In this instalment of Get To Know, we introduce to you Littlefoot, the rising and highly exciting UKG producer and label that you really need to know about.
The Nottingham-based man, real name Joe Caithness, announced the Littlefoot name on to the scene in August of this year with the release of Codeine Espresso 1, an EP which not only served as his inaugural release but also immediately established this exciting producer’s sound, fundamentally UKG with the unquestionable influence of other genres and sounds.
With news of the release of his next project, Codeine Espresso 2, we linked up with Littlefoot to talk about those influences, his music, Nottingham and more.
First of all congratulations on your new record, we love it! Can you tell us how the Littlefoot name and label came about?
Thanks very much, it’s been 9 years since my last EP so I have done a lot of readjustment, some easy, some slightly less, like having to log back into Twitter during a pandemic…
Littlefoot is basically the first thing that came into my head when I was making my first silly Dubstep tunes when I was 18 at at college. When I was a kid and off school (I had asthma and spent weeks wheezing) my mum used to wrap me up and put The Land Before Time on. Don’t watch it now unless you have a box of tissues available, it’s in the ‘Up’ and ‘Watership Down’ category of kids films!
The Codeine Espresso series name has a double meaning, it’s not a Lean thing, I have joint pain issues so sometimes wake up in the middle of night and have to take Codeine. I usually then get bored, drink an espresso and go into my studio, realising I can’t do any work I just make tunes. Also I like the idea of the music being hyper yet dreamy and woozy!
Can you tell us about your production history? How long have you been producing?
I’ve been producing since around 2006 when I first got into electronic music through Dubstep and Grime, which were the predominant styles of underground music outside of my base (I have been making, promoting, touring punk music since I was around 14 on and off! I also run the internet’s largest 90s hardcore/punk group on Facebook). It was really digging deeper into the sounds which came before my early UK music heroes which led me to my current sound.
What or who are the biggest influences on your music?
The track which started my sound as I see it was Darkstar’s “Need You”, I really loved the music people like Pangaea, Martyn, Burial and TRG were doing building on people like Wookie’s dark diversions into UKG, but honestly I was 19 and I didn’t want to make dark music, I wanted to make sexy, weird, psychedelic music influenced by the parties in Nottingham such as Wigflex and Futureproof. People who rave in Nottz know we have our own thing, it’s hard to describe, its dayglo yet tough, can be ravey or ambient at any given moment. It’s such a shame Wigflex City Festival couldn’t happen this year because to me that was the cementing of the Nottz party scene. Shouts to pioneers like Geiom and Lukas Wigflex!
The artists I can’t listen to without wanting to make music are Wookie, Sticky, Dexplicit, Todd Edwards (especially his often missed out early 00s stuff! weird and beautiful!) and TRC (from Brum, most underrated producer in UK music). I’m really inspired by the 4×4 Bassline scene (especially the Brum sound) and Breakbeat Garage (Harry Lime, Sirus, Jammin etc), it’s all raving music, but it’s not straight faced and it can get really weird fast.
Outside of dance music I’m really inspired by 90s video game music, I am a mastering engineer by day and I have worked on the re-issues of many classics such as Tekken, Megaman, Street Fighter and Resident Evil.
"I've been producing since around 2006 when I first got into electronic music through Dubstep and Grime. It was really digging deeper into the sounds which came before my early UK music heroes which led me to my current sound"
Pre-Covid, what’s the Nottingham music scene like and how do you think it’s shaped both your musical taste and production?
Expanding on the above Nottz is a party city. We’re small, but we’re not a town, we have a very young, liberal population with tonnes of nightlife. People come from around the East Midlands to go out in Nottz and many people, like me, have chosen Nottingham as their adopted home because of the freedom this gives us. The afterparty scene was amazing in Nottz, shouts to 222 Derby Road for the anything goes post rave sessions..
We have Congi (who I went to uni with 1/2 of, shouts to Gaz) repping that post Deep Medi Dubstep sound.
Geiom is somewhat of a mentor to me and my cohorts in Nottz and perfectly encapsulates the Nottz sound to me.
Erra is the second most underrated producer, most of me and Erra’s creative output is just sending each other really oddball stuff and then agreeing no one will listen to it, ha! When he can get round to it he’ll make some totally insane stuff that those who seek it out will love it, trust me.
Son Of Phillip was an intern at my studio and makes fairly hard to describe modular synth techno which is somehow both stomping and ambient(?!)
Bigmini is a Nottz Grime MC from my part of the city who I saw completely tear up a raw floor show at Rough Trade pre lockdown.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t go on Twitter, you don’t care what DJs are having for dinner or their opinions on Football.
What else do you have coming up in the pipeline?
I wish I could play out, I’m a DJ and record collector. I just like playing to people and interacting, but that’s not happening for a while..
I’m completely obsessed with Organ House at the moment. I noticed my tune Planet October from 2011 is getting love in Paris on Spotify, thousand plus plays, I have no idea why? (hit me up if you’re playing it please!). I’d love to make an EP of M1 Organ tunes inspired by the sound of producers like Big Ang (Sheff represent!) and the really intense Handbag House from the Midlands and North in the 90s, amazing stuff, so sassy.
Last track you listened to?
Ru Paul – House of Love, I’ve been on a big diva house/drag/90s club classics kick recently! I’m the definition of a straight white male, so it’s fun to vicariously get sassy
What track do you wish you’d made?
Wookie – VCF, I wish I could say that much musically with about 5 sounds and no fancy pants FX
Your dream collab would be with?
I really wanna work with vocalists who wanna make slightly out there, but very melodic, club songs. I’d love to work with someone like Roisin Murphy who has this smoky sexiness in her voice which reminds me of old Film Noir.
Non vocalists – Todd Edwards, come on Todd answer my emails!
Favourite piece of music kit?
Despite being an audio engineer by trade, having a degree in audio tech and making dance music I don’t really use any hardware.. virtual kit; I’m a believer in Reason, I love the sound most people hate about it. Was a big turning up of noses about it (and Fruity) around 2010 I never got, it sounds fun / stupid at times, but that’s what I like.
Last album you listened to start to finish?
This is my job (luckily) so I do this several times a day, but not albums I choose to listen to it was Heliopolis by the Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble, which was gifted to me by my good friend Matt Fidler who’s currently living his lockdown life in Berlin and frequenting the record stores out there.
Favourite record label?
Hmmm for dance music the labels which defined me getting into this stuff were Tempa, Hessle or DMZ.. but for other stuff.. Dischord Records (I’m a punk at heart) or Blue Note for Jazz (I’m also a big 50s Hard Bopper!)
Not sure if they count, but Salt n Vinegar Cracker Crisps by Jacobs are amazing, normal Jacobs aren’t vegan (why!), but these bad boys are for some reason and they are the most moreish thing ever!
@ninthdelta // @SynchronicityHQ // @LDNReach
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