Interview with Cogidubnus & Night Tracks 039: Guest Mix

Today we've got the multi-talented Cogidubnus in to talk a little about how he turns his skills to DJing, producing and running a label that should be a perfect case example for anybody thinking of starting their own digital label. His label, Broken Bubble, was definitely one I looked to for inspiration, and Cogi was actually a really big help in getting Night Tracks as a label to where it is today. Read on to learn a little about the man behind the music...

NT: Hey man, can you give us an introduction?
C: I’ve been DJ’ing as Cogidubnus since early 2009 when I started the Sicknote night in Manchester and got into production soon afterwards.

NT: You seem to me to have quite eclectic tastes in music. How were these formed? What influence have they had on your productions and the label you run?
C: I was surrounded by all kinds of different music when I was a kid. My parents between them played piano, cello, violin and viola and played me a lot of classical music, whilst my elder siblings were playing all kinds of rock and metal – Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Queen were all bands I appreciated as a kid and I had a long metal and grunge phase before eventually getting more into electronic with my brother introducing me to the likes of Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk and then later The Orb and Future Sound of London. That led me to discover Warp and Ninja Tune artists and head on into the wider world of what I think people were calling “ambient techno” at the time.

Cogidubnus - The Future Boards Of Cheadle 

A lot of my friends started going to trance and hard house nights around the turn of the millennium, which I never really found that appealing, although I was eventually introduced to Sasha & Digweed’s Northern Exposures and the Global Underground mix series and started going to prog house nights at Sankey’s in Manchester and Code in Birmingham, and it was those that made me want to start buying records and learn how to mix.

I was always on the lookout for different sounds, and it was in around 2007 I first started listening to dubstep – the likes of Burial, Boxcutter, Distance, Pinch and 2562 were the people who really drew me into the sound and again it felt like the right music for the time. I’d pretty much stopped buying records at that point and the switch to digital DJing encouraged me to keep searching out new artists and I guess it’s from that point onwards that I’ve just kept on reaching outwards and continually looking for new stuff.

All these things have influenced my musical outlook in some way and so in terms of the way it’s influenced Broken Bubble, you can expect things not to stay the same and be constantly looking to showcase new ideas.

NT: Following on, tell us a little about Broken Bubble. Why did you decide to start it? What sets you apart from other digital labels? You're pretty highly regarded, even getting nominated for 'Best New Label' at the Dubstep Forum Awards, and of course, you're fully Night Tracks endorsed!
C: Thanks. The idea of a label had been in the back of my mind since not long after I started DJing dubstep and realising the huge scope of production talent that wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. It took until I had an EP of my own I was ready to put out to give me an impetus to finally get it started. I had a lot of contacts from fairly disparate musical movements, I’d recently met Duskky & Hurtdeer and been really excited with the dubfunk sound they were pushing which was totally fresh and unlike anything anyone else from the post-dubstep scene at the time (late 2010) was doing , it was through conversations with them that I realised we had all the tools between us to put a new imprint together, and soon after getting some ideas for the title together all 3 of us had a 4-track EP ready to go. I’d been in touch with Roof Light for a year or so beforehand and was aware of how much top-quality material he was sitting on, so it was a no-brainer for me to approach him about being the first from outside the original trio do an EP, and that was a very important release for us in terms of opening us up to a wider audience and paving the way for fantastic artists like Sorrow, Fedbymachines & Mirror State to subsequently appear on the label.

BB17 - Mirror State - Extensions EP 

Although BB started out nominally as a “post-dubstep” label, we’re getting more into a situation when genre tags become increasingly meaningless as everything merges together – there’s no rules for what can or can’t appear on the label, I just try to put out releases which have a lot of re-listenability value and all-importantly ensure that EPs and albums can be listened to as a whole, they’re not just an assorted collection of tracks, that’s something I really enjoy working with the producers to achieve.
NT: What plans have you got as far as Cogidubnus goes? What takes priority, Broken Bubble or producing?
C: No major plans for Cogi except to keep on making tunes and perhaps collaborate more with other producers. The label is something that’s constantly in mind, but it can quite happily co-exist with my production – it’s more the DJing that’s slipped down the priority ladder recently.

NT: Tell us a little about the forthcoming releases on Broken Bubble. Do you ever see a physical BB release in the pipeline?
C: There’s a lot in the works at the moment. The next release is a couple of tracks from Second Line’s “ravey” alias Splines, it’s a much more dancefloor-oriented release than many we put out. He sent me these last summer at the same time as he was finishing off the Head High EP - me, Duskky & Hurtdeer have all been playing them consistently in DJ sets since. The 2 originals are perfect examples of the dubfunk, riding that uncertain bpm range that could be either 100 or 200bpm and D&H have done huge 140-ish remixes to compliment them.

After that you can expect Sipp & Steamgoat’s debut EP which a lot of people are very excited for and rightly so – those guys are fully dedicated to making their music sound amazing and the project’s nearly complete. There’s 10 tracks overall – 5 originals, 5 remixes (from Kwala, Mirror State, ProfLogik, Sina. and myself), it’s gonna be fucking great!

Cogidubnus - A Lot Of Weather We're Having 

There’s also a pretty hefty free compilation in the works that will be showcasing a lot of new talent, a second EP on the label for Broke’nFolk (who’s been doing some fascinating experimentation with audio databending), a BB debut for Atlanta-based t8r(tot) and a Sipp solo EP – you can probably expect all those within the next 4/5 months.

As much as I’d like to say otherwise, the prospect of a physical release in the immediate future looks unlikely, but I’m always keeping my options open.

NT: Talk us through your selection for your guest mix.
C: Whenever I put a mix together I like there to be progression, a start and end, and for lots of interesting stuff to happen in between, so that’s what you’ve got here -  a journey that takes in a lot of different styles and tempos showcasing the work of lots of producers whose work I admire.

NT: Finally, if you had to pick your three favourite "Night Tracks", what would they be?
C: Future Sound of London – My Kingdom
Pink Floyd – On The Run
Skalpel - Asphodel

NT: Thanks for your time man! Now, check out his guest mix (which sets a record as our longest yet) below, or download by clicking here.

Cogidubnus - Doors [dub] 
Smaug & Steamgoat - Departure Part 2 
Melodiesinfonie - Beat Quatre4 
ProfLogik - Paradox 
Hungry Ghosts - A Million Years [Sound Healers]
 Depakote - Casnoc Is Dead [This City Is Ours] 
Sense of the Q4 - Burned Bridges [Project Mooncircle] 
Cogidubnus & Sipp - Masque [dub] 
Atsuko - My Own Way [dub] 
Stompbox - Belief [Dubporn] 
Cogidubnus & The Other L - Etherea [dub] 
Duskky - Leech [forth. Circuitree]
 wAgAwAgA - Nightingale [Acroplane]
 Suboctane - Old Theatre [dub]
 Sipp & Steamgoat - Couscous [forth. Broken Bubble]
 Sipp & Steamgoat - In Between (Kwala Remix) [forth. Broken Bubble]
 .bija - Ritual
 Sipp & Steamgoat - In Between (Mirror State Remix) [forth. Broken Bubble]
 Roof Light - Unbreakable [dub] 
Mirror State - Conscious [Broken Bubble] 
Broke'nFolk - Bent Data [forth. Broken Bubble] 
Kwala - Music Is Nahmburs [Finest Ego]
 Hurtdeer - Kyoto Downpour [dub]
 1000Names - Take Your Time [Project Mooncircle]
 Sorrow - Rapture [Broken Bubble] 
Ak0pian - Recognizing [Broken Bubble]
 Julien Mier - Twenty Thousand Kites
 Segilola - Long Distance [Sound Healers]
 Cogidubnus - The Array [dub] 
Venture - Re-animate