It’s the 8th official feature in our mix series and we’re switching the tempo up for this one. I first came across Voodoo Music when someone randomly posted me a clip of Velocet’s Idle Hands, I was instantly hooked. After doing a bit of research, I soon discovered the Voodoo empire, it’s exotic flavours and idiosyncratic image that was both organic and refreshingly innovative. Taking this all into account, I knew I had found a label with raw substance, that was willing to be daring by infusing various continental sounds into a new experimental sub bracket of bass music. The team behind Voodoo Music are essentially drum & bass veterans, signed to some of the genres biggest labels, boosting an impressive catalogue of releases. I caught up with Voodoo Music to find out more about the team, the label, the music and future developments.
TRUSIK: Easy fellas, wanted to start off by saying this is my first interview feature for TRUSIK and my first feature focusing on drum & bass rather than dubstep; I’m honoured that it’s with the masterminds behind Voodoo Music. First up, so that the readers are familiar, please introduce yourself, where are you from and what were the reasons for becoming DJs and producers?
RAIDEN: I’m Chris Jarman, I produce under the names Raiden and Kamikaze Space Programme, I literally produce and DJ as I live and breath music and its my favourite way to express myself.
MORPHY: I’m Morphy, I’m a producer based in Glasgow, Scotland. I’ve always been interested in sound ever since I was using a cassette four track to mash up bits from my favourite bands, It was a horrible mess but it got me addicted to making music. Now I couldn’t imagine my life without it!
TRUSIK: Raiden, you run the Voodoo Music label. As a relatively new label, you already have several artists signed. Can you tell us a little about the Voodoo Music family, how you all met and what you expect from the Voodoo clan?
RAIDEN: Voodoo music was initially set up as a vehicle for warm tropical music after a inspirational South American tour where I spent a month with Ortokore in Caracas, Venezuela where he introduced me to the vast world of Latin music. Soon after returning I met Morphy and we were totally on the same page, so we became good friends and Voodoo became an extension of both of us. After a a year we started getting demos inspired by our first few releases we extended the label to some new artists that we felt fitted the ethos. Voodoo is more than just tribal music, to us theres a deeper soul to it. We have some really great artists onboard including Ortokore, Nasha Experience and Velocet and recently we met an artist called Adi Sharma who sent us a demo and totally blew us away with his abstract music.
TRUSIK: In one sentence, what does Voodoo Music represent?
RAIDEN: Voodoo is a musical tropical rainforest populated by exotic tribes who like to dance the night away and have fun.
TRUSIK: The sounds of Voodoo Music come across almost tribal based, a style very apparent in the deeper end of dubstep at the moment (I’m looking at you Killawatt). When it comes to beat making, what influences your writing style and which artists do you mostly find inspiring you?
RAIDEN: In the post dubstep world it seems the classic 808 and 707 drum machines of Techno and Electro are the order of the day. Even tribal house isn’t as big as it once was. In d&b we are very niche as its not your standard 2 step formula thats aimed squarely at the clubbing senario. I’m very much into playing and recording my own percussion and basing my drum patterns on traditional latin american rhythms and the joy it gives people, I’m also inspired by the movies from the 50’s and 60’s. Musically, I’m inspired by the 50’s exocitca music by artists like Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Henry Mancini and Slasa music such as Hector Lavoe and Joey Prastrano.
MORPHY: I don’t sit down with the intention of making a “tribal” track, and I never have done. I just let the ideas flow naturally and the track takes shape from the palette of sounds I am working with. Sometimes it comes out mellow and dubby and sometimes it’s heavy and packed with drums and percussion. Also, I think Chris and I love using percussion and different world grooves because we both have a very dynamic taste in music; we draw influence from that as opposed to trying to make a track sound “tribal”. Artists who inspire me include The Orb, Scientist, Pete Namlook, Moondog, Bill Laswell, King Tubby and Mad Professor.
TRUSIK: Before Voodoo Music, you created Offkey, a Techno label best described as the “cold steel of the metropolis”. What do you wish to achieve with Voodoo Music, how does it stand out from other Drum & Bass labels and can we expect a third label offshoot in the years to come?
RAIDEN: Voodoo is literally born from a love of old Ray Harryhaussen movies and old dusty records. I think it stands out as its a literal extension of our influences and personalities, its very much from the heart and we have a collective mentality, its almost as if Voodoo is not just a label but a whole world within our heads. If we were to do a 3rd label I think it would have a nautical theme inspired by the aesthetics of “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” and “Captain Nemo”. I can picture this world so clearly, maybe this could be a Voodoo concept LP in the future!
TRUSIK: You recently released Percussion Concussion EP Part 3. Can you tell us a little about this series of EPs and the artists involved?
MORPHY: Well we had planned to do a various artist EP to introduce some different artists to the Voodoo camp. When we had gathered the tracks together we realised we had quite a nice variety of rhythms from around the world; salsa, soca, afro and dub reggae. It seemed like a good way to showcase what Voodoo is about and we decided to develop it into a series of EPs. The series has seen some great tracks across a variety of different styles, including some Voodoo debuts for Ortokore, Genotype and Fade. “Percussion Concussion Part 3” features the return of Ortokore with a superb triplet time afro-rhythm, a quirky latin bass tune from Raiden under his other moniker Kamikaze Space Programme, some tribal vibes from J Robinson and Mental Forces and a Morphy / Nasha Experience collaboration.
TRUSIK: Are there any other future developments / releases to expect from Voodoo Music and its associated clan members?
RAIDEN: We are currently looking to break free from the shackles of genre as Voodoo has such a strong identity it would be criminal to limit ourselves to one tempo, especially when our inspirations cover a wide range of tempos and world music. The next release is a collection of remixes of the back catalogue by ourselves and our latest signings to present Voodoo’s past present and future before moving onto more involved releases. We are currently working towards an LP called “Voodoo Island” inspired from when we watched a Sinbad Movie where Sinbad travelled to this island of death masks carved into the rock faces, black magic and a fountain of youth. As we were watching we could hear the whole LP already. There will be an EP from my new project Kamikaze Space Programme which is more house / techno based music but with the Voodoo attitude. We have also signed a new artist from India called Adi Shamir who is currently based in Dublin. He plays live tablas and developed a musical scale using chimes based on the frequencies of planets in the solar system. He fits perfectly with the Voodoo Vibe!
TRUSIK: I’ve had a listen to the incredible mix you have put together for us. I loved it. Can you briefly explain the thought process behind the mix and the end product?
RAIDEN: The mix was out together by Ortokore, who’s now based in Chile. He has been with us form the start, created our logos and released on 2 of the releases. His tracklist draws on much of the back catalogue as well as giving a few sneak previews of our forthcoming remixes. Hopefully his mix will be enjoyed not only by Voodoo fans but be a good introduction to people who don’t know who we are and want to get an idea of what Voodoo Music is about.
TRUSIK: To finish off, is there anyone you would like to thank, shout out, bigup or throw up your clan signs to?
Both: All our artists at Voodoo Music: Ortokore, Nasha Experience, Genotype, Fade, Velocet, Adi Sharma, Mental Forces and J Robinson, John Wilson and all at ST Holdings, Orphan 101, Bloodman, Headhunter, 2Shy, Meth, Oscar and Michael at Technology, LXC at Alphacut Records, 9 Tails Fox, Untouchables, Flatliners, Decarhythm, Enuui, Linden, Scott at ithinkitsnice.com, Brian @ Translation and a big thank you to you guys at TRUSIK.
Raiden – Baptism of Fire (VOOMUSIC001)
Raiden – Bogotá (VOOMUSIC004)
Raiden & Khanage – Amnesia Haze (VOOMUSIC002)
Kosine – Pure Shot (Meth & Morphy Remix) (Voodoo Music Dub)