Published on June 15th, 2019 | by Sid Wesley0
Bombstrikes: 15 Years (Curated by Mooqee & Beatvandals) + Exclusive Interview
Bombstrikes is a label that we’ve been giving our ‘life support’ to for a very long time now because whether it brings the Funk or the Bass, it always makes us want to party, which precisely the intention of label bosses Mooqee and Beatvandals. I myself am a huge fan of Bombstrikes, as is the guv’nor of LSM, Mr No Hands, so together we’re teaming up to celebrate the imprints brand new album ‘Bombstrikes: 15 Years’ which is its celebratory album as it turns that many years old. With me adding in a few words, Mr No Hands got in touch with Mooqee and Beatvandals for an exclusive interview on the album they curated together, along with chat about the history of the label and of course his own release on Bombstrikes ‘Happy Now’ which features on the new album.
Just before you get stuck into the interview, you’ll be pleased to hear the Mooqee and Beatvandals have pulled out all the stops on their hugely impressive album. You can hear all about how it came together and why the tracks chosen are featured on it, but for me personally, there are a handful of tracks I consider to be some of my very favourite in the whole world ever! Of course, I do dig all the Funk, Bass, Disco, Hip Hop and D n B tracks to be found, but the ones I could listen to on repeat for the rest of time include Mooqee’s ‘Supacat Police’, Mooqee with Herbgrinder on ‘Sound Around Town’, Mooqee again with Pimpsoul, this time on ‘Keep Pounding’, Prosper & Stabfinger‘s ‘Mista Funkmaster’, Beatvandals & A.Skillz‘s ‘Sunshine’, Pimpsoul’s remix of Rory Lyons & Utah Saints‘ ‘I Got 5 On It’ and Featurecast‘s ‘Yum Yum’. If you’ve never heard any of those tracks, your day will be made once you do! Oh yeah, I also love ‘Happy Now’ by Mr No Hands, which is the best tune in the world! (That should buy me a bit more time writing for LSM, fingers crossed!).
Whilst ‘Bombstrikes: 15 Years’ is packed with further classics from the vaults from The Niceguys, Ali B, Basement Freaks, Phibes, Krafty Kuts, Boca 45 and The Allergies amongst others, there’s also room for brand new music as Second Hand Audio remix Shaka Loves You‘s ‘Boogie’ feat. Fullee Love, Ninjula‘s ‘Take My Hand’ and Mooqee and Beatvandals 2019 Disco rework of their own tune ‘Player’ to name just a few.
We can only but doth our caps in admiration of what Mooqee and Beatvandals have achieved over the years and for the high-quality of music they choose to release on their mighty label and with the tracks they painstakingly hand-picked for their album, they encompass precisely what Bombstrikes is all about. They’ve also put together a one hour mix that you’ll get when you buy the 31 track album. As a Brucie-bonus, they’re also releasing a free track on Juno every day for 15 days with each track only available to download for free for 24 hours. They are on day 3 now so grab today’s free track by Bazza Ranks & Imagine This and stay tuned for the rest on the buy link just below.
Just one last thing before you get stuck into the interview, if you really dig the artwork, which does blow the mind the more and more you read it, you can now wear it on a very cool t-shirt for a limited time only. To see how cool it looks and to buy one Click Here.
Mr No Hands Interview
Hi Mooqee & Mr Tim Beatvandals!
Congrats on the new album “15 Years of BombStrikes” and ultimately, accumulating that many years behind the wheels of steel! A lot’s happened in the 15 years – any particular highlights or challenges overcome?
It’s been a very eventful 15 years and the highlights are definitely turning a vinyl DJ only label into a fully fledged label and going on to release compilations with some of our favourite artists such as the Funk N Beats series, Bass Funk volumes and the Disco Funkin compilation. That was when it got serious and not just us making tunes, releasing them and raising enough funds to do the next one which was how it was originally back in the day.
When we started it was before the digital revolution really kicked in so we have had to grow and adapt to this market and turn this into a full-time business which is what it is today. As any label will tell you, in today’s current climate it is very hard to sell music and put a value on it as there is so much free music out there in the market place, but we are still going strong and looking forward to the next 15 years. Hopefully, by maintaining our crazy high standards we have managed to keep moving forward.
Over the years of rockin’ da parties, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of weird shit out on the road… what’s your favourite ‘do you remember the time’ pub story – the one you always tell… ?
Probably being in this club where everything was so perfect, the set up was amazing, the club was amazing, the hospitality was amazing, next level stuff (It’s not often that happens) and it was really busy as well so everything was set up for it to be the ‘perfect gig’ and then we went on and it had one of those horrible Db meters that was set so low to cut out the music when it hit the limit that it was literally so quiet in there you could hear the people at the front talking amongst themselves throughout the whole gig and no matter what you played you could not get the place rocking because it was so damn quiet….
(Tim) Also had a gig once where the set time was 2am so I thought I would get a quick sleep in at the hotel at about 8pm and then woke up the next day at 9.30 in the morning…Whooops!!
Mooq’s – I’ve always wanted to know – what the fuck is a Mooqee anyway?!
That would be breaking the official secrets act! There is a reason behind the name (or several reasons I have put out there down the years) but the real reason is a closely guarded secret!
And, Tim – what, other than beats, do you like to vandal? Or do beats have your exclusive attention?
Well besides doing this I am also one half of Utah Saints and I also make house music with another producer under the name Freq and have had a couple of releases on the Armada label and I also have been doing some writing for some other well-known house acts this year but can’t say who at this time.
I am also involved in the Beatherder Festival where we curate a stage every year called The Ring, so I help vandalise the line ups each year. We have a 15-year Bombstrikes take over this year on the Friday night (12th July). We also did a Stage take over at Shindig Festival this year which was awesome as we had the likes of Shaka Loves You, X-Ray Ted, Fort Knox Five and Nick Thayer playing alongside ourselves.
What were the latest beats to get vandalized a la Tim? And do they make an appearance on the new ’15 Years of BombStrikes’ album?
The latest beats that I have vandalized are with my partner in crime on the label Mooqee. We remixed a track that we put out back in the day called Player and this new 2019 remix makes an appearance on the album.
It’s pure disco grooves and it works really well. We road tested it during our Back to back set at Shindig and it went off.
I have also been working on a remix for Alexander Norman ft Dynamite MC and a track called ‘Flamingo’ which is forthcoming on Bomb Strikes in the next few months.
So, what can you tell us about this album other than obviously a) it’s awesome and everyone should own a copy and b) it’s been 15 years in the making:
It’s a true reflection of the last 15 years and it is very eclectic as there is Funk, Disco, 110 Beats, Breakbeat and Drum and Bass on there but it somehow gels together really well. I think both of us have always had one common thread when A&R’ing music that we can release on the label and that is a very high-quality threshold and also there is an underlying theme running through everything regardless of genre and that is the Funk. It helps as we both DJ as well so we think we have a pretty good idea of whether a track would work or not and if we wouldn’t play it out ourselves then we probably wouldn’t release it.
And how difficult was it to choose 30 odd tunes from the entire back catalogue?! Did you guys fall out over what to include??
It was tough to do so we both drew up separate lists of what we thought should be in the final track list and the ones which were common in both of our lists went straight in and the others we discussed over a civilised cup of tea and a slice of cake and then we came up with the final list but we then ummed and arrghhd over it and over thought about it for a further 2 weeks and then bingo, we had our final list. Time for a celebratory coffee and more cake!
Guys! Secretly… between you and me, what do you think it is the single best tune you released on BombStrikes (other than Mr No Hands ‘Happy Now’)?
Tim: Obviously Mr No Hands ‘Happy Now’ was the single best tune we have ever released and that goes without saying which is why it made the final track listing but there are so many good tracks over the years and it is very hard to pick a best one.
My personal favourite of the tracks that I have made over the years I would have to say is ’Sunshine’ that I did with my good friend A. Skillz as it’s just a great feel-good track that I still don’t get tired of hearing and normally you can’t listen to your own tracks after you have made them as you always spot things that you would want to change.
Mooqee: Mr Who? Haha… in all seriousness that one made it onto the album at the first stage, I think. It’s so hard to choose a single track from so many. I’m so proud of lots of them for different reasons. The tracks I did with Herbgrinder (Rain and Sound Around town) still do it for me when I hear them. Also, Keep Pounding was a big moment for me & Pimpsoul holding down no.1 for over 150 days and winning a track of the year on Beatport. But Funk Machine man is where it started for me as Mooqee and I’m still hyped to have had people like Mix Master Mike dropping it to thousands of peeps at the Beastie Boys shows. See I told you I couldn’t pick one! And that’s before I even talk about the music on our current artists like Shaka Loves You, X-Ray Ted and Basement Freaks are delivering…those fellas are really doing the business moving things forward.
Are there any artists you’d like to see make a massive come back, other than Mr No Hands and Susan Boyle?
Well, we are still waiting for the Mr No Hands follow up and hopefully, that will make it in time for the 30-year compilation. Besides that, we bumped into Mr Nick Thayer the other week and spent an hour or so telling him why he should make a new Tom Booze Ep for us. We offered him all sorts of bribes and promises to do this as he always made great releases that were straight out battle weapons that you would always drop in your sets.
So watch this space and we shall see if this comes to light….
In the realm of funk edits and boots – do you not think we’ve chopped and changed pretty everything worth editing?! Or have you guys still go plenty of funk classics in the vault to edit?
You could argue that everything has been done in some shape or form as the number of times I think I have found something that I think has not been used and then you check on Who Sampled Who to see who has already sampled it and it has been used 3 or 4 times already over the years is a lot but then you just have to dig a bit deeper into the dark depths of the internet and you will realise that we probably haven’t even tackled a 10th of what is out there to use still though so there is still loads to do. It’s just harder to find.
Looking forward 15 years, what do you think is next for the genre? Where is this all headed?
Who knows and that is the exciting part about this. It’s important to keep pushing things forward and keep an open mind and embrace technology rather than doing the same old thing. It’s about having a balance of giving people what they have come to expect from us while introducing new styles and artists. We have always done that at Bomsbtrikes which I guess is why we are still here after 15 years and hopefully will be at 30!!
Well, we sure hope you guys are rockin’ it in 15 years time! Here’s to the release and to the future!
Right Back at you!!! Cheers
Cheers! Thanks so much for your time guys!
Thanks and big thanks to Life Support Machine who have always been there to support our music and help get it out to the world.
Links for Bombstrikes :