Zed Bias

Centurion: Zed Bias

The Hyp Mixtape Series was inaugurated almost two years ago with a concise Brackles workout, that featured the likes of Untold, Cooly G, Deadboy, Shortstuff, James Blake together with original material. In the 98 mixes since, to name but a few highlights, Oneman, Alexander Nut, Djrum, Mosca, Fantastic Mr Fox, Lunice, El-B, Slackk, Julio Bashmore, Sully and Deadboy have each taken the reigns.

Ahead of our 10th-anniversary celebrations at Birthdays in Dalston on Friday 19th October we are rolling a fortnight of related content. Next up is an interview to accompany the Hyp100 mix from a pioneer of the UK dance music scene – Zed Bias. His sound has developed in close parallel to the Hyponik focus over the last decade and this selection picks out some of the gamechanging tracks from along the way – think Digital Mystikz and Groove Chronicles – and blends them with a heavy dose of current cuts from the likes of Happa, Paleman, Thefft, Boddika, and Zed Bias himself.

We had a quick chat with Dave Jones and learnt more about his recent Digital Soundboy release, album plans, the effects of smoking in clubs, and ‘Furrball’…

Zed Bias, you feelin’ good, good, good?
Today I am, yes. Thank you.

‘Heavy Water Riddim/Hurting Me’ has just been released on Digital Soundboy. Are these tracks pretty representative of what you’re enjoying making right now?
Yes they both contain elements that I enjoy creating in the studio out of my analogue gear, and also elements that can be found in my DJ sets.

Loefah has said in interviews that there will be an album from yourself on Swamp. How different will it sound from your last LP ‘Biasonic Hotsauce – Birth of the Nanocloud’?
Not sure yet, I haven’t written it! 100% it won’t sound anything like it though. ‘Biasonic Hotsauce’ was a concept album. It was also a way of me working with many of my friends and peers.

Has it been a deliberate or natural move towards darker, ‘bass’ music from more straight-up UKG? If deliberate, why?
What’s the difference between ‘deliberate’ and ‘natural’? Am I conscious when writing my music? Well, yes I am, therefore it must be a deliberate process. To be honest, I find the idea of having a genre of music being called ‘bass’ music is hilarious. If being dark and having bass in it is the main criteria, then I have been making ‘bass music’ since forever.

How much can you say about your track with Paleman? Are the Swamp81 rumours true? And, if so, any idea of a release date?
Yes it’s coming out on Swamp81. 100%.

When and why did you start the Maddslinky project?
I started the Maddslinky project before Zed Bias existed, around 97. It allows me to release more music at the same time.

If you could bring back one aspect of clubbing back in 1997, what would it be?
I would bring back smoking in nightclubs. Obviously there are health implications, but the DJ’s life would be made a lot easier. People would spend a lot more time on the dancefloor instead of outside the club in the smoking area.

Your label, Sidestepper Recordings, hasn’t put out a record for a few years now. Is that project over, and do you have any plans to start another label?
No Sidestepper isn’t dead, it is just resting. I am thinking about starting up another label but not in the immediate future. Too busy right now to give it my all.

Richard Akingbehin