Features I by I 02.11.15

Rushmore updates G-funk for 2015 on Trax Couture’s latest World Series EP — stream it in full

Stream his new EP and read our interview with the London DJ-producer.

Rushmore has had an excellent 2015. The House of Trax clubnight, which he runs with Fools, hosted the likes of Sinjin Hawke, Prince Will, Kevin Starke and MikeQ, and his Trax Couture imprint released EPs by up-and-coming clubbers Air Max ’97, Akito, Dreams, Grovestreet and more.

He caps off the year with his own entry in the World Series series: an eight-track EP that traces his childhood musical influences (chiefly G-funk rap) through his current influences (club, footwork and beyond). The World Series Vol. 12 EP below is out today.

Stream it in full below, and read our interview with Rushmore about the family ties of his EP, his Trax Couture philosophy and why he loves 100bpm.

The Lo Limits Funk mix [below] helps contextualize it, but can you explain what you were aiming for with this EP?

For this EP I really wanted to expand on the sound palette and drum patterns I’ve been exploring in my last two EPs, but this time introducing and really honing in on the G-funk sound, especially in the first half. I am obsessed with the high-pitched wormy sound of tuned-up sine waves associated with the genre.

It’s something that resonates with me from a sentimental stand point, being a sound from music form my childhood. Living in Cardiff as a teen chasing down latest issues of The Source, import rap albums on wax and VHS copies of Murder Was the Case was challenging yet fun! But the vibe that sound creates for me is so unique: it can be smoothy and silky but it still has an element of rawness, and when layered with other synth lines it can create magic.

I wanted to explore that sound in different contexts throughout the EP, so in ‘Coastal Boogie’ in its most traditional form while exploring the rap-footwork axis, like what if Dr. Dre made footwork? With ‘Air Worm’, I kept the sound still fairly true to tradition, but then tried to update that with rap-inspired drums at 130bpm with lots of bass and quite a hyped-up dramatic structure to the track. I guess you could said they are the two core tracks of the EP: the other tracks work outwards from them in their own related forms, like offspring.

“What if Dr. Dre made footwork?”Rushmore

‘A-N-E’ and ‘H-O-T’ and like the cousins of these other two, with the former leaning more towards a stripped back grime-influenced bass roller where the worm sound is reduced to pulsing signals and square wave bass takes centre stage. Conversely, the latter takes on a more electro-club-footwork structured drums, at a more house-type tempo.

‘If you there’ steps in like the weird uncle that reminds of your past but is on his own disjointed path to who knows where. The tracks is centered around a piano loop that gets twisted and turned to create a familiar, friendly, yet unsettling feeling. It’s structure changes and switches up and down in vibe and intensity. It’s kind of like how I’d imagine a Dance Mania rap record.

The second half of the EP stretched further out into its family tree with ‘Sunshine Love’ providing a the same familiar, friendly-yet-unsettling vocal with a bold brash hip-hop first half then it switches to a club track after the drop. ‘Central Leisure’ is the track that gets played after ‘A-N-E’ at the pool party just after the wave machine gets turned on. Its drums follow how footworks operates, but this track is much slower and the sliding square waves ride and change in melody all the way through it.

Then the last track on the EP, ‘PP2’, is like the newborn great-grandson that seems to resemble all of them combining old and new, friendly and familiar but definitely a little deranged. It is definitely the offspring of ‘Coastal Boogie’ in its rap-footwork drum sensibilities but the grime-influenced gliding synths play out a delightfully odd story to end off.

rushmore2015pressheadshot

“There’s so much bullshit, politics and dick-swinging that goes on with music.”Rushmore

In a short time, the World Series EPs have become a fount of new voices in club music. What do you look for, and what defines the series for you?

The idea with the World Series was definitely to make a statement of intent as a label and for everyone involved. Sometimes there’s so much bullshit, politics and dick-swinging that goes on with music, I was like, fuck this, seriously! I’ve got my label and I’m going to set a new standard for myself as to what I think a label should do, act like and how it should operate. I wanted to put together a schedule, you know, like a proper one.

I come from a corporate sportswear/fashion career where the market is fast-paced and product drops are hot and frequent. Thats what I want to achieve. The appetite for the music is there: there’s a new generation of truly great producers out there that appreciate the same music, so let’s be a platform to provide this.

It’s based around my tastes and what works when I play out in clubs or on radio. Generally, it’s raw and energetic but not restricted to genre. I do look for something in an EP that pushes the core sound forward though; I believe all featured artists so far have achieved that. That development of sounds can come in many forms and guises.

Overall it has been a great introduction to a new chapter for the label, hopefully for the artists featured too. The schedule will be just as busy next year with some surprises, return EPs and new artists, so stay involved with the Trax Couture Team.

You’re been on a roll with mixes – what is it about 100bpm that interests you?

There’s been a huge influence of the Latin sounds of reggaeton and the funk sounds coming from a new generation in Sao Paolo that vary in tempo. This was the basis, combined with playing more rap in sets spawned by a short string of club nights I helped put on called Passions, where I played screwed sets of club tracks alongside other sets made up purely of a specific sound myself and the residents are passionate about. It was a lot of fun! I’ve also been experimenting with it at a vogue night that I play in London as a bit of a warmup by slowing down some of the modern ballroom beats.

I’ve always explored with tempo in my production and sets, so it’s part of an ongoing dialogue for me. It’s just pretty amazing how much a genre changes or can change when slowed down or speed up. But again, thats an ongoing story of music and genres themselves through history. For example, electro or Miami bass being like early rap speed up or house/techno music being speed up to make hardcore. I know the basis of these genres is definitely not that simple, and there’s so much more context, but a lot of the beats are speed up with a new context put around them.

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