Last month UK Bass ambassador Redlight dropped 'Templates Volume 1', a selection of unreleased tracks which he had been rinsing during his DJ sets throughout the past year.
Clash caught up with the multi-talented Hugh Pescod to discuss his reasons for returning to the classic mixtape format and his plans for the future.
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What led you to begin recording for the ‘Templates’ project?
I'd just finished my album 'X Colour' and wanted to start a new process. I had a lot of ideas on my computer and had also done a lot of remixes over the past six months, so thought I'd get them all together and put it out before I start the next project.
Was there a general overarching idea behind the project?
It’s just beats and bass and cut up vocals really — ‘club’ music. I have always made exclusive tracks for when I DJ and am known for doing it. So I thought “let’s start a mixtape series to put every year’s best tracks out on.”
Aside from the fact that ‘Templates Volume 1.’ is a mixtape rather than an album, what makes it stylistically different from your debut album — ‘X’?
My debut album took two years to make, I recorded vocals all over the UK and America for it, and it included live musicians, 12-piece orchestras and was a concept album in every sense; made to be played from start to finish. I made my own music videos for it, trailers, soundscapes and it took blood, sweat and many hours to make and I’m very proud of it. There are club moments on there like ‘Goldteeth’ but it is defo an album conception over all. 'Templates', on the other hand, is just straight up club belters. Ignorant dance music to play out and bubble too...
‘Templates’ appears to bring together musical elements from many of your previous projects, for example Animal Youth. Do you think your Redlight alias is beginning to represent the combination of all of your musical influences?
Yeah I feel so, as most of it comes out on my own imprint — Lobster Boy records. I can do what I feel. At the moment I feel like it’s time to truly just put out a consistent, good product, and keep it coming. It’s so easy to release and get out to people, now is the time to turn up the heat and represent what I believe in.
‘Here With Me’, your collaboration with Tayá, is a highlight of the mixtape. How did that collaboration come about?
Thanks. Atlantic records hit me up and asked if I would collab with Taya. I liked the idea, so we did a day in the studio and cut that record. They released the full vocal mix, and I released a ‘Lobster Boy’ remix which I felt worked on the tape better. Both mixes bang though. And it’s always nice to be able to express yourself in different ways.
After your recent chart success with ‘9TS’, ‘Lost in Your Love’ and ‘Get Out My Head’, comes ‘Templates Volume 1.’ Is this a deliberate attempt to get back to your club roots?
I never left my club roots. When I put out ‘Get Out My Head’ I put out ‘Planet X’ and then 'Animal Youth'. When I put out ‘Lost in Your Love’ the flip was ‘Basscone’ which tore down dances and '9TS' was made for the club. It just took off differently. I'm thankful for every crossover radio record I’ve had, as its brought me opportunities I would have never been able to reach without them an I’m proud of that. It’s put food on my table and feed me and my family. But I’ll always make club/underground music cause that’s my heritage.
The mixtape is out on your label, Lobster Boy. What plans do you have for the label in the near future?
We have a release from Studio 6. Then one from N.Y.T.A. Then a Woz release, then a Sly One release. All before the end of the year! So I’m busy right now.
Your touring schedule over the last year or so has been pretty relentless. What live plans do you have?
There’s talk of me going live again next year. If I can work out the right way to do it, it’s going to happen.
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Words: Alex Green