Under our Spotlight this month are London-based DJ/Producers FGTN Toys, who are no strangers to the Evermix team, after they were shortlisted during our most recent DJ Competition with Brighton Music Conference. They certainly left a mark on the entire Evermix team, and we knew we had to sit down with them to find out more about their story and background. Check out our full interview with them below!
Hi FGTN Toys, thanks so much for sitting down with us! For anyone who isn’t familiar with who you are, can you please tell us who you are in one sentence?
We’re Umit Batman & Graham Rawlings FGTN Toys (Pronounced Forgotten Toys)
Can you describe your sound in three words?
Ethereal Melodic Experimental
You were shortlisted during for our DJ Competition with Brighton Music Conference earlier this year, where you really left a mark on all of us at Evermix. What have you been up to since then?
Thank you so much, we really enjoyed creating that mix as it was all done live no computers felt good. Proud to say we was a runner up, hopefully next BMC we can be invited down to play for you guys ?
Since then we have been concentrating on running our events and currently still putting together our 1st studio album so trying to delve into that sonically and emotionally. We were also very lucky to be playing at HiFields festival in Cambridge supporting Dusky, Detlef & Secondcity which was a lot of fun, full story maybe not fully safe for print.
You’ve been playing together for more than a decade, but can you tell us how you both met?
Nearly 2 decades now, met in 2000, but both of us started playing separately much earlier around 92-93 when we was fully obsessed with sounds of Acid, Hardcore,Jungle, Garage both had stints on pirate radio’s and eventually spreading our wings to clubs. We’re originally both from south London where we met in Graham’s record shop in Bexleyheath, Both local residents in busy clubs and bars we knew of each other and had crossed paths before but it all started at Big & Raw where eventually both us worked together and started making mash ups to sell in the shop, then we decided to do something a little more serious, we created the alias Emkay which we went under for a few years but we didn’t feel the brand was strong enough and so one day the name FGTN Toys came to us when we was just chatting about old studio toys, Graham started creating some artwork for the new logo and it looked and sounded individual since then ( Around 6-7 years maybe longer) we’ve been known as FGTN Toys.
You’ve had releases on a wide variety of labels including KDB Records, Tiefblau Records, Big Mammas House, Karmic Power to name a few. How has your sound changed over the years that you’ve been making music together?
We think over the years you grow and develop your sound more, we’ve come to the point we don’t listen to any form of dance music leading up to studio session together, we’re obviously inspired by a lot of artist and the way they create music but choose to listen to funk soul hip hop ambient trip hop etc to gain different ideas to open the mind more diversely.
Early days we would listen to artist we was inspired by and in sense get a platform from them to create our own piece of music, but now we’re more tuned into our sound and energy and we know that we have our own sound if it be more ethereal, melodic or experimental, we try not to conform to the normal structure of dance music to much as we strive to create a masterpiece not just a blip in time, unfortunately music is so throw away now to some people and it’s a saturated market that you need to be unique to make sure you’re even the slightest bit noticed or get any recognition for your craft and we love the challenge to make people think and open the imaginations when they listen to our music.
Coming from London, you must have been spoilt over the years with a plethora of clubs and events to choose from on a weekly basis. How do you think London’s clubbing scene has changed over the years?
In the 90’s / noughties we was spoilt rotten, I think at one point for 6 months we played 7 nights a week either together or separately across London and surrounding counties, also as a clubber the array of venues we were spoilt with from Turnmills, The Cross, Bagleys, Hanover Grand Etc it meant people would be spread across the city, ending up at some after party in Vauxhall or London Bridge would be a regular occurrence, I think the scene has changed a lot some things for the positive and others not so, positive the production and magnitude of some of the events/festivals now are immense for example anything from huge budget props and stages, 4D graphics, to fully immersive laser shows it’s become a lucrative market in which has in some sense taken away from the heart of the clubbing scene, we’re seeing more acts now but in one event rather then weekly events with acts coming over and playing in clubs it’s huge festivals & the clubs that commercially still grab most people attention are Fabric and Ministry, new venues/spaces which are exciting are E1 XOYO (not really new but still break the mold for us) Phonox also break the mold of clubbing in London. I think slowly maybe in another 10 years we will see a increase in clubs in the city again, how we miss the sweaty small clubs of London that packed a punch.
Can you share any hidden club gems in London, places that aren’t necessarily known by the average clubber?
Like we mentioned previously, E1 London is a great Space, were big fans of XOYO and Phonox, Oval Space is immense indoor outdoor venue. Mick’s Garage another great venue. Corsica Studios also holds some decent events, London is slowly changing for the positive again. Lets hope the price of London living goes down soon too ?
Ibiza is the mecca of electronic music, do you have any plans to visit the White Isle before the season is over?
Unfortunately not this year, we’ve had some massive life changing events happen this year and also financially the island will have to wait another year or so. We have had few offers from friends and stag parties and other avenues to come out but 2018 we can only watch the sunset over Rochester ? not quite San Antonia or Cala D’Hort hopefully 2019 a little visit can be on the cards.
We miss the island as it brings back a lot of amazing memories.
You’ve seen much success with your releases, including your ‘Depiction of the Mind’ EP on KDB Records, which was your first release to hit Beatport’s Top 10. But can you tell us any other releases or new music you have coming up?
We’re currently working on our first studio album, we’ve worked with a guy call Jipxi Blood on a track which was meant to be a lead track for a EP but it inspired us so much so we’re now half way through the album. We’re being very experimental with the album and our sound is grown in a direction that we’re not hasty to break the norm a little.
We have collaboration we’re working on for the album with good friends, and hopefully we can get this polished and ready for either self publication or maybe we push it to a few investors some time mid 2019… We feel music is so rushed and we didn’t want to do that with the album we want it to be our first story in some format. If that makes any sense.
For anyone who may want to see one of your sets, where can they see over the next few months?
So we run our own events called ‘Ours’ with a few of our close friends and we hold them every few months at a small bar in Maidstone called Social Chill. So we have the Bank holiday Sunday event and then a Halloween event, we’re working on other promotional live stream events so hopefully a few random boutique events in the day are on the way too.
Thanks for joining us guys, good luck for the future and we can’t wait to hear more sets from you!