Refusing to conform to genres, Alex Sushon brings us London bass through grime, dubstep, UK funky, midget house and tropical
Dazed caught up with Alex Sushon aka Bok Bok, all-things-bassy producer/DJ/graphic designer from South London in between his remixing, production for Dress 2 Sweat, blogging at Lower End Spasm, running his Night Slugs club at East Village with L-Vis 1990, and making mixes for Discobelle, Mixpak, LuckyMe, and Trash Menagerie.
Dazed Digital: Do you feel like a 'London producer', as artists are often associated with where they’re based?
Bok Bok: Totally. I like to think so because I feel like we’ve definitely got something other people don’t have around the world. Having travelled around a bit, playing a few places I can definitely say we’ve got a special thing, the Garage kind of mentality. I think we’re better at it than anyone in the world really, it’s definitely a London thing.
DD: Do you feel tied down to a particular scene?
Bok Bok: Shit, yeah I can’t get out of London, my whole platform would just disappear.
DD: What have you been working on recently?
Bok Bok: I’m finishing a remix for the latest single by Kingdom called Mindreader on Fool’s Gold, kind of Bassline-ish. It’s an amazing track, I’ve been pushing it hard DJ’ing and now I’m finally working on it as a remixer, so that’s cool. Just finished something for a grime label No Hats, No Hoods and also something for Chrissy Murderbot, a kind of 133 BPM Tropical/Grime thing, I could go on...
DD: There is a lot of ‘Tropical’ at the moment…
Bok Bok: Well you find it everywhere the soca drum pattern, that snare-snare thing everyone’s doing at the moment, it’s just the easiest thing to say ‘Tropical’, it’s not really World Music as that sounds really cheesy and it’s not really that anyway as it’s all done by Danes in Europe.
DD: Do you think you've built upon your own scene here, like with the Night Slugs night, how’s the club going?
Bok Bok: It’s going good, we started it about 18 months ago, and it’s definitely come a long way, the night’s really about good DJ’s and establishing more of a sound base in London.
DD: Any future plans, more nights, a record label?
Bok Bok: We have got plans for a label, it’s about to be launched now, we’ve got a bunch of people lined up. It’ll be like a Night Slugs label though I don’t know what’s its going to be called yet. There’s a lot of prep work but it’s all good to go soon, just trying to get it sorted really.
DD: Favourite upcoming artists?
Bok Bok: Kingdom, L-Vis 1990, Shortstuff, Greena, Joy Orbison, the Hessle Audio label who released Anaconda by Untold that Crookers oddly charted on their Beatport, and Cooly G… what makes her stuff so magical is that it’s not quite UK funky but it’s really ‘banging’ and at the same time it’s more kind of deep house.
DD: How's your graphic design going, are you concentrating less on that these days?
Bok Bok: A little bit, I’m only really interested in doing projects that are involved with what I’m working on anyway. The last thing we did was for Simian Mobile Disco, animated films for Synthesizer and 1000 Horses. That thing with all dots. Shitloads of dots. So just bits and pieces I do for people.
DD: Do you have any personal benchmark you're aiming for, like a point where you feel you've ‘made it', say Tiesto level?
Bok Bok: I think the key thing for me is short term goals like me and L-Vis are about to do something for Dress 2 Sweat, an original production thing as opposed to a remix, made from scratch so that’s a tiny little benchmark coming up ideally at the end of August. People get too caught up with how much attention they’re getting, I’m not in any rush, but maybe in 10 years time I’d like to be listed as a label or collective to have contributed to London music, to keep some history of what we’ve done.