Drum and bass veterans J Majik & Wickaman have been fixtures at the top of the bass scene for well over a decade. With individual and collaborative releases appearing on almost a dozen of bass music’s top labels, the two producers have certainly earned their stripes. From Metalheadz and ProgRAM to Defected and their own Infrared imprint, J Majik & Wickaman have amassed a catalog of music that’s been rinsed by all of the genre’s top names. Now, the two producers gear up for their most monumental offering to date: an 11-track album called Out of Sight out on Infrared Music on Monday. LessThan3 has an exclusive cut from Out of Sight called Believe, featuring rising singer Kate Loveridge.
Believe is just one of many of the songs on Out of Sight that feature a vocalist. While the duo has been known to incorporate an occasional singer, most notably Kathy Brown from past hits Now It’s Over and Share the Blame, nearly half of the album’s tracks have vocals. However, this came about spontaneously, as the producers explained:
“We never sat there and consciously thought we need some vocal tracks so lets try and find someone to vocal it. We are constantly working with some really talented singers and have been working on some other projects so we put some vocals on instrumentals we had already created and at the same time worked with singers throughout the creative process, either way we find working with singers exciting.”
Dee Freer, who is best known for her 2011 collab with the duo called In Pieces, makes an appearance on the new album along with burgeoning vocal talent Keri Greenaway and astounding Believe vocalist Kate Loveridge. Dee Freer brings her powerful voice to the dubstep title-track, while Keri Greenaway breathes a silky serenade on the D&B anthem Memories. However, it’s the soulful Kate Loveridge that makes the most appearances on the album, singing on tracks Believe, Lift Me Up, and the duo’s self-professed favorite tune on the album Spirit. Already working with both Freer and Loveridge in the past, the producers explained how they cam to link up with the singers:
“We were introduced to Dee through a vocalist called B.Y.O.B who we worked with a few years back for his single on Skint (Fatboy Slim’s label) called ‘Save my life’. Kate is the vocalist in another project we are doing called Mosquito, which we are just finalizing now, so it made sense to try her on some dnb stuff.”
With one album already under their belts, J Magik & Wickaman’s forthcoming LP is clearly more creatively diverse than 2008’s Crazy World. The duo succeeded in crafting a collection of songs that cover a broad range of the bass spectrum, without sounding disparate or disjointed. While Crazy World was filled to the brim with pressurized drum and bass bangers, Out of Sight is a bit less constrained due to the duo’s admitted penchant to experiment:
“We think the main difference between this and the last album we did is that we have been able to be more experimental and musically more diverse. The last album was more of a collection of singles, where as we see this as more of a piece of art.”
Alluding to the fact that this album diverges from the JM & W’s hyper-paced brand of D&B, the two producers spend quite a bit of time in the 140bpm territory on the album, but also delve in the untrodden landscape of 130bpm with their tune Dream Box. Since 2011’s dubstep monster In Pieces racked up hundreds of thousands of views on UKF and was plastered all over the pages of Ministry of Sound, it was apparent that J Majik & Wickaman’s venture to other tempos was only a natural progression:
“After making dnb for so many years as producers it seems healthy to try other styles and tempos and we are both really musically open-minded. We find that listening to and producing other genres can inspire us to make more diverse drum and bass too. ‘Dreambox’ is a journey tune and we would not know what genre it was anyway if questioned by the music police, ‘Out of Sight’ was a track we started a few years ago when we did “In Pieces” with Dee Freer and is obviously dubstep influenced on the drop. ‘Believe’ is also a track we started a few years ago with Adam F who was working with some sick guitarists at the time and we decided to try and go back in on it, then Kate heard it and next minute we were laying down a vocal.”
Alongside Adam F, both producers have worked a bevy of other notable D&B superstars throughout their career, including Futurebound, Goldie, and DJ Hype, to name a few. However, it’s their obvious chemistry together that makes Out of Sight undeniably addictive. JM & W spoke a little bit about why they have been so successful as a production team:
“We listen to each other and most of the time are able to compromise. It also helps that we seem to like the same styles of tunes and are both up for trying anything musically.”
The album arrives on Monday on the duo’s own iconic imprint Infrared Music–a label that just hit a huge growth spike explains the Infrared bosses:
“At the moment Infrared is just starting to get back on the map after being one of the most prolific labels through the ’90s, releasing music from all the main players. We are now putting down the foundations to once again be one of the major influences in the scene and have a huge release schedule. We have put out over 20 quality releases in the last year and almost 30 tracks this year alone. We are very pleased with all the artists working for the label at present including: Hoodlum, SuddenDef, Mavrik and RV who all have an ongoing release schedule. The team is also growing with new artists joining us to name a few: Karl Future, Golden, Alicia King, Mythz, Luke B, P.OD, and GUZZLA.”
Check out the rest of Out of Sight’s tracklist and pre-order the album on iTunes right here. J Majik & Wickaman will be touring the US and Europe in support of Out of Sight, so be sure to follow them on Facebook for details.