Sunday, April 29, 2018

OX7GEN talks about his new track on Med School Music, live Drum and Bass, his love for Hospital Records and more.

Drum & Bass in totality has had an astonishing start to 2018. We have already seen some enthralling releases from newcomers like QZB and Monty alongside some big releases from the likes of GLXY, LSB, Mefjus and many more.Thanks to the comfort given by labels with providing space to experiment, Artists have pushed the boundaries and they have dished out some mind bending releases but one artist we would like to pay our attention to, is our very own Aditya Ashok also known as OX7GEN.
OX7GEN's love for Drum & bass is no secret. He is one of the flagbearers of the recent rise of Drum & Bass in India. A drummer for one of the biggest bands in India, one moment to a solo producer making Drum & bass, the next, Aditya is one the most revered artists in the country and now with a soul stirring track on Hospital Records’ sister label, Med School Music, Aditya has put India on the map of this massive competitive and daring world of Drum & Bass. Maybe people don’t realize how big this is but it's HUGE.

Part of Med School Music’s ‘New Blood 018’ compilation, ‘Trinity’ is a deep stepper with some sophisticated drum work, exemplifying OX7GEN penchant for ambient sounds. The compilation features some immensely talented artists like A.Fruit and Lakeway, so like we said, this release is HUGE and it is a testament to the tremendous amount of graft Aditya has put in his music and to celebrate the release, we sat down with the ingenious producer to know about his thoughts on the release, his early days, Live Drum & bass and much more.

The idea of ‘Trinity’ Aditya was always vocal about his admiration for Hospital Records and Tony Colman aka London Elektricity and to have his first release on Hospital Records’ sister label is massive. “To have a release on Med School Music is more than inspiring for me and after going through all the ups and downs as an artist, the feeling is surreal. Before sending tunes out to labels, I had to be vary of what I was sending. I just didn’t want to send tunes which I didn’t feel confident about because it would put my work and my name as an artist in jeopardy. ‘Trinity’ was sent to Tony for feedback but he liked the tune and we spoke about the possibility of having the tune released on ‘Med School Music’ and that’s how it happened”.

Introduction to Drum & Bass Aditya’s music tastes have evolved and before he started listening into drum & bass, he listened to a lot of House, Techno and then his focus shifted to Rock and Metal in 2005. “Back in the day, I used to listen to a lot of House and Techno and then my tastes shifted to Rock and Metal in 2005. After that, I was introduced to drum & bass because I felt that drum & bass was the closest aesthetic to what I was listening to, back then. I started with LTJ Bukem and later I was introduced to Black Sun Empire by Tarqeeb”.

Thoughts on the release and sharing stages with Alix Perez and London Elektricity OX7GEN back catalogue is huge and it’s inspiring. Having toured Europe as a drummer with Sky Harbor and sharing stages as a DJ with some of the biggest artists in the drum & bass spectrum but Aditya humbly says that he wasn’t planning any of this. “I was not setting any milestones throughout my journey. It just happened. I was making music and I was enjoying what I was doing in that moment. I started playing gigs with Krunk and eventually I got the opportunity to open for London Elektricity and Alix Perez. I was releasing music periodically but ‘Trinity’ is technically my first release on a offbig label.”. Fast forward 2018, OX7GEN is one of the most technically daring producers and DJ in the country, known for immaculate mixing and his high energy sets. Talk about drum & bass and OX7GEN is the first name on the list.

Thoughts on the concept of Live Drum & Bass Whilst drum & bass enthusiasts love the idea of swashbuckling sets and stomping to pulsating tunes, they always dig the live element in it and so do artists and DJs. On the biggest stage we have seen the likes Pendulum, Noisia and Icicle, dishing out their live sets to perfection but the concept still remains to be in the fringes. We asked Aditya what he feels about the concept of Live Drum & Bass and turns out that he has accomplished it already.

In 2014, I gathered a lead singer, two guitarists and I was the drummer and the concept of OX7GEN Live came up. I did a 6 city tour where I took my OX7GEN Live project and we had fun touring the country. During gigs, we performed tirelessly without those conventional song breaks and it was fun. For me, it was very refreshing because my of penchant for the live element in it. But eventually the costs behind the project shot up and travelling to places with the band and carrying everything to each place became difficult. So I decided to turn my attention to DJing and making music, because the Live concept consumed a lot effort and time and I couldn’t channelize my time towards making music.
India’s perception towards Drum & Bass Well, it is very evident that drum & bass in India is not upheld in the same bracket as House and Techno. It has a stigma attached to it of being repetitive and for the heads who attend drum & bass gigs will always find familiar faces. Like it or not, finding familiar faces isn’t a good sign for a genre as good as drum & bass and Aditya echoes our thoughts. “Since I started playing drum & bass, what I felt is that drum & bass remains to be a fringe genre and it probably will remain in the fringe realm unless heavily explored”. When we asked if being in the fringe realm is a blessing in disguise?, he said “Yes, it does help but more than anything, India lacks the right tools required to make drum & bass a big hit in the country. We lack the right soundsystems and the right environment to pull of drum & bass gigs”. Our thoughts exactly. Drum & Bass gigs are supposed to be dark and sweaty with monstrous soundsystems. Unfortunately, we can’t replicate the environment which exists in the UK and other parts of Europe, which makes the genre one of the most followed genres in Europe.

Admiration for Hospital Records and London Elektricity OX7GEN supported London Elektricity when he toured in India but his love for the label and Tony Colman stretches years before that. “I love melodies and Hospital records exemplify my loves for melodies”. Rightly so. Hospital Records has the most impressive rosters in the drum & bass fraternity which includes the likes of S.P.Y, Metrik, Fred V & Grafix and many more and the label’s sounds resonate Aditya’s affection for melodies. “Syncopated City by London Elektricity was the first drum & bass album I heard and then his BBC essential mix later intrigued me and honestly it is hard to describe the influence Tony and Hospital Records have had in my journey. I feel my music goes in tandem with the way Hospital Records approach their releases.” While the label is known for their unassailable hold in the industry when it comes to melodic drum & bass but lately we have seen the label changing their sounds and we have seen a lot of gritty low-end releases from Whiney, Keeno and Urbandawn signaling a new variation to the label’s approach towards their releases.
With this, Aditya confirmed that he is working on two tunes and whilst being a big ambient head producing soothing tunes, Aditya says that the tunes he is working on, are going to be more enterprising and club oriented releases.
In the end, we asked Aditya a fun question.
You are closing Sunandbass. What will be your closing tune? For the ones who aren’t aware, SunandBass is one the biggest drum & bass gatherings in the world which takes place every year on the Beautiful island of Sardania, Italy and it goes without saying that it is a dream for drum & bass artists to perform at SunandBass. When we asked Aditya, he took a long pause and fondly asked if we know Apex. [chuckles]. We lost Apex and Marcus Intalex last year and it was really hard for the drum & bass community to fathom the fact that they lost two legends in the same year. “[after a long pause]The Apex remix for London Elektricity’s Just Once Second would be my closing track. I think that the original resonates our feelings and life in general and Apex seamlessly remixed which the tune, which I believe is one the best drum & bass remixes, ever.

Nab yourself a copy of OX7GEN's release on Med School Music here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Andy C announces Nightlife 7 with a competition for budding producers to be a part of the series.

With over 40 awards to date, Andy C’s career has been nothing short of a phenomenon. He’s sold-out Alexandra Palace and Brixton Academy with his own solo shows, played headline slots at the world’s greatest festivals including Creamfields, Glastonbury, EDC, and SW4, and released a string of phenomenal crossover anthems like ‘Heartbeat Loud’ and club tracks like ‘What Bass’, and ‘New Era’. He’s also the go-to remixer for the likes of Major Lazer, Sigala, London Grammar and beyond, and the drum & bass figure was recently chosen to host the first drum & bass radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1, broadcast to over 100 countries. In 2017, Andy C sold out a 13 week residency (d&b’s first) at London’s XOYO.
Andy’s main signature motif as a DJ is that he’s guaranteed to be packing tracks that no other DJ has. Hunting, digging, searching and signing: he is constantly immersed in new music. Not only does this ensure a wholly unique experience when you see him live, but it also gives Ram Records a front row seat when it comes to spotting new artists.
As the owner and figurehead for Ram Records, which celebrated 25 years in 2017, Andy’s supported and developed huge headline artists such as Chase & Status, Wilkinson and Sub Focus, turning it into one of the world’s most respected independent operations across recordings and now festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Creamfields, and SW4 where Ram have hosted their own arenas and stages.
The Drum & Bass giant has now announced that releasing the seventh edition in his benchmark mix album series, ‘Nightlife’. Available early summer 2018, ‘Nightlife 7’ will be released on Ram Records.
"Nightlife to me is a representation and snap shot of where I feel drum & bass is at in this moment in time. Right now it’s stronger than ever and I want to express this the best way I can”
Launched in 2003, each instalment of ‘Nightlife’ has achieved seminal status and reflected the depth of production talent across drum & bass during that period. For the first time, Andy is encouraging new and emerging talent to be a part of it - by inviting them to submit exclusive music to be considered for the ‘Nightlife 7’ mix. All details can be found on the splash page (including full terms and conditions for submission) :

Monday, April 9, 2018

#BassMondays - Sepoys (Interview + Dubplate 026)

Continuing to fill our treasure box [Dubplate features], we have Sepoys [Rohit Tandon] for this month of April. A multi genre producer, Rohit has recently moved to Goa to focus on what he really enjoys - Music. Read our quick conversation with him to find more about the artist that we speak of. But first, hit play and listen to this beauty of a mix he has exclusively put together for us.

1. For our readers, tell us more about the Sepoys project?
A - I’ve been playing around with music programs since the 90’s and even worked with sound in my design school days. So Sepoys began with the need to be creative outside of the everyday visual design that I do. I started djing at first and then eventually moved into production. I used to make beats for the ad agency I worked for and we used to use them in some of our demo reels and client work. From there I just kept experimenting and still am.

2. Having experimented with multiple genres, how would you like to best describe your sound?
A - As much as I love the heavy side of electronic music, I simply can’t get that aggressiveness in my own music, so my sounds tends to be more mellow and deep. My dj sets can go either way, but they too are quite chill like the one I made for you guys. Whether its hip hop, deep house or drum n bass, the vibe is usually the same.

3. You moved from Canada to Goa to explore new possibilities. How much has it helped in your journey so far?
A - Before Goa, I was doing the 9-9 life in Mumbai . My wife and I both needed to leave, just so we could explore other avenues of what we call “work”. Samira focusses on her art, and I on my music. Goa allowed us to do this, simply because of the lower cost of living. It also allowed us to be in our spaces with little social distraction (aka lack of friends!).

4. Having played various genres in the past, your inclination for Drum & Bass is evident and your productions speak volumes for it. How did you get into Drum & Bass?

A - I’ve been exposed to Drum & Bass as a child but never knew what it was called till 1998. Growing up in Dubai in the 90’s , a lot of the radio DJs were from the UK, so late night shows were full off Deep House, Garage and Drum & Bass. After moving to Canada in 2000, I got to explore a lot of Lounge / Downtempo and found a lot of Drum & Bass in those albums as well. Thats when I really started following it. Started with artists like LTJ Bukem, EZ Rollers, Goldie to heavier artists like Hive, Amon Tobin and Roni Size.

 5. We are really digging your productions. ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ sounds absolutely wicked. How was the experience of capturing the idea and crafting the tune?
A - As of today, that track is 10 years old! The idea to remix a classic R.D. Burman track came from an audio/visual concept that my motion designer friend Sumit Seru and I can up with. I would remix the audio and he would remix the video of the original song. Long story short, I’m still waiting on Sumit to start the video remix! Maybe next year.

6. We are big suckers for those deep, dark and intricate numbers and your recent tunes like ‘Imambada’ and ‘Kuch Khaas’ tick all the boxes for us. Tell us more about the creative process you go through when you make Drum & Bass?
A - I used to own a Fender Rhodes MK 1 in Canada, but had to sell it when I was moving, so a lot of my tracks begin with me playing around with synths. Also , my studio is blacked out because of the Goa sun so that usually has an influence on the sound.

7. What’s next for Sepoys?
A -  Been producing regularly, so I’m working to create a collection of tracks so I can perform them as a set and see where that goes.

8. Five tunes you are digging at the moment?
A - 1. Silence Groove - Home Calls
2. Technimatic - Hold On a While (Feat. Jono McCleery)
3. Break - Winter Rain

4. Bop - Untitled pattern 55
5. Lenzman & Submorphics - Bayview

Follow SEPOYS - Soundcloud | Bandcamp.

Dubplate #026 - SEPOYS


1) Sepoys - Dosto [ Unreleased ]
2) Dust - Donna Jane [ Room Music ]
3) Zero T/Mosus feat Steo - Call Waiting [ Liquid V ]
4) Alix Perez & Ivy Lab - Maiden [ Critical Music ]
5) Intelligent Manners & Command Strange - The Real Deal
[ InnergroundMusic ]

6) Blu Mar Ten & Makoto - Eldervine [ Hospital Records ]
7) Sepoys - World Within  [ Unreleased ]
8) Roni Size - It's a Jazz Thing [ V Recordings ] 
9) E-Z Rollers - Walk This Land [ Moving Shadow ]
10) Megashira - At Last [ INFRACom! ]
11) SpectraSoul -  From The Jaws [ Ish Chat Music ]
12) S.P.Y - Dusty Fingers (feat. Diane Charlemagne) [Hospital Records]
13) Ed it - If And Only If [ CIA Records ]
14) Anile - Wish List [ Med School Music ]
15) Aquarius & Tayla - Bringing Me Down [ Good Looking Records ]
16) Bop - Space Girl [Hospital Records]
17) Amon Tobin - Nova [ Ninja Tune ]

Drum & Bass duo Magnetude release two uncompromising bangers on RAM Records

Eight years in the making, the path of Magentude was never a smooth one. The Anglo-Russian hybrid spent their formative years sharing music across the vast expanse of cyberspace; following a chance online meeting through their individual projects, it was their love for musically enriched drum & bass which drew them together and it was this passion which saw them collaborate. Time passed, meaning Magnetude became less of an idea and more of a reality as their tracks gained traction across worldwide stages and DJ sets. However, the ingeniously sculpted compositions they piece together meant it was only natural for them to pique interest with one of dance music’s most revered labels, Ram Records. And it was here that their forthcoming single ‘Snatch’ and ‘Signals’ came into being.

One element of Magnetude’s success is their ability to integrate multi-genre soundscapes across drum & bass. ‘Snatch’ is the epitomic example, pulling out vast, orchestral instrumentals and throbbing bass notes to draw you deep inside its climatic breakdown. As the record transcends into a more dancefloor-lead drop, it ducks and dives between rocketing pulses of LFO and a hook which is undeniably catchy. Switching midway and demonstrating that every inch of their music channels a constant thought process, ‘Snatch’ may be your first foreword into Magnetude’s sound but it will certainly carve a lasting impact.

‘Signals’ still shakes with the same relentless drive as its flipside but also gives you a glimpse into Magnetude’s boundary-breaking sound design. Pulling robotic, eerily warped vocals through the mix alongside its floating synths, the introduction of its weighty drum patterns adds a divisive undercurrent. ‘Signals’ still keeps its focus around the anarchist club vibes seen throughout Magnetude’s production but it also opens you up to their range and diversity.

They’re a duo who concentrates on developing a signature which not only oozes individuality but also centralises around the contemporary progress of drum & bass. This is why they’ve become such an exciting prospect within the twenty-five year strong Ram Records roster.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Nuphlo delivers 'Blueberry Junction' EP on his Hundred Colours Music imprint

Well, Nuphlo barely needs any introduction. The Leeds based artist has been delivering cutting edge bass music for more than two decades. Part of the ‘The Nasha Experience’ Collective, Nuphlo changed the way we perceived bass music. His ability to weave global melodies and flavours into nu-skool electronic music has seen him produce some the most freshest and forward thinking music we have ever come across.
Last year, Nuphlo released a stunning 14 track LP, ‘Digital Culture Clash’, which exemplified his capability of infusing 1990s ambient, breakbeat and drum & bass references with his trademark contemporary bass twist. After delivering a stunning album last year, the purveyor of deep, slick and crisp bass music has started 2018 with three sensational cuts on his Hundred Colours Music imprint.

The opener and title track ‘Blueberry Junction’ with Osmani Soundz signifies their penchant for delicate eastern melodies. ‘Blueberry Junction’ encapsulates the producers’ trademark atmospheric sounds. Filled with soaring textures and a skin bubbling bassline, the tune can send the listener into a hypnotic journey.

Next up is ‘Divided’ with Shandy, which is our favourite tune from the EP precisely because of the ‘The Nasha Experience’ vibe it delivers. Nuphlo along with his Nasha Experience ensemble has delivered some of the most deep and intricate drum & bass cuts like ‘Project 808’, ‘Audio Chef’ and ‘Dayam’. ‘Divided’ like these tunes is a straight up low end strut into bassline butchery like banger.

Last one from the EP is ‘Tere Mere’. The tune features vocal samples by Lata Mangeshkar from her blockbuster hit ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’. Lacing the vocals with his signature Jungle & Breakbeat style, Nuphlo has presented Eastern Drum & Bass in the most provisional and empirical manner.

Nab yourself a copy of the ‘Blueberry Junction’ EP here:

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