Redlight - the artist formerly known as Clipz - is flipping the dance script, shattering genres into a million pieces and pioneering a mongrel music that’s thrilling a new electronic generation. With a barrel full of dancefloor killers in his arsenal and a series of key festival appearances throughout the summer, he’s poised for greatness. DJmag learns more… As acolytes of electronic dance music, we tend to consider ourselves a fairly fortunate bunch. Within the panoply of different styles, genres and sub-strands, it's possible to identify a wild and diverse array of sounds and tempos suggesting a hugely innovative musical nerve centre, fuelled by constantly shifting technology advances. But what if we're wrong? What if the creative templates we call house, techno, dubstep, drum & bass, trance and breakbeat are really cages which stop musicians from expressing themselves to the full level of their abilities? What if the very rules which help define the nature of these musical sub-genres are also responsible for rendering them bland and bankrupt? Sometimes it takes a few artists to shake things up and switch everybody's expectations. In the last few years we've seen dBridge's sonic experimentalism drive drum & bass into new forms, while the likes of Martyn fuse dubstep with housier sounds for a deep and forthright lesson in cool unorthodoxy. Now Bristol's Redlight (Hugh Pescod), the artist formerly known as Clipz, has stepped up to the oche with the aim of taking things to the next level. His sound? Well, imagine a parallel universe where early rave failed to speed up into drum & bass around '93, or where dubstep arrived on the scene without its trademark half-time snares. Neither description quite prepares you for the sonic assault that is Redlight, because this is a vibe that's almost impossible to pin down. There's a strong garage feel throughout, but more in the producer's use of vocals than anything else. Party starter ‘Feels So Good (Wine Up Your Body)’ from his essential ‘Lobster Boy EP’ sounds like the bastard son of breakbeat pioneers Shut Up and Dance and Skream, while new single ‘Stupid’, featuring Roses Gabor, is like super-futuristic MJ Cole. Forthcoming joint ‘MDMA’ is even more off the planet, rocking a synthy, percussive, experimental vibe that somehow still manages to translate to the dancefloor. On the flip, ‘Robot Chopsticks’ is an almost bhangra-like slice of searing bass, pizzicato oriental-sounding keys and airy atmospherics. What's most impressive is that each track is distinctively Redlight, and would fit easily into a variety of sets by DJs pushing a number of diverse styles. New Arenas At London's underground bass music mecca, Corsica Studios, our man has just finished the DJmag photo shoot. With his dark, close-cropped hair, pale skinny limbs and slight west country accent, he could be any one of a hundred Bristolian junglists, but spend a few minutes in his company, and it's clear this is a man who prides himself on the ability to think outside the box and throw down in new arenas. Even so, DJmag asks him what exactly compelled him to make the move from drum & bass. "I've been making experimental music for a few years, since 2005 in fact, between 120 and 135bpm," says Redlight. "Kind of what I'm doing now but I didn't really know what I was doing. I was enjoying it more and more and I was enjoying drum and bass less and less, really. I'd reached a point where I couldn't do any more at that tempo and in that genre, and I thought it would be stupid to carry on doing something that you don't want to do any more just for the sake of it and because you've built up a name and a brand. "For me, it's about being happy and being an artist: producing to me is like art, you know what I mean? I'm passionate about it. It's not just about collecting money or being seen as this or that. I'm not interested in that bollocks - I like making music." Blank Canvas But there must have been some hairy moments, nonetheless. With a hugely successful 1Xtra run - now completed - on the In New DJs We Trust slot, as well as spectacular press hype for his new material, and festival appearances planned for Glastonbury (26th June), Glade (18th July), and The Big Chill (7th August) the shift from being Clipz now looks like a smart move. But Redlight tells me he's 30 years old - often an age where responsibilities start to get in the way of dreams. Wasn't dropping a successful moniker - and the well-paid weekly DJ gigs which accompanied it - for something completely new and unheard of frankly terrifying? How did he pay the bills? "I like struggle. I like a challenge," he grins. "I like fighting for a cause that I think is worth fighting for, and that's what makes good music. If you're sitting pretty and ain’t got nothing to worry about, you're not going to go into a studio and create something good. That's what I believe. It's about trying to go against the grain and do something different, and a lot of the people I've looked up to in my musical career have done the same thing, believed in what they believed in and gone for it." He pauses for a moment to mull this over, before looking DJmag straight in the eye. "But maybe I'm saying that because I'm coming back up and I'm doing an interview with you. Maybe if I was still struggling to pay the rent on my house I would see things differently. You know, life's too short to be unhappy. "I'll admit that there were a few dodgy moments, like when I stopped doing the d&b. You see people on Twitter going: 'Yeah, just going to a club to smash it', and you're thinking: 'Shit! Fuck! I'm reverting back to doing things the way I did when I was 20. I'm skint, and I've got to do this and that to get by.' But it makes you stronger, and makes you realise what it's all about. "I fell out of love with what I was doing because I was so engrossed in it, and the music had got so one-track minded for me. Part of that is because I was DJing so much: I was making tunes for the weekend, making tunes for the weekend, making tunes for the weekend, and before you know it, you're producing tracks by numbers. When I came off that, it was like going to rehab. It was like getting drugs out of your system and getting clean. I had no money, no one knew me any more and it was like having a clean slate. It's like being institutionalised, when you're so fixated on a scene. You lose that slowly but surely, and suddenly you've got a blank canvas again and can start painting and mixing colours." Creating an entirely new spectrum of sounds must have taken a serious amount of time and energy - space to think and conceive fresh visions. What did he do for cash? Move in with his mum? Go on the dole? "There was a lot of change in my life at that time, personally," he says. "I've got a lot of good friends around me, good people who would help me out if I needed it. I'm not going to lie, it was hard, but it was worth it. It's still hard now - independent music is hard and there's no light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of people. If you want that you've got to graft your arse off, but that's all part of it - I love it." Daunting Remarkably, the final paradigm shift, the moment when Redlight was truly born, came in the same room at Corsica where we are now chatting. For the DJ walking up to the decks to showcase his new sound for the first time, it was a daunting experience.