This Bank Holiday weekend sees esteemed electronic label Bad Life team up with the inimitable Club NME for a very special, one off show! We caught up with label founders David and Russell ahead of the gig to get the lowdown on Bad Life and more. Fancy joining them? Tix are on sale HERE.
So you’re teaming up with Club NME for a very special night at KOKO over the Bank Holiday weekend! What makes Club NME the perfect partners to team up with Bad Life?
David: It’s always a very up for it crowd who know their music and combined with maybe the best venue in London, it goes off every time.
Russell: The crowd we get down there are really accepting of lots of different types of music, and everyone comes down to completely lose their shit together, so it’s always a really friendly atmosphere.
The night features a lovely slice of some of your finest talent from the label and beyond, can you talk us through the artists and tell us a little bit about what we can expect on the night?
David: This time around we have French producer Sam Tiba, who has been making waves with his production for Club Cheval and Bromance. Warp Records legends Plaid, who have been releasing ground breaking music for about 20 years now. From the Bad Life stable we have Belgian producer/DJ, Raving George who has been dubbed ‘the new queen of techno’. 6 Music staple, D/R/U/G/S, who tears off the roof every time he plays for us. Annie Mac favourite, Astro Zu will be unleashing his future beats and bass. Brand new signee, Komati, playing live with their blend of house and techno, which reminds us a little of a peak-time Simian Mobile Disco. Last but not least, we have Symmetry, who has been releasing stunning EPs for us and has been getting support from the likes of Erol Alkan and Daniel Avery.
Big names! Bad Life has been going for about seven years now and over that time, you’ve moved from a self-styled ‘Future Techno’ label to more of an all-encompassing house of fun – what brought on the shift in sound and where is the label headed in the future?
David: We’re very eclectic in our tastes and we always had a plan for that to reflect in our output, it just took us a little while to find the right artists who we believed in. We’ve always admired labels like Warp and Domino, and wanted to aim towards that kind of ‘if we love it, we’ll release it’ attitude.
You are obviously a huge music fans – what would you say is getting you most excited at the moment outside of Bad Life?
David: The new Jamie XX stuff is amazing. Caribou as well. So much great music coming out right now and so much of it from our fair city, which makes me proud. London is the place!
Russell: I’m really liking a lot of the forward thinking beats stuff coming from France, like Fakear, Le Fine Equipe. Also I got the new Laurent Garnier album yesterday, which shows there still aren’t many that can make techno as good as him.
Although EDM is looked down upon from within the underground community, it would be unfair to say that it isn’t constantly evolving. How do you think the underground scene could evolve and become more innovative again?
David: I think the underground is evolving quite nicely, to be honest. This year alone has already brought us great albums by FKA Twigs, Jamie XX, Caribou who were all born from the underground. I think their influence could shape where things head. You also have artists such as Hudson Mohawke producing Kanye West, so the influence is starting to have a worldwide impact.
Bad Life started around the time when fidget house was a big thing, everything at that time definitely had a lot more of an electro tinge to it, but it was all high-energy, fun sounding music that didn’t seem to take itself too seriously. How do you think it compares today?
Russell: Things have definitely moved forward, but whilst there’s lots of forward thinking electronics about, there’s still plenty of room for fun, club stuff in my heart. This show on Sat 23rd will be just that, a clash of the two.
What would you say has been the defining moment in the history of the label so far?
David: Not sure I could pin it on one particular moment, as labels are always a sum of its parts. Though I think signing South African artist Petite Noir helped us step in the direction of becoming an artist based label, where we help develop artists over a period of time such as Attaque, Fe, Symmetry and Astro Zu.
What have you got coming up in the future?
Russell: There’s lots of techno EPs coming in our new ‘Inner Circle’ series including one from an ace new Russian producer called Corvad, and a brand new Ukranian producer called Twob. On the non-club side of things there’s an artist album coming from D/R/U/G/S that we’re really excited about, and a new EP from Fé which will start their album campaign.
Thanks for taking the time to chat to us! Can’t wait to see you it in action this weekend!
If you’d like to get tickets for Bad Life vs Club NME, you can do that HERE.