It’s been three weeks since Artikal Music released their debut album ‘The Compilation’, the label’s biggest and most adventurous project yet. Featuring 14 tracks from 14 artists based around the globe, it is a testament to the globalisation of dubstep and its ever growing presence internationally, as well as in the UK. The reviews and appraisals have been immensely positive, with vinyl bundles selling out at most outlets and featured tracks almost appearing in every mix I’ve seen uploaded to Soundcloud for the past month. One aspect is clear, this is an important collection of underground music which makes the long touted argument that “dubstep is dead” a mute and shallow point. With a huge Artikal Music North American Tour planned for October and November featuring 14 shows with some of the top dubstep promoters in the US and Canada, we asked the artists featured on the album what Artikal Music UK means to them…
J:KENZO: Artikal is the Blueprint, it’s the Original. Giving a nod to foundational sound whilst stepping forward with new ideas. It started as an experiment and became so much more, to the point that it is now reaching out and influencing people all over the world. It’s a combination of Deep, Dubwise, Dark, Beautiful and Ugly sounds. Music to get lost in and Music to vibe out to.
MOSAIX: Artikal Music is about giving something back to the scene that has given me a lot of good memories over the years. The artists we have worked with are all making unique and interesting music that shows appreciation for the original Dubstep sound and its surrounding influences. Every Artikal artist brings something different to the table, which collectively show the different styles of sound that I have played as a DJ and listened to as a fan of underground, bass heavy music.
THELEM: Artikal Music to me is a label that isn’t set in boundaries with a specific style or sound. It’s not afraid to push things forward within the scene, releasing quality music that shows how varied the producers and artists involved are.
TMSV: What Artikal means to me: it’s a great label that really stands out in a pretty saturated scene, run by hardworking people who are staying true to the sound they believe in, but are not afraid to give artists a chance to showcase their other sounds.
ESHONE: I was very surprised to have J:Kenzo and Mosaix invest in putting out my music. Before Jay had contacted me, I had never seen much recognition from UK artists. Some scattered radio play, and a few solid supporters who would play my tracks regularly. It’s been quite a change, for the better, to be recognized throughout the EU because of my release on Artikal. This compilation is going to solidify the sound and direction of the label. Those who have found the label through certain artists, such as Thelem, or TMSV, will learn of the others and begin to construct their ideas and appreciation for what Artikal puts out. As a whole, I believe this album will be one of the most prominent dubstep releases in 2014.
MATTY G: Artikal is everything I fell in love with in the beginning as far as the types of emotions the music brings out in me. The music on this label is timeless… it will be just as good in 10 years as it is now, because it’s not part of a fad or some passing trend. It’s coming from people who are passionate about what they do, and that passion is evident in the songs they make… that’s what means the most to me. It’s really a class act label.
PERVERSE: J:Kenzo was one of the first big name artists to give us serious support and provide us with a platform to showcase our music. Not only our darker stuff but some of our more experimental music too. The fact they were willing to take a risk on a release of something a bit different meant a lot to us and showed us that Artikal wasn’t a ‘one trick pony’ type label. It’s been amazing being part of such a tight knit family of amazing producers who are given the opportunity by labels such as Artikal to push the boundaries while sticking to the foundation sound.
D-OPERATION DROP: After Lion Charge, J:Kenzo gave us the chance to crown another dream: became part of Artikal Music UK, one of the most respected labels in the worldwide dubstep scene. We are very grateful towards J:Kenzo and honoured to see our name next to artists like Truth, Sleeper, Thelem and the rest of the Artikal Family.
TRUTH: Artikal Music means proper bassweight, tracks we always rep, all killer no filler, serious vibes, foundation sounds.
SLEEPER: I think the compilation is a great example of Dubstep in 2014. It’s a representation of where the deeper side of the scene is at right now, showing how the music is still moving and evolving in different directions on the underground, so being included on the album is a special thing. Hopefully the compilation will show how much the label has come along in a relatively short time and bring a bit more attention to the talented bunch of producers working with Artikal.
SKEPTICAL: For a fairly new label Jay has done a great job of pushing it to where it is now by releasing great music by great artists. It’s a pleasure to be involved in this compilation.
The Artikal Music UK North American Tour begins October 30th. For more information, head to J:KENZO’s Facebook page to find the complete list of dates with their respective event page or CLICK HERE. To give you a taster of what to expect from the tour, ESHONE has kindly put together an exclusive promo mix full of quality music:
01. J:Kenzo (feat. Collinjah) – Straight Defeat
02. EshOne – Qualia
03. Skriptah – Unborn
04. Skeptical – Skavenger
05. EshOne – Monopoly
06. Sleeper – Bare Foot Dubbing
07. Sleeper – Coxone Dub
08. Ago – Backlash
09. EshOne – Cutty Dub
10. Mercy & B9 – Butterfly Kick
11. EshOne – Spar
12. EshOne – Scrap Night
13. Piecemeal (feat. Rubrica) – Miasma
14. EshOne – Sinking