Tag Archives: Coyote Records

Tom E Vercetti shots-6

With grime and drill music in his sight, Tom E. Vercetti has stormed out of the gates in 2015, crafting an elongated, hyper-melodic take on contemporary club sounds, debuting with the Future Perfect EP on Coyote Records and joining up with Lovedr0id and Chemist as Silk Road Assassins (an outfit now signed to Planet Mu0). With tracks like “Crystal Cloak” and “A Matter Of Perspective” floating around, not to mention Silk Road Assassins efforts like “Shaded” and “T (Peace Edit)”, it was only a matter of time before the general public picked up on Vercetti.

Inspired by everything from Lil Durk’s analgesic raps to the TimeSplitters game, Future Perfect is the Southwest England’s solo debut and it fits perfectly into another big year for Coyote, another beatific, introspective take on rap and grime that could almost be taken as a companion piece to Spokes’ Green Eyes EP and Letta’s Testimony LP. It’s a conscious step away from aggro grime and rap tropes, leaning towards menace and paranoia as underlying moods. Work with Chicago rapper Mikey Dollaz is on the way in 2016 and along with the Silk Road Assassins EP, it’s looking like a breakout year for Vercetti. Grab Future Perfect here and be on the lookout for more solo material from this riser.

Hi Jack, how are you? Where are you right now?
I’m pretty good thanks. I’m currently jamming in my flat in Bath looking at a pretty nice view.

How did Future Perfect come about? What’s behind the name?
I actually picked up the term from the Timesplitters game and just thought it sounded cool. Then I realised the phrase evoked really lucid imagery of the future as imagined by the world 20/30 years ago. Very crystalline, vibrant and optimistic.

Do you approach your solo work differently from your work as Silk Road Assassins?
Yeah but subconsciously. With solo work I can spend hours fine tuning certain details but that just wouldn’t roll in a collaborative situation. It would be pretty boring for the others if they had to watch someone editing a melody for two hours for example. The solo process is a lot more drawn out and about spending a long time trying to get things perfect. When we make beats together it’s really quick fire and we don’t spend too much time on details until the actual arrangement is down. I don’t ever feel the need to focus on separating the two though because the SRA stuff will naturally have a different feel due to Chemist and Lovedr0id’s approach to it. Though recently the lines have become a bit more blurred as I’ve spent most of my time in SRA mode. My idea to get around that with the next EP is to try things we wouldn’t normally do together as SRA.

Your sound is intensely melodic and seems based in both American and British musical styles. What did you grow up listening to and how has your musical taste developed over time?
I listened to just about everything I could when I was growing up. The first genre I ever properly invested in was bassline back when I first started secondary school. My dad’s friend would always bring back bassline mixtapes from Leicester which I used to rinse. He also taught me how to use Reason and I used to mess about on that trying to make bassline tracks. I’d often have Channel U on at home as well so I was exposed to grime through that mostly. Everyone would also share grime instrumentals on their phones at school because everyone was an MC back then. But at the same time I was really into the American rnb and rap sound around the 2000-2005 period. I think the rnb production from back then has resonated massively in my approach to melody. During secondary school I got into playing guitar and listening to bands like The Smiths and The Cure etc. That took my focus away from dance music for quite a while but I got back into it during college when I started making beats again.

Is there a specific physical and/or virtual space where you see your music excelling?
Geographically I think the music can work in the UK and USA. Grime fans can latch onto the UK influence of the EP and there’s also the obvious trap/rap references which American listeners may be more familiar with. The EP is largely targeted at the virtual world though. It’s meant to be something people will come across whilst chilling at home, heading into the Youtube abyss. I always had the club at the forefront of my mind while writing the EP though so it’s intended to be experienced there too.

Bits of non-human sounding vocals show up throughout Future Perfect. How do you go about selecting samples and what effect are you trying to get across by including them?
The vocal samples are usually taken from rnb tracks I used to like as a kid. Most of the time I try to obscure them a bit and not use obvious parts of acapellas but sometimes it’s cool to put something in there that people will recognise. I find having a human element to electronic music makes it subconsciously more relatable to people. Vocal tracks always go off in clubs and people just seem to like hearing human voices in music.

How did Silk Road Assassins’ “Shaded” get involved with the 20 year Planet Mu compilation?
Kuedo originally hit us up about doing a release on a label he was starting which became Knives. I think as time went on the music seemed to fit less with what Kuedo wanted to do with the label so him and Mike Paradinas decided to get us involved with Planet Mu instead. ‘Shaded’ is a track we wrote for our EP and Mike also decided it would fit with his idea of the compilation.

Do you have a favorite club in Bristol?
Bristol can be really hit and miss with club nights so a club could be great one night and dead on another. I think one of the best nights I’ve been to in Bristol was at The Croft. I think it was Dubloaded in 2012 and was Bristol at its best. Very sweaty and smoked out. Another cool space is The Island which is an arts space based in an old police station. I went there for Batu’s Timedance night a while back. It’s crazy because it’s essentially a club in a prison. The toilets are in a jail cell. Cosies is always fun too when the PTS nights are on.

You’ve included tracks Chicago rappers Lil Durk and Billionaire Black in your mix for Complex a little while back. Do you see a dialogue emerging between UK-based producers like yourself and rappers from Chicago (or another regional American rap city)?
That’s the hope. Our approach to the Silk Road stuff kinda about exploring the links between UK dance music and drill music. I think the energy of both types of music is really similar and there’s definitely crossover potential. We want to tap into the Chicago/Atlanta rap movement and try work with some rappers out there eventually. The link is definitely already there to some extent though. There’s a mixtape coming out next year from a Chicago rapper called Mikey Dollaz with a lot of UK informed production on it. We’ve done something for that.

Do you have a favorite Chicago rapper? Producer?
Probably Lil Durk. I think it’s his ear for melody that catches my attention over anyone else. I also really like the production in his work. Which leads me on to say my favourite Chicago producer is probably Parris Bueller as he produced most of Durk’s best work.

What do you have planned for 2016?
We’ve got the Silk Road EP to put out alongside some other work. I also want to write another solo EP and hopefully get the chance to work with some people I normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to.

LETTA_ALBUM-138 copy

A little while back, Los Angeles-based Letta sent Tomas at Coyote Records a few demos. The London-based label head became enamored with the works and hit Letta back, starting a process that would eventually become Testimony, his debut album out next week on Coyote. Nominally a grime outlet, Coyote works to break artists (Spokes, Silk Road Assassins, Forever Forever, etc.) with a left field approach to the London sound, melding tradition with wildly inventive approaches to melody. In that context, Letta’s inclusion in the Coyote fold makes all too much sense, but it’s been far from a linear path to this point, a story of addiction, rekindled inspiration and long lost family ties that we outlined in our interview with a few weeks ago. Last night, Letta took to the decks at the Coyote Boiler Room in London (still looping to our knowledge), sharing the stage with Last Japan, AJ Tracey and more and strutting Testimony and other material on his biggest stage yet. And while a record like Testimony isn’t exactly the banging club record that most Boiler Room audiences prefer, it fit seamlessly with performances from the rest of the Coyote roster, belying Letta’s status as a consummate outsider and snuffing out any doubts as to why he has been brought in for the label’s first full length release.

Listening to Letta’s Astral Plane mix a few days before his departure for the London, it becomes clear that his love for outsider music, whether that be Gang of Four or Mr. Mitch, seems to mesh easily with the weirder strains of modern rap and R&B. It’s not ever day that Ciara and Akira or Loom and D-Lo sit side by side, but through his own bootlegs and a few additions from Purple Tape Pedigree’s own Geng, the mix seems to come together with a somewhat jarring cinematic grace, topped off with well chosen and well placed dialogue snippets from The Wire. It shows off a more mischievous side of Letta’s repertoire as well, seen in his past bootleg work and hidden just below the surface throughout Testimony. This is most apparent in the way he works banger/big room quality vocal work over decidedly introspective beat work, drawing out qualities in both components that might otherwise have lied dormant. Letta will be hitting a good deal of radio while he’s in London so be on the lookout for those announcements and don’t forget to pre-order Testimony (out October 7)!

Read More

LETTA_ALBUM-138 copy

It’s another blistering day as Letta and I sit outside the Arts District warehouse he’s currently staying at. Los Angeles’ famed beat scene is the topic of conversation, or, more accurately, the lack of recent innovation in Los Angeles’ beat scene. “I can’t fuck with anymore 404 drum machines or those god damn jazzy seventh chords that sound like Nintendo. How long can you do that?” Hailing from the Northwest, Tony Nicoletta has followed a roundabout path to his current location, a path rife with internal struggle, addiction and violence. Letta is also sick of the deluge of kids following outfits like Team Supreme and Soulection. “If I were that positive I would be married and be a real estate agent and have a huge house. All this shit that makes LA seem so laid back and peaceful gets to me.”

With his debut Testimony LP out on October 9, Letta has a lot on his mind and while LA’s hoards of teenage trap DJs are a drag, the album’s background soon takes over the conversation. “I did the hip hop thing for a really long time. Always slower than the boom bap-y stuff, more on a Portishead tip. I was always making shit at 65-70 BPM. I just sampled shit for years.” The conversation takes a detour to the tragic passing of legendary Brownsville rapper Sean P, one of Letta’s favorite MCs and an immensely relatable figure. Nonetheless, Nicoletta later laments that “words are dead” and, at least for now, he’s working almost entirely with the instrumental format, blending the occasional sample into the mix but largely letting his pensive, harmonically thorough productions shine on their own.

Letta first came across grime in the early 2000s, initially attracted by the sparse arrangements and dark minimalism of Wiley, Ruff Sqwad and Tinchy Strider. The MCs reminded him of East Coast rap’s rougher streak, the cold, no-fucks-given attitude that would also attract him to Portishead and Gang of Four. In fact, Letta’s dad was in several Seattle and Bellingham-based synth pop bands, an uneven (but unsurprising) musical lineage that included the passing down of an Ensoniq ESQ-1. Years later, after a long stint in a methadone clinic, Letta would utilize a Casio-101 to begin to realize the sound found throughout Testimony, a cavernous blend of twisting, heart-wrenching synth lines and punchy drum programming loosely based in classic grime, but more akin to the style pumped out by other Coyote artists like Spokes and Last Japan, as well as much of Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper roster.

Hit the jump to read the full Letta feature interview…

Read More


As editor for Mixmag and head of Coyote Records, Tomas Fraser’s curatorial skills have never really been in question, but, as FACT notes, the “conveyor belt”-like nature of the label is continuously surprising. A few weeks ago, the label held their three year anniversary party featuring Dark0, Last Japan w/ Trim and a who’s who of label favorites. Spooky showed up with USBs on hand and, by all accounts, the party was an unabated success, both highlighting the label’s heavy hitters (Last Japan) and younger go getters (Forever Forever, Chemist). On June 1, Coyote will release the debut EP, Green Eyes, from London’s Spokes and a vinyl pressing will follow on June 28. Having already featured mixes from Coyote representatives Chemist and OH91, it was only fitting for Spokes to cook up a mix for the site and the volume he produced is a testament to the eclectic nature of contemporary instrumental grime.

With a remix from E.M.M.A on the tail end, Spokes’ Green Eyes is an effervescent take on a collection of grime’s classic tropes, from an obsession with minor chords to the carefully constructed sub frequencies. “Lo Pan Strikes” and “Mutations” are available to stream now courtesy of Boiler Room and FACT respectively and each has garnered attention from Blackdown, Slackk and other on-the-cusp selectors. Spokes’ Astral Plane mix reads like a roll call of his contemporaries and potential experimental influences, from Yamaneko, Iglew and Sharp Veins to Steve Reich, Bill Kouligas and Lee Gamble. The mix twists and turns from brilliant melody to brilliant melody, blasts of percussive noise entering the picture periodically, but unlike the steady, predictable groove of house and techno, Spokes’ work is deliciously non-linear. And with Green Eyes on the not-so-far horizon and Tom E. Vercetti seemingly in the Coyote staple, the label won’t be running out of starry eyed grime releases any time soon.

Read More


Continuing our year end coverage, we asked Tomas Fraser, head of breathtaking grime outlet Coyote Records, which 2014 songs he wished he could have signed. It’s a bit of a silly hypothetical, but while signing a “Take Time” is almost always a heartbeat decision, the amount of factors that go into a label signing are often overwhelming. Tomas does an excellent job with Coyote and while he couldn’t snag the following, Mumdance x Novelist, Murlo, CYPHR, Visionist or Gantz x El Mahdy Jr. tracks this year, his label has turned out quality releases from Chemist and Spare, as well as their annual compilation, Coyote Kings 2. Check out Tomas’ selection below and hit the jump to stream Rejig’s contribution to the aforementioned compilation. Also, be sure to peep Riley Lake’s Fave Discontinued Hardware from yesterday!

Mumdance ft. Novelist – ‘Take Time’ (Rinse)

Would loved to have released a record on this based primarily on the fact that it single-handedly gave power back to the MCs – it proved that MCs could do the intricate, new world of contemporary instrumental grime production justice and vice versa. Don’t think we’ll fully appreciate it for a few years yet either.

Murlo – Cold Stroke (Oil Gang)

Spent the last 10 months or so fast-forwarding mixes just to reload ‘Cold Stroke’ – it’s just one of those tracks that I’ll always love. Was chuffed to see it get a proper release because I still think it stands as one of his best pieces of production to date.

CYPHR – Sun (Her Records)

Went under the radar a bit this one but it blew me away listening to it for the first time. The way the track builds and all the components intertwine is genuinely beautiful – even my boss bought the EP after I played it in the office. Says it all really.

Visionist – More Pain (Lit City Trax)

Visionist has my favourite production aesthetic in the game and ‘More Pain’ is probably the best example of how he goes about his work. It reminds me of a prayer of sorts in the sense that it’s gothic and moody and haunting and almost spiritual, all at the same time – it’s this sense of emotional urgency that makes him stand out from the rest for me.

Gantz ft. El Mahdy Jr – Rising (Deep Medi)

Not my usual bag but I know Gantz is a great producer and alongside El Mahdy Jr, something clicked for me. There’s a real tangible sense of spirituality about ‘Rising’ – perpetuated by Mahdy Jr’s enchanting vocal – and the way Gantz joins the dots between the classic Medi template & the sounds of his own heritage and culture is first class.

Read More


Sliding into the tail end of yet another jam packed year, Coyote Records are set to make another indelible impression on the grime world with their second annual compilation, Coyote Kings Vol. II. The original Coyote Kings, released at the tail end of 2013, established Coyote Records as a forced to be reckoned with in the ever-packed London grime scene, as well as coalescing almost every Coyote artist into the same audial space. Arctic, Spokes, Chemist and Walter Ego are all key cogs in the Coyote make-up, spraying their idiosyncratic, hypertrophied take on grime across several releases in the past year, but some of their best work shows up on Coyote KingsVol. II represents expansion for the Coyote team, delving further into the Australian hinterland with the addition of Strict Face, as well as bringing periphery Boxed producers Sharp Veins and Yamaneko into the mix. Chemist and Spokes are the only artists to appear on both volumes, but that doesn’t represent a repudiation of last year’s sound as much as an abbreviation and subsequent extension of the artists and aesthetic brought on the original. Strict Face’s “Taipan Showers” is our first taste of Vol. 2, a fight song-worthy entryway to the tape’s inner confines replete with untempered sino-derived melodies and mean hydraulic streak. It’s a far cry from the beatific cityscapes evoked on the Adelaide-based producer’s recent Gobstopper and Tuff Wax EPs, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to the denizens of Strict Face’s ever evolving world. Coyote Kings Vol. II is out December 22 and you can find the track list after the jump.

Read More


Houston grime provocateur Rabit has a special way of tearing apart an original and rearranging and reorienting it in his own, oft vicious, more often beatific style. The man has seemingly had his hand in every new mutation that grime has endured in recent months and the latest recipient of the Rabit treatment is Coyote Records representative Chemist. Rabit’s gurning square waves take center stage while uncomfortably harsh snares play the propulsion role and bare 808 blips prove a necessary respite from the blaring sub bass. Grime can often function on a level of extreme poles with oft-sickly sweet melodic content on one end juxtaposed with unremitting inside-the-box masculinity and aggression on the other, but Rabit consistently manages to draw the two apart and smash them back together as one. Chemist’s Defiance EP is out via Coyote in digital form on July 29 and physical August 11.


We first heard “Defiance” a few months ago at the tail-end of Chemist‘s raucous Astral Plane mix and the punctilious grime weapon has surfaced in official fashion this week. Set for a release on Coyote Records, “Defiance” draws from the industrial, mechanized side of grime populated by SD Laika, Rabit and Saga, utilizing squarewave bass in short blasts over snapping, brittle snares with brutal, dynamic affect. “Defiance” will appear on an EP of the same name, due in the near future on Coyote, which also has a follow-up to the eminently relevant Coyote Kings compilation on the way.

chemist-uk2013’s end-of-year list busting Coyote Records compilation, aptly titled Coyote Kings, rung many a bell through its vivacious, immediate take on grime. Bringing in a mixture of new and old artists, the south London label’s collection featured the likes of recent Astral Plane mixer OH91, old school Skepta running-mate P Jam and relative unknowns (at the time) Spare and Jon DeVille. In hindsight, Coyote Kings was something of a seminal listen for this particular listener, proving in bombastic fashion that contemporary grime can both shmang on a soundsystem level and offer forward-thinking melodic content. Of the Coyote stable of artists, no one epitomizes that coalition better than Chemist.

Like many of his contemporaries, Chemist doesn’t actually have an “official” release to his name yet, but that hasn’t stopped him from garnering plaudits from some of grime’s more esteemed outlets. The UK producer’s “Hoodrat” (his contribution to Coyote Kings) has been utilized as a focal point in many a DJ set, its drastic mutations between feather-pillow loftiness and slamming, percussive weight captivating casual listeners and DJs alike. Chemist’s productions are angular, hawkish and immersive, often fluctuating between aggressive detonations and string-led melodies that are equal parts affecting and chilling. Chemist sits perfectly in the grime continuum, he often draws samples from video games like Metal Gear Solid, but his output also retains a certain tenderness that belies his propinquity for percussive machinations. This Summer, Chemist will release his debut “Defiance” single on Coyote Records, his first “official” record, albeit one that has already made its way into the Rinse rotation. Chemist’s Astral Plane mix brings the sort of gun finger waving attitude that we’ve come to expect from Coyote artists and we couldn’t be more excited to indulge in its madness. New and unreleased tunes from Rabit, Dark0 and Kakarot shine, while “Defiance” comes towards the end and rounds the mix off with aplomb. Enjoy. Track list after the jump.

Read More


The best club music possesses a certain level of immediacy. There’s a lot of squishy rhetoric surrounding the “togetherness” and shared experience of club and drug culture, but it’s undeniable that a certain sensation is widely felt when the DJ plays that song. It’s not the hand-in-the screams of festival kids or slack jaw grins of pill heads, but a quiet, resounding sense of submission among the crowd at-large. It’s the sentiment I felt when OH91‘s remix of Kahn’s “Percy” first graced my ears. It wasn’t the shear physical force of the song, or it’s head-spinning structure that struck me, but the immediate bodily submission I felt. It’s not that the song is universally adored, it’s the immediacy that those that know will almost undoubtedly feel.

Luckily for OH91, many others besides myself feel similarly and his name has been on the tongue of many a grime enthusiast over the past few years. Bred in the rich Bristol scene, the man born Omari Champagnie has only a few releases to his name, but each one has proved his talents in a different realm of UK music. He’s released fluttering, funk-infused hip hop (on Subdepth), bouncy house/garage, and roughneck, apocalyptic grime (on Coyote Records). Along the way, he’s garnered acclaim from some prime names, getting a Spooky remix on the Coyote release and receiving support from the likes of Kahn & Neek, Royal-T and Elijah & Skilliam. The “Percy” remix put his name on many a tongue, but this young Bristol representative is going to be taking his rightful place among the aforementioned tastemakers before too long. With assistance from Tomas at Coyote Records, OH91 has graced us with our 22nd Astral Plane mix. A quick glance at the track list, might lead an undiscerning listener to conclude that the mix is just an amalgamation of huge grime cuts from the past year or two, but that would be overlooking the expertly placed edits and skillful sequencing. Rather than coming off heavy-handed, the mix is one the most mellifluous 45 minutes you’ll hear all week. An unreleased collaboration with Sir Spyro doesn’t hurt either.

Read More