If you're anything like me, birthdays are a time for painful introspection and soul-searching washed down with a few pints on the closest Saturday. If you're not a miserable fucker, they're probably quite fun.
Luckily for us, Tomas Fraser, owner of club-focused instrumental grime label Coyote Records, is more likely to be found pulling a few party poppers than praying for an imminent end to the day. Since 2012, Coyote have been pushing some of the most intriguing, experimental and exciting blends of sawtooth synths and hell-frozen-over percussion in the game. Tomorrow sees them celebrate their third birthday in style with a bash at esteemed South London venue, Fire.
Fraser got in touch with us to shout out everyone who got the label past their teething stage. "Coyote has been an amazing experience since day one and all the artists involved have made a mark on the label's identity in one way or another, so I'd like to give a proper shout out and thank you to Mella Dee, TS7, Walter Ego, Arctic, OH91, Spare, Chemist, Last Japan, Tom E Vercetti, Spokes and all the producers who've contributed to the two volumes of our Coyote Kings compilation series, plus remixers - Walton, Kid Smpl, Spooky, Rabit and Forever Forever."
With that in mind, we asked Tom to put together his five favourite Coyote releases like a grimey party bag. There's no cake in this one, sadly, but it's a nice day so why not amble down to the nearest Londis for a bit of batternberg with these iced-out deep cuts in your ears. Enjoy — and don't forget to thank the host.
Walter Ego - "Wavey"
"I was put on to this by Mella Dee, who told me that Walter Ego was looking for somewhere to release two tracks he was sitting on that he felt were special enough to warrant the wax treatment - I think Plastician was really into 'Wavey' too if I remember right. The title cut, as well as being our best selling 12" to date with 'Military Mind' (equally mad) on the flip, was also synced to the latest series of Youngers on E4. All that aside, it's just an absolute monster of a record."
OH91 - "Stealth"
"Still to this day, I've never really heard a bassline with so much raw power as on OH91's 'Stealth'. I was introduced to Omari by Royal-T and he sent me 'Stealth' shortly after he'd mixed it down - I'd signed it within 15 seconds of listening, which kinda says it all."
Notion - "In The Corner"
"Notion is a great producer and at the time, he'd been sending me tracks for a good year or so but we hadn't managed to find anything that'd quite fit where I was going with the label. Then he sent me 'In The Corner'. I still remember hearing it for the first time on a system at Boxed when Mr Mitch played it. The crowd reactions, combined with the low end nearly breaking my chest plate in half, made me realise just how good it was."
Chemist - "Blocks"
"We had Chemist's debut EP locked in pretty much two weeks - he'd sent me "Defiance" and then came "Blocks", which just felt so cold and icy and devoid of anything nice. Basically one of those tunes that could quite easily make hell freeze over. The melody line is special but the power of those stabs - and the way he utilises small passages of space - really stand out too."
Last Japan - "Harca (Tom E Vercetti Remix)"
"When I asked Last Japan about releasing 'Harca' on a white label, I already had Tom E in mind. His remix is probably the best I've ever had back in three years of releasing records and a testament to how good a producer he is. Ironically, Chemist had been on at me for a good few months about him back in 2013 after Jack (Tom E Vercetti) came to OH91's EP launch we did in Bristol - back then he didn't really know what he wanted to make, but it's safe to say he's found his niche now."
The Beat Werk x Coyote birthday bash kicks off this Friday at Vauxhall's Fire venue. Head here for tickets.