As Mosca, Tom Reid has made some of the most interesting dubstep-not-dubstep over the course of this year. Following his inclusion on our turn of the year bass music compilation ‘Elevator Music Vol. 1’ with his ‘Gold Bricks... I See You’ he released his ‘Square One’ EP on the Night Slugs imprint around the same time, confounding the expectations of almost everyone with a passing interest in dubstep with the inclusion of the sprawling 10 minute duration of his track ‘Nike.’ Shifting patterns and phases like a soundtrack, even now it still keeps you riveted from the start to end of each listen, and it helps a lot that the ‘Club Edit’ of the track, rather than confining his production to a radio edit, merely compressed it down into a shortened burst of energy resulting in a proper stomping flourish.
Since then he’s remixed high profile artists like Four Tet and Foals, taking his unique horn heavy approach down fresh and interesting routes, providing some of the standout mixes of those singles. With a few bits forthcoming – including the spectacular hip hop paced jam ‘Tilt Shift’ on Manchester’s Fat City label – and an appearance in Room Three a week on Friday, we figured there was no better time to nab him for a chat. The Mighty Mos also went to town on a promo mix for us too featuring unreleased music from a plethora of hype producers...
So obviously we know you from your ‘Gold Bricks...’ tune from the ‘Elevator Music ‘compilation but what’s been going on for you since? You been busy with gigs and productions...?
Wow that feels like a proper time ago now, eh? Yeah I’m always busy with production, taking too much stuff on and still producing mad slow, but I’m working on that. I’ve had some really heavy dances and raves all over; I just came back from New York last month actually...
I remember speaking to Four Tet when we did the fabric Podcast with him, around the time of the release of ‘Elevator Music’ and given that he’s simply the type of encyclopaedic guy that knows EVERYTHING - I mentioned you and he was like “yeah – he’s doing a remix on my next single.” How does it feel to have these kinds of people watching you? I mean it’s obviously a massive complement... and you don’t seem like you feel pressured into anything...
Yeah Kieran’s very on it, in ways you don’t always think; he was making garage in 1999. It was cool for him to approach me as I know he works very independently, so yeah that felt good - fully. But a lot of stuff from that wider music scene, the major label stuff, it’s just A&Rs approaching you and you know they’ve just been on a few blogs and found your name, so I’ve turned some stuff down which I wasn’t feeling. To be honest I’m turning everything down right now cause I’m just working on OG stuff.
Your tunes seem to have a bastardized palette – and by that I mean that you put everything into it, like all styles and tempos and horns, like MAD horns. Why do you think that is? Do you think its a conscious thing or do you just make a tune and it comes out like that?
Yeah I hear you, I’m not sure why really. Some of my stuff starts out quite straight you know, like a straight house tune or straight grime or whatever but by the time I’ve listened to it a million times I start playing about and it turns into something else. I only try and work stuff in if I think it sounds good though because that’s thin ice still - putting stuff in for the sake of it or so you can call it a new genre. But you know what I’m really happy people are feeling the tunes and have been so supportive – I don’t think this kinda stuff happened too much in urban music before. Like I’ve got Marcus [Nasty] playing my Baltimore tunes, or house guys feeling the hip hop I’m doing, people are broadening their horizons and all that. People are on it right now.
Oh and the horns thing... I just don’t think there’s anything more righteous than a heavy brass section really. Look at ‘Tear Da Club Up’ by DJ Class, or all that old dub, or digidub for that matter. Or Rocky...
I mean I’m listening to ‘Nike’ and like, it’s all over the shop. You’ve got a real ear for build ups and I know from reading a few bits on you before that you take a lot of time working on perfecting tunes before you release, but ‘Nike’ (the full 10 minute version) must’ve taken an age to work out...?
That was 8 months. I mean I went toilet and did my eating and all that, but it was on and off, about 8 months. Far too long man! If you speak to Bok Bok he can probably show you all the different versions that tune went through. On the whole build up ting – speak to any producer and they’ll tell you that intros and build ups are the most fun to produce. You have more freedom because they’re not really what the tune is ‘about’. Like this T Williams remix I’m doing, although it’s kind of a funky banger kinda ting, it starts out with just some smoky Rhodes chords and brushed jazz drums and that.
You run Bruk Magazine and live in London, so you must keep up on all the new stuff right? What are you feeling that some of the world might not be into or aware of yet?
Hmmm good question Starr! I would say tribal guarachero probably, maybe some shangaan stuff from South Africa. Honest Jon’s have just smacked it with a whole compilation of the stuff before anyone knew about it.
So what else is coming up for you release wise?
There’s a CRST remix I’ve done for No Hats No Hoods, I kinda went down the grimey route for that one, that’s the last track on the mix. There’s another remix of an amazing tune by T Williams (from Deep Teknologi) with Terri Walker soon come on Local Action, and a hip hop bit called ‘Tilt Shift’ which you can also hear on the mix. Then I’ve got a 12 coming up on Numbers, some darker stuff for 3024, hopefully some Doldrums stuff, and some disco and Mexican shit on a new label called Glass Table.
Oh and - you’re gonna bring the heat when you come back to Room 3 right?
Haha, don’t worry bruv!
You can download Mosca’s epic 80 min promotional selection ahead of his date in Room Three on 6th August for Club Autonomic (alongside Untold and Autonomic residents dBridge and Instra:mental no less) over at our Soundcloud profile.
Download: Mosca – FABRICLIVE Promo Mix
Blawan - Potchla Vee [Unreleased]
Rubi Dan - Pelvic Floor (Acapella) [Unreleased]
Mosca - Tilt Shift [Forthcoming Fat City]
Deamonds - Tilt Shift Crooks [Unreleased]
Keke Palmer - Super Jerkin'
Equinoxx - Infantry Riddim (Version)
T'Nez - Normal Day (Infantry Riddim)
Kemikal - Hear Mi Nuh (Infantry Riddim)
Navino - Put It On (Infantry Riddim)
Terre Thaemlitz - Radio Freedom
Ramadanman - Grab Somebody [Unreleased]
G.O.D Limited – Bounce
Kismet - Loose Screw [Unreleased]
DJ Deekline & Red Polo - Let It Bump (Hydroz Remix)
Menta - Sounds Of Da Future
Braiden - The Alps [Forthcoming Doldrums]
Seany B - Bass Release
DJ Technics - Hoody Hood Rat
Riva Starr – Maria
Funkystepz - Leave With You [Unreleased]
Dwongo Lab - 60 Seconds
Pariah - Crossed Out
Ramadanman & Midland - More Than You Know
Alison Hinds - Roll It Gal (Acapella)
Doc Daneeka - Hold On [Forthcoming Ramp]
T Williams - Drumstrumental [Unreleased]
Imran Khan – Amplifier
Frankie Bones – Beware
J2K Ft Roses Gabor - Don't Let It Go [Unreleased]
Mosca - Brand New Polaroid
Loefah - Fire Elements
Jaimeson - Urban Hero
Darqwan – Confused
Tubby vs Footsie - Tiger Style
Joe – Digest
JME Ft Tempz - CD Is Dead (Acapella)
Youngstar - The Formula
TRC Ft Z.O & Bonez - Bang (DJ Q Remix) [Unreleased]
General LOK - Elmo Riddem
CRST - Dance (Mosca Remix) [Forthcoming No Hats No Hoods]
Photo: Steve Braiden