Selections: Bok Bok
In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their Bandcamp collections. This week, Bok Bok spotlights some favourites, from fresh and classic UK Funky to nu-skool grime and more
With the launch of his new label, AP Life, in February 2021, Bok Bok found a new lease of life. During the pandemic, the London producer and DJ, whose Night Slugs label and party with L-Vis 1990 has been at the forefront of underground UK club music since the late ‘00s, was looking for a new source of inspiration.
Having closely followed the evolution of UK rap and drill over the past couple of years, he noticed a lack of DJ culture within those scenes – something that had been central to grime in its initial heyday. While looking to refocus Night Slugs into the more club-driven mode of its early days, Bok Bok took it upon himself to also create something new: a home for rap and drill instrumentals. He founded AP Life with two releases from producers Nammy Wams and Kid D, along with one of his own under a new alias One Bok.
Developing the label has filled Bok with a renewed excitement and creative vigour, both for the new platform and for Night Slugs. Speaking to Complex earlier this year, he said, “I feel more inspired, more hungry than I have been since the start of Night Slugs, if I’m honest”.
On 3rd December, AP Life will host a label party in South London’s Ormside Projects venue, with a line-up featuring A.G. Nammy Wams, Ayaya and more. Learn more about that here.
Below, Bok Bok’s Selections touch on the sounds that have informed both Night Slugs and AP Life, with an emphasis on new music from the UK and beyond, with one recently unearthed classic thrown in for good measure. Dig in below.
“One of my fav tracks by the amazingly talented A.G. I love the combination of how emotional the chords and samples are and how crunchy, hard and intricate the drums are. Watch out for new A.G coming soon on AP Life.”
“Original house music brilliance from a new generation of Detroit producers. You know them tunes that feel like they were made for you? The broken rhythm reminds me of Karizma and his influence on UK Funky; the gorgeous chords and melody really take me there.”
“NGUZUNGUZU’s tribute to instrumental new age ballads a lá Art Of Noise is as authentic as it is sexy. BTW there’s a One Bok remix of this tune.”
“Song of the summer 2021 continues to bang into the winter. What an anthem! Just pure perfection here from KG.”
“OK I’m biased! But this is my favourite cut from Nammy’s newest release on our label AP Life. This one goes very hard. It’s a joy to hear Nammy really elevating his game with every release.”
“Nu-skool US machine soul here – one of my fav cuts by Kush Jones. I love how immersive this one is. A joy to mix into each and every time.”
“Rolling, percussive OG UK Funky realness from one of the greats of the genre. I’d been hunting for this one ever since the Mak10 b2b Marcus Nasty Rinse FM sets circa 2009, so imagine my excitement when Lil Silva let a pack of his older dubs go and this was on there. Jhzzzz!”
“Leonce is truly the king of the sexy R&B remix these days, as aptly proven by this banger here. Definitely one of the biggest club tracks of this summer - I played this in every set since clubs have reopened, and would often hear it several times a night when out over recent months. Banger!”
“A heads-down, introspective addition to Cooly’s series of abstract, sexy UK Funky vocal cuts, alongside ‘Dis Boy’ and ‘Last Nite’, that keeps us dancing with bangin’ 808 percussion while Cooly’s vocal refrains deliver another piece of this narrative.”
“Nu-skool grime brilliance from the excellent Dutch producer. JL took the iconic soundkit popularised by Slu Dem Crew’s Waifer and updated it with modern day drill syncopation. Very much in the great grime tradition of flipping familiar classics into new forms.”