Toddla T is comin’ straight outta Sheffield as we brace ourselves for his first release via legendary UK label Ninja Tune. The relatively recent pairing of Toddla T aka Tom Bell and the imprint might have been a slightly unexpected one but an exciting one at that. As a label which has always championed and fostered innovative, interesting and, to some degree, indescribable artists with a roster grounded primarily in leftfield Hip-Hop, their magic formula has kept them in business for 20 years now. Founded by Matt Black and Jonathan More (better known as Coldcut), they’re celebrating like any label in their position should – with a huge party. Ninja Tune fresher Toddla T will be throwing down alongside the label’s alumnus with a line-up boasting Amon Tobin, Mr Scruff, Bonobo, DJ Food, Roots Manuva and plenty others. Keeping well in the squiggly lines of those before him, Bell’s album promises to be a genre-mashing, energetic and (most importantly) fun outing pon di headphones. Alongside our interview with him in preparation for this Saturday's event, we also present an exclusive mix from label-mate DK.
Dazed Digital: How's the new album sounding?
Toddla T: I’m happy with it for sure, I’ve had more time on it this time, and I’ve traveled a lot on it, been to Jamaica twice writing and recording, as well as the USA, constantly on the road as opposed to been in a studio in Sheffield all the time. I think it comes across on this album. It’s a bit more 'musical' also, more songs rather then emcee styles. I’m a bit older and I think it sounds it.
DD: Do you have much outside of the album that you've been working on recently?
Toddla T: Remixes for Gyptian, Theophilus London and production on Roll Deep’s forthcoming album. Apart from that, just my own stuff and my radio shows.
DD: You signed to Ninja Tune not so long ago, can you tell us a little about how that came about?
Toddla T: I had worked with them in the past on Roots Manuva stuff and once I came out of my deal with Sony, I thought it was the perfect place to go. Musically, I really respect them and their love for music over all the other bullshit was very appealing. They were really into what I was into so we got married!
DD: You'll also be playing at the Ninja Tune XX party - are there any of your newfound label comrades you'd particularly like to see?
Toddla T: I love Jammer, he's a proper pioneer and a legend in grime. One of the originals and so much fun; always makes me smile. Badman!
DD: You recently had a 'dispute' with a certain clothing brand. What exactly happened?
Toddla T: I turned up to one dance and they told me I couldn’t DJ unless I wore their brand. Their excuse was they were paying for the event even though all my friends who were with me had to pay to get in so that didn’t make sense. They then tried to put masking tape over my emcee Trigganom's Nike Logo on his jacket. If I want to be told what to wear i'll go back to Tesco.
DD: Off the top of your head, would you be so kind as to regale us with the first story that comes to mind about your summer in Ibiza...
Toddla T: Me, Skream, Annie Mac, Heidi & Busy P were on a panel at IMS and Busy P gets out a bottle of this mad liquor and says to the crowd 'if you get bored just shout 'BORED' and we'll start to drink this'. Literally 30 seconds into the talk Busy P himself shouts 'BORED' so we all supped the drink whilst doing the conference. Stood up when we'd finished and had to go to bed - I was so legless. Joookes!
DK MIX TRACKLIST
The Herbaliser _ Wall Crawling Giant Insect Breaks
The Heavy _ How you like me now
Amon Tobin _ Sordid
Happy Campers _ No mind
Cadence Weapon _ Getting Dumb
Ryuichi Sakamoto _ Anger (Rare Force 2 meg mix)
Bonobo _ Pick up
Thunderheist _ Sweet 16
Mr Scruff _ Get A Move On
DJ Food _ Peace Pt 1
Daedelus _ Make it so -XXXchange mix
Coldcut _ Walk A Mile In My Shoes
Kentaro _ Free (Accapella)
TTC _ Travailler
Spank Rock _ Rick Rubin
Zero dB _ Bongos, Bleeps & Basslines
Diplo _ Percao
Coldcut _ Timber (Seiji mix)
Bonobo _ Eyesdown (Warrior one mix)
Thunderheist _ Jerk it
Jammer _ One Over Me
Hexstatic _ Distorted minds (Zero dB mix)
Coldcut _ Atomic Moog 2007 (Qemists Remix)
Two Fingers _ That Girl Featuring Sway (Spor Remix)
Amon Tobin _ Like Regular Chickens (Dillinja Mix)
Roots Manuva _ Do Nah Bodda Mi (accapella)
Funki Porcini _ king Ashabanapal (Dillinja mix)
Quincey _ Bruce Lee MC
DJ Vadim _ Terrorist (MIR Crew Remix)
Coldcut _ True Skool (The Qemists mix)
The Qemists _ Your Revolution (Reso mix)
Coldcut _ More beats (USA mix)
Ghislain Poirier _ Blazin (modeselektor mix)
Juice Aleem _ First Lesson (accapella)
Bug _ Poison Dart
Diplo _ Summers Gonna Hurt You (2010 Mix)
Kid Koala _ I got a rock
Mr Scruff _ Ug
DJ Vadim _ Terrorist (accapella)
TTC _ Dans le club
Roots Manuva _ Witness dub
Various Artists - 20th Anniversary mix