2nd Drop Records
LDN, Britain (UK)
It began in .... Plastic People
2nd Drop Records officially started in the womb like environs of Plastic People in London at a legendary dubstep and grime night called FWD>>. As regulars and best friends, labels owners Mark Gurney and James Bliss had been soaking up the vibes from the small, but formative dubstep scene, championed by Youngsta and co, since 2005. It was here that they formed their love of bass music, but also the key relationships with the as yet unknown future stars - throwing gun fingers with Ramadanman front left, raising lighters with Oneman, chatting to Skream, Benga, Distance and Rusko at the bar.
But before 2nd Drop was formed,
James was making DIY effects units called the Dub-Box and Mark was guiding a bunch of young people in a dingy basement in Lewisham in the art of putting out records with his youth programme Live Recordings. Their final signing was a young star called Jamie Woon, and his first single Wayfaring Stranger with a now legendary Burial remix (that has sparked further collaboration between the two). Sadly the project had to close, but from it's ashes came a new beginning.
2nd Drop's first release came about almost by accident. After hearing Skream play Ramadanman's version of Good Feelin on Rinse FM, and learning that he was thinking about giving it away for free, the label said it was too good just to give away and would he like to do a 12"? He agreed. And enthralled by his unique, post-tribal take on dubstep, Mark sent him the parts to Jamie Woon's Wayfaring Stranger and The Woon was born. Two tracks that sound more relevant in 2011 than ever before, a sound truly ahead of its time.
Networks and dubplates
Further friendships created at FWD and DMZ, on the Dubstep Forum and cutting dubplates and mastering at Transition saw the label release music from burgeoning talent like Rusko, Clouds, LD, Sully, JKenzo and LV as well as key remixes from Untold, Fantastic Mr Fox and Falty DL.
After a quiet 2010, the label has seen a renewed vigour in 2011, the support team has swelled with the addition of two new members to the artwork and scouting team in Ralph Solly and Marshal Darling. The label now has a 6 strong DJ team alongside Mark (Markle), James (JBliss), Ralph (Acronym) and Marshal (Martial) with DB and Rich Martin adding further experience and record collection depth to the crew.
They have popped their video cherry, creating a music video with the uber talented LV on the Explode EP; a fortuitous international collaboration with Oxford's folktastic genius Message To Bears and the golden tones of Zaki Ibrahim from South Africa, which included a bevy of awesome remixes from the massively underrated DjRUM, ex-Attica Blues and Blacktronica honcho Charlie Dark and the mysterious LV associate Mothy.
At the centre...
Mark and James also have a strong interest in art and design, which they express through commissioning new and established illustrators and artists to produce bespoke artwork for the vinyl centre labels. They went one step further with release 008 where they asked Mat Pringle to create and screen print the cover by hand. Now an in demand collectors item. The label continues to work with Remi Rough, Uiu, Will Scobie, Matt Taylor, Verbal Picks and Mat Pringle, and have recently collaborated with Will Barras supplying music to a live art film.
With a rich an varied catalogue, the label has been able sync keys songs to a variety of brands and projects from Nike and NSPCC to Skunkfunk. Alongside been compiled on a range of albums from Gold Panda and Maya Jane Cole's DJ Kicks, Soul Jazz's Steppahs Delight and Dubstep Allstars 7.
And with forthcoming albums, singles and remixes from DjRUM, Gerry Read, Youandewan, Distal, Pedestrian, and Tessela things are looking good for 2nd Drop.