Upfront 005 / December 2, 2014

Tusk Wax

A new audio mix series where we call upon the most interesting artists/DJs/record labels and ask them to peer into the near future. How they take it from there is entirely open to interpretation. Tusk Wax (and its subsidiary labels Horn Wax and Porn Wax) exist in a hinterland, a world well outside that of any club scene - yet they produced a continuous flow of outrageously great, deep, sleazy music that is picked up by the greatest connoisseurs within clubland. In five years they've created a catalogue like no other. This mix presents a hint of what their 2015 sounds like.

About this mix

Running a label ain't done for the money, that's for sure. At this point I've been doing it for around five years and its just something I do really. It keeps me off the streets and gives me something to think about beyond work. I get I do it 'cus it not hard work, and I'm lucky that the labels are supported (in terms of sales) without me having to do promotion. If that changes I will stop. That's it. I don't wanna develop, I'm happy with stuff as it is.

The different labels represent different things at different times. Really its best to have a listen to them and make your own mind up. There is a difference but its hard to put your finger on. In the end its me who picks tracks to go on them so inevitably there is degree of crossover and cross-fertilisation. If anyone wants to tell me what the difference is, I'd be happy to listen: just expect to get called a prat if you're wrong.

Who we make them for is simple: all the people who shell out money for them release after release. There are people out there with full and nearly full collections, they are the one who are the most committed to this wee thing. That's who it's for. Yes, a few DJs come into this category but I've got no inclination to name drop them, frankly.

Why the low tempo? Because I'm getting old. And where should they be played? In a pub not full of twats.

Mr. Tusk

Boiler Room says...

Tusk Wax – and its subsidiaries Horn Wax and Porn Wax – are the type of label that refuse categorisation or scene allegiance with some vehemence. If we were pressed to explain the kind of world they operate in, we'd put their generally slowed-right-down, druggy, chuggy sound somewhere in the same quadrant as Andy Blake and Joe Hart's parties and Andrew Weatherall and friends' A Love From Outer Space operation.

This is the world of grizzled old ravers who will not go gentle into that good night, who have years of rich musical experience that they still want to remain immersed in – and who are old enough to see through bullshit and hype and get straight to the heart of the matter. That's why, over half a decade, the mysterious ruralist Mr Tusk and the motley band of creators he has pulled together to release his labels have built a catalogue to be very proud of indeed, presented without faff, ceremony or fancy packaging beyond a bit of coloured vinyl here or gold ink there, yet still consistently selling its 12”s to people who matter.

Tusk/Horn/Porn are never going to be the hype new thing, and that's precisely the point. This is an imprint that can have willies scrawled all over everything if Mr Tusk feels like it – and he does – without it affecting the deep seriousness and briliance of the music. So here, as ever without ceremony, without track titles, and without anything that doesn't need to be there, is the music that Tusk/Horn/Porn are going to be putting out in the next few months, and as ever, it's killer material from start to end.

Joe Muggs

Joe Muggs

Joe is a key Boiler Room contributor. As well as years of freelance writing, he has been a compiler, curator and compere, and he drinks a lot of tea.