Sideshow ‘s Admit One LP, out this week on Will Saul’s Aus Music label, finds the Brighton producer exploring his obsession with dub. Built up from largely live takes, with vocal contributions from Paul St Hilaire and Courtney Tidwell, it’s a really warm, engaging collection, and has already given rise to one of the year’s best remixes – Appleblim and Komonazmuk’s ‘If Alone’ version. On our 26th FACT podcast, Sideshow previews tracks from Admit One, mixed up with smoked-out sure shots old and new. Enjoy.
1. M83 – Intro [EMI]
2. Sideshow – Youth of Today (FACT Edit) [Aus Music]
3. Sideshow – These Things I See in My Vision (FACT Edit)
4. Sideshow – If Alone (LP Version) (FACT Edit)
5. Sideshow – If Alone (Chateau Flight Remix) [Aus Music]
6. Sideshow – Polar Bear Dub (Aus Music)
7. Pablo Gad – Hard Times (12″ Disco Mix) [Burning Sound]
8. Prince Jammy – Pablo In Moonlight City [King Jammy’s Records]
9. Ashtech – Imaginary World [Interchill]
10. Martyn – 2054 
11. Komonazmuk – Bad Apple [HENCH]
What can we expect from your FACT mix?
“It’s my reworks of key tracks from my Admit One album with the original reference tracks mixed in – plus mashes of other Sideshow tracks – a bit of old-school – and then two from the new school with upfront stuff from Komonazmuk and Martyn.”
Tell us a bit about the recording of Admit One…
“The recording was a pleasure…In our downtime from touring I needed something musical to let off steam, and I also missed producing electronica a bit – the late nights, the intensity of sound – so it was lovely really – very painless birth. We love to play, I love to produce, and dub is one of our loves…I wanted to get live drums, tighten them up manually to “dance-tight” in a way – and then build tracks on that basis.”
Even though dub has always been a big factor in what you do, it feels very much centre-stage on Admit One – is it fair to call this your “dub album”?
“Dub is so pure – like unpolluted, unsullied. When you really get that feeling, dub is really special, really honest..I would definitely like to see Sideshow turn into our “dub thing”….I just love how simple dub can be.”
You’ve been recording for Aus and Simple since back in ‘03. How did you and Will Saul first hook up? What appeals to you about working with him and his labels?
“We met at work – we both worked in the record industry and DJ’d – we did our first night together at Marketplace back in the day, and we loved breaks – before breaks was like bloke ‘n beat, Tayo and stuff. Working with him is a delight: he’s a great a&r man, he gives you space but also direction – and ‘cos he’s out there playing the big clubs on the international circuit, and especially in Berlin, he just knows what’s gonna work…”
Has dub – by that I mean older dub records – influenced the way you approach music and music production?
“Yep, definitely. When I used to listen to old dub records – with King Tubby doing live dubs, making mistakes – I learnt everything about production from them, what effects go on what channels, etc. I went through a period where I would probably spend at least a quarter of my wages in Selectadisc caning the dub re-issues…”
How was the experience of working with Paul St Hilaire?
“Will met him in a Berlin car park, he sent us the takes – we were blown away…Will goes down Western Union and wires the cash…Perfect relationship!”
Are you still based in Brighton? How does the city impact on you and the music you make? Is there much of a dub culture, or rather, a culture of dub appreciation in Brighton?
“The only real impact Brighton has on me and the others down here is that it’s quite chilled. We pay the same rent as our mates in London but have double the space – and in the summer, man, it’s all good to be beside the seaside. I travel a lot, and it’s one of the best places to live in the UK for the airports and the Eurostar. The dubstep scene down here is strong – there are a few key heads who really know their shit and promote and put on grimy nights in smaller venues – that deafen you as they stretch the cheap rigs to the max….The dub scene is also really strong – witha regular night that’s legit, a big radio show with the Roots Garden show….It’s all here – small but genuine…”
It’s interesting to see that you’ve been remixed by [Bristol-based dubstep producers] Appleblim and Komonazmuk. How did you hook up with them?
“Through Will again – he’s been following Martyn and Appleblim from day one – and as soon as I heard Appleblim’s mixtapes I was a super-fan. I love their take on the dubstep – it’s exactly what I love – dubstep and deep techno with with sprinkling of IDM – loving it – perfect for home use and for deep spots in big-system sets. I was honoured to have them on the mix for ‘If Alone’ – I’m actually in the middle of returning the favour and remixing an Appleblim and Ramadanman track right now – it’s gonna be heavy!”
In the sleevenotes of Admit One, you say that most of the tracks were recorded in live takes. Were you consciously going for a “live” sound?
“Yep – big time – and they are – live bass, drums, fx, stimulation – I reckon around the tenth sweep is normally the one….i definitely don’t want to compete with the other guys and electronic mastery – our strength is the fact that we play instruments….so we want to use it to the max and have our own little plot of land on the dub settlement…”
What, if push comes to shove, are your three desert island dub discs?
“1) Mad Professor – No Protection – deeply seminal work (that I actually took back when I first bought it years and years ago, being a big Massive Attack fan, and not getting it – but now it’s up there with my favourite dub records of all time)
“2) Aswad – “A New Chapter Of Dub” – Aswad have a bad 80’s style rep – but aficianados know they had some out-and-out killers in the early days – this one is as good as it gets….
“3) King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown – simply put, it’s like the old testament of dub…”