Amongst other things, Rick Law once ran a respected drum and bass blog, so hopefully some of his magic will rub off on this site via the following interview. Nowadays, alongside Stephen Wheeler, he is one half of duo Law and Wheeler, while with business partner Ben Repertoire he masterminds the label Repertoire. I recently caught up with him to find out about plans, beginning with…
the new release…
It’s a big milestone for us! This year is 10 years since our first release, so we wanted to come up with something big. The timing worked out nicely too since it as it’s our 20th vinyl release – so that’s where the name “10/20” comes from.
Typically, the release was delayed so we had to make the decision to release REPRV021 (Shiken Hanzo) before 10/20 (REPRV020). The album consists of eight tracks, available as 2×12” LP and digital.
We’ve also repressed one of our most in-demand 12”s. Overlook – Misty / Motif. So you can grab yourself a black vinyl copy now if you missed it the first time around.
Are the tracks linked in any way, or are they simply a compilation of recent submissions?
We thought long and hard about the format and what to do. Rather than all new tracks, it felt like the right time to look back and reflect. So we picked eight of our biggest or favourite tracks, and spent a long time finding the right remixers for each one.
Is there any particular track that you’re highlighting in the run up to the release?
We’re so pleased with all of them. On a personal level I’ve got to say Misty remix. We were hyped but perhaps a little daunted when Overlook gave us the green light. The original is so perfect, it was hard to know where to start.
It took in total about 9 months of back and forth between myself and Wheeler, including a shelved version that sounds totally different to the final one.
In the end, we went for a kind of caricature of the original. So there’s more pads, even more breaks and edits, a total switch up for the second drop, and made it a bit more dancefloor friendly.
Other personal highlights: Sonar’s Ghost remix of Second Chance – which until this day I think is one of Tim Reaper’s best tunes. Sonar’s Ghost effortlessly turned it out.
I’ve got a soft spot for the Eusebeia remix of “Night Forms”. Seb is a very talented guy and has carved out a distinct sound of his own already – check his remix of Kosheen’s “Hide U” for evidence. That’s Seb on the vocals too!
Now, I have a bit of an appetite for all things Shiken Hanzo, so how about a few words about the Maya Warfare e.p.?
Another producer with a completely unique style. It was a bit of a gamble for Repertoire, as some of the tracks are slightly different to the sound we’re perhaps known for. But we’ve never wanted to be typecast as just a jungle label or just an amen label anyway.
I’ve wanted to put out his music ever since I first heard “Guruwa” a few years ago, whilst Ben loved the epic “Reaper Death Seal”. We briefly met at Rupture and a plan for the release came soon after. Big up Hanzo!
And do Law and/or Wheeler have anything in the pipeline?
Yes, 2019 has been my most productive year by far. There’s lots signed and due to come out on various labels, all slated for 2020.
It’s a bit early to be specific, but there should be a four track solo EP, a solo track on an album, and a 12” alongside Kola Nut. These are all on other labels (not Repertoire).
Plus, there will be a full Law & Wheeler EP released on Repertoire – likely to be REPRV023.
What about gigs, have you any upcoming that we should know about?
I’m at Rupture’s 13th birthday on November 29th, other than that it’s looking a bit dry. Promoters, hit us up on firstname.lastname@example.org !
Sherelle’s Reprazent radio show has had a number of Repertoire guest slots. Is there a regular schedule here, or is it on a more ad hoc basis? And how did this slot come about?
Nah, there’s no regular slot. For the first show, Sherelle emailed us out of the blue to come down and spin a guest mix. I think it was about a month or two later she smashed up Boiler Room, and ever since she’s blown up massively! She was kind enough to invite us down again for a second show.
Big up Sherelle and the whole 6 Figure Gang. It’s exciting to see a younger generation not only spinning jungle old and new, but making it their own, mashing it up with other genres. LUCY, Fauzia, Jossy Mitsu – check out their mixes. You’re gonna get RNB, classic UKG, footwork and jungle, all in a single set. Proper selectors!
Talking about DJ appearances, are there any selections from beyond the Repertoire back catalogue that you’d recommend at present?
There’s simply too much music to mention! We get sent a lot of tunes, demos and stuff to play on Repertoire Excursions, and even narrowing that down to tracks we actually have time to play is hard enough. Check out the shows at https://soundcloud.com/repertoiresound
Of the Repertoire releases thus far, do any stand out as being especially significant for yourselves?
REPRV001 – For obvious reasons
REPRV002 – As it was crowd sourced and shows us what was possible
003 – Crowd sourced again and got some great artists involved including the Invisible Man, who is a bit of a hero of mine.
010 and 020 as little landmarks too.
Looking back at this interview in dnbarena, you describe Repertoire as “still a hobby”. Is this still the case, or has it become more of an occupation?
Things have gotten a bit more serious but not really in a good way. Taxes and paperwork!
But yeah it’s still a hobby and will remain that way, unless the impossible happens and somehow it could pay a wage.
From my interview with Damien Dark, I know you were a part of the Dominion Order. Can you give us an idea of what your involvement was? And what you gained from the experience?
Dominion Order came out of the legendary Parliament Music shop in Hertford. I’m a bit sketchy on dates, but I guess somewhere around 2003 the shop rebranded as the Dominion Order and they invested in a nice online radio set up.
I’d known Mat Reflex for a while and Damien was key to the whole Dominion rebrand, so I ended up spinning on the station for a while. Eventually they moved studios a little further afield and it just became too much to fit into my personal life. Big up those guys, I spent many hours talking music and mixing down there. Proper DJs and students of D&B!
While we were on holiday last year, my girlfriend took this photo of the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. I need to know, have Repertoire and Acid Lab got some sort of Junglist surveillance operation in place?
Haha sadly no. But we have a couple of stores that stock our vinyl over there. One in Tokyo and one in Osaka I think. I’d love to go one day.
And to finish off, anyone else that Repertoire/Law and Wheeler would like to give a shout out to?
After 21 vinyl and a tonne of digital releases, we’ve worked with loads of artists, so big up to everyone who has passed through the label.
Personally, big shouts to Ben – who practically runs the label day to day and brought it back from the dead. The label wouldn’t be here without him. Wheeler, Kola Nut, Snakey (who has helped with demos and concepts an untold number of times), Sherelle, Mantra and Double-O, Si and 2 Bad Mice, and everyone who has supported us and given us a platform