We caught up with Muttley in the midst of the release of his new Nuff A Dem EP on Transient Audio. Featuring dub heavy bass and grime flavours, the EP has climbed the Juno Download charts daily since release and has graced the top 5 in the Dubstep Charts. If you didn't know, you probably should, so we've brought him here to chat influences, releases and future movements - Enjoy.
"I remember dropping artists like Big Narstie and M.I.K when I first started out and the crowd did not approve; these days it is a different story"
Hey! So I think initially what struck me when I was going through your Soundcloud was the collection of over 30 of your own tracks in the spotlight, I listened from start to finish and what I noted was your really fluid style of production and the way it carried over from track to track. For me it meant not one track sounded out of place yet there was still a lot of variation over all. Going from tracks like "About You", to the 3000 Bass exclusive "It's you", and the Pear Drops release "Are You Mad", they're completely different but still complimentary, as if the playlist could be one giant EP. I feel like it's rare for producers to be able to put their whole back catalogue into one long playlist, was this a conscious decision and do you think that online presentation is very important in the way people view you as an artist?
Wow you must have taken some time to listen through, that's a big compliment thank you. I have to say that I have always been a little nervous about how people would react to a page full of so many different styles. I am a fan of lots of contrasting genres and as a producer I enjoy experimenting, however luckily over the years a few people have said that my 'sound' is coherent across them. I definitely try to consider this a lot more recently, I do prefer to keep a lot of my back catalogue online though.
Even listening to your garage and dubstep productions, most still sound largely grime influenced, where did that influence come from for you?
I must admit that Garage and Dubstep have definitely played a bigger part in my musical journey than Grime. Even though as a teenager I listened to Kano, Dizzee etc. I was more interested in the bars than the beats. Without realising it a large percentage of the 'Dubstep' I was playing and producing (D1, Kode9, Joker etc.) was heavily influenced by Grime sounds, as well as American Rap stuff. I suppose people like Kahn and Boofy inspired me to dig a bit deeper, but I have always played a lot of Grime in my sets. I remember dropping artists like Big Narstie and M.I.K when I first started out and the crowd did not approve; these days it is a different story.
"There's definitely an element of overcrowding in Bristol, but I can't complain because I also moved here and had a go at music. Usually it feels like a big family, we support each other and any rivalry is healthy."
I've seen you've had some involvement with the Bristol label Pear Drops, how did that come about?
Me and Daffy [label co-founder] are a similar age and both used to see each other out in Bristol, I was playing a lot of Trap so he would send me dubs. Back then his brand was '1up', we both used to be residents at Fiftyone27 at Thekla and he invited me to play when he was hosting upstairs. Since then we have kept in touch and I have released two singles and signed an EP with his label.
Have you always lived in Bristol and have you found that it has altered or influenced your music taste?
I moved to Bristol as a teenager but I have always had friends here and spent a lot of time in the city. It has always influenced my musical taste, we shopped at Chemical and Rooted for records and always travelled in for events like Subloaded at the Black Swan. Some of my biggest influences live here include Pinch, Joker and RSD, I wonder if that would be the same if I lived up North...
Do you feel like living here is particularly helpful when working in music or on the flipside can it ever be disheartening or feel overcrowded with so many people trying to do similar things?
There's definitely an element of overcrowding in Bristol, but I can't complain because I also moved here and had a go at music. Usually it feels like a big family, we support each other and any rivalry is healthy. Being here gave me lots of opportunities to meet people, Ishan Sound used to invite me down to the first Young Echo broadcasts in a tiny studio by Stokes Croft. Also during my residency at Thekla I would always try to spend a bit of time backstage, but would often forget to even mention that I made music let alone hand them a CD!
Tell us a bit about your Nuff A Dem EP.
My current EP on Transient Audio (a sub label of Trojan Audio) was released on the 8th of July, it ended up being five tracks and we are really pleased with how it turned out. It is a more traditional Dubstep sound generally, with a dub wise theme throughout. Everyone's favourite seems to be 'Verd', which has lots of flutes and a hint of Grime. The EP managed to reach the top five of the Dubstep charts onJuno this week so we are all very happy.
"Spend time out in clubs, listen to as many genres as you can and have an open mind. Try not to force it, surround yourself with music and concentrate on yourself as an artist."
So your relaunching your Vivid Sounds brand soon, how have you found the process of running a music brand so far?
Vivid Sounds have been a little quiet since our compilations featuring Boofy, Jman, Maxx Baer, Samuel, Thieves etc. however all of the members have been very busy building their names individually. I wanted to wait for the right time, and since our SWU FM show where I invited Jaydrop, Nakes and Jonny Fisha (Peaman couldn't make it) we all felt like the time is now. I really enjoy the process, we all get along and mainly know each other through college. This week we have also welcomed C-side to the family, a talented DJ and producer who works with Uprise Audio, Hold Tight Records and Green King Cuts. He is the man behind Transient Audio who released my latest EP, we will be working together in the near future.
What's your end goal, or vision, for Vivid Sounds?
I don't know if I have an end goal yet, but the next phase is a couple of EP's and a launch night. We have hosted second rooms and various radio shows before, this time we will do our own thing with our members headlining. There is no rush but when I have the right tunes I will register the label officially, concentrating on a few core artists.
Do you have any advice for people trying to enter the music scene in Bristol or that are seeking a release on a label here?
My advice is always the same for people asking this, I could be wrong but it seemed to work ok for me. Spend time out in clubs, listen to as many genres as you can and have an open mind. Try not to force it, surround yourself with music and concentrate on yourself as an artist. Oh and build up a mailing list from day one, I wish someone would have told me that.
Have any particular producers or music figures influenced you in the past and to this day?
I have already mentioned a few but people like Bonobo, Burial, Djrum and Synkro are influences that are maybe less obvious. Their musicality, detail, and consistency is a constant inspiration. King Tubby and Jimi Hendrix also deserve a mention, without them I would have never picked up a guitar or recorded my djembe through a delay pedal in school. Today my influences change regularly but Ishan Sound is one of the biggest, especially during our studio sessions his passion and skill amazes me. Other favourites right now include Kareful, Maribor, Drone, Headland, Akcept, Gundam, Eva808, Creep N00m, Digid, Wize, Sepia, Jook, Toka... I could go on and on.
You can listen to a preview of Muttley's "Nuf A Dem" EP below or click here to purchase on Juno.
Words by Beth Sheldrick
Photography by Naomi Wood
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