[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e touched base with Rafiki & Draize who run the label Lost Recordings, founded in 2014. Lost Recordings has been paying very close attention to the quality of their sound and look to release music from various levels in the scene. Being massive lovers of the drum and bass scene, Rafiki & Draize both ran a show on Origin FM for a year and are currently working hard in exposing their productions. They share with us their journey, funny stories and challenges overcome so far.
Here is a name you would have come by HLZ, one of the minds behind the earlier Need for Mirrors material. Releasing music on a number of respected labels such as Metalheadz, Dispatch, Symmetry, Digital Soundboy, V Recordings, Commercial Suicide and many more. He now comes to Lost Recordings with two tracks which deﬁnes the labels ambition to step forward in the scene. HLZ is an artist who has a real head when it comes to drum and bass, his hard work is now paying off as his release ‘Blue Sand’ released on Flexout Audio was featured on Hospitals most recent Hospitality 2015.
Release Date – 28/04/15
Jane Doe is a tune for the heads who are into pure funk and groove with very skilled drum processing. The elements within the stick true to HLZ’s organic sound, with regards to mixing this tune, it is very versatile in the kind of mixes you can do with it. It is perceived as a transitional tune, where you can use this tune to bridge into another sub genre, all in all a very effective roller.
NDRX is another signature HLZ tune, with heavy stomping percussion and punching bass. This tune takes a slightly more metallic approach with a lot more synth action involved. In the mix, it is a track that can be fantastic for change up in a rolling mix or for a double drop, it will punch you in the face either way.
As far as I am aware, Rafiki I believe means ‘friend’ in Arabic. Draize meaning a harmful chemical dropped in the eye. What inspired you to choose these DJ names for yourselves and what exact meaning do these names represent to you both personally?
Rafiki: Until you told me that I had no idea it had another meaning! I know it’s the name of the baboon from the Lion King which I loved as a child, so I guess to me it kind of represents remembering where you came from and staying true to yourself.
Draize: Draize for me was a tune by the Smiths entitled the Draize Train. The Smiths were the band that opened my eyes to eclectic music as my love for post punk music stemmed into many other bands such as Joy Division and the Stone Roses. I felt that having a name that sticks true to that, would be cool.
Lost Recordings is a pretty fresh label, what inspired you to start it up?
We had been talking about it for a long time on our drives home from Origin late at night. In November last year we decided to put the wheels in motion to begin Lost Recordings. The reason we started Lost Recordings is because we had been looking for a channel to push our sound through, with little success. So we decided to start up Lost Recordings where we could release exactly what we wanted. The ethos of this label is to look for other “lost” producers who feel like they cannot break through. Because there is so much great music out there and so much untapped talent, it seems foolish to not release this music and give these people the opportunities they deserve.
So far, what are some of the past releases that have come out on the label?
Our first release was the Core Ep which featured four tracks, two from us and two other producers based in Bedfordshire. Firstly Testa Breaks who brought across a really clean neurofunk track and secondly Sixth Sense who produced a real heavy funk orientated track with some evil lead synths. Our Second release came from across the atlantic from two brothers named Blacklab, we had a fantastic response from these tech step tracks, and have been doing great on the dancefloor.
What releases can we expect to see and hear in the near future?
Our next release is from HLZ with two dark rollers due out on the 28th of April, we are really excited about this release and feel that it is a milestone for our label. After that there is a collaboration between ourselves but we cannot reveal too much, but one thing we can say is that it features a very talented and passionate vocalist. We have also just confirmed an Ep with another undiscovered producer, the tracks he has been sending us have had us bouncing around like morons in the lab!
Are there any artists you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Rafiki: I’d love to work with an artist like Amoss or Fre4knc, I think their tracks have great vibes and they make minimal stuff sound so technical.
Draize: I would love to collaborate with Gerra & Stone and also Silent Witness, I find their tracks have a very distinctive sound and they are artists who whenever they have a release, I will listen for sure.
You had a show on Origin Fm for a year, where can we listen to you now?
We loved our time on Origin Fm but you can now catch us every other Wednesday 11am – 1pm on Rough Tempo
Tell us about some of the hopes and visions for Lost Recordings?
When we started Lost Recordings our goal was to create a platform for unknown artists to show off their talent. We don’t want to deviate from this too much in the future however by releasing music from bigger artists, we hope to get maximum exposure for ourselves and the people we are associated with. We are trying to build a movement within the scene that feels more like a family. We have also been talking about putting on our own events in the future to give these people a chance to play their music to a crowd.
That sounds like a great idea! always great to help out your up-coming fellow artists and many of us perceive the drum and bass scene like a community or family unit. So when you are producing your tracks, what inspires do you develop the sounds you create?
Rafiki: I try not to stick to any kind of style when making my tunes as I feel I’m still finding my own unique sound. I like to think it’s coming along nicely but at the end of the day I just make the kind of music that I want to listen to!
Draize: I have a process with writing music which takes me a long time where I try to write my music about something and bring across that mood, emotion or concept, so I never go for any kind of style I just try to bring across the idea that I have, so I guess its a little bit of a lottery for me.
Any new tunes that you been working lately?
Rafiki: I’ve always got so many projects on the go it’s hard to choose which one to go to next! I’ve just had a track mastered which I will be giving away for free soon and a couple more that I haven’t decided what to do with yet. I’ve also poured quite a lot of time into writing an EP at the moment which I’m hoping to have done in a few months time, so look out for that!
Draize: I am at the end of a project at the moment just have to add a few final touches to it and that is ready for mastering, I have also been working on multiple projects with Rafiki which we have compiled into the archives, alongside that I am waiting for a few vocals to come back so I can finish a few more projects off.
It’s all a lesson learnt but what challenges do you both feel you have you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
We had no help in setting this label up and had to start from the bottom up. We’ve both worked hard towards this label and put a lot of hours in. The main ongoing challenge is to find new music, although there’s a lot of it out there we can’t release it all! It’s also quite hard to make yourself known in a scene where anyone with a computer can set up their own label. Standing out from the crowd will be a constant challenge but it seems to be going well so far.
What kept you strong and kept you going?
Drum and bass 🙂
Drum and bass keeps many of us strong indeed! I’m sure there are many reasons to this next question, but tell us what is it about DJing and producing you love?
Rafiki: I feel it’s a break from normal life. I have a job that I work 50+ hours a week and a 7 month old daughter so it’s nice to get away from it all and hide in the studio for a few hours. I feel drum and bass is something that keeps me grounded and sane sometimes! I love the freedom you get when sitting in the studio, when I shut the door I can forget about the outside world and focus on one thing, it’s almost like meditating. Going out to a rave wether you’re playing or not is always such a great experience, I just love the vibes there and I’ve been hooked ever since the first time.
Draize: Drum and bass is the only thing that I have ever properly stuck to, before that I was floating from job to job rather bored with the way my life was going, I started mixing first and fell in love with it, as soon as I became a competent DJ I wanted to play out, I came up in a lot of Jump Up raves but refused to stick to just one genre which eventually allowed me to travel up and down the UK playing various shows. With producing it is something fresh from just mixing it is a piece of drum and bass that I can truly call my own and it forces me to push myself. The funny thing is, is that you don’t even notice yourself getting better at it, it just happens with persistence.
What have been your best memories of Djing so far?
Rafiki: Unfortunately I don’t have many memories of DJing and not because I’ve been too drunk! I started mixing around the same time as James but not long after I stumbled across the world of production and left DJing behind for a bit. We have played a few shows out together which have always been fun but some of my best memories probably come from our radio shows while we’re prating about.
Draize: I have played many shows and there are only two that stick out for me the first was during my residency at Bass Per Minute where I played the main room at Motion in Bristol where I warmed up for Hazard in front of nearly 2000 ravers and there is no feeling like it! The second event which sticks out for me is when I played at Technology at Hidden, after playing that event I knew that this side of the scene was the place for me. Myself and Harry had our first booking together which is where we first met; its funny now we are running a label together.
Good times guys! I love how the drum and bass scene connects us like minded peeps together 🙂 So what are your favourite club nights that you like to visit?
Obviously we’re always going to the same raves together. Critical nights are always sick and if anyone went to the last Shogun in Brixton you’ll know that went off! To be honest any dark, minimal tech nights we’ll always try and get ourselves down to. We have to give a big ups to Blackfoot and the Synrgy boys here as they know how to put on a good rave!
I always am interested to hear the thoughts of people in the scene about all the club closures in London over the recent years, what do you both think?
It’s a massive shame that clubs are being shut down in London but from someone outside of the drum and bass world’s perspective you can kind of see why it’s happening. To really appreciate what goes on in these clubs you need an insight into the world of drum and bass and an open mind. The main issue with London clubs shutting down, is that if none of them were there, people who don’t want to stop partying might turn up to squat raves, where anything can happen, so we believe it’s safer to keep these clubs open, in the governments eyes it should be seen as the lesser of two evils.
The people never want to stop partying and will find a way that’s for sure! So guys, have you got any funny stories to share that will make us DnB heads laugh?
Rafiki: Before going to a rave James poo’d himself in my car in a McDonalds drive through. I don’t have anything to top that…
Draize: It’s true…but in my defence I thought it was a fart! One story I have is when I was playing in Kent at BPM and a kid had been kicked out, he was skinnier then a Twiglet, he was very loud and eventually stripped off to his underwear and was jumping around the place whilst everyone was laughing at him.
Where can peeps touch bass (not base) with Lost Recordings?
Listen on Soundcloud
Get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to find us on Facebook
We are working on a website at the moment which will be up in the future and there will probably be an official twitter account soon too. Alternatively you can add either of us on Facebook and have a chat, we’re pretty friendly guys and talk to anyone but you’ll have to find our pages yourselves 😉
Any positive messages or words of wisdom you can share with the people?
Rafiki: If you’re passionate about something then never give it up! Whether it’s drum and bass, country and western or cooking make sure you always make time for it or you’ll get lost in the rat race of life.
Draize: This mentality doesn’t just apply to drum and bass but into anything that you are into…The way I look at life is that you trade your time for money, so if you are in a job that you don’t enjoy, that seems like quite a dull existence to me, so always try to push into what you are most drawn to and don’t go into it just looking for money, go into it because you enjoy it and the rest will come. Also, if you think it’s just a fart, be sure it’s just a fart.
Anyone you want to give a shout out or a big ups too?
Blackfoot and everyone involved with Synrgy, Sixth Sense, Testa Breakz, Blacklab, Skulpture, HLZ, L’Amour, Narxy One, Sweetpea, everyone down at the Origin and Rough Tempo studios, all you guys at In Reach, the boys at LT Sounds and Dose Radio, Hunger, Spar and Clarky at Hostile Bass, Chloe Exodus at decent peoples and anyone who has supported us on the journey so far, big ups to all of you! If we’ve forgotten anyone we apologise but the support has been overwhelming and there’s so many of you!
Lastly, have a listen to the exclusive guest mix by Rafiki & Draize for all you In-Reach positive people!