A duo who have conquered various genres and tore up venues across the nation, Bristol’s My Nu Leng keep on proving why they’re one of the generation’s best.
A household name in the electronic music scene, Tommy and Jammo AKA My Nu Leng have come a long way since making their pilgrimage to Bristol from High Wycombe in order to pursue their music careers.
The pair became known for their bass-heavy tracks, punctuated with that darker sound inherent to Bristol producers. 2012’s The Grid announced their arrival to the forefront of the bass house scene, where their upward trajectory continued; with tracks such as Set It and Soul Shake alongside Flava D cementing their headline act status.
Having dominated the bass house world in a few short years, in 2017 My Nu Leng surprised fans by releasing an EP on the mighty Shogun Audio, causing the bookings to come thick and fast for drum and bass sets across the country.
However, their latest EP release sees My Nu Leng draw elements from their bass music roots, as well as exploring other sounds, from techno to breakbeat. Released on their own Maraki Records, Alter presents my Nu Leng’s most varied body of work to to date.
Alter presents my Nu Leng’s most varied body of work to to date
‘Alter explores some soundtrack sort of ideas and also some techno aspects, but also flows back to our early stuff – maybe like our Horizon EP’ Tommy says. We wanted to do something that flowed as a body of work, rather than single tunes that just work in the club; something that people can listen to all the way through.’
‘We tried to make sure everything was viable as a standalone unique track, but that they also work together, rather than having just five tunes that are all along the same lines. It was nice to be able to get together a collection of different sounding tracks’ Jammo adds.
The variety of genres the duo explore leads to unpredictable and exciting live shows, mixing it up with sets that can travel between 130 and 170 BPM. Over the last few years, the pair have had the privilege of playing some of the most sought-after sets within their scene, closing sets at Boomtown and Metalheadz at Printworks in London, not to mention their upcoming midnight set for New Year’s Eve at Motion.
the pair have had the privilege of playing some of the most sought-after sets within their scene
With these sets being witnessed by hordes of people at some of the most iconic venues and festivals in the country, it wouldn’t be ludicrous for nerves to kick in before hopping onto the decks, but Tommy says that it’s simply something that they relish; adding that preparation is key to those special sets.
‘For me, with big sets such as Boomtown this year, it’s the anticipation more than nerves. You’re just waiting to get up there and start playing; Boomtown this year was one of my career highlights.’
‘Because we’ve been doing a few old school drum and bass sets for Metalheadz at Printworks and then RTRN II Jungle for Chase and Status, we have to prepare a bit more because there is an obvious theme and subject’ says Jammo.
‘In those sets – the old school drum and bass, for example – we look back through our favourite music and think about what will work on the night. But we also like going into each set with a fresh idea to try and make sure every one has something a little bit different.’
we like going into each set with a fresh idea
You can expect to hear some of those special sets in the near future, as they embark on another Leng and M8s tour this February, with extended sets and special guests confirmed in cities such as Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, London and Cardiff – with their traditional Bristol secret warehouse rave expected to be announced in due course.
Even after five years of the Leng and M8s tour, the pair are still hungry to go again and look for new ways to keep things fresh and authentic every year.
‘For the 2019 tour, we got some extra production to go alongside our press material and we made sure the narrative about the image and the sounds all looked and felt right’ Tommy explains.
‘Next year we’re going to have extended three-hour sets and then we’re going to have special guests – we’re currently figuring out whether it’s better to announce them or not – and we’ll have residents that are with us for most of the tour as well.
‘I think with people going in and knowing they’re going to see an extended set and an unannounced special guest, it adds to the anticipation of the night, as you don’t know what you’re going to get.’
It can be hard to do something that’s unique
‘It’s kind of hard now with touring, because everyone’s doing it’ Jammo says. ‘It can be hard to do something that’s unique. When we started the Leng and M8s shows five years ago, we were trying to get mad back-to-backs, which people probably wouldn’t have seen since the big drum and bass days.
‘Lately though, everyone has been doing that, so we’re trying to move away from it and trying to reinvent and do something different. It’s not always easy, but it’s quite nice to have the challenge, because it pushes us.’
My Nu Leng are also tasked with ringing in the New Year at The Blast’s blowout at Motion this NYE, with a midnight set no doubt full of surprises, as the electronic duo continue to show their versatility and adeptness at packing out a rave.
The pair have racked up eight successful years in the industry, where they have built many strong friendships and made the most of the supportive electronic music community. Their strongest relationship, of course, being with Dread MC, who accompanies them for every set.
‘We work with Dread on all of our shows, he’s such a hard worker and we share a lot of support for each other. He’s always supportive of all other artists as well.
to be positive and not have any jealousy in this scene will go a long way
‘I think to be positive and not have any jealousy in this scene will go a long way. It will be recognised by everyone if you are a positive figure – that’s what he is and that’s what we aim to be as well,’ they both claim.
When asked whether they think all artists share the same principles, Tommy believes that ‘it changes from scene to scene’.
‘The majority of people are in it for the right reasons and not just chasing numbers and popularity. It’s about the music and the natural, raw emotions. That’s why we all go into it in the first place.’
It’s about the music and the natural, raw emotions
We last spoke to My Nu Leng at the dawn of their label Maraki Records, run in partnership with Friction’s bass-orientated FineArt alias. Since then, the label has seen releases from the likes of Bushbaby, Bristol’s Notion and Freddie Martin, alongside releases from My Nu Leng and FineArt.
The pair say that have enjoyed the added responsibility of co-running a label, which Jammo refers to as a ‘journey’.
‘It has been eye-opening – it’s an extra level of listening to music, because you’re taking it in differently. To put yourself in the consumer’s perspective, rather than the way that you perceive it yourself.’
It’s always been quality over quantity with us
‘It’s always been quality over quantity with us’ says Tommy. ‘We really analyse all the music we get sent and think about whether it fits on the label. We love pushing music from unheard talents and new acts coming through, like Bushbaby – we wanted to push his music because it’s mind blowing to us.
‘For us, it’s about supporting and giving people a platform as much as we can – just like we were given back in the day.’
Photos by Dominika Scheibinger
Location: Factory Studios