LSD Magazine Interviews Beat Assassins Jimmy Mofo
2016 Year in Summary – Beat Assassins Jimmy Mofo aka Beat Assassins returned in 2016 following a 4 year break from the scene. His latest release, To The Top, is due for release on 14 November. Jimmy took a minute to chat with LSD Magazine and tell us about 2016 the year.
Beat Assassins used to be known in the breakbeat scene. With your re-launch in 2016 you’re now making drum and bass, what bought about the change?
Beat Assassins were quite prolific on the breaks scene. Joe Lenzie from Sigma was also part of Beat Assassin back then. While I was producing with Joe he introduced me to the new age of drum and bass. Acts like Sub Focus, Pendulum, Chase & Status, Brookes Brothers and Camo & Krooked who were bursting onto the scene and Joe was getting sent all this amazing music. Prior to Beat Assassins I had been a small part of the dnb scene as I used to run a weekly dnb night at the Borderline club in London. I always liked dnb but the stuff Joe was getting sent really blew me away and rekindled my interest in dnb. When we went out DJing as Beat Assassins we would always play about 15mins of dnb at the end of our sets. I wanted to write a couple of dnb tunes with Joe but he didn’t want to do that because he was already making dnb as Sigma.
Then in 2010 the music scene changed so much with the introduction of dubstep & bass house music that Beat Assassins breakbeat booking just dried up resulting in Joe and I amicably going our own separate ways. I went off and did trap for a while as Koshii but I soon got bored with trap so I decided, “Come on let’s go for it and make some drum and bass.” So I locked myself away in my studio for a couple of years bashing away at dnb and here I am. I’ve got to say I’m absolutely loving it.
Your first release of 2016 was “The Raid” which had a DJ Callide and Jay Con remix. What inspired the dnb / 4×4 remixes?
When I decided it was time to come out of the studio and start releasing music it dawned on me that I don’t actually know that many people in the dnb scene and they don’t know me either. I have learned from experiences back in the day that one of the best ways to break a new scene is to find established artists within the genre to remix your work. They give your project a seal of approval and their profile helps build yours. In January 2016 I learned of a website called Music Gateway. You can upload a track and ask artists to put in a pitch for the remix. DJ Callide pitched and I knew his raw jump up style would complement the original. Jay C also pitched and I loved his idea of mixing up some old skool sounds with my original in a 4/4 format. If there are any artists out there who are looking for remixes or vocalists I really recommend this website. It’s extremely professionally run and the quality of artists that pitch is quite staggering. https://www.musicgateway.net/
Next up saw you release “Space Yardie”. Now this comes with a great little video of SiFu Chan wandering the streets of London accompanied by Parkour free runners. How did this come to life?
I knew Space Yardie would lend itself really well to a video. So SiFu Chan and I did some brainstorming but couldn’t really come up with a great idea. So I took the same principles to find a director as I did with the remixes. I found a website called Radar Music http://www.radarmusicvideos.com/home/about-us – which specialises in putting artists together with video directors. Extreme Audio & Bird directors pitched for the job and I loved their idea of The Space Yardie wondering the streets of London accompanied by Parkour free Runners.
So I hired a Space suit (which wasn’t easy to find) and set a date for filming with the location being Canada Water. It turned out to be the hottest day of the year. Sifu was literally melting in that space suit. Poor guy had to really dig deep mentally to push himself through the pain barrier but he did and the video (IMO) looks fantastic.
“Spacie Yardie” – You’re quoted as saying you knew 1000DaysWasted was the man for the remix. Why?
When people follow me on twitter I always try to make a point of checking out who they are. 1000DaysWasted followed me so I checked out his profile. As soon as I heard his style of dnb I could immediately hear Space Yardie in the mix. His filthy basslines blended with the original work perfectly. I just knew he was the man for the remix. 5. SiFu Chan also features on your “Ramm Out” release. How did you first start working with him?
I met Sifu through another rapper called Hype Man Sage. At the time we were working on a grime & trap project called Koshii. One late evening after recording SiFu clicked on an old beat I had lying around on my PC. I was out getting the drinks in and when I came back to the studio there was Sifu rapping about a Space Yardie. I fell about laughing and Space Yardie was born.
Your third release for the year sees you going back to basic with no vocals or remixes. What’s the typical Beat Assassins vibe?
The typical Beat Assassins vibe is full vocal driven drum n bass. However not every track you write needs a vocal and not everyone wants a vocal all the time. Also writing vocal tracks can be quite time consuming and sometimes you just feel like knocking out a banger. Drop It Hard my third release is just that.
“Deny” feat Eli sees you step it up a notch. Massive vocal, DJ Rap remix and an official video. Talk me through this release.
Deny is very special to me I have to say. That beat had been sitting on my PC for 2 years and I just couldn’t find the right vocalist.. Until one evening I was passing my local gospel church when he heard a stunning voice. I peered inside and saw ELi singing to the congregation and I knew straight away this was the voice I had been looking for. So I waited until the service was over and then approached her to see if she would be interested in singing on a drum and bass track. She looked at me as if I was some kind of weirdo. I can tell you it took some persuading. But after some perseverance I managed to convince her I wasn’t some kind of nut job.
Once I got ELi into the studio I couldn’t believe the volume this girl could sing at. My studio just wasn’t big enough for her voice. But once the vocal recordings had been nailed Deny was born and she sang that track with so much innate passion from her heart it was incredible to watch. Since recording Deny we have become really close friends and have just finished a track called ProcrastiNation which I can’t wait to release next year. The DJ Rap remix again was secured off Music Gateway, going back to the point I made earlier of exceptional artists pitching for remixes. I can’t recommend that site enough.
The video for Deny raises so many eyebrows when I let the cat out of the bag on this one. You described the video as official. It is, however it was shot on an iphone 6 one sunny afternoon. It took around 2 hours to shoot and a mornings work to edit. I think the results are stunning. You would never guess in a million years that was shot on an iphone 6.
A stomping TREi remix of War Dem is next up in your 2016 catalogue. How did you get him onboard?
Trei is signed to Viper Recordings. I know Viper’s label manager Asad because he used to run Funkatech Records back in the breaks days. I asked my PR company, On The Rise, if they knew of any dnb artists looking for remixes. They approached Asad and he was delighted to help out as we had history. He suggested Trei and I agreed he would be perfect.
“To The Top” is due for release on 14 November. This one again sees you going back to basics. What can we see from you in 2017?
I decided to finish the year off with another straight up banger. A single track on its own. This is because I knew I would be really busy this time of year. I always get loads of DJ booking around Halloween and I didn’t want the added pressure of promoting a full vocal track with a remix and a video as this takes up quite a lot of time. To The Top is a nice straight forward track to promote.
However next year I’ll be back with some big releases. I have another release coming featuring Miss Stylie called See Ma Gun Go with a Toronto is Broken remix. Eli will be back singing a tearing dnb track called ProcrastiNation. This will feature a full video alongside a jungle remix from a legend in dance music. Who that legend is? Well you’ll just have to wait and see!