Get Familiar: Apron Records Part 2
Apron Records has been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of contemporary electronic music coming out of the U.K. since 2014. After almost a decade of pushing their unique vision has made the Apron Records imprint one of the most in-demand labels in most independent record stores. Now more than 45 releases deep in their journey, Apron Records have teamed up with Patta Soundsystem to work on their first various artists release and to celebrate this monumental milestone, both camps have collaborated to create a clothing capsule to accompany this release. After working with the artist formerly known as Funkineven on ‘The Wave’ late last year, it was only right to showcase the diverse talents behind this movement. We caught up and got familiar with the producers behind the tracks on the record.
J M S Khosah
How did the track you worked on come together?
Generally speaking, the music I produce is created live in one take and LESSONS was no exception. The setup was pretty simple - an MPC, a drum machine, a couple of synths, and a tape deck. It’s a lot easier to work instinctively when the setup is so basic. I remember that I started out with the vocal sample, but in all honesty there wasn’t much conscious thought involved with the production, it was just a vibe that seemed to come together on its own. I’m pleased with how the track turned out, I hope people out there are feeling it too.
What do you like to get up to when you’re not working on music?
As far as creative endeavours go, I do most of the video work for NCA. It all started with us needing a video for our first release, instead of asking someone else to do it we took the DIY approach. It’s been our philosophy with the label ever since. To be honest there’s not an awful lot I do that isn’t related to music or video, but to rebalance I like to get out of the city and spend some time amongst the trees. Thankfully I’m in the right country for that, Japan is blessed with some beautiful forests. I’m not entirely sure why but there are always answers and insights to be found out there.
What does the near future look like for J M S Khosah?
I’ve got a couple of special projects coming out this year, the first of which should be available very soon. It’s a completely original concept so it’ll be interesting to see how it’s received. I don’t wanna give too much away but people will be able to find it at 0800nca.com when it’s ready.
You also work with the London-based label NCA, what's the flavour like over there?
That’s a tough one to answer because NCA isn’t something you can put into words. The best way I can put it is that NCA is a portal into the other realm, of all that has been and will be. Myself and Brassfoot head up the label, but NCA certainly has a life of its own. There have been countless “coincidences” and weird happenings with the label that has made it clear that we’re conduits for something far bigger than we can ever comprehend. There’s a congruent story that runs throughout the entirety of the releases on the label, regardless of the artist - and this is not by design. Just one example of the mystery with NCA is that we released a DVD in 2018 presciently entitled GLOBAL PARANOIA, and that’s without even mentioning the content. I’m not gonna say any more than that for now.
You split your time between London and Tokyo, what made you wanna travel to the east?
I came out to Tokyo on a whim really, I needed a change of scene and Tokyo felt right at the time. Growing up, a lot of the stuff I liked came from Japan - Roland, Technics, Sega, Capcom etc., it must’ve planted a seed in my head. I originally wanted to stay in Tokyo for 6 months but over a decade later and I’m still here. Absolutely no regrets though, Tokyo has been very good to me. It’s a city of contradictions, futuristic yet traditional. Initially it can appear to be superficial but there is a deep soul hidden in the soil of this city. I always love going back to the UK though - there really is no place like home, especially for music.
What was it like to play in the Royal Albert Hall?
There was no crowd as it was just a stream so a strange experience but to play in such an enormous space was amazing.
The memes you post really paint a beautiful insight into your character when you’re not mixing, so what do you do when you’re not working on music?
I need to get some new hobbies or something because I pretty much just go to the pub, play pool, play darts and eat out whenever I'm not in the studio or DJing. Thankfully my 'job' is my passion/hobby I suppose!
Being from London, radio stations play a central role in how music travels in this city. What stations were you listening to or trying to get on when you were younger?
I was never confident enough to try and get on a station until I was like 17 but as a listener: Freeze FM (pirate), Choice FM (RIP), Delight FM (pirate) and Rinse FM.
And now you have shows on NTS, how are these breakfast shifts treating you?
I like the challenge of an earlier start and going for a selection less suited for the club like my other show. Nice to have a space to honour other sides of my music collection and show more down tempo stuff that I'm into.
What do you eat for breakfast when you’re at home in London?
Usually porridge and a banana, spinach, raspberry, maca powder, oat milk smoothie.
What effect has community radio had on your life?
A pretty big one I suppose, I first played on community radio at 14 and I have found home at several different community stations over the years.
You have quite soulful sounds, where does this come from?
I'm a black woman of Caribbean descent, it is what it is.
How was your recent show in Doka, Amsterdam and will we be seeing more of you in Amsterdam this year?
Such a cool little a club and my favourite booth I've ever played in! A thing of beauty. It's ridiculous that was my first booking in Amsterdam! Hope to return but nothing is in the books for now.
What does the near future look like for you?
Fast and Loud!