Over the last few years, the Hessle Audio label have been instrumental in breaking boundaries between UK musics – dubstep, funky and grime – and a wider array of house, techno and experimental sounds from across the globe. It’s an approach that’s come to define the current state of affairs, as dancefloors have become spaces where genres collide, leading to new rhythmic tensions and the blending of tracks from across time and space.
Co-label heads Ben UFO and David Kennedy, aka Pearson Sound, who host the Hessle Audio show on Rinse FM, have been instrumental in that shift. Renowned for their wide selection and virtuosic DJing, on their shows you’re likely to hear anything from exclusive dubs from UK producers to jacking house, beatless synth music, and anything in between. The differences between these genres, explains Ben, often feel arbitrary enough to disregard them, and instead aim to “bring loads of different stuff together under the same broad aesthetic and have it be seen as part of the same thing.”
As far as their Rinse show’s concerned, Ben continues, “There’s a real emphasis on new music I’ve just been sent, that we want to showcase, or older records that I’ve just bought. Each show is very much its own show. We don’t really go over the same territory. It will be a markedly different selection and a different feel, and if a track is played again it will be in a slightly different context.”
The radio also provides space to take a more adventurous approach. “Some of the stuff we [play on the show] we’re not necessarily going to play in our DJ sets,” says David. “So I guess the Rinse show is just like, here’s some new music which we might not be putting out on the label, but it’s by our friends and peers and people we look up to.”
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