Impact is a series that's dedicated to profiling raw talent that's about to turn dance music on its head. Next up: Madam X
Ask Madam X to describe the type of music she plays and supports and she'll struggle to give you a definitive answer. Listen to her mixes or see her DJ in a club and you'll soon realise exactly why she can't. Never confined to one genre, her DJ sets peer down on you in the same fierce, nasty way the No Fear eyes do. She’s out to get you basically, peppering clubbers with an aggressive grime, dubstep and techno crossover, whether she’s playing at fabric, Annie Mac’s Lost & Found in Malta or Glastonbury festival.
A grime and drum ‘n’ bass head in her younger years, she moved from Milton Keynes to Manchester for university and it was there she hooked up with BPM (Big People Music), a collective and club night celebrating grime – booking the likes of Boy Better Know, Logan Sama and Riko Dan – way before it’d reached the platinum status and popularity of today. She had the role of label manager for a while, too, standing her in good stead for her Kaizen label.
Launched with ‘Kaizen Movements Vol. 1’ in 2014, featuring output by Murlo, Dark0 and Sudanim, the imprint’s a hub for Madam X to push the dark, rhythmic, bass-loaded material she so regularly unleashes on ravers. Last year’s ‘Griddled’ by Biome and ‘Biometric’ by Silas & Snare, both very UK-sounding dancefloor weapons, knocked us for six and meant Kaizen charted in our Labels Of The Year list. A new release, the ‘Taiko’ EP, from Manchester resident Walton is due next month, adding more deadly output for the dance to the armoury.
Ahead of that, we caught up with her to find out what Manchester has that other cities don’t, why she’s got a taste for the murkier side of the music spectrum and what she wants to do with Kaizen.
Exlusive Q+A and mix below.
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