TOYC‘s debut for Crazylegs has been a while in the making but represents a real return to form for a producer who is really beginning to come into his own. A two-tracker with heavyweight remixes from Bloom, Youngstar and Altered Natives, ‘Ruffer’ / ‘Keyframe’ is a bold and colourful 12” that draws on a raft of influences to land as a set of groove-laden, outlandishly funky club heaters. ‘Ruffer’ is our pick of the two, a track awash with funky rhythms, storming drums and trumpeting synths whilst ‘Keyframe’ takes a more complex route through contemporary styles, opting for down-tempo, thugged-out bass to make it sing in a track that shares similarities with the work Beneath has pushed this year.
The remixes too are excellent, with Bloom’s Keyframe rework in particular a poignant reminder of just how effective good remix work can be when utilised properly. Bloom, incidentally, turns the original completely on it’s head and pieces it back together again in literally mind-blowing fashion, a true grime-drenched assault of outer-worldly proportions that had me personally questioning the meaning of life after hearing on a system for the first time. Youngstar meanwhile, keeps more of Keyframe in tow with his effort although all is underpinned by the iconic Pulse-style bass knocks that still land so powerfully, whilst Altered Natives immaculately worked percussive twist on ‘Ruffer’ makes for a really compelling listen.
We have the exclusive stream of the aforementioned Altered Native’s remix alongside a new mixtape from TOYC for you to listen to below.
You’ve been admittedly a bit quiet of late but the Ruffer / Keyframe 12” is quite a way to re-introduce yourself. Where are things at for you musically at the moment?
A lot of it’s to do with hardware, stuff I’ve made myself or bought over the years. I’m just kinda sorting out live show stuff and making music that I finally want to make. I like things to sound quite simple, to bring as few elements as possible to the table but done really well; that fine balance between being able to listen to it through headphones but also play out.
Could you tell us a little bit about the EP?
I just made it, I wasn’t expecting anything from it all to be honest. ‘Keyframe’ was essentially just a B-side, it’s been around for about two years now. Trying to keep it under wraps has been tough though, I’ve had to lie that I’d not actually made it sometimes because people would hear it in the odd mix or whatever. The remixes took a long time too but I’m really pleased with them. I mean we managed to get Youngstar on board who’s not done a remix in a long time. Each of the remixes all sound like completely new tracks though, they’re all really cool.
The remixes are really interesting, especially with Bloom and Youngstar representing grime through the ages if you like. Did you and Andy at Crazylegs decide on the remix process together?
It was a bit of both really, Andy asked me to mention who I’d like to remix. He put forward Bloom and I’d heard some of his stuff so straight away I was like ‘Yeah!’ Altered Natives was my shout because I really wanted him to get involved and he’s done an amazing job. Youngstar as well, I was like ‘Really?! Are you sure?’ when Andy first asked (laughs).
Looking ahead, what have you got planned? You mentioned live shows?
Yeah I really want to get live shows together. I’d like to get loads of gear and be interactive with it so that the crowd can see what’s happening. I’m looking to make my own effects and different synths if I can too; making as much of it myself makes it unique to me and no one can really replicate it that way.