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Impact: Endgame

The London producer steps out of the shadows

  • Words: Seb Wheeler | Images: Laurence Von Thomas
  • 28 June 2016

Impact is a series that's dedicated to profiling raw talent that's about to turn dance music on its head. Next up: Endgame

Endgame's emerged from the shadows of LDN over the last two years. As a producer, he comes equipped with thundering club tracks that roll at a sensual 100bpm, and as a DJ, he creates whirlpools of blackened low-end unflinchingly.

You may have seen him hustling with the Bala Club crew, a cadre of young artists who have their sights trained on the next level, or heard the news that he's just signed to Hyperdub, one of the UK's most important record labels.

This comes after a debut EP for Lisbon's Golden Mist in 2015 and a follow-up on New York's Purple Tape Pedigree earlier this year. Many, including this writer, have called his sound (ice) cold, but that belies its melodic intensity and sexual energy. All these things combine in a signature style that's been carefully honed and can be instantly placed as Endgame's.

Bookings have taken him across Europe, seeing him play for promoters tapping into the growing alternative club music movement, which makes links online and, increasingly, creates spaces for artists to play in IRL. When we speak he's just back from playing Belgium and is now prepping for his first tour of North America, which begins in July and includes a stop at MoMA PS1 in NYC.

Endgame's Impact mix includes a bevy of his own productions and our Q+A with him offers insight into his approach to making music and DJing, as well as why it's always good to hang tight with a squad.

You're known for making tunes at around 100bpm, which is quite a slow tempo. How did you get interested in this speed and what are your main reference points?

I grew up on grime and dancehall, and through friends in Lisbon, I was listening to a lot of tarraxo and kizomba. It has a similar energy and atmosphere to sinogrime, just slower, and that was really inspiring. The instrumentals are dark and bassy, with really beautiful melodies – super emotional. Producers like Willy g, Nindja, Dj Wayne, Stress Music and also people like Kid D have been massively influential.

All your EPs have this cold-but-seductive thing going on. You've got a very defined production style. How did you develop it?

Music is cathartic for me and a reflection of how I’m feeling. There is always sense of melancholy, trying to find hope in hopelessness. I’m into extremes of lightness and darkness; metal and hardcore are an influence in this way.

It's clear your tracks are emotive and they also bang on a soundsystem. Is that what they were designed for?

I feel like music should make you cry, turn up, or both. I want to break hearts in the club.

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