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Nuthin But Fire

An exclusive 'footwork' mixtape by Sgamo & Andrea Mi & Dubsley

Nuthin But Fire An exclusive 'footwork' mixtape by Sgamo & Andrea Mi & Dubsley

Say goodbye to summer, starting the new season with good intentions. These are some of the premises with which SgamoAndrea Mi and Dubsley have produced this fresh mixtape exclusively for nss magazine. The chosen theme was "footwork", the time to make it equally distributed among the three. The result is below, along with a tripe interview made of secrets, advice and, of course, music.


Presentations: if you should briefly describe you, like at school, from where would you start?

Sgamo: Hello Francesco, it is not the first time that we talk even if it is the first here on nss mag. So, at the risk of repeating myself, to introduce myself I will tell you that I am a DJ, producer, with a decade of Rap behind, a bit of console and interesting collaborations with Italian electronic label and other online-related experiences abroad also on the streetwear planet. The only novelty is that (for the first time publicly) I can tell you that I have some new tracks ready just waiting to get out.

Andrea Mi: From my tax code. Having a surname of only 2 letters I had to add an X and then I have marked the birth: MIXNRS71 etc. etc. For the rest I grew up tailoring with my father why the 'cut and paste' is in my DNA. I try to apply it to the fullest and in the most creative way possible to the many activities I do in and around music. I'm a DJ, I’m into radio, festivals and clubs, from the early 90s. I have a transmission and a podcast called Mixology and is dedicated to the art of the mix. I am writing to SentireAscoltare, DLSO, Digicult. I teach communication, architecture and digital media between FDI and LABA. I manage festivals and music festivals, and I have my own label together with Backwords called OOH-Sounds.

Dubsley: Well, at school I have always been a bit 'a disaster and the music has a great influence on my whole career from 11-12 years onwards. The local Hip-Hop scene in those years was very exciting and we say that it all started from there. Breakdancing, the first tag and then the Rap. In 2007, I printed my first self-produced demo with a friend and after one year I have a bit 'lost. In the two years I experienced listening and approach to music of all kinds. As a huge fan of Techno more thrust and Reggae and its derivatives, I was fascinated by the discovery of the UK Bass Music and how genres like me dub, dubstep, garage, jungle and drum n 'bass, could be bound by the same thread during a selection by making a dj-set a real show. From that moment it began a period of deep study of those genres and their evolution from the roots. I bought the first record player and I am no longer out. Sgamo has always been my partner in crime for all this, and in 2011 we founded a duo. From 2013 I started my individual project as a resident dj of Kode_1, collecting interesting gigs with heavyweight on the international scene and collaborations in different cities in Europe, so I matured the need to look out production. I have an outgoing EP by the end of September, is called "Mamasinta" and contains a bit 'all my artistic journey of the last two years.


Let's start from the beginning: where does the idea of ​​developing this mixed come from?

S: One night in particular euphoria, during a DJ set, I had turned on the recorder. At the end set I was given twenty minutes to 160 bpm, and I would be sorry to leave them to die in my hard drive. So I summoned Dubsley, aka Carlo, aka former WTFU half (the other half is me, WTFU was our torque acronym) aka my best friend for over 10 years. Subsequently, as the master that I always wanted, I even knocked on the door of Andrea MI.

A: One Sunday I was going home in a friend's car to make the magic cookie when I called Sgamo. Usually we communicate in feverish chat, exchanging opinions on local summer in Puglia, digital controller for our sets, productions, labels and agencies. I think if I called the phone will be for something important. In fact, we start talking about NSS and you. At that point Alessandro made his proposal: "and if the mix that I have to deliver them was made of 3 sets of 20 minutes recorded separately by each of us and then I sew it together"? Beginning his visit he was bound to a specific cruising speed, 160 BPM, which in recent years of the shares of Kode_1 console was a meeting ground of our different musical paths. Obviously the answer was immediately yes. Time to eat those cookies, and I set to work. Reminding me of being the oldest of the group I thought that taking care of the opening segment would be only right. As I thought of cutting to give to my mix I came back to memory the wonderful set that Dj Paypal did last Spring Attitude: with astonishing technique and a fine taste has shown that on that keying speed we can stay inside a lot, from jazz to soul, from hip hop to African rhythms. So I put together a little 'of tracks that start at near-ambient atmospheres (Shamir and Bigseuf are two of the best reality of French footwork), edit the soul matrix (Abjo and Jo_Def that reinterpret Sade and Machinedrum working on Roy Ayers) hybrid between computer music and trap (Sza), meditative pieces (submerse and Noam Kamal) and jazz constructs (Uncle Texx citing Chet Baker). Obviously I had to pay tribute to the two labels that are inspiring me more: Teklife (Taso, DJ Spinn and DJ Earl) and Cosmic Bridge (Om Unit). I thought I'd end up with the incredible 160 reworks of Zed Bias version signed Isaac Hayes 'Walk on by'. It seemed closed the circle and opened well as they would have combined my partners after.

D: One Saturday while first planned how to spend my day off, Sgamo contacts me and offers me a mixed Footwork 20 minutes each with him and our partner Andrea Mi. "Halfway between Summer vibes and London vibes" he says .. Do not think twice, I reply to him immediately, and the next day I run to record. I decide to make a set that respects the origins of the genre to which I added several jungle tracks, broken beats and hip-hop vocal samples 90 years on 160 bpm.

You are all the real king of the mixtape, what it is usually the starting point in a selection and in the amalgam of the tracks you choose?

S: Almost always it depends on what and how much I'm drinking when I record, ahah. Certainly the digital helps me in the selection. But I consider myself a good friend of the pitch so if I decided to turn my set 160 I do not care much if the piece I had in mind was conceived faster or not, because if I like how he is playing, probably you like it also to those who are firing on my set. Otherwise he would be listening to other DJs. For me, like Chopped & Screwed, all the footwork of the game that I love revolves around Hip Hop rhythms cut and reassembled according to the condition of his own conscience and my mixing technique, therefore, it is definitely influenced by this consideration mixed precisely to fiddling peeked over the years under the chests of illegal Rave.

A: I deal with mix (mine and, above all, of the others) both when I have to record that when I invite artists to record them for my childbirth transmission always from the same point. Maybe a little 'obvious but, for me, yet fundamental: a good mix is ​​always a journey that takes you to discover things you did not know, and to see, in a new light, the ones that you have already heard. Then, doing a lot of teaching in which I try to pass what I know to my students and being a nerd of the first hour I try to make sure that the construction of each mix is ​​for me the occasion for study and analysis. That's why I always try to give a philological side to my mix. Most of the time goes, for me, in the preparation. I do the recording of the mix always live, one take, without any kind of post-production. I believe a lot in zen vision: the calligrapher meditates for hours and then traces the calligraphic sign in seconds.

D: The track selection depends on several factors: the mood of the moment in which I prepare the playlist, the place where I am and the kind of mixed to make. As for this Mixtape I left a lot to take from 'influence of the city where I am (I moved a few months in London) and I decided to give him a cut a little 'more "mental". I'm not a great lover of the sudden changes and too frequent, I like to hear the songs that slowly amalgamate creating a flow that has a kind of sense of space and time.

A track you wanted to insert, and instead you kept out?

S: Definitely something form my friend Talpa, with his beats between the club and the jersey footwork, would split in two the mix. Or something that stuff grime melodic that are proposing Murlo and Digital Boy, if speeded up, become the most danceable things of the last months.

A: I really wanted to put a very significant mark but remained outside for lack of time. It is' It's A Jazz Thing "by Roni Size, magazine in key jungle by Philip D Kick (ie Om Unit). That piece is the perfect combination of many things: the rhythmic deconstruction of jazz that enters the liquid vision of d'n'b, rhythmic texture relentless footwork, rave and jungle references that add a historical perspective ... the continuity of the bass is one of my fixed.

D: A track that I wanted to include in this mix and that probably'll play in any DJ Footwork set is "Stick Up" DJ Rashad & Dj Manny in featuring with Brenmar.

The whole mixtape focuses on footwork: is that a record we cannot miss?

S: For me all EP Cold Heat that is releasing Taso (Teklife) are exactly what I would like, today, from electronic music. Ignorant Hip Hop samples / Texan Trap / Georgian with stressed drum patterns to DJ Spinn, Rashad etc.

A: Hard to pick just one hard to recommend. It would be easy to go fishing at home or Teklife Hyperdub. Instead I like to find small treasures hidden in the niche where it usually focuses dust. So I recommend the crowds production of a Japanese called Uncle Texx in partnership with Soma. He carries the title of "Footworking in the sky" and is an EP of four tracks that manages to blend the poetical trumpet of Chet Baker, the Brazilian bossa nights in salsa and a certain air of a psychedelic footwork amalgam which makes us understand how this kind it is done on purpose to open to others.

D: A hude record that just can not miss is Strangers SIMPIG, an LP of 9 tracks released in 2015 by the label Swiss Argent Sale. A perfect combination of electronic synth, tribal percussion, diving deep and vocal samples, when we feel the influence of dubstep, grime at House and grandly mixed together.


Artwork by: Julia Bellipario