The British club landscape is more diverse than ever. The rise of EDM and the house music revival has opened up a new world to the aspiring DJs and producers of the UK. Throw in the omnipresent influence of the internet, and you’ve got a recipe for some seriously unique new sounds. Across the web and on radio stations like NTS and Radar there’s a new generation taking over, seeking out niche audiences and pioneering a limitless approach to dance music.
TD_Nasty is at the core of this generation. Based in Manchester and part of the globe-straddling Gang Fatale collective, he’s been fusing the sounds of the British underground with some of the best club music from across the pond, combining the likes of grime and UK Funky with Jersey and Baltimore club. The results are like nothing else out there, atmospheric and brooding but at the same time deeply funky. Nasty also draws on soundtracks, in particular, 70s cop shows, known for their dramatic, often over the top instrumentation that’s perfect for the club.
Back in June, he released his debut EP, the self-titled TD_Nasty and we’ve been hooked on the sound ever since. To get to know TD_Nasty properly we got him to put together an exclusive and sat down to talk to American exotica, Nightslugs and how a kid from the Lake District ended up in dance music collective with producers from Philadelphia, Berlin and beyond.
How’s life been since the EP dropped?
It’s been good; it’s been featured in some good places. I dropped two music videos as well which is sick because I’ve never had a music video before, so that’s good.
How did the videos come about? You had one on NOWNESS right?
Yeah so that was directed by a friend of mine, Fiona Burgess and she just had this really cool concept to go with the video and it features this dancer called Naomi. She did some improvised dance over the top of it which gave a new vision to the track that I never knew was there. The first video (for ‘Hate That Feeling’) was done by a member of Gang Fatale called Greg Nelson, we worked on this project for uni that I did that was based on this underwater ballroom in Witley Park. He just went in with his new knowledge of graphic design and environment building and made a seven-minute animation out of it, it was so sick.
What’s it like seeing other people’s visual interpretation of your work? I know that soundtracking was a big influence on your EP…
It’s just a third ear really, people see and hear things differently to what I might have heard or. With the ‘Hate That Feeling’ video it was cool because although we’d done that underwater ballroom project before, he just really opened the whole environment up even more. It’s just crazy to see things in sync with it, it’s crazy to see my music with something like those crazy music videos.
The opening track on your EP was you imagining a cop show, did you have an image in your mind for the rest of the EP or was it just for that track?
I guess they’re all intertwined in some sort of way because it was like the same walk I was doing like all year. That first tune more than others though, it just so fit with music that I was writing that year y’know? It all had that same kind of feel to it, the soundtracking vibe.
How did you get into the kind of music you make? It’s not the usual UK club sound.
When I DJ I play a lot of funky and a lot of grime but I’m also influenced by a lot of American music as well like Jersey music, Baltimore club, old Chicago house. I’m super influenced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who produced Janet Jackson records and Chic records. There’s Terrence Martin from the West Coast as well, he’s a jazz musician first and then he started to make G Funk records. Its’ all those heavy club bottoms with the RnB sprinkled on the top, those elements combined with UK underground music. I’m not sure how I got into that 70’s cop show sound though, I just got into like Shaft and the Trouble Man soundtrack really.
How did you see that fusion of US and UK underground cultures?
It’s difficult because I don’t want to take everything from the US, but there are some things that I just love. That can be vocal chops or old school drum licks. That influence came from listening to old Nightslugs mixes, and you find out who all these producers are that they’re playing and you find out about them a little more.
They do things so differently [in America] because a lot of the Jersey club producers, they’ve got this grit in the same way that with grime producer’s there’s a naivety regarding what they’re doing with mixdowns and things like that. It’s for the people that make it.
Tell us about Gang Fatale…
Neana left where we’re from in the Lake District to go and study in London, and he started doing shows in and around tiny places in East London, he met Riz Fresco (Ra Ra), and they started DJing together. They wanted to make a radio show which is where the name Gang Fatale came from. They were looking for new music and back home we were all making music, and Neana convinced us to keep sending it to him.
We [started playing] music on Sub FM and did some shows, and we’d done maybe two mixtapes at this point. We also had Basile from Paris and Bleaker from Glasgow who were sending us music, just from listening to the show I guess. It’s just a mutual love for music and a mutual understanding of what we want form dance music. It’s a huge collaborative effort; everyone’s always sending each other music. I can send someone parts for something I’m stuck on, and they’ll have the track done in a couple of hours.
You’re all going to Bread and Butter in Berlin next month…
Yeah, that’ll be really exciting! We’ve had a few shows in Europe before but it’s very rare we have a lot of people on the same bill. Like, Kieran’s coming from Philly to come and play. There’s a bunch of mates coming, so it’s going to be sick.
Gang Fatale play Bread and Butter festival, Berlin this weekend.