Muttley – Make Me

Posted on Posted in Interviews, Review

Since releasing his Tamaki EP on Imperial Audio a year ago, Bristol-based producer Muttley has been going from strength to strength, cementing his place in the scene as one of the most exciting producers around. Nuff A Dem, the EP that followed Tamaki, was highly acclaimed and saw him acquire bookings up and down the country, even playing alongside the legend Kromestar in Manchester earlier this year. Muttley has shown his ability to combine genres whilst maintaining a signature sound that floats somewhere between grime, trap, and dubstep. The most recent of all his projects, Make Me, is a five track EP available now on Pear Drops, with support coming from the likes of Youngsta, Sian Anderson, Compa and Ishan Sound to name a few. 

The latest of a string of impressive releases from Muttley features plenty of 808s, arpeggiators, eerie melodies and dark, trap style beats. The title track kicks things off with a playful, toy-like melody that quickly evolves into an almost spooky lead whilst the punchy kicks make their presence known. The sub bass is constantly swirling around and cutting through the rest of the track when you least expect it, my personal favourite element of the many that make this opener so admirable. Clever use of vocal sampling and subtle, shuffling percussion add the layers of texture that fill out the rest of this catchy opening beat.

Frost Bite, a collaboration with fellow Bristolian Daffy, features a similar all-around style. Memorable, mysterious melodies combine with hard-hitting drums and sinister pads that linger in the background. Although it has a similar vibe, Frost Bite stands out on its own with an even greater emphasis on the darker side of the emotive musical spectrum. A constant variation in drum structure and trickling hi-hats compliment the ghostly synthesised sounds to create an unforgettable addition to the EP.

Blessed pays homage to Muttley’s grime influence, featuring Jay0117 and Dimpson on mic duties alongside the instrumental of the opening track Make Me. Blessed is a diverse adaptation of the title track that shows just how different a track can be with the addition of vocals. Both MC’s do themselves and the beat justice with their respective mix of bars and flows that ultimately stake a claim for the rest of the country to pay closer attention to Bristol-based grime artists.

London-based producer Kareful steps up next with a wave influenced remix of the title track that provides a fresh adaptation of Muttley’s original production. Featuring gliding, supernatural synths and a pitched up version of the original main lead. Kareful adds intermittent rolling kicks, a gliding mid-range bass and a range of new percussive drums to help divert the vibe from the original and steer it closer towards Kareful’s own signature sound.

The project ends with another solo track in Night Owl, the first of the five that feels very slightly more aligned with dubstep, with the brief appearance of Kahn and Neek-esque wind instruments and deep, rhythmic sub bass. Although, yet more rolling hi-hats, dancing triple snare hits and chilling melodies uphold the cohesion and direction felt throughout this trap influenced project. Night Owl rounds off the EP in style with a concoction of futuristic sounds and drum variation that would make it hard not to play this one regularly.

Muttley has been pumping out original, impressive material for some time now and Make Me is no exception to that rule. Each and every one of the tracks featured on Make Me would tear up the dance and I can only imagine its caused listeners and producers to take note of his continuous progression and increasing production quality.

 

Interview: Muttley

 

Yo, I hope you’re well and congratulations on the response Make Me has been receiving, it’s fully deserved. 
 
Firstly, it feels as though your sound has really progressed and developed in the last year and your output has been quite frequent. How has it been behind the scenes, have you changed your method of production or are the ideas just flowing at the moment? 
Yeah it has been a busy few months release wise, I am lucky to be working with a handful of labels that showcase different sides to my production. If anything I have probably slowed down a bit, I am trying to prioritise finishing things instead of starting new projects.
You’ve been getting support from some pretty big names in the scene like Youngsta, Ishan Sound, Kahn & Neek and Skream as well as radio support on 1xtra from Sian Anderson. Does it help inspire you in your production process or is it just an added bonus? 
It is always a massive inspiration to hear these guys playing my music, I’m sure it has some effect on what I am producing as well. With Sian on 1xtra for example, that was the first time I had really started to consider my tracks being played in a set hosted by an MC.
 
The artwork for Make Me fits the sound extremely well, was this something you planned or was it merely a coincidence?
Big shout to Rachel Noble on that and for the last Pear Drops release from Boycott, she is very talented. As soon as we saw the first draft for this one we all decided that it was a perfect match.
 
You worked with Jay0117 and Dimpson on the track Blessed, how did that collaboration come about and can we expect more grime, or vocals, in the future?
So I went to college with Dimpson, after hearing his track with OH91 I invited him on my radio show, he brought Jay0117 and we kept in touch. Daffy (who runs Pear Drops with Thadeous) often has them both hosting his sets so it was an obvious choice, as well as a chance to rep Bristol. The next few releases are instrumentals but there are a few things in the pipeline.
 
As I mention in the review, your sound feels like a mixture of a few different genres and styles (Mostly grime, trap and dubstep). But what artists would you say influence your production the most? 
Yeah I try to fit somewhere in between those genres, and they are definitely the ones that I listen to the most. Saying that though I play all sorts at home, dancehall and funky are both inspiring me a lot recently but soul and hip hop are often on rotation as well. In my last interview I highlighted some of my teenage influences, this time I would like to big up some current producers instead. Out to Sepia, Ishan Sound, Chokez, Glume, Jonah Freed, Nakes, Kreed, Sub Basics, Chad Dubz, Titus12, Akcept, Halcyonic & G Roots, Juss B, Mr K… I could go on and on. In terms of long term influences I have to say RSD aka Rob Smith and Kahn, I own pretty much everything they have released on vinyl and always play some of theirs in every set. I am very grateful for their support and for the music they send my way.
 
How was the gig in Manchester alongside the legend Kromestar? And where can people catch you performing in the upcoming months?
It was madness for a Thursday night! It was nice to finally play at Antwerp Mansion b2b with Hypho, T-Man ended up grabbing the mic during Kromestar’s set which was lively. Up next is the Transient Audio event with my Bristol family, then I’m over in London for the annual Hot Cakes BBQ. Myself and fellow Bristolian and Hold Tight family Dutchie will be representing the south west alongside the Eat My Beat crew. I am also currently finalising my first booking in Amsterdam, as well as the usual Bristol gigs.
 
What can we expect in terms of future releases, have you got anything lined up? 
I have signed 4 more EP’s that will be getting announced every few months, as well as couple of singles on forthcoming compilations. Me and Nakes have been in the studio together, I also have collaborations with Ishan Sound and another with Hypho on the go. Keep an eye out for some remixes by Glume and KXVU coming soon also…I think that’s everything!
 
One last thing I’d like to ask, is there any hope of seeing Mojo released anytime soon?
I think you are one of the only people that have heard it actually, it might fit with my R&B / trap EP but I think it is 110bpm so finding a home for it might be tough.
Thanks for your time man and best wishes for the future!
My pleasure, thank you for the support.