Night Slugs (UK):
Bok Bok, Girl Unit, Mike Q, J Heat
+ Special Guest Groundislava
“having developed one of the most distinctive sounds in U.K. dance music, a mutable hybrid of grime, house, electro, R&B, techno, hip-hop, and dubstep”…
Between them, the four artists at the core of Night Slugs – that’s label heads Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 along with Jam City and Girl Unit – have been responsible for some of the most exciting electronic music of the 2010s. And that’s without even mentioning the other artists who’ve released career highlight material on the London-based label – Kingdom, Egyptrixx, Lil Silva, Helix… the list goes on.
Alex Sushon is the founder and label manager of London-based record label Night Slugs, which has featured releases by Girl Unit, L-Vis 1990, Jam City, Egyptrixx, Helix, P Jam, Pearson Sound, and Mosca. Night Slugs sprang from the clubnight started by Sushon and James Connolly, aka L-Vis 1990, after they connected on MySpace. “Bok Bok already had a solid grounding in sound-system culture; his interest was piqued by a DJ Slimzee mix in 2003, and then, as the grime scene evolved, he shied away toward raw, upbeat grooves from further afield: Baltimore breaks, Detroit ghetto-tech, the footwork/ghetto house hybrids in Chi-Town, and South African arch riddim constructions”.
‘”Wut’ is the kind of uber-anthem bound to induce the kind of awestruck stupefaction as exemplified in its vocal refrain. Put simply, ‘Wut’ is massive, euphoric, a tune, big, banging, thrashing, whatever adjective you might want to throw at it; it satisfies every and all criteria. Queasy drum machines stumble over pseudo-trance pads and dramatic hi-NRG-on-speed synths that would be shrill if they weren’t so catchy. But when the vocals hit, all bets are off. Sure, every UK producer worth his weight in acetate has been slicing vocals to unrecognizable extremes this year, but the samples on ‘Wut’ carry a kind of formidable gravity, their utter seriousness contradicted only by how ridiculous they sound. Helium voices stampede and disperse, making way for the unforgettable “What! What!” exclamation that brings forth a cascade of ear-candy so sweet it’s nearly sickening. It’s the equivalent of a drag queen snapping her fingers in your face; do you laugh, play along, or do you run?” -Fact
“MikeQ, born Michael Cox, is the soft-spoken ambassador of America’s flashiest subculture, ballroom. There is no party in the world—no velvet-roped VIP club, no grime-covered warehouse—that can compare to a ball. On any given evening, if you know where to look, you’ll see drag queens, butch queens, trans women, and other queer people of color flocking to clubs or rental venues, decked out in everything from head-to-toe Ferragamo, to an LED-lit corset, to trash bags stitched into a gown. The night unfolds as a series of battles for cash prizes and glory, some dancers twisting their bodies into spine-snapping drops to the floor, others swanning around like Naomi Campbell on a Parisian runway.” -vice
Originally from Newark, J Heat is a prolific Jersey Club producer and remix artist on the cusp of entering the international stage, further elevating the sound of Jersey worldwide. His production is a forward-thinking blend of various styles in which the sounds of his native New Jersey embrace an eclectic combination of European electronic dance & experimental genres, as well as other various forms of production found worldwide.
With his debut EP scheduled for release on London’s Night Slugs label, an official remix for M.E.S.H. (PAN- Berlin), collaborations with Lido, CLUBJERSEY (UK Label), the notorious East Coast club music collective Brick Bandits and more, DJ J Heat continues to establish himself as an innovator of jersey club, pushing the genre’s boundaries and pioneering its evolution in unexplored domains.
Special Guest: Groundislava
Hailing from Venice, California, electronic musician Jasper Petterson, aka Groundislava, first came to light with his self-titled debut release. Growing up as a keen video gamer, Petterson developed his gaming influence and incorporated it into his music by using chiptune and 8-bit sounds. During his childhood, he was no stranger to music, as his father Michael is a video producer and animator, made famous by creating the animated parts in the video in a-ha’s 1985 single “Take on Me.” For his debut, Groundislava’s roots in ’80s nostalgia, TV, and pop culture were incorporated with hip-hop beats. Alongside his own work, he teamed up alongside old-school friend Shlohmo and the producers Jonwayne, D33J, and RL Grime to form the Wedidit crew, as well as making a name for himself producing remixes for the artists Slugabed and Shlohmo. He released his second album, Feel Me, in 2011; it was a continuation of his ethereal hip-hop sound and featured guests Baths on “Suicide Mission” and Shlohmo on “Big Balance.” On the release of Petterson’s third album, Frozen Throne, there was a slight change in direction with a more ’80s synth-pop feel, and featured R&B-style vocals from the duo Rare Times on several of the tracks.