THE brainchild of DJ/producer Paddy Freeform, Universal Vibes is a multi-tentacled music project that reaches into all spheres of the dance music world. Beginning in 2002 as a website dedicated to the forms of leftfield beats Freeform felt were under represented in the mainstream, universalvibes.com set out to push the deep house, broken beats, hip-hop, techno and grime grooves that weren't getting just attention.
"We originally started as an internet radio website six years ago in Newcastle, and at the time there wasn't much going on in the city other than house and techno. We set ourselves up to represent the leftfield," commented Freeform.
Since then the site has championed the eclectic, growing into a hub for all things deep and funky, featuring radio shows, reviews and competitions. After moving to London in 2007, Freeform decided it was time to expand the Universal Vibes concept to include a digital label.
"The music policy is freestyle: it's all about soulful deep electronic music across the board. I'm coming across a lot of really good deep house stuff at the moment so I'm kind of pushing in that direction, but I'm trying to mix up those styles with a leftfield side to it as well," he disclosed.
From The Onaz' nu-disco, deep house from Poussez, through Jafar and Bobby Strobe's tech-tinged house and the Balearic beats of Tim Scott, it's a diverse roster indeed.
"James Hadfield is The Onaz, he's from Newcastle. I knew him when I was living up there. He got into the nu-disco sound, sent me some stuff and it sounded wicked straight away. It's slightly different, it's a bit like Prins Thomas but with a more electronic minimal edge," revealed Freeform of his latest signing.
Universal Vibes remain dedicated to their radio shows, which feature sets from the label boss and like-minded artists like Simbad, and in addition there are two London residencies where Freeform will spread the Universal message.
"There's the Freestyle Blend at the Prince, in Brixton, and I have a new residency starting on the first Saturday of every month, at the Light Bar, from June."
With all the angles sown up and a slew of new releases on the cards, including a label compilation, it looks like the universe will be feeling the vibes before long! Releases are available digitally online now at universalvibes.com.