UE.7: Dexta [Diffrent Music]
“Great minds don’t think alike. They think Diffrent.”
Diffrent Music is a d&b label that lives by the ethos of its name. Formed as the brainchild of two like-minded, London-based DJ-Producers (Hunchback and Dexta) back in early 2010, Diffrent has gone from strength to strength with its consistently pioneering and game-changing releases. Forward-thinking offerings from Joe Syntax, Dan Marshall, Frederic Robinson, and most recently Fathom Audio have established their admired status in a scene often over-populated by soulless, indistinguishable music.
As such, we’re pleased to present the 7th installment in our mix series by label head honcho Dexta, and we also caught up with him and Hunchback for a chat.
So, first things first, where did the pink giraffe come from??
A pink field in a pink land far far away, well at least that’s what he told us.
The label exhibits such a steadfast solidarity with its core mantra, ensuring that you rarely tread on musical grounds you’ve explored before. Does the sheer variety of music at your disposal, and the decisions surrounding what to release and which direction to head towards, make the release process a difficult one?
Interesting question. We can honestly say that we’ve never had a conversation about which direction to go in. The decision to release a tune is pretty organic and simple really, if we are both feeling it hard then it gets released! The fact that we are lucky enough to have a splendid selection of music at our disposal is nothing more than a testament to the amount of hugely talented producers the scene has at the moment.
How do yourself and Hunchbak juggle the traumas that come with running Diffrent and pushing your own careers as solo artists?
In reality it’s pretty hard, but you’ll find most of the successful labels are run by people with fingers in many pies and really you just have to keep pushing when and where you can.
How much input do you have in terms of what you want from your artists? The back catalogue’s strength in variety suggests you give your collaborators a blank cheque in terms of their output, would you say this is the case?
Pretty much, we believe artists should have fun with their music and the only real way to do that is not to set any boundaries or pressure. We approach an artist because we like their sound, the only real direction we give them is business based.
Fathom Audio’s Promises & Ridges perfectly encapsulates exactly what Diffrent stands for more than any prior release – jugular weight on one side and an eclectic, vivid musicality on the other. Can you tell us about your relationship with the quartet and the decision behind the schedule switch-around?
Hunch has known Sense for ages, and when Hunchbak started going in a “diffrent” direction with his production Sense was always the first to champion his stuff. This then filtered through to Billion (his partner in grime) and he started changing up his sets to a more stripped back sound and the rest is history really. The switch in schedule is purely due to Hunch not prepping his release due to being hectic with his fish tank. Plus the tunes are so sick and ready to do justice on dance-floors and in the bedtime skank.
You let off quite a few forthcoming Diffrent bits in the latest instalment of your GiraffeCast series; do you have anything set in stone post-DIFF014? What else can we expect from the Diffrent camp in 2012?
Hunchback: Lots of Giraffes and probably some more vinyl.
Dexta: There is probably about 45 years worth of Diffrent releases waiting to see the light of day… Bare with us and all will be jiggy! Oh and some T-Shirts will be surfacing at some point…
In order to gauge the influence your musical tastes have had on the label, what would you say are the top 5 records of all time most important to you?
H: Beach Boys ‘Barbara Ann’
Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg ‘Bitch N!%#@$’
Roni Size ‘Snapshot’
Lynx ‘Disco Dodo’
D: Judy Cheeks ‘Reach & Spin (Dub Mix)’
Lynx ‘Disco Dodo’
Portishead ‘Glory Box’
The Beatles ‘HELP!’
What is your personal favourite Diffrent release and why?
BOTH: Chills ‘Everyone’s Mad’ – coz everybody’s mad!
Can you give us the current top 10 tracks you’re feeling right now?
Arkaik ‘Cutting Edge’
Cease & Sekkle ‘Slumdog’
Direct Motion ‘Those That Lead’
Fathom Audio ‘Promises’
Homemade Weapons & D-Struct ‘Deep Six’
Hunchbak & Arkaik ‘Cliche’
Psycho Mantis ‘Suicide Talk’
Quartz, Shaded & MC:XL ‘Intentions’
Unknown ‘Untitled’ [haha, riddem…]
Finally, what’s the one Urban Essential you couldn’t live without?
Hunch: iPhone 4S (Apple if you’re reading this – well done!)
Dex: Notepad et pen