» News and Features » 10 emerging Manchester artists to watch, according to Rich Reason
10 emerging Manchester artists to watch, according to Rich Reason
The Hit & Run boss fills Martin Guttridge-Hewitt in on the next generation of rising stars hailing from Manchester.
Last updated: 1st Mar 2017. Originally published: 28th Feb 2017
A true nocturnal institution, responsible for helping establish some of the most respected bass-heavy names working in the U.K. today, the Hit & Run club night really needs no introduction. Its reputation not just for drafting in A-list guests, but also shining much-needed light on up and coming faces is impossible to contest.
Rich Reason is the mastermind behind this era-spanning Manchester party, and a man with more fingers in pies that most standard issue humans would know what to do with. Not content with promoting said session, he also lays claim to a hugely respected career as touring DJ, and still finds time for LEVELZ, the celebrated 14-strong collective of MCs, record players, and beat purveyors who represent the cutting edge of a local scene that has rarely seen healthier days.
A run down of his involvement in the city’s sonic culture could go on much longer, but by now you probably get the point. Ahead of two massive celebrations at Hidden to mark Hit & Run’s 10th Birthday- first on Saturday 4th, then again on Friday 10th March- we asked the bossman to recommend the next generation of rising stars coming out of Cottonopolis, then gave him a call to discuss his choices. In the spirit of both interviewee and soiree, then, prepare for an education.
“This is a group collective- Bxrry Blvc, Miss Indigo, Rei 1 and Mayo De Zulu. There’s an amazing generation of young MCs that are between 18 and about 21 who are coming through at the moment, and I just love this single- this is probably my favourite tune of last year, and was produced by Dom Hz, who has been on the scene for a while.
“These amazing young MCs are like the generation below LEVELZ which is super inspiring, they are coming out with such finished, polished products. They kind of want to bring back that good times vintage vibe, with a twist, and I’ve got really high hopes for them, and I’m really pleased they are playing at the first of the birthdays, before Calibre in the main room.”
(Tune drops at 44mins 20seconds)
“He’s been about a bit and used to make more Dâm-Funk sort of stuff, but now is making some harder tunes. He’s already worked with people like Raekwon, and makes a lot of big beats for American artists and rappers, so he’s actually bigger over there than he is here. His recent stuff is wicked, the tune in here is like a mix of trap and jungle- heavy stuff, but really well produced and imaginative. He experiments with a lot of different tempos.”
“He moved to Manchester for uni and has been here since, so I do see him as part of the scene in the city. He’s all about these interesting 130BPM bass tunes. I’ve put him on back-to-back for part two of the birthdays with Walton, who is another Manchester artist and has had releases on Hyperdub- his career is maybe a little more advanced.
“It’s just really interesting, if it is house and techno it’s got a very healthy dollop of UK. It’s not too straight. I don’t really like straight up four fours... this is more that twisted influence, like Paleman and Special Request. He also mixes a lot of grime too, and is a really prolific producer with a lot of stuff coming out and a good head on his shoulders.”
“This is a kid I’ve known for years, maybe not so much now but when he was younger and more foolish he was a Hit & Run regular. He’s always been making good beats and is on that mellow edge. He’s part of the Room2 collective, run by Ellis Meade and Kydro. It’s called Room2 because when Estate Recordings had two studios in Wellington House, which is where the LEVELZ studio is now, these guys took over the second.
“He has an instrumental EP coming out really soon, and the tune he has done with Dubbul O is wicked too. He’s been working with Zoe Violet, she works with people like Zed Bias, and Voodoo Black, which is one of the crews Sparkz is in. That’s the thing in Manchester, everything is really interconnected at the moment, which is a good thing.
“For example, Melikz, who is in Mellownin, is also in Foreign Interlood, which we’ll come to in a second... When I first came to Manchester it was always a wicked party, but for bass music we were always importing artists from London and Bristol. I’ve noticed over the last five years or so that with people like DRS, Dub Phizix, and Strategy it’s becoming a place for artists too, and that’s what you need for a healthy scene.”
“Yeah so this is Melikz, Lupin and Hitchhiker. They haven’t done loads yet, but this video is really nicely put together and the music is great. I really think they are going to have a bright future ahead based on what I’ve seen and heard.”
“Deepo’s a bit older than most of the others. He’s an amazing lyricist, producing a lot of his own stuff. I think the tune he did with Dub Phizix and Bricks producing was amazing too. He’s a really intelligent guy, very up to date with current affairs. He used to run this thing called Rap The News or something, where he would do a summary of the week’s news events, in rap form. He’s releasing on Skittles’ new label, which is looking good.”
“This is Diana, she had a tune out last year with a guy called Inca who recently won a competition by Johnny Dub... ...She’s like a Mancunian Erykah Badu, with this amazingly varied voice but also proper star aura.
“Lenzman also has a new label called The North Quarter, which I imagine is maybe inspired by Manchester, but yeah she is destined for big things- taken under DRS’ wing, performed with 8 Gold Rings the other day. The tune with Inca is on maybe 20 or 30,000 views at the moment so people’s ears are pricking up and I can imagine her blowing up pretty quickly really.”
“I first got to know about Jake when he was more of a grime MC. Now he’s moving more into production and is another person up at Wellington House. He’s sort of become an important hub for this new Manchester grime scene, which is proper straight up and down grime.
“He works with an MC called Fumez a lot, and produced most of his best known tunes. Fumez has now been picked up by Oneman who has asked him to host sets in Manchester... ...He’s so prolific, dropping two or three videos a month or whatever, putting in the work, always getting people up to the studio, so I see Jake as kind of at the heart of that whole thing really.
“This is a kid who I’ve known for a bit. I’ve booked him a fair few times for Hit & Run now. He’s a really good DJ and producer who makes a sort of grime and trap mix, and does a lot of his own re-edit stuff. It’s almost on a kind of Texan, leaned-out style but with a British twist. He also does a lot of Jersey club stuff too... I’ve always really enjoyed his stuff and again he’s working hard at what he’s doing. He has a lot of important qualities that you need to be successful.”
“If you’ve heard of the band Spring King, this is the bassist. But then he also makes this really beautiful music as Claremont. He’s kind of like a Floating Points. Really lush Rhodes chords, exquisite music basically. He maybe hasn’t been able to put as much time into the Claremont project as he’d like just because Spring King are always touring.
“When Zane Lowe started Beats 1 Spring King were the very first band he played on the channel. Anyway, when he does have time Claremont just makes this really nice music, and is a really good DJ. When I was at Parklife warming up for Bad Bad Not Good they all came over to ask about two of his tunes I played, from this EP he did.”
Tickets for both Hit & Run 10th birthday events at Hidden are available below: