UK trio Slum Science have been around for over a decade, continuously evolving as a group and pushing fresh house music onward an upwards. This mix is bumpin house right the way through featuring tracks from their own label Hudd Traxx (which they talk more about below). Sit back and enjoy Slum Science on the No Dough Podcast for the next hour.
The guys kindly answered some questions below, to give you more of an insight into who they are. It’s a nice read so thanks again to Danny White for your time.
Hi and welcome to the No Dough Music Podcast, big up for doing this mix. So to kick things off tell our readers a little about Slum Science, who’s who and how did it all start?
Thanks for having us on. There’s currently three of us in Slum Science, Myself (Danny White), Dan Ruck and our vocalist Ali White. Eddie (Leader) is currently working on solo projects, and you can catch him Dec 13th – Jan doing his South America tour. In terms of a Slum Science chronology, well i guess its been a work in progress going back to around 2001. I’d been an avid vinyl head and have been DJ’ing since my early teens. I was also a student social worker around that time, and remember having to temporarily sell my 1210’s and a load of records to help fund the sampler, desk and outboards etc that i needed to put a basic analogue studio setup together. Talk about making a commitment ha ha. The first track G’s Delight was done around the back end of that year but took a couple of years to finally surface as a release. My two closest friends had, like me, been into some form of house music since their youth, and i suppose it was natural that we ended up working on projects together in the studio. As we were young, eager and developing, we ended up with a lot of music on our hands, and after working with a few labels, decided to explore setting up our own label to have a little more control over certain aspects. Ali has recently joined Slum Science, and has done the vocals for the Hudd 044 ep, and other Slum projects that are in the works. Ali’s actually my wife, and her musical background before i met her was a singer for a jazz funk band, so i guess fate had a lot to do with it. She’s also classically trained in piano as well so she’s handy to have around the studio.
If someone came to see you play, what could they expect? What have you got coming up gig wise?
We’re pretty versatile when it comes to a technical setup. Historically me and Rucky have worked on a 4 deck / 2 turntable setup which has allowed us to be more creative and us an array of fx, tools, instrumentals and accapellas when the situation has called for it. Musically we can play across a few genres within the house spectrum depending on the time or venue, but i prefer smaller, low ceiling clubs with an intimate feel where you would feel as at home playing Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’, as you would a recent Hector Couto track. We’ve been working hard on preparations for the live performances of the Hudd 044 tracks, and so have been taking on very limited bookings that are no more than a couple of hours flight away from home due to home commitments, however we are in the early stages of planning our European Hudd Traxx tour for March / April 2014 and are looking at Prague, Berlin, and hopefully more of the mainland territories so watch out for that.
In 2005 you set up your own label Hudd Traxx, and worked with some pretty hot producers may I add! What’s the general ethos at the label?
We were fortunate to be surrounded by so many established artists around that time, such as Iz & Diz, Stacy Kidd etc, who helped establish Hudd Traxx in the earlier years. There’s been a definite but sub-conscious shift away from the typical US house sound, towards the deeper European house that is around. Me, Rucky and Eddie all have a fairly similar taste when it comes to demo’s, and we have a fairly regular discussion about whats been sent and whether we are interested in a particular project. We don’t have any specific music policies at Hudd Traxx, other than we release music that we absolutely believe in, and the kind of music that we would want to hear on the dance-floor.
It was around then that the digital era started to flourish, did this have any kind of impact on the labels performance? Did you embrace releasing digitally or stay as a vinyl only label at first?
Its funny you mention this. We always said in the early days that we wouldn’t release digitally, as we all considered ourselves vinyl purists at that time. We certainly didn’t want to do anything to contribute to the demise of vinyl sales in house music. We eventually got to the stage where by forfeiting our digital download sales meant that it compromised our ability to look after our artists as well. This no longer meant sense and so we reluctantly made the move to release in both vinyl and digital formats. As time has moved on we have all come around to accepting that digital downloads are a way of life in modern music and try to see strengths of the digital medium in their own right and not focus on the ongoing struggle between the light and the dark 🙂 My only fear, is that in the context of the art, design, the colors and the instantly recognizable label logo’s which are usually lacking on a CDR with some handwriting on, tracks somehow are in danger of losing their worth and becoming as disposable as the CDR that they are burned onto. From a purely personal perspective, CDR’s are a lifesaver in many ways as a working DJ, but there’s nothing like pulling 180gms of wax out of its sleeve and hearing the ‘air’ come through the speakers before the first note hits. Maybe i’m just getting old 🙂
The latest release by your good selves is a celebration of your history as Slum Science to date, tell us more about the tracks and the vibe they carry.
Yeah we’ve had a good while out of the game since 2007/08 to raise our respective families, however things have eased up over the past couple of years and so it was our destiny that we had to get Slum Science back together as a functioning project. Since the arrival of my two children there’s been several changes of temporary studio location which meant that for a good while i had limited access to my gear. Looking back though this has also been beneficial as it gave us a chance to shed a lot of the bad habits that we had acquired whilst working in an increasingly digital domain. We’ve had some time to apply perspective to our back catalog, what we’ve done and where we want to go with it. Listening back to our new projects i feel there’s certainly more maturity within the music than previously. Our current studio location is more conducive to a fun-but-focused environment, and bringing the live aspect back into the tracks. I think this comes across in the Virtue & Vice ep.
What other releases do you guys have coming up?
We have ‘People Rise Up’ ep due out in the next few weeks on Harley and Muscle’s label Soulstar Records, which is a pretty varied 4 tracker. One of which (Push My Soul) has recently been featured on Cafe Solaire 21 compilation. We’re also working on more projects so keep an eye out for those.