A Chat with Kemist [Vinyl Vigilance]
Although independent record label, Vinyl Vigilance is only on it’s second release, the collective history of it’s two co-owners is rich in both experience and knowledge.
You may have come across the Facebook group where this all began, the page is and has always been solely dedicated to, “bass music vinyl enthusiasts, in order to announce, discuss & monitor EXCLUSIVE vinyl & LIMITED PRESS vinyl releases.” which, in the fast paced and distraction-filled world of social media has provided a welcome and comfortable online sanctuary for discussions on such a specialised subject with likeminded music lovers.
After getting wind of their latest release, I was intrigued to know more about what the VV guys are about to do next so I very fortunately managed to grab some time with Kemist who runs Vinyl Vigilance.
29 / Male / Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
Kemist, thank you for taking time out to tell us a bit about what you are up to. So, for the readers who aren’t familiar with you and your musical history, can you give us a brief outline?
Hey! Ya! I have been a hardcore Dubstep enthusiast and connoisseur for a solid +10 years, amassing a collection of records, CD’s and other paraphernalia.
I co-run a local soundsystem in Ottawa (Ivory Shade Hi-Fi) DJ, Produce, (Pacific Numen) and co-run Vinyl Vigilance with my partner Kadet P.
It’s clear that your love for Dubstep & Grime runs deep, so deep in fact that you created a (now, popular) Facebook group dedicated to it, specifically vinyl releases from the genre, back in 2012. What inspired you to create the group and what did you hope to achieve with it?
Ah, right off the bat. Anthologic (Toronto) is the man who made the group in 2012. He will always be a legend, and I give all my thanks to him and his love for Dubstep too… I was an original member and having known the man personally, being a constant provider of what was dropping at the time, I took over the admin spot when he needed a break. The groups original slogan of “A worldwide community of bass music vinyl enthusiasts on alert announce, discuss & monitor EXCLUSIVE vinyl & LIMITED PRESS vinyl releases.” is still the heart of it and always will be.
..and how did Vinyl Vigilance the Record Label come about?
Ice to Water. Change is what I wanted, a breakaway from VV as a group. So with some heavy conversations, Vinyl Vigilance the label was born. Before we knew it we were looking at the test presses of VV-ONE.
“We don’t want to be pigeon holed, our first release has the contrast of what I see dubstep as now.”
The style of your first two releases on the label seem to represent a recognisable period in the Dubstep timeline – is that intentional? And if so, will the label continue with that style?
Genuinely did not mean for it to happen that way, but it did. We don’t want to be pigeon holed, our first release has the contrast of what I see dubstep as now. The second release was focused on Cluekid as an artist and the signature sounds he is known for. We want to continue with what we are feeling be it a respected OG or an unknown producer.
What can you tell us about the next release?
We are in the midst of getting it rolling.
I really can’t spout off to much about it before it’s a sealed and off to press, but as with VV-ONE I said we would follow up with a bomb, and we did. So VV-THREE *whistles* 🙂
The artwork you have chosen for both releases is incredibly striking, do you think artwork is an important part of a vinyl release?
Dan Browne, what a talented Toronto artist! We pondered doing a regular label on the press, but for the effort ect. why cut our lovely artwork down to a small circle? We thought having it as a stand alone insert people can keep in the sleeve, pin up, or frame would be choice. We will continue with that through all of our future releases.
What has been your most mind-blowing highlight so far?
A few that come to mind. Outlook 2013, Skream @ Shambhala 2008, every single trip to Tsunami Bass in Brooklyn or 40Hz in Toronto. There is a lot more I hold closer to me that are unmentionable, a lot of good times when I came over to London in Fall 2016.
What other music genres do you listen to?
I grew up with my fathers Black Sabbath records, fell into Rap & Hip-Hop when I was 10. Around 15 or 16 I was introduced to Breakbeats, and from there it tumbled about until I uncovered the Holy Grail (Dubstep) in late 2007. I was flipping through the Creamfields 10 Year CD and it had ‘Night’ on it, it was love at first play!
If you were only able to listen to 5 records for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Dead Kennedys – In God We Trust, Inc.
Big L – Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous
Phaeleh – Lost Time
Malente – How Can You Still Stand To Stand Still?
Zomby – Where Were You In ‘92?
And finally… Where can we keep up to date with you and Vinyl Vigilance? (Links)
These are the best spots to watch, we are always around to answer any questions from either our Facebook page or email via our website.
Our individual pages are:
Kadet P, K Man, Cluekid, Dan Browne, Za @ White Peach Records, Infernal Sounds, Jason Goz @ Transition, Cimm, J. @ Innamind, 40Hz Soundsystem (Toronto), Tsunami Bass (Brooklyn), Anthologic, FKOF / Signalfire & anyone who has supported VV-ONE / VV-TWO!
Thanks so much, Kemist!
Listen to and purchase the VV-TWO release from Cluekid here
Nikki has worked in various positions in the Music industry for over ten years including Artist Management, Booking Agency and Record Label Management. She runs Synchronicity, Spentshell, UKBM and Manages Flowdan & Ruby Black.
“Bass does something to me. I absolutely immersed myself in Drum & Bass during my teens and early twenties, and when Dubstep came along I was thrown into that love once again, not just the music, but the whole community surrounding it.
Working in the industry has been a dream for me, and being involved in such a vibrant scene means that I constantly come across incredibly talented individuals who I just want to shout about and that’s what I use the UKBM platform for, to promote talent whether known or new.”