Friday, 15 July 2011


Aquasky are currently in the studio finishing off 'Raise The Devil', their seventh album, due for release on their own Passenger label in October. Aquasky tell KMAG all about it…

KMAG: Tell us more about Raise The Devil, what can we expect?
AQUASKY: Expect 140bpm minimum!!! We've gone back to our roots on this one. We are dusting off the jungle vibes and tweaking the bass plug-ins. It's going to be a breakbeat mash-up basically. Like a continuation from our 'Beat The System' and 'Stayfresh' albums from 2002 and 2003. Plenty of old school references and some evil undertones.

KMAG: When is it coming out and on what formats will it be available?
AQUASKY: It should be out October but we're still writing it now. If we can get it completed by the end of July we are on schedule. We have the Ragga Twins over today to add another track inna funky style!

The formats will be digital, obviously, and CD. Not sure about vinyl. Might do a series of 12"s. It's hard as it's hardly a money-making option these days... but being old school we feel obliged to go that route. Depends what the budget is saying!!!

KMAG: What's the thought process behind the title Raise The Devil?
AQUASKY: It has two meanings... firstly, it's about our music taking a dark and noisy twist again and it's all about raising the devil in us, dragging up the anarchy from the deep recesses.

The other meaning is connected to the times we are going through now. About how humanity has to dig down deep and stand up against the shadowy powers that are controlling every aspect of our lives. The banks, the secret societies, the boys club of lawyers, politicians and media moguls that tell us what we should think.

Being a keen observer on social and economic events, whether domestic or international, we were aware that this year was going to be a year of unrest. A year of riots and civil unity. We wanted to make an album that reflected that notion and rolled out a soundtrack to it. Like the old school early jungle soundtrack for the last period of social unrest in this country in the early 90s when people were again fighting the Tories, when people unified and tackled the government and their puppet masters with direct action.

I am not a believer of rioting being the solution, though in my youth I was a part of many riots. I believe rioting and violence will just give those more powers to roll out more draconian laws. But not everyone thinks the same as I do... it's only been the last 18 months that I have given this thought any consideration.

We also got fucked about a fair bit when we were doing our Black Noise project and, in turn, that had a negative twist on Aquasky and our productivity. But over the course of time we have channeled those negative vibes into creative musical statements... people wanted us to tear it out and it's official... Aquasky are back to give the others a good run for their money. It's not a commercial album at all... it's about as underground as we like to get and it feels good to be the ones that have to play at the end of the night again because no one has the tunes to play after us!

KMAG: Did you set out with a specific vision of what you wanted to do with the album?
AQUASKY: We wanted a lot of the vocal tracks to have positive meanings and statements. Of course there are some party joints on there, it wouldn't be an Aquasky album without a party joint or two! We also wanted the music to be melodic and deep like the old Moving Shadow days we were involved in. But we wanted it to be a proper tear-out fest like our music in the early noughts. We had to combine these two aspects and put them into a 2011 package and I think we have done it nearly. We have the 140 breaks thing going on, a bit of dubstep, some drumstep and, yes, we have done a d&b tune as well!

KMAG: Who have you collaborated with on it?
AQUASKY: This album we have The Ragga Twins, Daddy Freddy, Tenor Fly, Lee Mortimer, Engine Earz, PYRAMID, Acafool and a heap of new vocalists that we have been lucky enough to hook up with and that should blow some people away!

KMAG: Got any other releases in the pipeline you can tell us about?
AQUASKY: We have another Black Noise EP forthcoming on Lee Mortimer's Wearhouse label. We have some tracks with Kelevra, again as Black Noise, coming out on our Passenger label. We will also have a heap of Aquasky singles after the album which will continue this new musical output... but those will happen after the album writing process has been completed.

KMAG: What else are you working on at the moment?
AQUASKY: We are busy whilst doing the album developing our new sample pack label Monster Sounds which we do in conjunction with the incredible Loopmasters family. As we were the first to do the Artist Series, and thankfully it was a great success, Loopmasters asked if we would like to start up our own sub label with them. It's great... it's like running a record label in many ways. Deadlines, artwork, artist liaisons, etc... all those things we are used to and very professional at.

We are fortunate enough to have been around now for 20 years making dance music and in that time we've made many friends and have many contacts. This is a way of opening up our address book and cherry picking artists that are able to assist us in establishing a royalty free sample pack series that covers as many musical genres as we feel are acceptable. People who work with us on Passenger know they get paid and that we are very good at doing the right thing with our artists and those we deal with. I think this information helps us in chasing acts for Monster Sounds as people will make money and they know they won't have to fret about getting paid.

KMAG: Anything else you want to tell us about?
AQUASKY: The zillion web links I suppose!!!! Brace yourselves as it makes for a long read (and imagine what it's like keeping on top of all of this!!!)

Love Aquasky?.. check out their latest mixtape below:
*download* Aquasky 'Summer Madness 2011' Mixtape by Aquaskyuk

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