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Visual Deception Unit Mixtape Part 1

Last year we put out a cassette to celebrate the release of Aeon x Visual Deception Unit, there's a few of them left on in the store but if you don't have a cassette player we've uploaded both sides to stream or download.  Here four three six founder, and one half of Visual Deception Unit Andy McAllister gives us the tale of the tape...

0001 - Visual Deception Unit - Sunshine Intro

"In making a mixtape I wanted to recreate some of the amazing cassettes that inspired me when I was young and just discovering electronic music, so not just a DJ mix but adding some samples and skits along the way.  I took the strings from the track we'd just finished with Polly (that's her vocals backwards at the very beginning), and looped and built them up, adding a speech sample that I heard on the excellent 99% invisible podcast to create this introduction track, setting the tone for the mix..."

0002 - WxT - Hudson Moore

"Woz is an amazing producer from Bristol, whose early worked really made me explore the bass music scene that was emerging out of the city at the time.  Here he's linked up with fellow producer Troy Gunner as WxT, the vibe they have together is stark, stripped and percussive as hell, as this track shows"

0003 - Visual Deception Unit - Atomic Duck

"The recording sessions for the Visual Deception Unit with Sasha Khan were always fun, and involved a beer or two, sometimes more.  One thing we were determined to do was to make an EP of diverse sounds, and stray away from both of our individual sounds.  Atomic Duck is an instrumental grime track where less is more, however it's so much more difficult to strip layers back than it is to add things in.  We had to be super disciplined in this, and the results I'm super happy with!"

0004  - Physical Therapy - Hit The Breaks

"The moment I heard this track I knew I wanted to include it in a mix, it's got such energy behind it.  Being a drummer as well the breaks in this have such energy, nothing can drive a dancefloor better than a fat broken beat!  The only problem with dropping this in the mix is that it's super hard to mix out of, at times the track just goes off on it's own path, however I think I managed to tame it!"

0005 - Visual Deception Unit - Incognito

"About ten years ago at a night I was involved in Derby we booked a producer called Hostage who was on the up at the time.  Backstage over a few beers we had a great laugh and stayed in touch, fast forward a few years and Hostage provided the music for our fourth wearable release.  His style has evolved from blog-house to a modern take on 90s hardcore and techno.  As we writing this track the Hostage EP was coming together at the same time, so this is our homage to Hostage and his fun "bouncey" style!"

0006 - Facta - Alsatian

"This track just has a relentless groove, it's super stripped back - mainly just beats, percussion and weird noises but it works a treat.  Some of the best tracks I own follow this principle, you don't need to pile on sounds and effects, just have the essentials but make them sound fat as hell!"

0007 - Josh Wink - Shoelaces

"Josh Wink has been an inspiration to me for years, I think most people can remember the first time they heard 'Higher State of Consciousness'.  The best thing to come out of Crewe in 90s for me was a copy of his debut album (under the name Winx) Left Above the Clouds, which I picked up in a record shop near the station while waiting for a train.  Strangely that album is not available on Spotify but it's well worth hunting down.  This track reminds me of the energy of the that album, growing and growing into an electro-tinged bomb"

0008 - Keys N Krates - U Already Know (Jakwob Remix)

"Jakwob's output has been on fire recently, it's not often that you get an artist that every track they release is a bomb, but this  the case here (there's another of his tracks on side B),  As part of the Upfest Street Art festival in Bristol last year myself and Fish went back to back on the decks at the Tobacco Factory, this track was one of the highlights of that set, and got everyone moving" 

0009 - Visual Deception Unit - Gardening Not Architecture

"I keep a set of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards on my desk, handy for when I need a does of inspiration.  When we sat in the studio one night with blank minds we pulled a card out the top of the pack, it said 'Gardening Not Architecture'.  So we got to work and came up with this stripped back, bass heavy dub track..."

0010 - Justin Martin - Back to the Jungle

"Justin Martin, who's signed to Dirtybird, has been a great inspiration the last few years since his debut album Ghettos and Gardens came out.  He's got a very diverse range of sounds but somehow manages to pull them all together to create something that sounds great and as if every sound was meant to be there.  This particular track off his latest album fits perfectly on this mix"

0011 - Kove feat. Moko - Hurt (Special Request Remix)

"Special Request can't do anything wrong it seems, everything he touches turns to gold and this remix is no exception.  The alter ego of Paul Woolford has his own unique take on old school jungle and hardcore sounds, and creates something that somehow sounds completely contemporary.  His latest EP on Houndstooth and his Fabriclive mix are both well worth checking out"

0012 - James Nasty - Good Peroca

"One of the most exciting music scenes, or in fact group of music scenes, is Global Bass.  There is a great variety of awesome music coming from all corners of the world with genres including Batida, Gqom and Kuduro.  One of the best labels to hear this music on is Enchufada (run by Branko of Buraka Som Sistema fame) and this amazing, super energetic track is from their Upper Cuts series."

0013 - Unknown - IPɅN☰MɅ (Bart More Remix)

"I don't know a whole lot about this track, like who the original artist is, how to pronounce the name, or what label it's on.  It came through on a very mysterious promo with no other information, but it's awesome!  It was another one of the tracks that really dropped when we played at Upfest, and blends perfectly with James Nasty's track before."

0014 - Jakwob and Cadenza - Queens to Brixton

"Another Jakwob production, this time a collaboration with Cadenza!  The track oozes rhythm with heavy percussion and low end bass.  Another one of these tracks where the hookline is almost another percussion instrument, very excited to see what new tracks Jakwob will be bringing out this year!"

0015 - Sasha Khan - Darklight

"Before we started working together in the studio, the relationship between me and Sasha Khan was label and artist - he was signed to the label I used to run, Ground Level.  This track sums up the reason why I first signed him, an old school number charged with energy (just like Sasha, word to the wise NEVER give that man a Red Bull) and with a happy uplifting vibe juxtaposed with heavy bass and fat jungle-esque beats"

0016 - Visual Deception Unit - Lights Go Down feat Polly Yates

"The first track we started, and the last we finished for the Visual Deception Unit EP.  After seeing some credible bass music producers make some very UNcredible vocal tracks we wanted to prove that bass music could have a pop-tinged vocal track without it sounding like the soundtrack to the waltzers at the local fayre circa 1995 mixed with a Eurovision reject.  I think we achieved that goal, and the awesome lyrics and vocals of Polly worked perfectly with the piano led groove we created.  After the string intro to the mixtape I feel that this tracks's a fitting way to end, using the same theme and ending with strings"

Andy McAllister