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We speak to Vital Techniques, ahead of their 2020 launch with Second To None

Posted 23/1/20 in

A new decade means many things. For some it means complete musical reform, for others, it’s the perfect time to crack on with what they were already doing, pushing themselves into a new echelon. Today, we have been lucky enough to catch up with one of the stand out UK multigenre bass labels of the last few years, as we sit down with Vital Techniques, founders of Second To None music.

As artists, they have been constantly popping up with new heavyweight productions of their own, including a couple of top quality collaborations we happen to be very fond of with fellow Leeds resident: Dialect. They have also stayed very much at the forefront of their cities bass scene, providing an excellent run of releases with Second To None Music.

This Friday sees them kick off their year in style, as they join forces with two heavy hitters from down Brighton way in Hamdi & El Laurie for an extremely high energy three track selection, taking the name ‘Street Dubs #1’.

We were lucky enough to catch up with the head honchos themselves ahead of Friday’s release, in and interview which sees them discuss their 2019 as artists and as a label, alongside some pretty exclusive plans for the future. You can check out the full interview and preview the release via JunoDownload below:





Firstly, how was 2019 for you guys?

Last year was an amazing pivotal year for us. We moved into our very own studio, so no more annoying the neighbours and having time restraints which is a brilliant feeling. Being able to go there any time night or day and be as loud as you want… you just can’t beat it! Great to have that space to get creative. We also experienced our first tour along with some other amazing festivals and gigs throughout the year. So can’t complain!

What was your favourite release of the bunch label wise?

Thats a tricky one cause we love every release that we put out. If we had to pick though Kilner’s ‘Talk To Me’ stood out with its oldchool jackin’ vibes. I also really liked our tune ‘Pump Up’ but think it got overlooked as we dropped it just before Outlook Festival and didn’t get time to put in the proper promo it deserved. Pean’s ‘Moving Mountains’ was a wicked project to work on as well and so was Dialect’s Whiskey & Ice. Can you tell its hard to decide yet?! haha.

They really did all have something to offer in their own right.

RE: Vital Techniques, did you have a good year with your own releases?

Yes we really did actually. We released a lot on our label as well as others. We had a tune out on a CruCast compilation, as well as tracks out on FooR’s label, Zanetti’s Sleeping is Cheatin’ and possibly our biggest collab to date, that featured General Levy, Killa P, Dread MC and Devilman which dropped on Four40 Records and has an animated music video thats live now on JDZ Media. We were very busy last year and plan to do even more this year!

Kicking off 2020, we see this wicked new three tracker, how did this one come together?

Well when we went to Outlook Festival 2019 we had a lot of grime sets… performing on the Grime Originals stage with Devilman, playing on Flowdan’s Spentshell boat, the Sika Records boat, we were just constantly around that vibe and had the biggest MCs in the game showing us love and we had a load of new grime & 140 vibes fresh for the festival. We had chance to test them out and on the Grime Originals stage Sir Spyro came up to us gassed and said that we need to send him some beats by the morning. We did and the rest is history. He’s supported us on his 1Xtra show week in week out, so with all these sick beats sat there it just made sense. We came back from Outlook full of energy and the production just kept flowing and flowing. Having originally started our musical paths in the early days of the grime scene it made it easy.

El Laurie is someone I’ve been keeping an eye on since he popped into Trickstar Radio about 9 months ago, how sick is his track?

Proper sick! Everything he’s sent us has been fire. He’s someone to keep an eye on for sure. We’re looking to put more out from him this year so keep an eye out!

Hamdi’s Caterpillar has done bits on social media, do you take that sort of thing into account when collecting tracks to release?

Of course, I think you have to these days. You have to find a balance. Everything is based around social media these days so you have to have some form of presence in order to promote your music. Hamdi has managed to do this in recent years and his track Caterpillar in particular seems to have pricked up a few ears!

I believe we also have a bit of an exclusive announcement to make regarding an upcoming Second To None release as well?

Indeed we do! We have the follow up release ‘Street Dubs #2’ dropping in quick succession on 7th Feb! With another 3 bangers on it!

We’re keeping things moving this year, rapid fire!

Are you going to continue with the grimey side of things?

We like to sit in the bracket of Garage x Grime… anything really in the 130-140bpm range. We’ve never pigeon-holed ourselves, we like so much music and our sets are always very versatile and take you on a journey, so it makes sense that our label also reflects that.

We are also bringing in a lot more MC’s this year, working closely with some big Leeds names in the form of Graft, Irish Paddy and Dialect. Watch out for music videos and much more! We’re ready to put Leeds grime fully on the map with these guys. They have also had a lot of love on 1Xtra and working together seems like the perfect combo.

How is the rest of 2020 looking?

Well in Feb we are doing ‘The French Alps Tour’ which we are very excited about! We have 3 gigs out in the mountains so that’s going to be amazing. Our label is now also permanent residents of a night in Leeds called Boombox Circus. Its a huge night with 4/5 rooms and always jam packed. After a successful stint of hosting the basement room at that venue we have now been given that room as permanent hosts, so we have some wicked parties lined up along with the rest of the Boombox Circus family!

And like I just said we’ve got more music videos in the works which is an angle we want to push more this year. We’re just keeping active and trying to be consistent, hoping that everything falls into place! Our overall aim is to get more radio play and support and recognized for what we’re doing. I think we have to be one of the most underrated acts out there… this year we’re here to let people know what time it is!

We are also starting our very own show on a brand new legal FM radio station in Leedw, which is huge news! We have done pirate radio and internet radio for year’s now so its amazing to be given the opportunity to do it on a bigger scale and without the worry of police knocking on the door!

One studio item you just can’t live without?

We would have to say Komplete. Both the Kontroller Keyboard and the Komplete library. We have Komplete 12 Ultimate Collectors Edition. Thats over 900GB of sounds from Native Instruments and its just mad! Never ending sounds of the highest quality.

Any other shout outs?

Just a big shout out to everyone that supports what we’re doing. All the artists we work with and everyone that play’s our music and books us for events. We wish everyone all the best for 2020. Keep creative and do what makes you happy, don’t watch other people. Keep your eye’s on the prize and smash it!

And buy ‘Street Dubs #1’!!!!

Woiiiiii oiiiiii

You can check out the release here:

Follow: Vital Techniques
Follow: Second To None

Words: KXVU

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