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Touching Bass: Jus Now

Separated by over 4000 miles yet bringing some carnival to your Crimbo meal full of dry turkey and stuffing.

It's not the perfect time of year to be talking about carnival, is it? Snow is on the horizon and December only brings thoughts of unwanted Christmas jumpers and dry turkey. Still, it doesn't hurt to reminisce and imagine the sun, steel pan arrangements and copious amounts of Red Stripe that only come with carnival. Jus Now may be separated by over 4,500 air miles, but that hasn't stopped the pair from concocting an addictive rum punch of Trinidadian soca and Bristol bass music. This week's Touching Bass is a half hour mix of dancehall, hip-hop and Toto. Enough to warm the cockles and make you wine with some mulled wine before Santa delivers his cargo on the 25 December.

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YNTHT: So what were you doing over in Trinidad?

LAZAbeam: "I live there, I've just been back into some recording work for Jus Now. We do soca music alongside our European exploits so we have a two-prong operation. It’s good to be back here in the big smoke though.

It’s not ideal though. I've got my long johns on.

Interface: I think I'm just about to take our MC, Kerwin, out long john shopping.

L: I need to get my long john game on point.

Starting with the most important questions, who’s the best cook?

I: That would be me I’d say.

L: He’s the most frequent cook.

I: He likes to talk about his cooking but it never actually happens. Kerwin is a pretty good cook. I cook better Trini food than both of them. Definitely on the Caribbean food. The next thing is Jus Now pepper sauce. We’ve got a couple of different strains in the household just now so next time we go to Trinidad, I think we’re going to bring back a bulk amount so we can start the Jus Now empire.

I think you’re only competition would be Reggae Reggae Sauce. I think you’re onto something there.

I: Reggae Reggae Sauce is weak man.

Now that we’re drawing towards the end of 2013, I guess it’s almost time to reflect on the past year. How has 2K13 treated Jus Now?

I: It has been an amazing year, the Jus Now project all happened by accident. We met, and we didn’t even spend that much time together but I went over to visit him in Trinidad and I stayed there for a couple of months making music together for fun. Didn’t think much of it but we got back to England and started playing it to people – DJ Die being one of them – and we got told to continue doing it. We never thought that a couple years later this is where we would be.

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L: His first visit was of course during carnival. I think that has to be stated because during carnival the country has a different face on. Trinidad wakes up during carnival.

How does a Trini festival differ from say, Notting Hill?

I: They are pretty different, Notting Hill is a bigger event in terms of people…

L: There’s obviously similarities, because it (Notting Hill) was actually started back in the day by Trinidadians.

I: It’s such a massive thing, not just a two-day parade. Soca music will be getting released from late November and then by Christmas all the radio stations just switch to pure soca and from that point, there are loads of fetes (Big parties, similar to small UK festivals). They get more and more frequent leading up to carnival until there is one every night of the week.

L: Yeah its mad, people will be getting wasted nightly and still getting up for work at 7am every day.

Caribbean music has always influenced the sounds of the UK, but it’s not ever been like this?

I: Jamaica has always had a massive influence on UK music. Bristol has a really rich Jamaican culture and you can hear that in the music from Massive Attack to Full Cycle to Pinch and the whole dub step scene and everything that has come after that. I think Bristol carnival has a lot to do with that. Although its still Carribean, the music and culture of Trinidad is very different to Jamaica. It’s such a multicultural place over in Trinidad. There is Indian, Chinese, African, European, Arabic and a mix of everything under the sun and the sound of Trinidad is so unique because of our strange heritage.

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L: The production game over in Trinidad is also getting a lot better as well. I just think we’ve come out at the right time. Bass music is our common ground. Our music is based on a weighty bass.

I: In the modern day, there’s so much crap because someone comes with something fresh and there’s instantly a hundred copycats. It feels good to be coming with something new.

How did your video shoot for “Tun Up” go?

L: It was mad. We can’t say too much about it, but it was a two-part thing where we captured some vibes over in Trinidad and then caught some vibes from the UK. We’re working with a prominent UK artist and the vibes were sick.

I: “Tun Up” is a tune that’s been around for a while. We made just before the last Notting Hill carnival last year and Shy FX used it as the first track in his set. The track’s been bubbling throughout the summer and to have people like Chase & Status, Rodigan, Toddla T, B Traits, Mistajam and Bauuer playing it was great. We’ve seen it slowly grow and grow and hopefully it will continue to grow with Stylo G on the new mix. Big respect to Bunji Garlin who features on the record. Bunji is one of Trinidad's biggest and brightest stars.

You’re playing with the David Rodigan fam pretty soon too, amirite?

I: Yeah, I remember a friend telling me that Rodigan was playing our tune on Radio 1. He was on a soundclash with Zane Lowe and literally gave a ten minute intro talking about how he thought it was a deep forward from the back of the dance. I remember getting goosebumps when he played it. Then a couple of months later we managed to meet up with him up in Nottingham listening to his stories.

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L: He drops the knowledge.

By the way. That “Come To Mine” remix, OMG.

L: When I first came back last time, we were getting stuck in in the studio with a couple of remixes. We went quite experimental with the rhythm but one of the things we’ve been doing recently is going really elemental with the drums. It’s basically us looking at our roots.

I: We don’t really have a template and our shit ranges from 80BPM right up to 170BPM. It’s just whatever we feel. He’s also a percussion player so a lot of the stuff you hear being played are actually him playing live. Even if not, he’s got the groove that will make it feel live.

It all bodes well for the live show. What have you been planning for that?
L: We have plans to expand as Jus Now starts to grow and flourish. Right now, our live show inclues our Trinidadian MC Kerwin Prescott, UK Badman MC Serocee, Vanna Vee dancing and singing plus myself and Sam.
I: Keshav plays percussion and sometimes we have my friend Tom (who we met when he shot our first video) and who is really into African drums. He’ll come on stage and jam on the drums too. There’s me DJing alongside a lot of drums and crazy vibes. Anything goes, We just have a party. We come off drenched having had a lot of fun. It’s not about taking ourselves too seriously. A lot of dance music does get a bit chinstroke-y.
L: LOL, chinstroke-y.
I: Yeah, we’re serious about music but when it comes to the dance we don’t really care its all about having fun. There’s a lot of crowd participation and stuff like that which comes from the Trini side. It’s good times.

Mentioning good times. It’s coming up to New Years, but what are your plans for that?

I: We’re playing in our home club in Bristol, Motion. It’s a special place for me especially because I've been involved with it since before it was a nightclub. We also have our studio there, so we basically live in the club. There might be another gig as well.

So what was the vibe you went for with the mix?

I: Its a bit of a random 1, I think there’s quite a lot of old music in there. I feel like a lot of people are obsessed with playing new music but good music is good music. We went in with a bit of hip-hop and other things that we really like. It captures the Jus Now vibe but maybe slightly leftfield of it as well.

Finally, what’s the plan for 2014?

I: We’ve got the release of “Tun Up” with Stylo G and there might be some kind of mixtape. We don’t want to do an album yet because there are some other projects that we want to do before that. We’re working with a 30-piece drum orchestra and producing an album for them. We also went to India recently to start a project with traditional Rajasthani gypsy musicians. That’s also a big part of our sound and it’s something we want to explore a bit. Plus lots of festivals and building the live show with some visits to Trinidad for carnival.

Jus Now play at Rodigan's Ram Jam on December 20. Find out more information here.

TRACKLIST

Toto - Africa

Stylo G - Soundbwoy (acapella)

Pusha T - Pain

Mele - DMX

Busts rhymes - Woo Ha (acapella)

Beats International - Dub Be Good 2 Me.

Dirt McGirt - Pop Shit

Foxy Brown ft Sizzla - Come fly with me.

Trinidad James - All Gold Everything (acapella)

Skibadee - Tika Tok

Jus now - Jouvay

Busta Rhymes ft Vybz Kartel - Wine And Go Down

Konshens & J.Capri - Pull Up To Mi Bumper

Charly Black - Dig Out Yo Pum Pum

Jus Now - Nelson Boogie

Cutty Ranks - Limb By Limb )acapella)

Jay Fay - Dibby Dibby Sound

Ding Dong - Bad Man Forward

Busy Signal - Up In Her Belly

Jus Now feat Bunji Garlin - Tun Up

Jus Now - Choli Ke Peeche

Die & Jenna G - 1000 Soul Songs. (Jus now rmx)

Atumpan - The Thing (acapella)

Kahn & Neek - Backchat

Justin Martin & Eats Everything - Ruffstuff

RDX - Kotch

Dj Q - Big

Jus Now feat Olatunji - Taliban

Mosquito Man - Mosquito

Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo - Dappy.

Fuse ODG - Antenna (acapella)

Fuse ODG - Azonto. (Jus Now rmx)

Swappi - Bubble On Ah DJ

Bunji Garlin - Savage

Blaxx - Leh Go

Jus Now feat Swappi - Bare Wine


Follow Errol on Twitter @Errol_And

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TOUCHING BASS: DJ Q