Darren and 2D met one another as fellow Drum and Bass promoters
in Manchester. Darren recalled, "The DnB scene in Manchester
was pretty small so you were bound to know other people
in it. He [2D] actually tried to blag his way into the first
night I ever did. It was a quid to get in." 2D attempts
to defend himself, but Jenna cuts in, and accuses him of
being a "free loader". Darren continues to explain
that shortly after they first met, 2D wanted him to hand
out some flyers for his night, telling him if he did he
could come into the studio with him, but didn't expect him
to take up the offer. "He used to tell every one that,
just to do favours for him," Darren insisted, "but
I just turned up." Without ever actually agreeing on
anything long term, Darren quit University, and the pair
began to work together, "It was not a conscious decision,
it just felt natural," 2D explains.
The pair became 'Future Cut', and their dark stomping tunes
gained notoriety, with both Whiplash and Plastic on Renegade
Hardfware and especially when their track 'Obsession' was
championed by Goldie. They then landed a string of dance
floor hit productions, including the likes of the 'Blood
Line EP' and the Ghetto Style EP on 'Renegade Hardware'.
With these releases, they continued to cement their reputation
as top producers of grimy DnB. Whilst firmly at the darker
end of the DnB spectrum, their somewhat evil sounding tracks
had a habit of standing out, with a unique sound often being
achieved. Darren points towards a vast range of music from
which they draw their influences, other than just DnB. Between
the group, they managed to mention just about every genre
of music as inspiration for what they do.
Born and bred in Manchester, 26 year old 2D made his way
into music once he came to terms with the fact he would
never fulfill his childhood dream. "As a kid I always
wanted to be a rapper, but by the age of 12 I realised I
was sh*t. So I thought I'd become a DJ instead. From Djing
I got a real feel for the technical side of things and just
progressed." Learning his trade as a sound engineer
he started to do in house remixes while promoting his night
and Djing. However he also blames his other passion for
his choice of career. "Anything that meant I had to
get up at 9 in the morning would stop me partying, so sound
engineering seemed the natural thing to do." All of
his acquired technical experience has now been translated
into a live show in which he provides the samples and programming.
Also from Manchester, and the baby of Uncut at 23, Jenna
recalls a more haphazard entrance to the industry, "I
was listening to the radio and they did this thing where
you could phone in and sing. My mum phoned up, "Oh
my daughter can sing" and that was how it all started
off." Jenna went on to join a hip hop group, but left
them when she gained a residency at a freestyle night which
she went on to do for the next three years. "It was
just live impro, with the band just making stuff up; the
DJ scratching and MC's just getting up on stage and freestyling."
Jenna now fronts Uncut with her incredibly powerful and
The man behind the keyboards is Darren Lewis. Originally
hailing from London, Darren was drawn into underground music
via radio, "I got into pirates, then into hardcore,
then Jungle and DNB I guess over the past four or five years,
I've been getting into everything again." Their collective
diverse musical backgrounds goes some length to explain
how their sound progressed from an underground scene, virtually
free from vocals in the late 90's, to a vocal driven sound
that 2D describes as "21st century soul."
It was the trio as 'Un-cut', who helped lead the vocal
revolution in DNB in recent years with the dance floor classic
'Midnight'. The track, which features Jenna's vocal talent
in full flow, broke the mould. Despite actually completing
the track long before it hit the DNB circuit, the group
decided to sit on it. According to Darren, "We thought
no one's gonna be in this, we were in it, we thought maybe
it would appeal to certain people. After going back to it
a few times we gave it to a few of the bigger DJ's and they
were instantly just in it. So I guess that gave us the confidence."
With the track featuring the brilliant MIST remix, Midnight
quickly sold out it's initial 10,000 copy run.
Following this success, their sound as Uncut started to
take shape. "I had done what I wanted to do with Midnight,"
Jenna said, "I had a song in the clubs, and we'd rinsed
the DNB with 'Obsession' and 'Borderline'. The first songs
we did were a bit like DNB, but were a bit more punky, we
were looping up 'Susie and the Banshees'. We started sampling
up all other stuff, and that's when other sounds came out.
It was not conscious." The band are adamant that they
do not get typecast into any musical genre. They feel that
since crossing over various genres, they now want to stand
out in each, rather than concentrate on one style. According
to Jenna, "We are defiantly encouraging people to bootleg
remixes" to help to do this.
For their album 'The Uncalculated Some' - a fusion of soul,
jazz and mellow DNB, to reach such a wide audience, they
were going to need the muscle of one of the major record
labels. Following various offers they eventually singed
with Warner last year. Coming from an underground scene
they have had to get used to a different way of doing things.
2D believes things were a lot more straight forward in the
underground with everyone simply wanting to get their record
out in the clubs, "DJ's don't have an agenda. If it's
good and it goes off, then they play it. If the DJ's like
it, they play it on the radio. When you step into the more
this [the mainstream], everyone's got an agenda. Each radio
station has their own agenda, like what they want to champion,
do we look cool, don't we look cool, you've got to cut through
all this sh*t."Darren adds, "People were writing
sh*t about us we didn't even know. You just have to not
let things get to you."
Since 2004 Future Cut took a new direction pursuing production,
songwriting and remixing; and have sealed there rep as top
quality producers by producing and co-writing the number
one hit for Lily Allen ‘Smile’ as well as half
her new album! They are currently working on material with
The Ordinary Boys, Connor Reeves and Takura Tendayi.