who have been some of the most notable artists to pass through the ranks?
We’ve had a lot of notable artists pass through the label, for example The Presents… Series has offered up some big names such as Brent Kilner, Deadbeat UK, Dr Cryptic and we’ve had some great guest remixers in Rico Tubbs, Killjoy, Vital Techniques to name a few. We’re proud that Brent and Rico regularly return to the label with bangers and we get on really well with all those mentioned, and they regularly show support for us What we’re most proud of is when we see people from the main roster making waves such as Pelikann who has been smashing it left right and centre of late, Sample Junkie who’s play count on 3000 Bass is in the 10s of thousands and dons like Wölfe and Sekt-87 who’ve had releases on the mighty Hot Cakes.
Q: Tell us a bit more about Tik&Borrow’s direct impact with In:flux?
We started out as two separate artists when we launched the brand, but within the year we’d pieced together an EP and become Tik&Borrow. I shopped the EP for a short while before I decided in a similar way to the events to do it myself – and that was INFLUX 001.
Really the whole thing has been influenced in one way or another by what we have done as a production duo. Our album of last year ‘Neurality’ was a massive switch in style for both us and the label – and this has led to us creating the Dubstep branch of the label that will shape a third of the releases next year.
Q: As a label how do you feel about remixes, do they add value to releases?
I think remixes are invaluable on a release, as they sometimes help open communication with new producers and can introduce the label and original artist to new audiences. It is vital however to get a variation in style from the originals and don’t have too many remixes of the same song.
We made the mistake early on of having releases with too many remixes of the same song by similar sounding producers – it can kill a release. What we try to do now is pick different styles of producers for release that balance with the original mixes, and tend not to go over 6 tracks maximum per EP.
Q: What release do you feel was the real turning point that made you want to make a serious go of this label business?
For me it was two-fold really. The ‘Dutty Up North EP’ which was our second official release put us on the map and then our first compilation ‘Get Fluxed Volume I’ really made the big statement for us in our first year. After the first year of finding our feet, it was that first compilation that brought together our larger roster and presented them altogether – this was when I knew we had something special!
Q: So when it came to putting together this selection, what was the criteria?
It was really tough to be honest. There are so many amazing releases on our label across all sorts of release – official releases, Bandcamp exclusive & Free Downloads.
We started by looking at all the INFLUX wider releases and our roster and decided it needed to be our regular contributors, so no guest tracks or remixers, or artists who hadn’t submitted to the label for a while. This way it would give a fair account of the history of the label, but also the people who still have a big part to play in what we do. Then we wanted to make sure that as many releases were covered all the way up to ‘Get Fluxed Volume IV’, so we tried to take no more than one track per EP or no more than two per compilation. We started by picking our favorite tune by each artist and sort of went from there, making sure we covered as much of the back catalogue as possible. I think all in all we’ve tried to give a complete picture of our 5 years as a label.
Q: Would you class yourselves as a multi genre label?
Yeah, we are definitely a multi-genre label, and to be honest that’s only going to keep growing with time. One main thing that ties the releases together however is Bass – that’s the one thing that you can find as an ever present on everything we do.
Q: Following this, what releases do we have to look forward to in the near future?
We’re stepping up our compilation game the next year and expanding from the four in the calendar to six. This allows us to bring 2 Dubstep compilations on a year alongside our ‘Presents…’ Comp, ‘Get Fluxed’, ‘Remixed’ comp and ‘Selection Box’. For the last EP of this year we’ve got an absolutely belter lined up from newcomer J. Kong with remixes by Dr. Oscillator, J69 and Inner Realm. Then in 2019 we’ve got Pelikann, Fork and Knife, Sample Junkie and Tik&Borrow returning to do EPs for us and then in March 2019 we’ve got man like RRRitalin returning from the wilderness for his first EP in years – with Sample Junkie and Kanji Kinetic on remix duties. As big fans of the Mutant Bass sound, it was the first 4×4 genre I listened to after Dubstep, we’re pretty chuffed to have that as a line up for an EP on our label.
Q: What would you say is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt in running In:flux?
Do it for the love. It’s so easy to get tied up worrying about the social aspect of the scene or the organizational aspects of running a label, but at the end of the day, music is meant to be for enjoying.
Q: If you could give a word of advice to a new team setting up a label, what would it be?
Patience. This is not something that will happen overnight. Sometimes it might not happen at all. But if you keep your head down and keep doing what you love, something good will come from it in the end!
Q: So to finish up, what makes this Brent Kilner track so special to you guys?
Brent came to play at our 4th event and last in Leeds before we moved to Sheffield. This was before we had a label, so to have someone who we’d booked a year before suddenly releasing on our label was a big jump for us. The fact that we still work with him today and he’s just been to play for us for our penultimate event in Sheffield for me is the reason that track means a lot. He’s one of the crew.
You can check out this exclusive early listen via the premiere link below, with the full project being available to stream and purchase from 29/10/18