Introducing : Future Wildstyle
Andy Hinchcliffe and Austin Sherman have been familiar faces behind the DJ decks of Sheffield for quite some time now, both reliable party-starters with a keen ear for a dancefloor heater.
A resident at Sheffield Students' Union's long-running underground music night The Tuesday Club, Andy H has supported some of dance music's most revered names over the years, but is far from your bog-standard warm-up DJ. His turntablist reputation stretches far beyond the Steel City, and has previously graced the finals of the UK DMC championships, while he also runs his own label, First Word Records.
Rev. Austin Sherman is the brains behind Sheffield's hugely popular hip hop and R&B mash-up night, UGLY, and there are few dancefloors in the city that he has yet to fill. So much so that he's now taken his irrepressible talents over to Manchester, but still finds the time to link up with good friend and collaborator Andy on their new project, Future Wildstyle.
The pair released their debut material on Rico Tubb's Bass=Win label at the end of 2015 with the Ultrafunkula EP, and recently followed it up with the Hyper Vibes EP at the beginning of July this year. Ahead of their appearance at The Night Kitchen as part of this year's Tramlines festival in Sheffield, we spoke to the pair to get the Future Wildstyle story so far - they've also very generously provided us with a mix showcasing their talents, featuring burners from Champion, DVA, Rico Tubbs and Addison Groove, and of course a sprinkling of their own productions.
Listen to and download the mix below:
How did you first meet?
Austin – Well, Andy's a resident at The Tuesday Club at the Foundry (in Sheffield Students' Union) and I used to go most weeks when I was at uni - to be honest we would quite often sack off whoever was headlining in the main room and just go and watch Andy smash it in the back room, so I knew who he was for ages. I can't remember how we actually first met but we've been working together for quite a while; I used to run a weekly hip hop night and whenever we had a big event on we always got Andy down to play, he was kind of like our “super resident”. I also used to work for a label that he ran for a while too.
Tell us a bit about each of your musical backgrounds?
Andy - I guess I made my DJ career as a hip hop DJ, and my record collection (which has become our sampling mine) is very hip hop heavy. Jungle, breakbeat and hardcore also played a big part in my early years of buying music. While the evolution and roots of hip hop in the US is now very well documented, we had a similar thing going on at the same time here in the UK with house, hardcore and jungle. It was a genuinely exciting time for UK music, and it still influences so much music we hear today.
Austin – I've kind of done bits of everything I guess. I used to play any instrument I could get my hands on, and was in hardcore/emo bands when I was a teenager and then a folk band for a few years that did pretty well. I got into electronic music via super chilled-out downtempo stuff like Lemon Jelly, Mr. Scruff, Avalanches etc. and I was kind of DJing house parties and stuff in the background during all that. My DJ career got a jump-start by winning a competition to support Kissy Sell Out at Sankeys when fidget and electro were big, which lead to me getting involved in a few collectives playing that kind of vibe for a while. I ran a hip hop night for a few years too, so I guess I take influences from just about everywhere and pretty much jump at any opportunity to collaborate and make music that's a bit different.
When did the idea for Future Wildstyle first come about?
Andy - I had been working on a few tracks and ideas but I kept hitting a creative wall. I ran a few of the tracks past Austin, and he instantly had some new ideas to get them across the finishing line. Once those tracks were polished off and released we started on new stuff. Austin is always sending me tracks to listen to that he's being influenced by, and I match them up with tracks that I have been wanting to sample.
What do you feel characterises a Future Wildstyle production?
Andy - We are both into jungle/hip hop-type breakbeats, even though we come at it from different angles. So when it comes to drum programming we like to have fun with it. No straight 4x4 kicks in these tunes; it has to have some element of programmed beats to every track.
How does the Future Wildstyle live set-up work?
Austin - So when we first started getting gigs as Future Wildstyle I'd just bought this Pioneer SPD1 controller for Serato that fully changed the game for me. I started using the pads to add percussion over the top of tunes and doing some kind of live remixing, so I tend to bash around on that while Andy DJs but we switch it up, too. We wanted to make our sets a bit more interesting to watch than just two guys essentially DJing back-to-back and playing a couple of tunes each, we definitely didn't want one of us to be standing around waiting for his turn while the other one mixes.
Can you tell us about three tracks that you find never fail to go off in a set?
Anything by Special Request, but especially his Tessela - 'Hackney Parrot VIP' he did stands out:
Ultrafunkula from our last EP has always done us proud on the dancefloor:
If it feels right, I like to fit in some original breakbeat hardcore or a bit of jungle. Something like Deep Blue - Helicopter always does the job - even though it's over 20 years old it still cuts through and moves the dancefloor:
Catch Future Wildstyle at The Night Kitchen on the Saturday of Tramlines (July 23rd). Tickets for Tramlines are available through PFTP here.