28 July, 2014
Up to? with Complexion
"You need to be careful not to throw a speedbump in there, it can be a jarring disruption to the vibe. Mixing Future Beats is a really challenging - and rewarding - process of discovery and expression."
We sat down with DJ Complexion to discuss everything Future Beats. The Future Beats Show on London's Westside 89.6FM has become apart of many music lovers' lexicon over the last year, and its following is continuing to grow. The show has been a great platform of exposure for numerous producers from across the globe, which has recently lead to the birth of Future Beat Records.
A stalwart in this movement, DJ Complexion gives us an atmospheric insight into his world!
The growth of 'The Future Beats Show' has been crazy, what was your initial goals for it and did you ever think it would become this popular?
Originally I just wanted to share this new style of music that I had discovered, I never expected to get more than 300-400 plays in a month on Soundcloud. But all of a sudden I was getting between 500-600 plays in just a week, then it skyrocketed even higher. I was just really happy and excited that the sound resonated with other people too.
'Future Beats' is a genre that you could probably call niche, but is also quite boundless and limitless - what got you into this type music, and being a connoisseur, how would you define it now?
I had grown tired of RnB and House, it was sounding manufactured, almost formulaic. there was no soul left in the music. Then, I came across two producers by the names of FWDSLXSH & Tajan. When I heard their music it felt like falling in love for the first time, there was a moment of clarity, it just penetrated through the miasma of samey sounds that was swirling around and hooked me.
A lot of people ask me to define the sound and I always respond with 'Space Age Love Songs'. I think trying to break it down to its composite sounds, or making comparisons with more familiar styles does it a disservice. A conceptual tag like ‘Space Age Love Songs’ is far more fitting, like listening to the music itself it stirs a certain mixture of emotions and a mindset.
Has this music changed your style of DJing?
Totally. When I first started DJing I was a hip-hop scratch nerd. Over these kind of beats I've found the scratching doesn't work as well. Instead, creative mixing is the key. It sounds like a cliche, but the goal is to take listeners on a journey, which means you’ve got put a lot of thought into mixes and absolutely nail the transitions.
You need to be careful not to throw a speedbump in there, it can be a jarring disruption to the vibe. Mixing Future Beats is a really challenging - and rewarding - process of discovery and expression.
How is the DJing & Music scene in London? Is it quite receptive to this style of music?
In London this is still a relatively new scene but there are a bunch of labels such a 'Trap Door', 'Trap93' and 'YouTellMe' that are pushing the sound. There have been a few events over the last few months which have had an excellent turn out.
Soulection visited not long ago too, and that was a great party. More recently Kaytranada, Stwo & Sango sold out KoKo in Camden, which holds around 2500 people. Myself and the Future Beats Records team will be holding a few events real soon which I'm really looking forward to!
It’s clear that people are digging Future Beats. Artists and labels like the ones I’ve mentioned are doing a great job of turning that spark of interest into a passionate flame for the genre. Since it’s still a relatively new sound there’s a community that has built around Future Beats.
It’s refreshing to see such a close relationship between these different groups; unlike other genres, there’s an open dialogue and closeness between artists, fans, DJs and labels. If you want to talk to me about a dope tune you’ve heard, I’m just a Tweet away, and it’s the same for many of the people making the tunes.We're all in it together.
What does the future (pun intended) hold for The Future Beats Show and the newly founded Future Beats Records?
I'm hoping to take The Future Beats Show onto a bigger radio station and, as I mentioned before, host a few events where I can bring over some of my favourite producers.
With Future Beats Records we've had two really successful EP launches from El Blanco Nino and Singularis, as well also two outstanding singles from Inscape and SevnthWonder. Up next we've got another 3 EP's and 4 singles, before we team up with Darker Than Wax and put out a joint compilation. After that we're hoping to sign our first vocalist soon and release the first single in early 2015.
It’s exciting times for Future Beats and anyone involved. I encourage everyone to sample the sound, I’m pretty sure you’ll all be asking for a spot on our aural trips to space in no time.
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