Slugabed on Joining Ninja Tune and Releasing a Free New EP
Approaching production as Dr. Frankenstein would a cadaver, U.K. producer/DJ Greg Feldwick, aka Slugabed, rips apart genres only to stitch them back together. Combining elements of hip-hop, dubstep, glitch-hop and even some funk in his tracks, the 23-year-old signed with the Ninja Tune label last year, and shortly after released his first full-length album Time Team. He is also currently working on his own label, Activia Benz, which he released a free EP on last week. We recently spoke with Slugabed about his newest EP, his Ninja Tune family, and Activia Benz. He plays Friday at 1015 Folsom for the Ninja Tune showcase with Actress and Falty DL.
Why did you decide to release your newest EP for free?
Hm, good question. I'm not sure really. Spur of the moment type thing. I just wanted to get something out quick and thought, 'Hey, why not give it away free?' I love all the tracks on there and just wanted people to have them. I hope to release another EP soon that people can pay for to make up for it [laughs].
Tell us a little about your thought process behind This is a Warning.
It's just some fun, summery, party tracks really. It's the kind of stuff I like to hear at the moment. I've had the tracks "This is a Warning" and "Bombok" knocking about my studio for a while, and I just wanted to round them up into a nice tropical EP, so I wrote the other two tracks around that vibe. It's also quite nostalgic music for me with the jungle influences.
It's tagged as "devotional clogs flop plop slop London." Can you give us some info the "clogs" aspect?
Yeah, ummm I just wrote some words. I'm not sure what it was. Maybe it was some sort of rebellion against tagging things. Like anti-tagging because no one's gonna search "clogs" on Bandcamp. Or if they are, then they are probably very cool and deserve to find my music. I don't know.
There is a very interesting music video for "Bombok." Were you the creative force behind it?
Naw it was mostly a friend of mine who runs the L.A-based video company Globodigital Home Video. We brainstormed a bit and I told him some vague ideas I had, but it was really him that drove the project. He's a weirdo. He was also teamed up with another company, the Great Nordic Sword Fights [which is] also very cool, weird and great. I recommend checking out both of them.
As a young producer, who are you really digging at the moment?
Ah it's nice to still be referred to as a young producer. I feel old sometimes these days. I'm starting to get fat, I swear. Anyway, I'm a big fan of heaps of music at the moment. I like the M|O|D guys like Lil' Texas, Arnold, and such. I'm also a big fan of ELOQ from Copenhagen, Lockah from Aberdeen, and Flako, Alizzz, DJ DJ booth, DJ Paypal, Awe, Dza, Alphabets Heaven, Jameszoo to name but a few.
You've also started your own label, Activia Benz. What's the main idea behind it?
I started the label with my friend Jake, and we both really like cool music, drinking pints, and having a lovely time. We sign music that we really believe in and really love, and then sometimes we make commission for some silly artwork for the record. We've done three 12-inch releases so far and are about to do a few digital, then hopefully more 12-inches later this year. We threw a really fun little party in a fire station in South London a couple weeks ago and that was great. We have lots of great music lined up. It's very fun. Also T-shirts, hats, snap-bands, and maybe books on the horizon.
Have you encountered any growing label pains yet?
Yes, I have no money left (laughs).
What's the best part of being in the Ninja Tune family/label?
It's really great to be part of such an established and respected crew. They've been pioneering great music for a long time now, and they really know what they are doing and are great at it. It instills a lot of confidence in me that they believe in what I do and are behind me every step. Also they pay me money sometimes, which is great.
If you could pick one person from Ninja Tune to be stuck on an island with, who would it be?
Peter. You probably don't know him but he's an important ninja and he's very nice. Or failing that, Machinedrum is cool too. If there was champagne on the island I would invite Machinedrum. Is there a casino on the island? Do we have jet skis?
Sure you have jet skis. Would that change anything?
Me and Machinedrum would be riding jet skis with our shirts off and drinking champagne.
Lastly, what should our ears expect for your set in SF on Friday?
Well I'm playing live, so it will be a mixture of lots of my own stuff, old and new. Lots of unreleased things and weird bits. It will be at times thoughtful and reflective, but also at times dance-y and silly. It will be melodic and also have lots of 808 drums. Hopefully it will be good and will not be shit. I'm looking forward to it!