Tuesday, October 30, 2018

#BassMondays - Smokey (Interview + Dubplate 032)

Very often we have thought about how we have had so many artists join our Dubplate family, but there's not a single woman in the list. Breaking the pattern, is Smokey, a Music Producer, Live Act and DJ hailing from the historic streets of Mumbai. Behind her seemingly wild and zany personality lies a great sense of dedication and her inimitable approach to music. She’s known to explore the Underground Bass Music and has performed at festivals like Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Bass Camp Festival, India Bike Week, Indie Art Fest, God's Own Music Festival, to name a few. Devoted to the deep, dark and minimal vibes from the underground and intrigued by the musical mix of sounds from the love of World Music through Drum & Bass / Bass Music, Indira began to pick up a few instruments herself and started to produce. We caught up with her to know a little more about her plans in the near future, artists she is enjoying listening to at the moment and a lot more. Hit play, listen to this exclusive mix set by her, and read on. 

1. You have explored and experimented with many genres over the years but what would you regard as your standout genre?
A - Drum & Bass Only! Growing up, I was exposed to Hindi & Marathi music only as my Mother used to listen to songs on the Radio & Television. However, it was drum & Bass coming from my friend’s earphones that really caught my attention. I found myself really getting into it and my passion really started to grow from there.

2. Congratulations on the release of another blistering track. What are your thoughts on final outcome of the project?
A -  Thank you very much! I’m really happy about this release, I’ve been doing a lot of writing this year and the inspiration was the kind of music I’ve been listening to at the moment and also the urge to push myself, especially for Maiden, which is quite a departure from my other tracks. It has a bit of a strange beginning but I’m really happy how it switches up on the drop into something heavy and the Tabla samples in break down makes it unique. I’d just like to thank everyone that’s supported me. In case you’ve missed hearing “Maiden” check it out here : https://www.soundcloud.com/smoke…/smokey-maiden-original-mix.

3. You seem to switch seamlessly from the soul stirring sounds of ‘Serenity’ to dance floor bangers like ‘Maiden’. How do you approach your production regime while making tunes?
A -  My sound has matured quite a bit over the years. I’ve never been one to restrict myself to a certain genre as a producer. I personally listen to so many different styles of music. With Serenity, I fearlessly pursued the sounds and emotions I felt. Being a DJ first has helped me to be a better producer. Having the ability to interact with the crowd and see what they respond to, it helps me be more creative and efficient in the studio. I almost always start with drops first by making bass sounds then create the melodies & chord progressions, then drums and layering a ton of sounds to fill it out. I’ve always saved the intro and outro for last, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s all about being unique. Right now I am trying to create the music that I hear in my head and translate it into Ableton.

4. How does your ideal performance set-up look like?
A - Right now, I’m using Ableton Live, Akai APC40 Controller & Line 6 UX2 audio interface for experimental DJ sets & for live set I use Ableton Live, Arturia key lab 49, Akai APC40 Controller & Focusrite saffire pro 24 audio interface. I would like to add Ableton Push to be more creative with my sets.

 5. Your drum & bass sets are filled with those dark neuro numbers. Tell us more about your penchant for the darker side of drum & bass?
A -  Honestly saying, it was not a sudden decision. When I stated playing Drum & Bass Dj sets, I was on supporting / opening duties most of the time, so I used to keep my sets minimal. This is how I started digging out the darker side of Drum & Bass. The more I explored, the more I fell in love with the sounds and now I can’t get enough of it. The energy & vibes hook you.

6. Which artists inspired you to make drum & bass?
A -   Noisia, London Elektricity, Total Science, Ed Rush, Ivy Lab, Arkaik, Calibre, Squarepusher to name a few, as I play their tracks in my Dj sets. They are the biggest inspirations in getting me to start producing Drum & Bass music. I am inspired by their fearless approach to varying instrumentation, sounds and their ageless commitment to drum and bass music. In India, Bandish Project & Nucleya. I think possibly 1% of Nucleya’s fans know about Khandit Nayaka; this track is the spark for me. It’s so incredible, even today. And Talvin Singh (UK) for his versatility. When I heard “Jaan’ for the first time, I was blown away!

7. What’s next for Smokey?
A -  I have many new exciting projects lined up for 2018 & 2019. I’m working on my own bass projects and some exciting collaborations; You can expect more originals / singles coming up. Rather than that, touring. A lot of interesting gigs coming up this year. I am performing at 'Life In Colour Festival with Diplo' in November & 'Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Pune' in december. Also sharing the stage with very talented Monica Dogra for her latest EP release. Blessed to work with the best people in the industry.

8. Your top 5 drum & bass tunes this year?
A -  1. Skeptical- Elevator - Exit Records
2. Kiril & Was A Be - This! - Critical Music
3. Icicle & Proxima - Outer Planes ft. Ben Verse - Entropy Music
4. Icicle - Dust Me Off - Skankandbas
5. Synergy - Process - Eatbrain

Follow Smokey - Facebook | Soundcloud | Mixcloud | Instagram | Twitter

Dubplate #032 - SMOKEY


00.00 - The View (Calibre Remix) - DRS feat. Tyler Daley & LSB (Soul:r Recordings) 02.56 - Empathy - Tokalosh (Celsius Recordings) 04.25 - Losing My Mind - Anile (Med School Records) 06.59 - Soul On Fire (Legion Remix) - Karl K (Koldfront Recordings) 08.49 - Nothing - Humanature & Colussus (Soul Deep Exclusives) 11.24 - There's Delight - Silence Groove (Fokuz Recordings) 13.36 - Maiden - Alix Perez & Ivy Lab (Critical Music) 15.49 - Ready For Your Love ft MNEK (Etherwood Remix) - Gorgon City (Hospital Records) 18.01 - Vapour Trails (LSB Remix) - London Elektricity (Hospital Records) 20.58 - Butterfly (Impish Remix) - Soligen & Type 2 feat. Wednesday Amelia (Fokuz Recordings) 22.48 - Longshanks - Dawn Wall (Integral Records) 24.38 - Just A Little - Malaky & Satl & J Logic (Fokuz Recordings) 26.51 - Funky Sugar - Classymistah (Audio Theory Records) 29.47 - Those Left Behind - Cern Ft Hydro (Dispatch Recordings) 33.28 - Spectrum - Tight, Nexus (Radar Records) 36.24 - Whistler - Silence Groove (Fokuz Recordings) 38.15 - Gayatri - Etherwood (Mr Suicide Sheep) 41.33 - Adrift - Grifta (Hospital Records) 43.46 - Love Affair - Iandys (feat. MC Matte) (Inspiration Recordings) 46.20 - Memories - Command Strange (Celsius Recordings) 48.11 - Songbird - Tokyo Prose (Hospital Records) 50.45 - The Inevitable - Monrroe (Celsius Recordings) 52.58 - Dawning - Madface (Liquicity Records) 55.32 - Toys - Eastcolors (Program Records) 57.44 - Searching - Kove (MTA Records)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Changing Faces makes her debut on Spearhead Records with the 'Shadows' EP.

Hailing from Slovakia, Ema Vaskova – better known as Changing Faces, is truly an up & coming talent in drum and bass. This 20-year-old producer has already caught the attention of more than a few heads in the scene, including RAM Records, UKF’s record label Pilot, Fokuz Recordings, and the Let It Roll Festival crew.

After being bitten by the breakbeat bug in the form of a High Contrast DJ set on YouTube at Pohoda Festival back in 2011, Ema delved into her chosen DAW. After overcoming a slightly intimidating user interface, she landed her first release back in 2013 with Subformat and Charli Brix. The young Slovakian has since seen a string of strong releases on labels like Celsius, Fokuz and Pilot. Expect timeless melodies, polished drums and warm bass foundations in her tracks, garnering recent radio support on her debut Soulvent single Talk To You from the likes of Friction & Metrik.

Inspired and supported by some fairly heavyweight producers & DJs alike, Changing Faces is delivering some of the finest quality Drum and Bass around – both in her productions as well as her DJ sets.

After making several appearances on labels like Med School Music and LW Recordings this year, Changing Faces has delivered a full-fledged EP on Spearhead Records. With the release of ‘Shadows’ EP, the Slovakian made her debut on Spearhead Records, a label known for being the finest purveyor of soulful drum & bass. 

The opener ‘Fractures’ and ‘At Dawn’ brings out Changing Faces’ unparalleled ability to deliver spine tingling melodies and silky-smooth soundscapes while title track ‘Shadows’ and ‘Waves’ carry the soulful and elegant elements with a heavy and funk driven flavor to the tunes.

Image - Mikulas Bado