Last month we featured possibly the best mix we’ve had on the site, so far: a jukey, jungly, breaken-the-beaten 50 minutes of clean-cut and flawless mixing that truly did have me launching around my kitchen as I did the dishes, after work. Fresh.
I can’t remember how I came across this mysterious unsung hero but am very aware that it’s not just me with eyes on the underground beat maker…
Yeah that’s right; the Astrophonica king-pin, the sample chop suey, the post “& Neptune” legend, Fracture, got his diddling mitts on the above track for a Rinse FM show he put together a little while back. It’s also the same half-time-to-full-rhythm-riddler that Ilk chose to open his Mix the Belt episode with. No questions need be asked as to why Fracture thought this tune was worthy of his own playlist. But it begged a question from myself, to the young man Ilk himself; “So has Fracture approached you about this or anything man?”
The answer gave no indication of a signing soon to come, but it wouldn’t be the last time that his beats got a play from big dogs running the track or the last time his name surfaced on Rinse…
I haven’t listened to the full show that the clip above was cut from, so I don’t know who it was that dropped the Ilk bomb: it could have easily been Fracture again, someone who may well be keeping a close eye on the budding new producer. But what if it was the dBridge? Exit‘s humble and rotund leader, the prophet of the historical past. What if it was the space cadet of the Cosmic Bridge, the boundary pushing and complicated entity known as Om Unit? What if it was the tache donning nutcase himself? Machinedrum-de-dum-dum-diddy-dum!! If any of these one individuals is putting Ilk beats out, that means real business! If those well respected faces of drums and basslines are picking and choosing this fella’s stuff to play on such a big show, that’s a really, really good sign!
And this guy fucking deserves it man…
I mean the man’s cutting Sully: immediate sign of someone with a taste for the best of the freshest crops around.
But the other great sign? This is the only “remix/bootleg/edit” that I can find out of the ten available pieces on his account. That means that, outside of one great re-work of someone else’s already great work, this guy has put out 9 pieces of OG gold, straight from the Ilk teat, no messing, this guy’s got a core full of original conceptions bursting at the seems.
And that’s a rarity among these praised new talents.
So I’m cut deep to see how quietly he goes about his musical existence: 150+ followers on SoundCloud. Sure, no measure of an artist’s worth but still a gob smacker when you hit play on that ten-course meal of ridiculously fresh audio treats. Each one its own, each one so distant from the last, such a variety, such a feast for kings, such a talent going so horrendously unsung. Sure, he’s got the Rinse plays, but the reality is that this man should have been in the studio alongside the rest of the gang, representing whatever label it is he so deservedly should be running: Rinse FM presents Machinedrum w/ dBridge, Ilk, Om Unit & Fracture.
But maybe we’re not so far off that goal at all. Of course, the recognition already seen here is enough of a hint to suggest that this guy is clearly going to be okay, as far as getting recognised, but obviously, what we really want to see is this fantastic new talent getting a solid signing, or at least an official release!
We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Janne not only once, but twice. And during our correspondence and question asking, we’ve come to know the man as one of the most gentle and kindly souls on the scene, a percussion fiend of pin-point production that will rock your mind with his drums of choice. But he’s not just brimming with love, but someone with a fussy nature, he runs his own label, Lightless, which is largely a means to put out his own works, as he’s someone with a solid idea of what kind of music he wants to put out, meaning that not just anyone can pop up on the label, they have to be the absolute best.
God bless you Janne Hatula.
On that note, we’ve always wondered who might crop up on the label, what lucky soul will meet the bar set so high by this perfectionist producer. What artist indeed?
My goodness. My goodness gracious me. The joy it brings me to see this, the joy it brings me to put this up on Bite the Belt, so many joys.
Out of the 24 releases from the label, only 8 lucky souls have had the pleasure of making an appearance, outside of Fanu himself. 8 lucky souls, of which some may well be aliases of the Fanu name anyway. And now, we add a 9th.
I would like to think that we at Bite the Belt, as friendly affiliates of Fanu and his Lightless label and recent promoters of the Ilk sound, had some small hand to play in this success. That would be a blessing – it would be an ego feeder in that; yes, we were right, this guy deserves the love! It would be another feeder in that we professed our love and aspirations for Ilk personally. But even if Janne stumbled across the sounds of Ilk via means far surpassing our own little space on the web, fuck our egos, this is a blessing beyond measure, for the Ilk man firstly and foremost, you fucking deserve it dude!
This guy is, in absolutely every sense of the phrase, well worth watching in the foreseeable future. He’s a talent tickling our Drum & Bass hearts as he is, unknown, and someone surely set to blow minds as the known face that he will soon become.
Big ups to the unknown producers of the world, the grafters, the folks putting the time in for almost zero reward, slogging away in the dark, making beats for themselves, for success or nil, the heroes that occasionally become the legends us fans will all scramble to see at gigs far and wide.
We salute you Ilk and wish you every success in the future.
But yeah… you saw it here first alright?