London’s Hospital Records has been running for nearly two decades now, and in the process has moved from the fringes of the drum & bass scene to being an instrumental force in shaping British dance music, thanks to signed artists like High Contrast, Netsky, Danny Byrd and London Elektricity. Their ethos, explains label co-director Tomahawk, is about “trying to put the fun back into drum & bass. It’s about moving away from the dark side and putting soul and funk back into the action too.”
That’s an attitude they showcase on their Rinse FM show, with Tomahawk on the turntables and fellow label director Chris Goss presenting, along with monthly guest appearances from artists and label staff. It’s the latest incarnation of Hospital Radio, which has previously been broadcast on a number of stations and networks since 2001. The format, explains Tomahawk, hasn’t changed too much over the years. “It’s basically a cross section of drum & bass, so not just what people might expect to hear released on Hospital.” So, he explains, expect to hear everything from banging neurofunk, via out and out jump-up fun, all the way to ambient microfunk.
“We’ve always shirked away from that po-faced, too serious side of drum & bass, which it gets known for, when people outside of drum & bass think ‘It’s just geezers in puffa jackets’,” says Tomahawk. “We want to make it a bit more lighthearted and accessible for people.” That extends to their attitude towards genre – never afraid to dabble with other tempos, Hospital has been built on bringing the influences of other sounds into drum & bass, so expect a few sonic curveballs along the way.
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