I was always into artwork, but for a long time I worked in the events industry, specifically sound engineering, producing music, and ran a few labels along the way. One of those imprints was Beta Test Records.
Back in 2013 I was working closely with the now reformed UK Glitch Hop [UKGH] crew presenting regular radio podcasts and running awards for the wider Glitch Hop community. I got involved through running a Midlands based electronic label called Beta Birmingham.
Beta Birmingham had always been seen as a local thing, a platform for what were essentially my mates to promote their productions. It was also great for me as it forced me into working to self imposed deadlines, as I’d always struggled to finish my work. I produced all the branding and artwork for the releases, so it kept me up to date with my Photoshop skills. With 5 solid releases under it’s belt and with the new found links that had been forged through UKGH, I decided I wanted to fulfill a bucket list wish and get a vinyl printed.
The record would feature 8 tracks of UK based hip hop inspired electronica, with scratch samples from each of the tracks so you could juggle the tunes live. A battle wax road tested by 4 X DMC Champion Mr Switch, presented in a 300 copy limited edition 180g black vinyl with high gloss full colour artwork that I would produce alongside one of the tracks.
“Covering a spectrum of impeccably detailed Hip Hop inspired electronics, Chemical Coercion will satisfy the most hardened veteran future b-boys and 21st century turntable technicians.”Beta Test Records – Chemical Coercion Blurb
One evening I received an email from the British Library Sound and Moving Image Catalogue requesting 2 physical copies of the release for submission to the catalogue. I thought nothing much of it. I tried a few times to contact the library to confirm they had received the vinyl over the years, as I’d heard nothing after the email, but it wasn’t until 7 years later that my interest was peaked again.
I decided one day to call them directly, were I was reminded of the online catalogue link. I’d checked this page a good few times, but this time it was actually there!
I think there’s something innate about wanting to leave a mark after your gone, so it’s pretty incredible to know my work is now part of the national archive. I haven’t even considered making music for over 5 years since getting the paint bug back, so this felt like a really nice way to underscore what was a huge part of my life for many years. Big love to everyone who supported the release, it’s still available on vinyl via the Beta Test Bandcamp below: