Autumn 2015 marks the release of ‘X Colour’, the new debut full-length album from Redlight (aka Hugh Pescod), and the start of another new chapter for an artist who’s been immersed in music and creativity for as long as he can recall. “I’ve released a lot of club music in my life,” Redlight continues, “so much of it that I’m very proud of, but this has been a completely new creative experience for me, and as Redlight, this is my first album; it’s not gonna be my last. I wanted to set a strong foundation.” This release is the start of something, a whole new level than before, but in fact the foundation has been building over decades of commitment, packed with career and life-defining moments.
The last major chapter turn was back in 2008. Taking a year out and leaving the drum’n bass scene he’d worked so hard to contribute to with Full Cycle et al; Hugh put a stop on all bookings and releases, then locked himself away in the studio to try and reposition his creative energy – and in many ways recapture the passion for that creative energy. Hugh explains, “I found myself going out and playing raves and not enjoying it like I once had – but it wasn’t the fault of the music or the scene, it was my own fault. I was frustrated for even feeling that way, and I realised I needed to find a new direction at that point.”
That fallow year proved to be a huge turning point, as the artist formerly known as Clipz came again with Redlight, and the launch of a new self-owned label ‘Lobster Boy’. Refocusing and embracing a love for House, Techno, Hip Hop and vocal-lead dance music whilst channelling all the knowledge and inspiration from Jungle, DnB and bass music, this was a whole new genre-free ‘cross-cultured dance music’.
Like many big decisions or changes in life, a newfound drive and direction also proved to lead towards new experiences and friendships. While Releasing early hits for Shy FX’s Digital Soundboy Recordings and Chase and Status’s MTA label, a new generation of UK producers and DJs started to emerge, “When I came with the first Redlight ‘Lobster Boy’ EP, I started to meet some key new people in my life that definitely inspired me. People like Toddla, Skream, Joker – and the guys behind Motion in Bristol where we were all playing at the time. All of us came from different parts of the UK and no one was conforming, we were making our own styles of music that worked for a whole spectrum of others. It was all about independence and doing it for yourself – but everyone shared their music, ideas and released on each other’s labels. It wasn’t just a new name and a new music tempo for me, that time made me realise a whole new way of operating, being creative and working with people.”
Fast-forward to now and Redlight can confidently be placed amongst the UK’s most consistent and exciting producers of recent years. There’s been a slew of stand out releases via his own Lobster Boy label, a UK Top 10 hit in ‘Lost In Your Love’ via Polydor Records, remixes for the likes of Cee Lo Green, Tink and Ms Dynamite, and even a recent single with legendary Wu-Tang Clan founding member Raekwon on the ’36 EP’.
There’s been numerous world tours as a DJ, with an on going 52 week international schedule of shows to perform, Redlight tells us, “There’s very few things that match the buzz of DJing for me, I’ve always loved it.” That combined with a growing roster of label talent on Lobster Boy such as Mele, Mella D, New York Transit Authority and Mak & Pasteman that’s been carefully nurtured and pushed, you have an artist riding the pinnacle of the journey so far.
With the album scheduled for release November 13th, all focus is now on maximising its exposure and continuing to build. There’s a solo US tour scheduled for October, an Annie Mac Presents nationwide tour throughout November alongside Stormzy, Mele and Monki, and some already much hyped new releases to drop on Lobster Boy from MJ Cole, Mele and Mak & Pasteman.
But, now is the time for X Colour.