The Bristol collective give us a rundown on their new VA comp.
Emerging just earlier this year, it hasn’t taken for Bristol party crew Illegal Data to become heavies on their local turf. Led by Giant Swan member Mun Sing and NE$$, they’ve been running riot with raves round the West Country all year long, regularly inviting characters like Aya (previously LOFT), DJ Paypal, Fellony and Parris to come and make noise.
As they head toward their tenth session at The Old England next week, so do they announce themselves as a label – rounding up friends and allies for a new 16-track VA compilation that features experiments from O$VMV$M, Jennifer Walton, Emily Glass, Silver Waves, Kinlaw, Franco Franco and more.
Much like the clubnight’s focus, the record moves through the wildest corners of trance, dancehall, pop, and beyond and as it becomes available for all ears today – we celebrate the release with a spotlight on each of Illegal Data’s crew members and their contributions.
01. Emily Glass – Uvula
Emily Glass: I’m fuckin terrible at writing about my own music so I really have no clue what to say
Illegal Data: Our only #INTERNATIONAL star on the comp, based in Adelaide, Australia… She really knows how 2 throw a shrimp (drop) on the barbie (track) and her production skills set a standard so high it makes every adult and their kid’s kid cry a billion tears until it fills up the room and they all drown, and with a last breath they gargle the words “woah wtf the snare is mixed SO well..”
02. Marged – Freaky Deaky
Marged: I wrote this track in the middle of Summer. I remember it was such a hot day and I was in this headspace trying to figure out how you can be newly single but also go through a break up at the same time. The song is kinda a mash up of both of those feelings. Someone old and someone new and how they can coexist in my head.
Illegal Data: The best artist to come out of Wales since…Charlotte Chu-nah wait…. Manic Street Prea-no-no no…Tom Jones? Hahanah ok there’s gotta be.. Duffy?.. No way.. umm.. Cate Le Bon? Yuck nah way too pitchfork.. hmmm…Feeder!? Pffftt yeah I guess that settles it then…MARGED IS THE BEST MUSICIAN TO COME OUT OF WALES. PERIOD! Listen and weep in a flood of awe and even more tears as she begins to takeover the WORLD!
03. Don Sinini – Differently
Don Sinini: This song is a bittersweet kind of pop song for me. makes me feel nostalgic and uplifted. will be shooting a video for this soon!
Illegal Data: With a voice as silky as the silkiest of silks, and beats as beaty as the beatiest of beats, Don Sinini has got it all! He’s our fav one man hit-machine spouting all kinds of energy and purity, channeled through his #unique brand of melancholic dancehall. More reflective than Yung Lean taking a selfie in a room full of mirrors, STOP MAKING US CRY SININI YOU TALENTED PRICK!!
04. L U C Y – About Her
L U C Y: Gross but I made the song as a dub for my girlfriend. It samples a song called About him by Alex Isley and I don’t know if it was ever actually played out so it’s a bit of a tragedy to be honest
Illegal Data: An early ally to Illegal Data and the first person we reached out to outside of our immediate circle of friends. The mutual trust and respect has been REAL ever since and we’re so humbled she’s given us this futuristic slab of BEAT-HEAVEN for us all to throw ourselves around the room to. FUN FACT: L U C Y wears a mask over her mouth because of how much she drools over the equipment when she plays out. DJs such as Kahn, Pinch and Objekt to name a few have all complained about having to follow her to the point where Kahn now just wears gloves every time he plays out “Just incase SHE’s there”.
05. O$VMV$M – Timestation
Amos O$VMV$M: “Its us trying to make a jungle tune i guess, listening back it sounds pretty weird though. i remember playing it to my girlfriend for the first time and she said it sounded like a whitey. i think the breathing sounds made her think of that weird too stoned feeling of not being able to get enough air into your lungs. forgot about the outro bit too, makes me think of the ps1 startup sound which always makes me feel good.”
Illegal Data: Moody sample geniuses melt our hearts and minds with this focussed piece of grainy BEAUTY. Showing off more delicacy and emotion than a handmade birthday card from Bjork to yr nan, BUT with more weight and haze than a 1000 Burial 12”s melted down into a thick paste, rolled up into a spliff only to be left in the rain at the bus stop :’(
06. TEEN – Bodywork
TEEN: I started Bodywork trying to make something vaguely inspired Flume & Eprom’s remix of Sophie’s “Is it cold in the water?” but it quickly digressed into something more aggressive and bass/percussion driven which was a good thing I think? I never usually go into writing with an end goal in mind and this was a really cathartic experience, I’m also like really shy and quiet so I think my music always comes out really overblown as a counteract to that. Most of the sounds were using Ableton/Max live’s Granulator, stretching the audio out so much until it’s nothing like the source, there’s some cool stuff hidden in there like wind chimes, bats, jingling keys and cracking ice 🙂 also 808’s
Illegal Data: Well well well if it isn’t this stupid genius, modestly fucking up the bass, space, pace and your FACE with this ADHD future trap anthem. His live sets are MAD too, impossible not to move to his endless rhythmic flips and twists. Pretty sure his project files look like a fucking Escher drawing as well.
07. Count Baldor – Violent Chain
Count Baldor: airhorn.mp3. Thats it. That’s my bio
Illegal Data: The stinkiest stink of them all! What’s that horrible smell in the club? Oh that’s right it’s the smell of a burning Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 mixer after Count Baldor has put his filthy goblin mits on it! Probably the best DJ in the world (genuinely) his hands (and therefore MIND) move at like 200mph over the decks, casually blending in his own mad productions with like Avril Lavigne or some shit. He’s genuinely an inspiration and represents everything we stand for at Illegal Data hehe. Pretty sure he turned down producing for Rhianna cos he “couldn’t be fucked to bounce down the stems man.
08. Mouse – Touch
Mouse:“I usually collaborate with other producers and engineers on my music, but ‘Touch’ is the first track that’s entirely me. I wrote, programmed, produced, recorded and mixed it and I’m really happy with how it’s come out!
Illegal Data: If smiles could smile then they’d smile a thousand smiles” is a tattoo Mouse has been going ON and ON about getting for years now..”It’s just something my mum used to say to me” which we thought was fucking weird tbh… But I guess it’s this infectious, focused positivity that Mouse is all about…That and being a sassy as fuck production GOD, a total self-made future pop genius who’s prolific standards reset the idea that you need 10 producers and Diplo to make a hit. She’s gonna take over 2020 yo!!!
09. Chikaya – Himalayas
Chikaya: Sometimes In the heat of it all we say things we regret because emotions run high and then we’re left with the mess we made, the messages we text or the words we spoke – the lyrics are me saying the words I ought to have said in past situations
Illegal Data: In 2019 the world looked up into the night sky and gazed upon a star modestly but brightly flickering.. fast forward to 2019 and that star is now our new SUN in the sky.. providing light to the darkest of places… Fast forwarded even further to 2020 and that burning sun has become so bright everyone on Earth is now BLIND. Yep you’ve guessed it, that star is in fact the very litty, cosmically witty, impossible-to-be-shitty CHIKAYA! Her songwriting flex is so casual its not even funny.. every producer and promoter form an orderly queue, cos she will be changing rooms faster than Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
10. Saaaz – Affectionate
Saaaz: I wanted to do a straight forward take on the cut & paste lofi sound, that’s why I took something that had already been flipped by a well known lofi producer half as a parody of the genre but also to show sampling doesn’t have to be so cut & paste and all sound the same.
Illegal Data: All hail this lo-fi-vapor-trap-wave GODESS and her mad ability to produce like 80 fire beats an hour, yet SOMEHOW each track is effortlessly crafted with this intricate beauty and poise that puts every other Oneohtrix, Banshee or Vektroid to digital SHAME for all eternity. James Ferraro has also been known to cry for days on end upon hearing Saaaz’s music for the first time: “I feel like a .gif in a land of .mp4s… Some shit just ain’t fair
11. Fellony – Ashcroft
Fellony: S&M dungeon music for the triplet generation
Illegal Data: Annoyingly talented in basically every way (except for knowing how to use an Allen & Heath mixer), Fellony’s boundless enthusiasm, curiosity and integrity sets him apart from pretty much everyone when it comes to actually LISTENING and honing in his sound and not just making a noise for the sake of it.. Cultivating a rich TAPESTY (that’s right!) of murky subs, ice cold perc slabs and what I can only assume is about 20 litres of Monster energy drink a day, because who can be THAT positive with music so dark!?!?! If you thought Mala in Cuba was a masterpiece you’re in for a treat! Because hopefully you’ll release that record was whack and you should listen to Fellony instead.
12. Zgjim – Fronto feat. Dæmon + Ize
Zgjim: I made this tune last year. This was one of the times where I sat down to make something which is grimey but also not in a way and it actually worked. I uploaded the instrumental on soundcloud without thinking and much and a couple of weeks later Dæmon hit me up on instagram saying he was in Kosovo at one of our shows and that he really liked the music, which was crazy to me because I knew his music but would have never thought that he’d ever just visit Kosovo. He ended up telling me that he actually wrote a whole song to Witch Hunt (that’s what the instrumental was called), which already got me very hyped, so I sent him the track and he sent me the vocaled version back in like day. After that he got ize on board for a verse as well and put the whole thing on another level.
Dæmon: I randomly decided, due to my lack of visa in the UK, i needed to leave and return to refresh the 3 month time period i could live there without paperwork. I met a friend online, bought a flight to kosovo, and decided id be spending a week there. On my first night out, my lovely new friend took me to an Angry Youths Concert which was one of my main reasons i went; Flowdan was headlining. But before I saw the great Flowdans trusty flow, i was bombarded by the sounds of Kosovo Local Zgjim who tore the club up with a flurry of primarily self-produced grime tracks that absolutely sent me. I knew then we had to work so in the following months i reached out to him & that’s that.
Illegal Data: What an actual DREAM TEAM at work here! Their track ‘Fronto’ features more tongue twisting sorcery than Harry Potter fucking 9 or whatever, so let us follow these humble wizards Harry (Zgjim), Hermoine (Dæmon), and the ginger one (Ize, sorry m8) into a muggle-free utopia of 140 transatlantic trap-grime brilliance and dank haze so thick you can barely walk through it. This track makes us want to smash windows with other windows and then smash those smashed up windows with other smashed up windows and then smash up those smashed up pieces of smashed up window with.. yeah you get it.. shit slaps yo!
13. Silver Waves – My Face Is Held Together By 52 Screws
Silver Waves: For me this track was about trying to do a lot with a little, minimal untitled daw tracks containing a single bloop and maximal emotional trip through space and time. It started off as a thing in my live sets last year, the melody in the verses was the constant element throughout different iterations. When the deadline for the comp was coming up I spent about a month working nights and making a new version – then with some time off and some sleep realised it was a fucking mess. So I spent 3 days stripping it clean and this is what’s left!
Illegal Data: Every now and then a boy is a born with superhuman production skills, and a unique perspective on the relationship between art and society.. the boy in question is indeed.. Aphex Twin! And you know who’s (probably) a fan of Aphex Twin?? SILVER WAVES that’s who! I mean.. we don’t actually know this but we just kinda assumed because of how otherworldly and self referential Silver Waves’ tunes are…A genuine GENIUS who makes beats and sounds that have probably never been heard or recognised by the human ear before. Also he looks like Skrillex lol.
14. Kinlaw + Franco Franco – Knighton
Franco Franco: Knighton s when u go out at night and all the right stars in the sky are alligned x you and u end up in blade-like type of music environment that makes u so positively ill-minded that when u done u go home like a victorious knight riding your loyal Zubr bison-eagle-cheetah chimera and having prosperous thoughts about your life.
Illegal Data: Two legends, both alike in dignity, in fair Bristol where we lay our scene, a pair of star-crossed musicians burn an aroma so thick, so rich it hotboxes every club, radio station and chicken shop in Avon and beyond with their signature scent of replica Medieval coins, hash and whatever Ableton smells like… For real they’ve been smashing up every single show since day ONE and we’re lucky enough to release one of their medi-trap noise BANGERS. All power to Bristol’s best live act.
15. Jennifer Walton – Throat Doxx
Jennifer Walton: Throat Doxx was made as an attempt to reveal the fleshier inflections of my voice and to use them as the central element of a track, allowing myself no place to hide. It felt appropriate to use the term ‘Doxxing’ (to search for and publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the Internet) as I was forcibly trying to confront the fears I have regarding my own voice.
During live performance I began using the sounds of my breath alongside extended vocal techniques as a main element of the show. Using my voice to form textures and warping them live aimed to create a feeling of intimacy between myself and the crowd, while also working well to contrast against some of the more quantised elements. I wanted to replicate that feeling of vulnerability in my recorded music, creating a track with minimal production to allow these sounds to stand alone and offer up my throat to the listener. Love to illegal data, thank you for the space to have a quiet scream.
Illegal Data: Jennifer Walton’s humble versatility and massive musical knowledge allows her to do everything ranging from future trance remixes, h4rdc4re power electronics, mad grime production and even playing drums in the newly indie-d post PC Music #legends Kero Kero Bonito <3 We’re honestly in awe of everything she touches, and have totally fallen in love with this amazingly focused piece of throaty smashiness. GET 2 KNOW YO
16. AYA – I Will Not Come At Your Beck And Call I Am At Home Preemptively Mashing Up The Dance That Is Where I Am
AYA: I Will Not Come At Your Beck And Call I Am At Home Preemptively Mashing Up The Dance That Is Where I Am is about getting aired by someone for a week only to be reached for a booty call at 2am on a sunday morning and declining in favour of chopping breaks – partially out of enthusiasm for hi hats, partially out of spite.
Illegal Data: Where to start with AYA… Another genuine GENIUS and the one true patron saint of all things FUN and unpretentious. Totally self-sufficient in her methods, ethos and aesthetic, AYA builds these amazing narratives in her tracks, taking you on this mad journey of self discovery and eventually (if you’re also a music producer) self-loathing and a strong aftertaste of “Wait, WHAT!? How the hell did they make this?!? Oh god it sounds amazing I bet it took her 5 minutes”. Well in actual fact you’re probably right, it did take her 5 minutes but RELAX buddy that’s just 5 minutes in Earth time… And we all know she’s operating on some Jupiter level shit right now. If the planets could talk Earth would simply whisper the words “Check out AYA’s Boiler Room, its LIT
Illegal Data Compilation #1 is out now. Buy it here.
Catch the crew celebrating the release at The Old England December 13th.
More info and tickets here.