+ MAX GOSFORD
+ BEN FESTER
Low Motion and Goodgod present some last minute mid week madness!
The UK’s Deadboy this Wednesday at Goodgod Small Club. Happening in the front bar for free from 10pm.
All decade, Deadboy has been one step ahead. Debuting in 2009 with ‘U Cheated’, the South London producer’s blend of house and 2-step rhythms, r’n’b sample flips and the inner-city heartbreak aesthetic of r’n’g and bassline house didn’t only cement him as one of the UK’s most promising new producers – along with peers Mosca, Julio Bashmore et al – but someone who was quietly ahead of the competition. As Bashmore put it in a recent interview, “Deadboy really pioneered that chopped-up r’n’b vocal over nice chords thing. He absolutely smacked it, it’s never been done better than that.”
The years since have seen Deadboy develop a succinct discography, with each release showing his progress as a producer. On one-sided Numbers 12” ‘If U Want Me’, he took the ‘U Cheated’ formula and let it soar, while on his edits of Drake and Cassie, he showed what he can do with a full vocal. “Deadboy is ill”, Drake remarked when quizzed on the track.
The biggest developments in Deadboy’s sound have come on his EPs for Numbers. ‘Here 4 U’, the lead track from 2011’s Here, was lurid UK Funky, while on ‘Wish U Were Here’, he slowed down to 125bpm for disembodied disco. Come 2013’s BLAQUEWERK, the rulebook had been completely torn up, with warehouse techno, jungle and more taken to forsaken places. In terms of genre it may have been varied, but each of BLAQUEWERK’s tracks were unmistakably Deadboy – peppered with curveballs and dynamic twists, but always with a killer hook to keep you coming back.
With so much current house and garage resorting to the same formula – a re-pitched r’n’b vocal here, a detuned chord there, a jungle break to add momentum – it’s uncanny how long ago Deadboy was adopting these tropes, and how quickly he developed them into his own sound.
Watch out for Deadboys imminent new release on Numbers and tune in to Low Motion Sunset (Tuesday 6pm) on FBi 94.5 this week for a preview of what to expect on Wednesday night.