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Exclusive Interview: Illmatika & Sofi Mari

Hey Illmatika & Sofi Mari! Thank you for answering my questions for us.

Let’s start from the beginning. For those who are not familiar with your names – can you tell me a little bit about yourself, how long you’ve been doing what you are doing and how you ended up in the music/dnb scene?

ILLMATIKA: I’m an artist/host and I’ve been doing it for more than a hot minute, ended up in the scene by giving a demo tape to my barber who was on pirate radio on weekend rush 92.3

SOFI: I’ve been involved as a drum and bass vocalist and host MC since 2008, starting in Miami. I met some mates in middle school who introduced me to d&b and I got into it properly from there. While a couple of them would practice spinning, others would MC, and I would improvise singing over those sets too. That led to me jumping on the mic at house parties and as time went on I met Stereotype [Formation, Intrigue, Driven AM] while at college for music business. I was already working with a jazz fusion band at the time and upon finding a fellow d&b head, that DJ’d and produced, I didn’t hesitate to agree to working with him on some drum and bass.

Do you guys remember your first rave?

ILLMATIKA: I remember my first rave: it was Voodoo magic at Equinox, Leicester Square. MC flux was there on the night and I remember MC Five O and Andy C. I also remember lots of ravers on that night approaching me for pills and drugs and I had no idea why they continually were asking me. Later on I would find out why.

SOFI: I can’t say I really remember my very first rave, as I’m sure it was a house party of some sort in the early 00’s. Global Gathering was a massive rave in downtown Miami that was thrown in what I think was 2002 or 2003 and that was my first proper experience in a major club setting. I remember Goldie, Fabio and Grooverider were playing in the main room and Africa Baby Bam of the Jungle Brothers hosted an outdoor stage with hip hop. I’ll never forget that night. The music was incredible, everyone was there to simply let go and have a great time. I ended up meeting Baby Bam after he let some of us jump on the mic to freestyle. I sang and he approached me asking how serious I was about being a vocalist. That led to him linking me with producer and drummer [Mike Cupino] who asked me to join the jazz fusion band he was in. That was when my professional vocal journey started. It’s mad reminiscing over what’s happened since that one night.

How are you guys coping with what’s going on in the world right now? Has it affected your creativity in any way?

ILLMATIKA: It can be hard at times however there are some positives from it. It has given me more time to be around family and more time to concentrate on writing; but the performing side is very hard to take not being able to do. So some days I’m feeling very creative, other days I just can’t be bothered.

SOFI: I’ve managed this whole year by placing more focus on my well being and overall health. The initial shut down and uncertainty of both the hospitality and entertainment industries caused me to uproot myself and relocate. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions and although I’ve managed to get some writing in, I haven’t been as creative as I was aiming to be this year. These releases have been the silver lining: reminding me that you can’t force something. When the time is right you will know.

Let’s chat about the track! ‘Perfect Summer’ is a beautiful tune which really takes me back to warmer and more easy going times…. Late summer nights, watching the sunset, no worries about tomorrow… What was the inspiration behind the track and the lyrics?

ILLMATIKA: The concept of experiencing that very ‘perfect moment’ was the initial idea for the track. For example: having that perfect evening or having that perfect bite of a chocolate, and then it grew from there… The energy of the track really came from Mr Joseph. He sent me the beat and from there I thought of Sofi Mari because we had been talking about getting on a track together for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

SOFI: Illmatika initially sent me the track with his first verse recorded. That verse, and the feel good summery vibe of the track itself, inspired me to write from one of the possible viewpoints of a woman (or anyone really) being approached by someone who is interested in them. I did go based on some of my own experience as well as experiences I’ve known others have had.

How did you put the track together?

ILLMATIKA: In terms of putting the track together I had an idea of the arrangement and I shared that idea with Sophie before going to the studio, once we got to the studio the magic came together quickly with Sofi’s big pad of rhymes and writing on the spot and recording.

SOFI: Most of it was done separately until Illmatika and I got together to record in studio. I arrived and realised my verse was a bit too short so I got straight to adding more to it while Illmatika recorded. We’d accomplished all recording in that one session. It was great. I really do miss being in a proper studio setting.

How long have you been working on it?

ILLMATIKA: The actual making of the song didn’t take long at all. We spent maybe 3 hours in the studio together. Sofi and I with the beat and it was done and we sent Mr Joseph the vocals so he could put the finishing touches to it.

SOFI: This collaboration was one of those lucky ones where we all got it completed and recorded within a matter of days. Illmatika and I were pretty shocked at how quickly and smoothly it all came together. We kept wondering what the catch was—Haha!

It is coming out on Liquid V on the 2 December (today!). Big label and big release! How did that come about?

ILLAMTIKA: We’ve all had previous releases on liquid V so it was a case of just sending the track to Bryan G and he loved it and said it would be good to release on liquid v.

SOFI: It’s been amazing to represent and be represented by such a legendary and well respected label in the game! Thankfully we’ve all had past releases on the label, so that definitely helped us. Illmatika and Mr. Joseph got this particular single locked in for us. Bryan Gee was feeling it once he heard it and, well, here we are!

Illmatika; can you tell me a bit more about your artist name and how that came about?

Long story, I’ll tell you when I see you.

Sofi Mari;  You are living in the USA at the moment, but have been living in London too – can you tell me how you ended up in London in the first place?

I was born in the UK and have family there. Once I finished my bachelors degree back in Florida I wanted to live in England, even just for a little while. I packed up and moved over, initially aiming to move to Bristol. Locking in a place to live there was challenging and I ended up in London thanks to friends I knew living there.

What is the hardest part of doing a collaboration?

ILLMATIKA: The hardest part for me is ensuring that I’m not dominating a discussion and allowing for office to put their point across because I think, at times, once I get a picture in my head that’s the only thing that I can see. But I think with a collaboration it’s important to listen to all points of view and ensure that you are all happy with the representation that you are giving of yourselves on the music.

SOFI: I’d say the hardest part is simply making sure everyone gets their fair say in the process of getting the work completed. It’s a proper challenge when having to remember a collaborative effort is actually a team effort; there’s no I in team. That and the distance. Some people would much rather work together in the studio, but often can’t due to where everyone involved lives.

What’s next?

ILLMATIKA: More music on continuing to spread that soulful sound within the dnb arena

SOFI: Looking forward to more collabs with both Illmatika and Mr. Joseph for sure! I’ve also got another 2-track EP with Mozey forthcoming on liquid V later in December. Keep an eye out for that too!

Any famous last words?

ILLMATIKA: Yeah big up and thanks for having us! Shouts out to the liquid V family and shout out to all the people that have been supporting us in buying our music, commenting and giving us good vibes.

SOFI: Big shouts to Illmatika and Mr Joseph here for such a great experience working with them. Bryan Gee, Jumping Jack Frost and everyone involved in the V Recordings camp, as well as everyone worldwide who has supported our journey and music! And thanks so much to you, Drum and Basics crew, for interviewing us. All Love!

Thank you guys and big up!

 

Buy the tune here.

Follow IllMatika, Sofi Mari & V Recordings on Social Media;

Instagram.com/SofiMari

facebook.com/SofiMari

Instagram.com/Illmatika

facebook.com/IllMatika ‘dnbsoulbrother’

facebook.com/V Recordings

Instagram.com/PLanet V

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Pod Imiya

Hey Pod Imiya and thank you for answering my questions for drum+basics. Let’s start with the important one: where did you get your name from?

Pod has been a nickname for a while, but it wasn’t unusual enough to come up in searches online which made it difficult for people to find my mixcloud etc, so I added ‘Imiya’. It’s just a girls name which I thought sounded nice. Very boring answer!

How did you get in to dnb/jungle?

Me and my friends at school used to listen to jump up when we were teenagers. When I moved to Manchester, I didn’t know many people who were into DnB (there was big tech house craze.) I started going to raves on my own, at first just in Manchester and then in other cities, mainly London. I’d get a late megabus down and then the first one back in the morning. Initially it was techy DnB nights, like Cyberfunk with Xtrah and Visionobi. When I first started going alone I would stay sober, pick a spot on the dancefloor and stay there dancing all night.

I got into jungle more fully after a wicked night at Dolphin warehouse in Manchester, where Fanu, Storm and Stretch played. I didn’t really know about the underground jungle scene at the time, I loved oldskool stuff but didn’t realise there were so many people still making it and putting on nights. After meeting Stretch I found out about AKO beatz, and ended up going to an AKO night in Brum. It was a different vibe to the nights I was used to. The music was mental, I’d never heard anything like it really. The crowd was older and people talked to each other more. Everyone seemed to have a deep level of respect for each other and the music, and a passion for it to carry on through the generations. There was no aggro or guys trying it on. It felt like how I imagined raves would feel like. I didn’t really know anyone but felt completely welcome and met loads of great people. After that I found out about Rupture, Skeleton and others, and got to know people (including my 4 DnB parents) who I always look forward to seeing! Mostly at raves I still spend the whole time on the dance floor though, and catch up with people at afters. I still love techy DnB nights! But I think they’re better to go to with mates than alone.

How did you become a dnb/jungle DJ? Do you remember your first gig?

I DJ’d a bit in school but gave up playing in front of people coz I’d get too nervous. My friend Frank got me back into it, about 4 years ago I think. He asked me to play my first gig, which was a small Hit & Run event, where I played b2b with DJ Servo. I felt sick before it, but then it was a proper buzz, I loved it. For ages I practised on mates CDJs while I saved up to get some. I still get so nervous that I can’t see properly before playing out. But the nerves go away a couple of tunes into a set.

Any tips for beginners?

I am a beginner! So I’m looking for tips rather than giving them out haha!

The one thing I feel like I’d have to say is to value the fact that our music is underground. Whenever a type of dance music gets too big, it gets infected with all the capitalist shite that goes with the pop music industry. The music gets watered down and cleaned up, raves turn into concerts, producers and DJs turn into celebrities, people forget about the history and ignore the culture. In small scenes the music can be as mad or intense as you like. There’s great community and DIY spirit. That’s what makes it so good! You can’t really use the music as a career move or for personal gain. The people I have most respect for are the ones who’ve been working and raving hard since the 90s, not motivated by making loads of money or being famous, just putting in the time because they love the music and care about the scene.

Tell us about your first rave experience.

I went to a hospital records takeover, I think when I was maybe 15. I remember hearing DnB in my head for weeks after, and thinking it was the best thing ever. Hospital records was a big part of getting into DnB for me as a young teenager, I think they are for a lot of people my age. They have the power to get young people into DnB who have never even heard it before, which is why they should be leading the way with inclusivity. To be honest, it’s only in the last few years that I’ve even begun to realise how badly they’ve been failing at doing that, thanks to groups like eq50 and people sharing their perspectives.

You live in Manchester – how is the music scene and rave scene there? I still haven’t been there for a rave!

Yeah I’ve lived here for about 6 years now. I think it’s the best city in the world, no question. The music scene is great, we’ve got Hit & Run, Levelz and the Mouse Outfit, and the legendary shop Eastern Bloc. Formless is my favourite night. Walking into Formless feels like coming home. It seems like everyone knows each other and the music is always next level. You should come to the next one, you can stay round my flat!

Do you produce music as well?

Yes, but I’m not very good yet, I’m still learning. It’s more just something fun to do than serious.

You’ve also done a mix for us – wicked! What can you tell us about that?

Well, I have to be honest, I was redlining at points so there is clipping! I get too gassed when mixing at home, which I don’t think the neighbours are too happy about. It’s a mix of jungle and DnB, a lot of dark tunes and some more uplifting ones. I was going to record a mix on vinyl, but I’m not good enough yet.

Favourite DJs and producers?

Oh shit, there’s so many! For DnB producers, maybe Elements of Noize, Arcon 2, The Advocate and Rufige kru. I love all the alien techstep from 97, that’s definitely my favourite year for DnB. For newer stuff, I like Andy Skopes and Response and Pliskin, coz they can make a tune rough but still emotional or euphoric. They make come up tunes! Also, I bought martianMan’s digital discography recently, which was a bargain, he’s a machine.

For DJs – DJ Future always stands out in my mind. He closed a night at a festival I went to, and it was mad. Yorobi’s sets are always great, and I always listen to Tim reaper and Devnulls blog to the oldskool.

I think I get more hyped for my mates DJ sets these days than big names on a line up. All the Diggin in the crates crew are amazing DJs, everyone’s got their own style. And of course my mate Chris (Anomalies) who makes it look easy!

How are you coping in this lockdown?

I live with my boyfriend (who loves electronic music as much as I do), so we’ve had each other. I’m happy being in my flat most of the time to be honest. Music takes up all my spare time and outside of raves I don’t really have a social life anyway, which I don’t mind to be honest! I do miss working in the lab though.

The lab? This sounds interesting…

Im part of a team which research experimental nuclear physics in Manchester and CERN, which is partly finding out about atoms by firing lasers at them. we are also trying to build a detector for measuring tiny amounts of radioactive stuff in the environment, which would be useful for finding leaks in things containing radioactive material, and tracing people who might be trying to separate plutonium for the wrong reasons. It’s really hard and I basically never feel like I know what I’m doing, but it can be fun, and I prefer working in the lab to the computer.

What’s next for Pod Imiya?

It’s hard to know at the moment, with no raves or festivals happening. I wanna get better at mixing vinyl, coz there’s so much great music which isn’t available digitally, and it’s the best way to support the artists you rate.

Any famous last words?

Big up yaself! Thanks a lot for asking for a mix and interview. And big up my other half of course. Also big up Chris (one of my best mates and founder of Anomalies), and the mad Manc Mother Earth, Tasha (the one and only StalkaDJ), and the Diggin in the Crates and Confield crews. Big thanks to Rich Reason, and to everyone who has booked me, shared my mixes, or even just told me they rate my sets!

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Catalyst .AD

Thank you for taking time for the interview and making for us an exclusive mix. Your new EP “Off The Chain” is released today on Conjunction Recordings which you manage. The EP is available exclusively on Beatport for 2 weeks then all other stores on 13th July. Your first EP “Coming Home” is also re-released today and it’s available on JunoDownload.

Conjunction Recordings is a new music label launched in the summer of 2019. How was the first year of the label? What kind of challenges do you face managing it?

The first year was brilliant for us. I had always thought about setting up a label after having worked for other D&B labels and a record shop business in the past. The title track for the first release (Coming Home) was inspired by and sampled from the record-breaking Red Bull Stratos Space Dive. I had a very talented friend, Simon Vella, who produced an animated video for the title track and sent this off to Red Bull. We were all really pleased when Red Bull came back and loved the whole idea, they kindly then offered to share it with their audience on social media which was great exposure for us. The plan from the outset was quality rather than quantity so we had aimed at putting out 4-5 releases a year, however the recent lockdown situation coupled with a kidney donation to my brother in the U.S meant that things had to be pushed back a bit. The landscape for record labels has changed so much in recent years with streaming etc so you really have to maximise certain things now in order to be noticed in quite a saturated market. 

Wow, that’s an amazing start of the label! Hope both of you are well. That’s true, streaming has made some changes in the scene. Why did you start and what is your vision with Conjunction Recordings?

Having worked behind the scenes at labels in the past, it had always been my ambition to do something myself one day. A few years ago, I invested in my own studio which in turn resulted in more output so it seemed a good idea to create a platform to release my own music. I didn’t want to tie the label to a specific genre so the music policy is varied as I also like to produce more down tempo tracks at 140 BPM, it’s always good to have variety on a label and keeps things more interesting and unpredictable. Our focus will always be quality rather than quantity, we are looking to have around 4-6 releases a year with some of these being 4 track E.P.’s so there should be a healthy supply!

It’s great that you’d like to have more variety on the label and keep it interesting like that. Who inspired you producing “Off The Chain” EP?

Good Question! I would have to say the title track “Off The Chain” was definitely inspired by the late Spirit (R.I.P.). I was always a massive fan and strongly believe that the kind of sound and style he championed needs to live on. Hip hop has always been a big influence for me so that’s where the vocal hook came from.  We had aimed to release the E.P. much earlier this year but due to lockdown situation we had to hold back. In a strange way the title track is now quite relevant now that the restrictions are being eased!

Great work on the release and all tracks have a unique sounding and a great, catchy melody. Everyone can find their favourite. Speaking of which, which is your favourite track from the EP?

That’s a tough one but I would have to say the remix from DJ E. When I showed him the original idea his eyes lit up and I could see he had some ideas buzzing round his head.  I was amazed at how quick he went to work on it and when he sent me back the remix I was blown away. He’d managed to capture the original vibe of the track yet somehow put his own unique twist on it. The classic breaks he also used went really well with the whole hip hop idea and the reese was just devastating.

I read on Conjunction Recordings website that in the recent years you have dedicated more of your time to production. What made you want to start producing in the first place rather than just being a listener?

I’ve always juggled dj-ing with some production over the years, I started out as a radio DJ and production just progressed from that.  Production started to take over more from when I was involved in the “Able Danger” project where we had some releases on big labels. I found it increasingly harder trying to hold down my weekly radio show on top, then unfortunately I was diagnosed with an inner ear condition that left me with some damaged hearing and chronic tinnitus in one ear, so I soon realised I had to limit the exposure and use my ears more wisely.

That’s a real challenge but you deal with it really well, hats off! Do you master your own tracks?

No, I would love to one day but as I mentioned just now, my hearing is slightly compromised so I rely on Fanu who has really helped me in this area. I think it’s also always good to have a second pair of ears on your music as your ears can play tricks with you, mine certainly do at times!

That’s a really good advice. What is your studio set up?

So, my studio consists of a PC and large Nektar midi keyboard. I also have my technics turntables connected for sampling, however a lot of the time I use computer-based instruments and synths such as Massive and Serum, with Ableton Live. I spent quite a bit of time getting the acoustics correct in my studio and have treated certain parts of the room so I get a good clear sound when working. I also have 2 Rokit 5 monitors which are really good to work with.

What advice would you give people who have just started making music?

I would say to persevere and don’t try to run before you can walk. When I first started out, I would get so carried away with an idea and not spend enough time on the actual sound quality, so I would listen back weeks down the line and feel really disappointed when I compared my stuff to released music. I would also highly recommend checking out tutorials online, there are some amazing video tutorials available these days, I find it quite refreshing now how producers are keen to share their ideas and skills rather than keep them secret. Education and Bass have really been a game changer in this respect and I have learnt so much from them.

Thank you for the great advices. What’s coming next for Catalyst .AD?

In terms of the label, after this release, I am aiming to put out a couple of liquid tracks which I have had in the pipeline then we will be putting out an E.P. from DJ E which we are really looking forward to. I will also be including a collab track with him on this. I can tell you now though the title track is a monster! I also have some remixes lined up from some new and fresh popular talent coming through, and also some tracks with my wife (K.I.M.) who also works with the label. Besides this I also have a fair amount of other tracks lined up which I am pushing out to some other labels. Hopefully once the restrictions ease, I will also be back out playing live again with some guest radio shows lined up as well as some events.

We are looking forward to listen to these planned releases on Conjunction Recordings. Keep up the great work! 😊

Until that dear readers, have a listen to this wicked mix exclusively made for us at Drum+Basics where you can hear two tracks “In The Shadows” and “Off The Chain”  from the newest 4 tracks EP “Off The Chain”. ❤️

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Lubi J

Hey Louise FK aka Lubi J and thank you for answering my questions for drum+basics. I’ve been doing a little research on you and what I found is that you’re a wicked DJ, you’re part of the platform Ladies Of Rage Cardiff, you work on the radio and also an all around brilliant person! 

Tell us about Radio Cardiff.

The station itself is a community station, it’s been around for over 10 years now and I’ve been doing a weekly dnb/jungle show on there since it started. I tend to have local guests down most weeks, either doing a mix or sharing production, talking about events and having a chat. I’ve been fortunate to have Dr Meaker and Digital down too, talking about events they were doing in Cardiff.

Radio was always my first love – most of my friends will vouch for the fact that I have no problem talking at great length so its the perfect platform! I started when I was 17 on hospital radio and then studied radio at uni so it’s been great to keep doing it and to be able to use it to support the local scene.

How did you get involved in the DnB/jungle scene?

I fell in love with dnb/jungle when I was about 16/17 and then started djing at uni in 2000. I got a few gigs at uni through the DJ society and played in a couple of local bars. Then when I came back to Cardiff in 2002 I got my first residency at a night called Submerge. I was mainly playing liquid back then although I’ve always enjoyed the darker side of dnb and jungle, which is more what I play now. I’ll always have time for liquid though.

I then went through a phase in the late 00’s where I fell in love with funk, soul and disco and started playing that out for a few years, but I quickly fell back into playing DnB again and have stayed in the jungle ever since.

You’re also heavily involved with Ladies Of Rage Cardiff – sounds really interesting! 

So Ladies of Rage (LOR) is a network for women and non-binary that aims to support more diversity in underrepresented music genres. Like the EQ50 network and other groups that have been set up recently, a few like-minded people came together sharing a view that we wanted to help change the scenes, specifically in in Cardiff and the surrounding areas, give womxn a platform to meet, learn new skills, jam in a safe space and perform live. We’ve only been around for about 18 months and in that short time we’ve grown to over 350 members in our Facebook group.

We have an active group of around 60+ members that meet and participate in events. We’ve put on 3 big showcase events, one just recently for International Womxn’s day on 7 March with 40 artists performing live. We also have some festival sets line up this year and we recently started a monthly show on Life FM every second Sunday, which came around through a meeting with Mel Lioness at a Hospital Women in DnB event last year.

More than that though, the network has been pretty amazing just in terms of making connections and empowering each other. I’ve made friends for life through LOR and it’s been so good to see people go from writing poetry and lyrics at home, keeping it to themselves for years to then be on stage confidently sharing those words. And being able to help someone start DJing after years of wanting to and then seeing them record mixes and start promoting themselves is awesome.

We’ve definitely seen a bit of a shift in more diverse line-ups but there’s a long way to go yet, as is the case all over.

Our Facebook page has full details for anyone interested in finding out more or getting involved.

I know you’re based in Cardiff, are you from there too? 

Yes, pretty much lived here all my life apart from going away for uni. Cardiff is pretty small for a capital city, but it has a lot going on.

How’s the dnb scene in Cardiff? 

The scene has been bubbling along nicely for years now. We’ve got a number of big and small promoters pushing nights out regularly that cater for most tastes. Lots of heavy dnb and liquid being catered for with well established and emerging artists headlining – though not many women! Quite a few local dj nights run too which gives local artists a platform to play. The more underground jungle side of the scene is a bit less catered for. There’s definitely heads that appreciate it but it’s the one side of the scene that Cardiff hasn’t quite cracked compared to Bristol, Manchester and London. I’d love to see more artists from this side of the scene in Cardiff and obviously more female headliners in the future too but there are less venues available now. We have a few solid venues like The Vaults, Clwb Ifor Bach and Kongs, which play host to many of these nights, plus the student union which Bedlam hosts big events at a few times a year, but we’ve had a number of great venues close in recent years, which is really sad. The dnb scene has definitely felt it, but we keep on keeping on.

You arranged a big night in Cardiff in November last year where you invited Function:al with Digital at the vaults, how did that come about?

I first linked up with Digital when he was booked to play a couple of years ago and I was supporting. Had a great night and got on really well and following on from that the Function family collaborated on 2 events with a promoter here and I supported both times along with Ransom – one of Cardiff’s finest – and we just kept in touch and decided to do something that supported the diversity goals of Ladies of Rage.

The Function:al event was Cardiff’s first 50/50 dnb line-up. We had Randall, Storm, Digital and Djinn headlining with Blackeye and our local MC, Missy G, hosting. Then myself and some epic local djs supporting the main room, again 50/50 split with a Ladies of Rage takeover in the second room.

It was a great night, we had loads of positive feedback and it was a much needed diversity milestone.

Dream line up?

A tough question! If certain artists were still around it would probably be; Seba, Equinox, Digital, Spirit, Kemistry and Storm. Marcus Intalex, Calibre, Coco Bryce, Mantra and Djinn could easily be on there too tho…

Favourite DJ/producer?

Seba is pretty much my favourite producer, everything he makes is magic, whether dark or uplifting. I’m really loving Coco Bryce’s production at the moment too and Djinn’s production is incredible – amazing drums and I’m hoping to hear some new stuff from her soon.

Favourite DJs; I saw Equinox playing b2b with Bkey for the first time recently and his set and general stage presence blew my mind. I really enjoy watching DJs that are quite animated and enjoying themselves, it’s infectious.
Storm will always be one of my favourite DJs too – her selection is second to none.

What’s next on your agenda?

I’m very excited and grateful to be playing at Boomtown this year b2b with one of my favourites, Ransom and the epic Comma Dee on the mic duties. I’ve never played at Boomtown before so feeling really hyped for this.

Also playing at Big Love with the Concrete Junglists crew supporting Bukem and will do a set as part of Ladies of Rage. Big love is a great festival in Hay-on-Wye, it’s quite small but really intimate with loads of different music.

I’ve also just started to dip my toe into production. I never really thought it was for me until recently and Digital has been a big influence for me and I’ve had some great advice. It’s still very early days, but so far I’m (mostly) enjoying the long, learning and creative process!

You also done a mix for us. What can we expect from that?

I’m a big fan of the journey-style mix. This one has a lot of dark jungle and dnb flavours with a few twists and turns along the way

Any famous last words?

Just big ups to everyone doing positive things for the scene right now, supporting and pushing new artists and bringing fresh sounds to the dance!

You can follow Lubi J on Facebook & Instagram

Exclusive Interview: missledz

Hey missledz! Let’s start with how you got your DJ/producer name missledz.

It’s actually a bit of a silly story! My original artist name was Ledz, which I suppose links in with my “raving” background. I was 18 and wanted something cool, so thought L.E.D lights, and I’ll add a Z to be edgy (haha). Around five years later, I thought it wasn’t feminine enough so I added miss and was Miss Ledz for a while and then eventually merged it together to one word – missledz.. I’m still not sure how I feel about my artist name, I sometimes wish I had just stuck with Ledz!

From what I have gathered when talking to you, you are originally from Australia and moved to London, right? How did you end up in the UK?

That’s right. I’m from South Australia. My mother was born in England and I had always wanted to visit or potentially live here. I’d got to a point where I was happy with what I’d achieved with DJing/music in Australia and was in contact with a few people running labels/radio in the UK, so thought it might be time to actually make the move and see what I can do over here. I had started producing, but wanted to really throw myself into it professionally and I thought there would be no better place than where drum & bass originated, the UK!

Are you happy you moved to the UK? How do you think your music career would look like if you hadn’t?

I definitely think I would have regretted it if I didn’t give it a shot. I feel like being surrounded by creatives here has motivated and inspired me a lot. I don’t think I would have pushed myself this much being back home. If I had stayed in Adelaide I would probably still be co-hosting the radio show, The Ones and Twos on Fresh92.7, and continuing to play events and make music, but the process of improving in my production would potentially have been a lot slower. Difficult to say really! But I think it’s good I stepped out of my comfort zone and made the move. I do miss home a lot. It is difficult being away from my family and friends.

How long have you been djing and producing and how did that happen?

I’ve been DJing for about 14 years now. My boyfriend at the time was into drum&bass and is responsible for introducing me to it. We bought our first set of belt driven turntables together and started learning how to mix. I fell in love with mixing and soon after this was playing out in clubs.

Production took a bit longer for me to get into. I dabbled when I first started DJing, but didn’t really take it seriously until around 4 years ago (I think). It’s hard to specify how long because I was so on/off with it but I’ve been trying to work on music regularly since I moved to England in July 2017.

You’re also a raver – do you remember your first dnb night?

I do, yes! I come from a punk/metal background and didn’t really start listening to drum & bass until I was 18. My first rave involving drum & bass was Stardust at The Shores in Adelaide. Andy C and Carl Cox played. I have to admit though, I wasn’t sold on the genre yet at that time, and spent a lot of the event listening to Slipknot and Mudvayne in my headphones (oops)! It was still a lot of fun though. We had some awesome multi-genre festivals back then!

How’s the Aussie dnb scene?

Everyone always asks me this and I find it a bit difficult to answer now that I don’t live there. I think the scene is quite strong though, and (as far as I’m aware) there’s a drum & bass community in every state. In Adelaide, there have been periods where it has been quiet but from what I can see it’s really healthy now, which is great. Perth and Melbourne also have really strong scenes and host some really big lineups. It’s been great seeing promoters working together too.

How would you describe your music?

Dark, techy and weird.

What do you enjoy the most; DJ or to produce?

Hmm DJing I think. I do love making tunes though! One of my dreams is to play main stage Let it Roll. I think that would be the most exhilirating experience!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

A lot of places! Other artists, nature, anything really. My first inspirations drum&bass wise were artists like Ed Rush & Optical, Audio, Current Value.. heavy stuff! I love techstep and neuro from the 2005 – 2010(ish) era! I have tried to make neuro but I struggle.. I think my tunes are quite minimal but with a tech influence.

What’s your production set up/studio?

I have a really old and slow laptop, Yamaha HS7s, Scarlett Focusrite 2i2, Novation Launchkey 61 and a Launchpad mk2 (however I’ve not even used the Launchpad yet!). Oh, and I use Ableton.

Best tip for people interested in producing music?

Download a trial of the DAW you’re thinking of using and try to learn as much about that before you start looking at external plug ins. Watch tutorials on Youtube for like 6 months solidly. There’s a great one for beginners on Ableton called “Your First 30 Minutes in Ableton Live 9”. I always recommend that to people starting out on Ableton.

There are a lot of fantastic resources out there now to assist learning, like Sample Genie tutorials, Computer Music magazine, Education & Bass, workshops.. etc.. it’s about just taking that first step and throwing yourself into it!

Do you prefer to produce by yourself or collaborate?

Probably by myself. I enjoy collaborating too, but I prefer collabs in person which can be quite difficult. A lot of my friends don’t live near me so we need to send stems back and forth and I take forever to work on collabs like that.

You recently arranged a charity EP for Red Cross Australia – wicked idea and great cause – what can you tell us about that?

Thank you! I’m really pleased with the support for the release. It came about as I felt quite helpless being on the other side of the world whilst my country was going through such an extreme crisis. I wanted to help and thought a collaborative drum & bass release would be a positive way I could use my music to raise some money!

I put a call out on Facebook for potential contributors to the project and was overwhelmed with the response. I had over 50 track submissions which was amazing, but a bit unmanageable. So, with some help, chose 20 tracks for the release.
The money raised is going directly to Red Cross Australia, who provide support for those affected by events like severe bushfires.

I’m really proud of everyone involved and I think it’s a really strong, diverse compilation. The release is available to download via Play it Forward

Do you produce other genres too?

My focus is predominantly drum & bass but I do like experimenting with other genres for creative purposes. I’d like to make some downtempo/dubstep kind of stuff eventually.

What’s next for missledz?

I had a pretty busy start to the year with releases so I want to keep up that momentum.. but I need to finish some more tunes first!
I’ve just recorded a guest mix for one of my favourite drum & bass radio shows, and have guest mixes coming out this year for Noxious Records, Ransaked Records and Strictly Rollers. I also have a tune coming out soon on Bare Necessity Records.

I’m working on a two track single at the moment and one of the tracks features Matt Freeman on vocals. I’m got quite a few collabs in the works at the moment as well – with Dilemma, Incus, Sam Harris, Soligen and Commit.

I’ve recently moved to Bristol and I’ll be playing at an event here next month called I Love Hard Beats. And also playing at a festival in Europe in August, which is super exciting!

Any famous last words?

I’d love to do a shout out to some of my lovely fellow artists over here – Dilemma, Blu and False Relation, along with Salzone MC and Ari (Sistym) back home. And to the Strictly Deep DNB, Boey Audio and Inbound Records crews. They have all been incredibly supportive of me through my journey and are amazing friends!

Also, to my family back home because I love them and they put up with me playing drum & bass back home for years when they didn’t really like it. :)

And much love and respect to anyone else supporting me and my music! I appreciate you all so much <3

Finally, a big thank you to Drum+Basics for your time and the interview! :)

You can follow Missledz on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & SoundCloud.

Behind The Event: West Yorkshire Jungle Collective

No photo description available.Hey West Yorkshire Jungle Collective! Thank you all for answering my questions for drum+basics!

Thank you for getting in touch. We were honoured when Drum + Basics started picking up our events in the listings, so to have a chance to say hello to all your visitors and readers is fantastic!

Let’s start from the beginning. Who is who in WYJC and how did it all come about?

The spark for the WYJC was ignited in a Junglism vs. Jungle Syndicate event (at The Old Red Bus Station (ORBS) in December 2017), as a discussion about the opportunities for jungle and drum & bass DJ’s to play vinyl at events. With a lot of venues and events moving to purely digital setups, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find an outlet if you were vinyl only, or preferred playing wax. The original idea was of a collaboration between DJ’s to try and promote each other when discussing bookings with promoters. This idea soon evolved into putting on our own events, which turned into an offer of a monthly residency from our good friends at ORBS.

Our current roster is

Ark X
Chewie Lewie
Cun7
Duburban
Guirkz
Hyson
Hollie Anthwax
Olrac
Parody
Pig
Pixl
Sinistatek
Squid

What’s the purpose of WYJC?

Our main goal is to showcase the music we love. It sounds cliche, but we came together through jungle / drum & bass, and enjoy playing it as much as possible. We also want to give people who don’t necessarily get a chance to play in the North an opportunity to come and turn some heads. As long as there’s a crowd, we’ll bring the beats!

You organised a lot of events last year with really good line ups, how do you decide about that?

As a collective we want people who come to our nights to hear something they won’t hear at any other night. This is achieved partially through the difference in styles within the collective, as we all have our own unique take on jungle / drum & bass, but also from the guests we invite. Narrowing down the list of potential guests can be an interesting challenge, especially as it is a collaborative discussion between members, however we ultimately look for someone who can bring something unique to the night – whether it’s an up front selection, a set of their own productions, or a deep dive into a collection to draw for some hidden gems.

What’s the hardest part of running your own night?

Honestly, the budgeting. Our nights are always free entry, fitting with the ethos of events at ORBS to offer a free jungle/dnb night every Friday, so we don’t necessarily have the budget we’d need to invite certain guests to come and play for us. However, this actually helps us, as it makes us dig a bit deeper for selectors to invite, rather than simply booking names people are used to seeing. It gives us something different, and we’re starting to see people commenting that if we are putting someone on, that person is definitely worth seeing.

What’s the best part?

For me, the best part is receiving some of the feedback we get from people about our events. Knowing that someone has chosen to spend their Friday night with us and has thoroughly enjoyed themselves is a real boost. The support we get from our regulars, and from people who drop in and like what we do makes it all worthwhile.

Dream line up?

If budget was no problem, I think Sinistatek would immediately book Special Request and Dub One for the same night!

Leeds and raving; how is the city’s nightlife?

Leeds has a solid history with regards to nightlife including legendary acid/house/techno nights Kaos and Back to Basics, whilst producing well known names such as LFO, Nightmares on Wax and Special Request. Like any northern town we’ve got our fair share of Yates’ types though! Ha ha! Probably the most well known aspects of Leeds nightlife is the healthy dub sound system culture which is inspired and propagated by Iration Steppas and the legendary Subdub at the West Indian Centre. Arguably Leeds was at one point saturated with dub, drum n bass and dubstep events. In spite of this there’s always been a bit of a lack of proper jungle nights providing tear-out amens, which is why it’s important to realise what the Old Red Bus Station has created for the city.

Big night ahead for WYJC with Equinox playing on the 21st February, what can people expect?

Something special, we hope! Equinox is a fantastic DJ and selector, who has everything we want in a DJ – a rich and varied collection of music from the history of our scene, as well as a collection of unreleased tracks and forthcoming releases that people would love to get their hands on. We also have Polarity joining us, who has releases on Criterion and Danger Chamber Digital, and some forthcoming material that will test any system. All said, we’re expecting a busy dancefloor to be destroyed by heavy artillery – and that’s before the residents get involved!

What’s next?

We’ve got our next event of our monthly residency on the 13th March at ORBS with an all-residents line up, and are heading over to Manchester for a clash with our good friends at Certain Sounds on the 10th April on the Pick ‘n’ Mix Soundsystem. We also have a habit of throwing an all-day event in the summer at the Fenton pub in Leeds, hosted by the Symbiosis Soundsystem – this year including two well known junglists playing something unusual! – so keep your eyes on our pages for more information.

Any famous last words?

A massive thank you to the Drum + Basics crew for this interview (and to anyone who’s read this far!). Huge shout to our friends at The Old Red Bus Station, Champion Up North and the License To Jungle crew. Massive respect to the crews at Certain Sounds in Manchester, Anomalies in Sheffield, Junglism in Huddersfield and the Northern Sound Alliance (NSA). Shouts also to Symbiosis Soundsystem, Jungle Syndicate, Jungletrain, Fright Night, Energy1058, Kemet FM, The Underground Lair, Bassport FM, G.O.D. Soundsystem, and too many more to mention.

For more information about West Yorkshire Jungle Collective, follow them on Facebook. Their next event is on the 21 February at The Old Red Bus Station.

Photo credit: Lewis Beresford

Exclusive Interview: Burr Oak

You’re probably very excited about your newest and first release on Eatbrain. Congrats to that, guys! Why is it called Hawkeye? Are you huge superhero fans? :)

For sure we’re excited, going to Eatbrain is like an achievement with all the work they do since years and the sound they push into the DNB scene.
We know Jade & MNDSCP since years, Niko already worked with them with “Signs” and had a few releases on it and Julien already did few collabs on Eatbrain too, so it was natural for us to send our music and see what happens.
About the title “Hawkeye”, it’s totally not about the Marvel Super hero, which we’re not very fan tbh. He’s more like a super zero for us. J/K
“Hawkeye” is about seeing the life through the eyes of a hawk, with a natural meaning, facing the difficulties of life in the Middle West.
As for “Burr Oak” we’re very into the Western stories and Native American mythology. It’s like we’re sharing life and feelings from an other continent, but still living in Europe, like a “nouveau western”.

Who inspired you producing this EP?

We listened to a lot of Rock Grunge music during the making of it. Like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and more… (that’s a big part of our musical culture)
And for sure latest stuff by Noisia, Dawn Wall, Camo & Krooked, Mefjus, KOTR, and others great producers from the scene. Of course a lot of old stuff like Kemal & Rob Data, Stakka & Skynet, C4C etc., we love that techy sound forever.
We’re diving a lot into what we want to tell in our music, for example in “Hawkeye”, we watched a lot of old Western Movies and listened a lot of Blues Music, to feel the dry land and hot sun, then we were ready to sing on it. So yeah, our voices and accent are not perfect, but we really tried to give that Country Blues vibes in it.

You mentioned you were inspired by a lot of grunge and rock music – have you experimented making these genres too?

Yeah, we have always been inspired by Rock, Grunge, Punk, Metal music and even with Hip Hop, we both grew up with these genres so it’s natural for us to inject it into our production.
We both were part of a Rock band but nothing really serious.
Niko was singer, we mean a “howler” in a hardcore metal band and Julien played guitar with his friends’ band. We’re composing more like a band now, we’re singing both, you can hear it on Hawkeye for example and even more on the next tracks coming. We trying to put some messages into our music, even if sometimes it could be hard to understand it by the listeners. We let our audience to appropriate our music.

I’m really curious about how you came up with the collab name, Burr Oak.

This a long story, take a seat.
Being both fans of Western movies and all Native American Culture we wanted a name that made think of it.
We searched for months without finding something that we really liked but one evening while working on a song we both heard the same hearing illusion with a bass we were working, that said something like “Walnut Grove” in rehearsal.
It made us laugh a lot because it’s the main village of “The Little House on the Prairie” serie broadcasted when we were kids. Suddenly we knew, that was it, we had our name.
But in writing we found it not very aesthetic, so we documented ourself on the story about the serie and the Ingalls family and a name jumped at our eyes “Burr Oak”.
We found that this type of Oak is often sacred for Native Americans and we are here to plant a seed and to grow it for years, so the Oak appeared to us as obvious.
And the name sounds so good for any kind of music, so it’s perfect for what we’re doing.

Yes, indeed you have a very unique name. How did you guys start producing music together?

We started producing together about two years ago now, but we’ve both talked about doing a project and collaborating since years.
Already at the time when Niko was part of Signs we wanted to work together but we never managed to find the right timing.
We have made up for it since then.

How do you work together? Who’s doing what when producing music?

I’m (Julien) doing everything.
Niko is just smoking amount of weed and laughing alone.

I (Niko) am the main guy of the project.
Julien is always in the kitchen and eating all the day, when he’s not sleeping.

J/K

And to be serious, we are working together at the same time in the studio, both doing all the things, like Drums, Basses, Synths whatever, sharing the mouse.
Sometimes we’re starting some sketches both on our side in our respective studios, then we finish the track together if the idea is validated by both, of course.
It happens sometimes one of us spend hours sound designing Basses, Drums or Synths, then the other comes and start to sequence it and vice versa.
The cool thing in this project is we’re both hard workers, we don’t sleep enough to be honest, and everything come very naturally.
We trust each other and let’s time to develop the idea when one of us have it. And for the moment, the symbiosis is perfect.

I hope you can still get some proper rest guys. How do you handle if you don’t agree on something?

It never happen for the moment, but if it does, probably having a fight on a ring will resolve it.

Do you master your own tracks?

Yes, for the most of our releases, generally we prefer our own master, because we know from the very beginning of composition how we want the track to sound. But still taking advices from close friends who help us to get out of the project to be more objective.

What is your studio set up?

We each have a respective studio, even if we work mainly at Julien’s home.
Mostly we’re working with Ableton on each computer, with quite the same setup with VSTS, so it’s easy to work in each studio when we want to move a bit.
We both have a pair of monitors, Eve Audio Sc208 and Behringer Truth B2030A and have a few hardwares like TB 303 (the original one), Roland Juno 106, Vermona Syncussion DRM-1, and other few things like mics, keyboards, midi controllers and good headphones. Our friends Etienne and Céline from Kosen & Karnage Records work in a great music shop in Toulouse (Sunset Music), so they help us having some new materials to try and buy when we need it.

It’s great to have friends like them. :) What advice would you give people who have just started making music?

Do whatever you you want with all your souls. Believe in yourself but, above all, practice, practice and practice. Stay true, authentic and enjoy composing music.
Take the music like a remedy of the World pain.

Do you prefer to collaborate with other producers ‘solo’ or as Burr Oak?

For the moment we have not yet collaborated with a lot of artists under the Burr Oak project, but the few collabs we’ve already made has gone very well. So expect a collab EP coming in the near future.

How was playing on the Virus night on SteelYard for the first time as a new collab project?

That was SICK, one of the best party ever. Very emotional moments, and the energy shared with all the people was incredible.
Very cool to see a lot of friends there, and playing with all the legends. Meeting Kemal was awesome for us, even more when we never expected to meet him.
Grateful to our good friend, Prolix who let us play in Trendkill room, Trendkill is a foundation for our sound. And celebrating 20 years of Virus was unforgettable. London Calling!!!

What’s next for Burr Oak?

We already have new tracks done, solo and collabs tracks, and you could listen it in the year on Trendkill and Eatbrain.
A lot of more are in progress, like collabs with Prolix, Billain, TR Tactics and more…
And you could hear us singing a bit more on the next tracks, we’ve lot of things to tell.
Burr Oak is more than just a project for us, and we gonna push it as far as possible.

Thank you for the interview.
Niko & Ju

Thank you guys! :)

Their first release on Eatbrain, the Hawkeye EP is available on Beatport & on Spotify from 17th February.

Exclusive Interview: Jaskin & Uneven

Hey Jaskin & Uneven – for those unfamiliar with you guys; tell us who you are.

Hi, we are two easy going guys from Baltic states, Uneven (Latvia) & Jaskin (Lithuania), we live in Bristol and we love making music. We’ve been Djing and running nights for a long time. First in our home countries, then in London and now we’ve started a new event in Bristol dedicated to deeper side of drumandbass music called EPI-FIED.

We feel that there’s a real shortage of this sound at events these days, hence the idea for putting it out there.

I have read that you first tried to make music together in 2015 when you started a few projects – how did you guys meet in 2015 and what were these projects?

Jaskin: We’ve always had friends in common but somehow never met each other, even when dj’ing at same festivals.

Back in 2013 in London, Uneven was hosting a night at South Bank Centre Concrete Bar where he was inviting some guest DJs. Once he invited our friend in common The Corpus (known as Nutekk back then) and I came along to spin some tunes. That night was crazy, still can’t remember how did we get back home, but since then we became brothers. We both felt like we knew each other for ages, so it didn’t take us long to get into the production room with couple of beers and start creating.

Uneven: One of the first projects we started was “Reborn”. This came out on Regression Media last year. It wasn’t great in the beginning to be honest, but in one of the sessions we decided to revisit it and the track was “Reborn”

How does it work to produce music together? What’s your set up?

Tricky question, we don’t actually know how it works. We guess we have a connection and we just go with the flow. No restrictions, just throwing in ideas and seeing where we can go with them. Some ideas can be rubbish and some can be good, but generally we enjoy the overall process and we like having fun.

Ideally, we prefer getting into the room and working on stuff together. However, we find that working independently from time to time is a great practice too as it helps to bring some personal influence.

Uneven: We have some experience working on music and being away. When Jaskin moved to Bristol and I was still living in London we managed to make some really nice tunes by sending projects over the cloud. Now both being re-united in Bristol our process of making music is fairly simple. Normally we get in together either at Jaskin’s or mine, have few beers and let the ideas flow. In terms of the set up we work on Cubase, Ableton and Maschine as a DAW alongside tons of vsts and instruments. We do like hardware too, no wonder synth sounds are quite noticeable in our music. Favorite devices we use are: Nord Lead 2x, Korg Volca FM, Yamaha CS2X, Behringer DeepMind and Arturia Microbrute 2s.

Are you producing other genres than DNB (both as solo artists and as J&U)?

Yes, we do all sorts of music, but never revealed whatever happened out of drumandbass territory :)

You’re both from The Baltic; how’s the dnb scene in your countries and what would you say is the difference from the UK scene? Do you think your background has made an impact on your production?

Jaskin: Dnb Scene is generally quite strong in Lithuania in terms of good music, events and promoters. If you are in Vilnius, Kablys is a must-visit club. Also there is a “Rastaday” event hosted by “Baltic Champions” guys every Thursday delivering Jungle and DrumAndBass riddims. The same guys also run a drumandbass radio show on Lithuanian National Radio Station “LRT Opus3”. Obviously Lithuanian dnb scene is not comparable to the UK one, but it is still good enough.

Back in the days when I just discovered the genre of music like drum and bass it did indeed affect me a lot. I was literally blown away after the first gig I went to. It was Technical itch in Vilnius and after that I rarely missed an event. Big shout to my influencers Intakx, Rhodopsin and Rupas for introducing me to all the great tunes that I still love.

Uneven: Dnb scene in Latvia back in the days was quite strong and I was lucky to catch that moment when I was in my raving years. It surely made an impact to what I do musically now. Sadly, there’s effectively no dnb scene in Latvia these days.

You got a release out on none60 called ‘Safe Edge’ which is a 4 track EP. What can you tell us about that? How long has this process taken from ideas to release?

We both are really proud of this EP to be honest. All 4 tracks represent our sound in the most accurate way. It took about a year to finish it. We wrote the tunes fairly quick and when we signed the EP, we put them aside for a while to be able to focus on other projects. When we got the release date from Andy, we polished them up (always good to have a fresh look on old projects) and got them ready for mastering.

How would you describe your sound?

Deep, cinematic, emotional.

Are you DJing as well?

We are. Not as much as we used to but always up to get behind the decks.

What’s next for Jaskin & Uneven?

We got few appearances on various VA’s that should be out before the end of the year (watch out for some exclusives there). Then there’s an EP on Kos.Mos.Music in 2020 and 2 other projects that we are super excited about but can’t reveal anything yet. Keep your eyes peeled…

Any famous last words (shout outs, big ups)?

Big up to our friends and family, to people who support us and believe in us.

Get the album from none60’s BandCamp 

Exclusive Interview: Jade from Eatbrain

Eatbrain is coming to town this Friday and we went back to the roots with Jade.

Hey Jade, it’s my pleasure to make an interview with you. :)

The pleasure is mine!

I’m really curious about how it’s all started. How did you get into the dnb scene?

I first heard dnb by coincidence, 20 years ago with some friends we were running from a storm and found shelter in an underground club called “Jailhouse”. It was a DNB night, i got hooked for life right away.

Do you remember which songs were the first ones which got you into dnb?

The actual tune was Bad Company – Seizure.
But my all time favourite was Konflict/ Kemal. The Usual Suspects, Matrix, Ed Rush & Optical, Stakka & Skynet and Future Cut also deserves a mention.

It’s been a long time ago, but do you still remember where you played for the first time?

It was Szeged, Hungary in 2004, a club called Miu Miu. I don’t remember a lot of gigs to be completely honest, played over a thousand – but the first will always be the first.
I gave up DJing vinyl years before that, sold most of my collection. When my first production got released bookings started to come in, i had to learn how to DJ from CDs in 2 weeks. It was a practiced set.

Whose music gives you inspiration nowadays? Where else do you get inspiration from?

The Chemical brothers came out this year with a new album, they are a major inspiration to me, always have been.
This year i think there are a number of artists who turn DNB upside down, I’m a huge fan of Synergy, Buunshin and Imanu.

Which was the most exciting/challenging album you worked on so far? And why?

Well i only have one artist album under my belt, so there is that :)
but the most interesting one i was part of was the first Eatbrain album “Tales of the Undead”. That album was the true breakthorugh for the label.

Who was the best to work with? Do you still planning another collaboration with him?

That’s gotta be Mindscape or State Of Mind, we had many collabs and we know each other pretty well, we think alike.
But it was also an honor to work with Fourward, Gancher & Ruin, Chris.SU and Rido.
My new project ‘Clashtone’ is 3 guys including me, so that’s a collab every time! And it’s getting sicker and sicker every time we get to work on something.

How did you come up with the name ‘Eatbrain’ and the logo? :)

I was (am) a big fan of the Zombie movie genre, i was binge watching Romero’s legacy when the label name hit me. The logo is really as simple as it gets, X X for the dead eyes, and sharp teeth for the munching.

What do you think how the genre will change in the next couple of years?

Oh that’s a great question – that nobody can answer. DNB is constantly developing, evolving, there is always something new. Who knew 2 years ago that 2019 will be be about “foghorns”?
One thing i know for sure, DNB is alive and thriving, and this won’t change.

Eatbrain has a huge fan base in London. Would you like to send a message to The Horde before the Eatbrain party? :)

It’s not easy to make something like this event in the heart of the world wide dnb community – So do not miss this opportunity, who knows, the next one might be a year away ;)
See you there!

See you on Eatbrain in Steel Yard this Friday! Until that there’s some fab mixes on Eatbrain’s website.

You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud & Beatport.

Exclusive Interview : Boston – Symmetry Recordings.

Jack Boston DJ/Producer signed to Symmetry Recordings is one talented young man.

 

Jack was born in Cardiff Wales.

 

Jack Bostons blend of soulful beats are apparent on all his releases.

 

Jack Bostons knowledge of music and experimental production has made him gain an head start within D&B.

 

From that day he has been involved with Symmetry Recordings.

 

Jack Boston has a lot of DJ and radio support from the likes of Friction, LTJ Bukem, Lenzman, Break and many more, the future looks very bright for this young male.

 

 

 

Hey Jack great to be interviewing you.

 

Hey Maryanne, thanks for having me!

 

So let’s start right from the beginning.
What was the actual year you began producing?

 

I think it would have been around 2011.

I was in sixth form college doing subjects that were unrelated to music.

It was a group of people I met there that got me into making electronic music.

 

How did you break through with releases on Symmetry?

 

I met Charlie & Isha at a music production seminar in Bristol.

I gave them a CD of my music and I got an email back a week or so later.

I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I read the email saying Break liked my tunes and they would like to meet in Bristol.

I really do owe them a lot for taking that first chance with me!

 

 

Did you have releases on any other record labels before then?

 

Nope they were the first label I’d ever released with.

 

Your forthcoming release on Symmetry features a collaboration with Madcap & Vanity Jay.
How did you arrange those collabs?

 

I first reached out to Madcap when I heard his tune ‘Sunset Strip’.

I still play that track on every set!

He very kindly sent it over and we started a conversation from there.

I was sketching out ‘Always There’ and just thought that characteristic Madcap sound would be perfect for it.

He brought some really great vibes to the production.

He’s also such an easy guy to talk to and a real easy going character; exactly what you want in this game!

 

You are very experimental with your production and cover all genres of music.
Do you go under an alias name with other genres of music?

 

At the moment, no.

I’m writing a lot of alternative genres at the moment and I’m still undecided whether to make a new alias for it all.

As you can tell by my current name, I’m not the best at making up Alias’s! haha.

Myself and Quartz have started writing some very experimental music, which I’m loving so no doubt we will come up with a new moniker to release that under soon!

 

Do you see yourself continuing to produce D&B in 5 years time?

 

I’m not sure.

I love writing D&B as the tempo has so much energy and the scene is so cool & unpretentious.

I think it’s the most professionally produced electronic genre and it’s really informed the productions I do today on other genres.

I work at Rockfield studios and I work bands and artists day to day, which I really love doing and will continue for the rest of my career.

I think being involved in both worlds is really beneficial as it gives me a well-rounded view of the industry.

I am definitely able to take lessons and inspiration from electronic and non-electronic genres and make something unique.

As long as it still makes me happy, I will continue to make D&B.

 

Who will you be working with next?

 

Myself and Break started something a while back, which I’m very excited about and I’m currently finalising some vocals with Tenisha Edwards on a new track.

I love collaborating and always keen to work with someone new!

 

Will we be seeing you Djing more sets over the next few months or are you locked down in the studio?

 

I haven’t been playing much this year so far as I’ve been so busy writing the album and producing for bands at the studio.

That said, I recently joined the Soul in Motion booking agency after playing there last week.

I love to travel and share my music with people so I will definitely be taking on more bookings.

 

Of course any special mentions and final words?

 

Shouts to Charlie & Isha for the continued support and guidance.

Everyone who I’ve worked with and everyone who has pre ordered the first single.

Oh and bigups to my Mum x

 

Pre-order Bostons new release here..

https://www.symmetryrecordings.co.uk/download/symm029d 

 

Check Out Bostons social media here …

https://www.facebook.com/bostondnb/

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix – MADCAP

MADCAP

Dj/Producer/Remixer from Chinnor, Oxfordshire.

 

Madcap has a long history of providing smooth grooves for our listening pleasure he is one talented man with many releases on record labels listed below.

 

Creative Wax // Good Looking // Smooth n Groove // Phuzion // Mac II // Criminal // Jazzsticks // Fokuz // AKO Beatz // Renegade // Step Back Sessions // Sonata // Celsius // Uncertified Music // Soul Deep // Warehouse Wax // Side Chain // Immerse // Steel Fingers.

 

Also winner of Movement / Technics / DJ Magazine DJ Competition – 2002
Winner of ‘Mix Tape of the Month’ IDJ Magazine – 2004.

 

 

You began Djing many years ago.

What was the actual year and why did you begin Djing?

 

Towards the end of 1992 at the young age of 12.

For the love of the music of course. I was obsessed with early Rave / Hardcore music.

I used to listen to 3rd hand copies of tapes I & was intrigued to why the music continued in the mix & love the scratching from Dj’s like Hype & Sy.

I would learn about the Dj’s through magazines like Eternity & Blaze.

The first parties I ever went to were down at the local youth clubs.

Older DJs in the area would play & I’d be fixated what they were doing & would go home & practice what I witnessed. 

 

Why did you start producing music?

 

I grew up in a very musical household.

My Dad was a singer/songwriter & in the very early days of my life had a studio in our front room.

My Mum is a piano teacher & to this day works at a local school. I never properly learnt to play an instrument, but an old friend was taught by my Mum.

I heard he made beats so we swapped tricks with me teaching him the basics of Djing & in turn him introducing me to producing using a program called Octamed.

We never had anything released but it was a good leaning experience.

I believed it was a natural progression after DJing & took me a number of years to get to the stage of producing tracks on my own & having the confidence to play them to a crowd in a club.

 

For many years now you’ve been releasing your music.

Is there any tune that stands out the most for you and gave you more motivation to keep producing music?

 

It’s probably the first tune I signed to Good Looking called ‘Inflated Tear’ alongside Villem.

Having tunes on this infamous label & support from LTJ Bukem gave me confidence & encouragement.

 

 

You had many DJ residencies at events across the country also promoting events in local towns.

Would you consider residencies and event promotion again or are you more focused on being in the studio?

 

Of course, I would love another residency.

As for promotion, never say never!!!

I did events from the mid 90’s up until a few years ago.

They were great times, but currently I’m focused on DJing, producing & co-running Creative Wax, but if the right opportunity presented itself, I would consider it.

 

You completed remixes of legendary tunes for LTJ Bukem, Nookie / Cloud 9, Tom & Jerry aka 4 Hero & DJ Monita.

 

Including Cloud 9’s Moving Shadow classic ‘You Got Me Burning Up’ & Nookie’s Reinforced release ‘A Drum, A Bass & A Piano’.

 

While remixing those tunes did you feel more pressurised and found the whole process stressful ( as your remixing ultimate classics ) or was it all plain sailing? 

 

It was an honour to remix these tracks, as they were all favs of that golden period of Jungle / D&B.

I don’t really recall feeling major pressure, but I wouldn’t say it was always plain sailing when working on them.

After doing possibly 10 mixdowns of ‘You Got Me Burning Up’ my wife kindly asked me to work on something else for a while. Haha. 

 

Talk us through your studio equipment and how you nail the perfect mix down.

 

I currently use an IMac using Logic X with plug-ins including Native Instruments Komplete, Arturia, Sound Toys & a few more.

I use Soundforge to cut up samples either through the computer or off the Technics 1210’s & run it all through Adam Audio monitors using a Focusrite soundcard.

I also have a Komplete Kontrol Keyboard, Maschine MKII, Mini Korg, Roland TR-8 & TB-03 & couple of pairs of KRK monitors. You can never have enough speakers to test your new tunes on ;)

As for mixdowns, I’m still trying to perfect it & learning all the time. 

 

 

What advice would you give to all those up and coming DJs/Producers?

 

Most importantly do it because you enjoy it.

Study the art & history.

You have to put a lot of time & energy in, so don’t expect overnight success. 

 

Forthcoming releases?

 

An EP due out soon alongside the late great Andy Skopes on Dispatch.

Vinyl due out on Utopia Music.

Break’s Symmetry (alongside Jack Boston).

Forthcoming vinyl due with Randall’s Mac II, Monita’s Skeleton Recordings & Myriad Recordings.

Projects in the making with Soul Deep & Smooth N Groove.

I also a couple of remixes to announce later this year which I’m super excited about.

 

Forthcoming sets?

 

Gigs planned for London, Manchester & Gloucester, keep your eyes peeled for more info.

 

Any special thanks, final words?

 

To my wife Mel & son Flynn, all my family, friends, artists, promoters, label owners & everyone that supports my music, Big love!

Thanks to D+B for the opportunity to do the mix & Q&A.

Here’s an exclusive guest mix from MADCAP…

 

 

For bookings please contact: madcap1980@gmail.com

 

Check the socials to stay up to date with news, releases & gigs

https://www.facebook.com/MadcapDJ/

https://www.instagram.com/maddersuk/

 

 

Introducing : K.I.M – Conjunction Recordings

New D&B Record Label.

 

Conjunction Recordings.

 

You may have seen K.I.M.

 

Female DJ from London U.K on recent event flyers.

 

Also heard a little about her role within Conjunction Recordings.

 

Drum+Basics needed to know more.

 

Here’s a quick interview from K.I.M.

 

DJ K.I.M how many years have you been involved within Drum & Bass?

It was around 98 I began listening to Jungle and Drum ‘n’ Bass initially via radio stations such as Soundz FM, Rude FM and Kool FM.

I then started going to events from around 2001, this gave me the inspiration to start DJing in 2003 as my record collection had grown nicely up to this point.

After submitting some demos, I then had some regular playouts and residencies at local D&B events around Kent and South London (Organised Noize, Social Experiment and Armageddon), from there I went on to play at other events such as Terraforms in Oxford which gave me the chance to promote my name further afield. 

What drew you into the world of Drum & Bass?

I got hooked on the music when listening to radio shows on a regular basis at the end of the nineties when the darker side of the music began to evolve, I was blown away with some of the music being released from producers such as Ed Rush & Optical, Goldie, Klute, Digital and Spirit to name a few.

Then in 2001 when I met my now husband Catalyst .AD.

I started to go to events, seeing D&B live and feeling the music and seeing the crowd reactions and the atmosphere got me addicted to the music completely. Paul then introduced me to UKRumble, an Internet Radio Station where he had a weekly show.

I soon got to see the whole other side of the scene and all the work that went in by the various artists on the station.

I was then given opportunity to host my own weekly show on Wednesdays. 18 Years later we are still in the scene, going to various events like “Middleskool”, “Launch”, “From the Vaults” & “Champion Sounds”. 

You’ve progressed a lot over the last several years and we noticed you have started a record label.

How and why did you start the Conjunction Recordings label?

The idea of a record label was something that Paul had wanted to do for a number of years having released his music on several different labels as part of the duo “Able Danger”.

A few years ago we set up our own studio and felt that it was a good time to make the break and release music ourselves whilst Paul continued to push his own music as a solo artist under the name of Catalyst.AD

There’s many record labels out there pushing underground sound.

How does Conjunction stand from the rest?

Conjunction was set up primarily as a platform for Paul to showcase his own music with various collaborations planned as well as releasing music from new up and coming artists.

Conjunction also is aiming to be a multi genre label so each release will be something different.

You can expect to hear anything from deep, melodic 140 BPM tracks to upfront and hard-hitting drum n bass with a real focus on musicality.

How many releases are you aiming for a year?

The aim of the label is for quality over quantity and we plan to have around 4 releases a year which will mainly be E.P.’s so there will always be a nice selection to choose from.

Also are these releases mainly available on vinyl or digital?

The releases will mainly be digital, with some limited-edition CDs.

Forthcoming Releases?

The next Conjunction release following the “Coming Home” E.P. (out now in all good digital stores!) is pencilled in for the end of the year / early 2020.

This will be another E.P. from Catalyst.AD featuring a new artist who is a well known MC now turned producer – watch this space!!

Forthcoming Events?

At the moment I am just concentrating on promoting the label and producing regular mixes and podcasts.

I have recently played at Middle Skool (shout to Mike Ascension!) and From the Vaults organised by Voice MC and LS Dare.

Final Words?

Thank you to MaryAnne for giving me this opportunity to talk with Drumandbasics.com

A big shout out to my family and of course to my husband Paul (Catalyst.AD) especially for the support he has given me in these 18 years.

Also to my good friends MC Carnage and Skinz (original UK Rumble crew).

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/dnbdjkim 

Instagram

 https://www.instagram.com/dnbdjkim/

Mixcloud

https://www.mixcloud.com/kimdnb/

Soundcloud

https://soundcloud.com/dnbdjkim

Website

https://www.conjunctionrecordings.com/

https://conjunctionrecordings.bandcamp.com/