Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months we’re pretty sure you might have seen how excited we are for one of the newest additions to Swingamajig 2017, the Scour Records Takeover of the Blackbox. The definitive dance-floor experience, The Blackbox is a wicked combo of state of the art lighting, low ceilings and heavyweight sound, but what about Scour Records? Well we think that they best person to tell you about them is their very own head honcho – Spinforth! We grabbed him, sat him down and picked his brain for some answers to some all important questions!
Hey Spinforth! Great to have you guys down and tearing up the Blackbox! For those who don’t know, can you tell us about Spinforth, where he’s from and the music he plays?
Hi Swingamajig’ers, Spinforth here (real life name James Evans) – 1/3 of The Hong Kong Ping Pong Club (my DJ Crew – alongside Morphosis and Fat Harry), and label owner at Scour Records. I’ve lived in Falmouth (Cornwall) for pretty much as long as I can remember, but coincidentally I was born in the home of Swingamajig – Birmingham – and was raised in Stourbridge until my family relocated down South when I was still a nipper.
I first got in to DJ’ing through my love and avid collecting of golden age Hip-Hop back in the early 90’s (showing my age right there) – and cut my DJ teeth getting involved at regular student nights in local bars and clubs (in Falmouth) – I was pretty much exclusively a hip hop DJ back in those early days. Sadly I lost my Father in 2000 and as a result of this was inadvertently forced into a 8 year DJ hiatus whilst I battled to beat anxiety issues. I kept collecting tunes during that time though, and very fortunately the funky breaks scene began to surface in the early noughties, so I found myself instinctively lured over to loving and collecting that.
Later, a new night called ‘The Hong Kong Ping Club’ launched in Falmouth, founded by Fat Harry, Morphosis and a student friend of theirs Judge Judy Executioner. Turned out Judge Judy was in his last year of Uni so they very kindly extended me an invite to try out via a Spinforth flavoured warm up a set. It was nerve wrecking after such a long break from DJing in public – but I survived it unscathed, seemingly delivered the goods, and I’ve been a 1/3 of HKPP ever since.
Back in those very early HKPP days I was predominately spinning old school party vibed hip-hop, reggae mashups, and funky breaks. Fast forward to 2017 and my tastes have matured a bit – you’ll mostly hear me Spinforthin’ funky party flavoured glitch hop (not the angry robot fighting variety), breakbeat, and I dabble in a bit of electro swing too. The majority of what I play does still have hip-hoppy undertones, but it’s rare I dig into those old school hip hop crates for gigs – I tend to keep it as secret ammo for house parties and such like, but you never know what you might hear!
Scour Records then, what is it and where did it come from?
Back in January 2011 I was kindly invited to contribute a blog post to the then recently launched Ghetto Funk Blog. It was no secret to Ghetto Funk HQ that i was somewhat of a crate digging fiend. SoundCloud was in its early infancy days at the time (good old ’SoundCloud Classic’ times) and I’d recently switched over from vinyl to using Serato at gigs – so I was constantly on there seeking out fresh ammo for our HKPP gigs.
I wrote a pilot post for HKPP’s website and decided the post should primarily focus on supporting up and coming talent I then dubbed it ’Spinforth’s Weekly SoundCloud Scour’. I merely picked 5 tracks that I found on SoundCloud that week, all ones that my ears loved and very importantly that were all free to download, plus a 6th ‘curveball’ track (one that I still had love for, but that was in one way or another a little bit different), wrote a little bit of accompanying intro blurb for each track, as well as an introduction to the post, and very surprisingly it was instantly loved by GF HQ and ultimately turned into a winning blog post formula. They asked me to make it a regular thing and I ended up contributing those to their site for the next 3 and a bit years!
It wasn’t too long before I started noticing some of the previously unheard of artists that I’d ‘Scoured’ getting snapped up by new and existing record labels. At first I was very happy for them that my Scour support had helped get their talent deservedly noticed. But then I began hearing some horror stories; record labels not paying out royalties, or releasing demo versions of tunes that weren’t even finished (let alone mastered) – stuff that definitely should not have been happening. So, in summer of 2012 I ultimately decided it was foolish of me to be bringing this up n’ coming talent through the blog just to see it get snapped up (and on occasions exploited) by other record labels, so it was time to conceive Scour Records! 6 months later, we officially launched (with valuable mentoring support from Ghetto Funk) in December 2012 via ‘Scoured Cream Vol.01’ – the first in a series of compilation albums, all of which featured some of the creamiest of the crop of (hence the name) producer talent that had previously been unearthed via my Scours!
How do you know the Swingamajig and Ragtime Records guys then?
If my slightly fuzzy memory serves me correctly, I first met Electric Swing Circus’ Tom early one morning at The Stone Circle at Glastonbury; I met C@ In The H@ that same year backstage at Madame Electrifie’s General Store at Boomtown. I soon discovered they are both crackin’ hosts and lovely legends, so over these last few years we’ve become solid friends. HKPP have since found ourselves booked to support Electric Swing Circus pretty much every time they come to play in Cornwall, and of course HKPP played at Swingamajig festival 2 years ago too. Myself and HKPP are big fans and supporters of the music that Ragtime put out, and it just so turns out that they happen to be fans of Scours output too, hence their very kind invite for Scour to host The Black Box this year. So yep, this is the first official collaboration between Ragtime & Scour – one which we are extremely excited about. It’s actually frustratingly tricky scoring festival takeovers, although we’re always open to fresh offers, so it’s truly an honour, pleasure and a privilege to be entrusted with hosting a venue at one of my favourite festivals, and arguably THE best urban festival in the UK bar none right now.
What can we expect from your takeover of The Blackbox?
I appear to have inadvertently waffled on a little bit with my previous replies (something I’m notorious for by those who know me well!) – So in just a few words: “lashings of fun, happy, funky, bouncy, glitchy, swingy, wobbly…party vibes! Possibly with a sprinkling of DnB to cover all bases.”
Awesome, talk us through your lineup then!
Okay, Scour Records proudly presents: Featurecast, WBBL, Hong Kong Ping Pong, Tuxedo Junction, Extra Medium, and Cockney Nutjob & Kurnel MC. And although I haven’t fully finalised the line-up order just yet, allow me to introduce them all (listed in most likely order of appearance)…
First up – Cockney Nutjob & The Kurnel MC serving up some party reggae flavoured breakbeat nuggets. I released Cockney Nutjob’s debut Scour EP ‘Heads Boppin’ back in October 2015, it’s done phenomenally well (Scour’s bestselling artist EP to date) so I invited them both to Leopallooza festival last summer, where Hong Kong Ping Pong host a stage and they delivered a cracking Sunday afternoon set – happy bouncy reggae vibes all the way. We’ve always been big believers in warming up a stage/venue/crowd at HKPP and Scour – and these guys have been invited in to do just that. The Kurnel is a proper sweet host on his lonesome too (I know he won’t mind me saying so — because he knows when to shut up and leave the music to do the talking) so he’ll be continuing to host the venue, delivering his mic skills throughout the duration of the Takeover too.
Extra Medium next! Mr Medium is releasing his 2nd artist EP on Scour (out on Juno March 16th, and all other stores April 3rd) called ‘Size Matters’ and it’s bloomin’ ace! He is actually an artist that I never did get to Scour back in my blogging days, but I recall stumbling his SoundCloud back in Summer of 2014 and I instantly and instinctively knew he was one to keep a close ear on. I think/hope that his forthcoming EP will show people why. Expect a crackin’ set of Extra Medium sized/flavoured electro swing with big basslines and a side order of…garage!
Hong Kong Ping Pong, my DJ crew will of course be starring at the takeover too, we first played Swingamajig 2 years ago and bloomin’ loved it! So it was pleasure to invite ourselves back again this year! We’re mostly just going to play variety of other people’s tunes (all of which that we love) and keep our fingers crossed we pull it off!
Tuxedo Junction (aka Father Funk & Bear Twists) will also be starring. Both incredibly talented solo DJ’s and producers, they launched themselves unto the Electro Swing scene under this new collaborative alias last year – via Scour Records ‘Scoured Cream Vol.01’ compilation. They’ve only played a handful of live gigs under this collaborative alias so far, but this summer you’ll be seeing their name pop up on many a festival bill I’m sure. Expect residents of the jazz-fuelled 1920’s, brought back to the future with bodacious bass lines and sleazy, low-slung drums – served up couple of Fez-wearing, cocktail-slurping maniacs. Swing… Shaken, not stirred!
WBBL, although signed to Ghetto Funk, remains one of my proudest finds from the days of my Scouring. His debut Scour was way back in May 2011 via Scour #16 (when I supported his remix of Gorillaz – Dirty Harry), and the quality of his production even back then was top notch. I instinctively knew the day I stumbled across his Cloud, which I recall only had 100 or so followers at the time, that he was a special talent. Having well and truly smashed all his festival appearances last year and cause he’s such a lovable true gent, inviting WBBL to the takeover was very easy decision indeed. With a bit of luck we’ll get to hear him show off some is forthcoming original album material – which truly is next level WBBL!
Last up, and headlining the takeover we have the undisputed superstar of the show, Featurecast. The only artist on the line-up that isn’t actually affiliated with Scour (although Lee if you’re reading this, you’re of course welcome anytime), but being one of the founding forefathers of the funky breaks scene and later the Ghetto Funk movement too, and an artist we at HKPP have been loving and supporting since our early gig days, who better to show us all how it’s done! Featurecast’s sets are always mega, absolutely banging and rammed full of energy. We’re truly honoured to have him star in the Scour Records Takeover line up.
Brilliant stuff, and finally, have you got anything to say to the existing Scour Records fans who are coming to catch the takeover?
Kick off for the Scour room is at 17:00hrs, a little later than other venues, please come and find us ASAP! Be sure to grab some after-party tickets too cause that’s going to be mega fun too.
We’re thoroughly looking forward to partying inna Scour Records stylee with you!!