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Up Close and Personal: Skeptical

  • Published in Reviews


How’s it going mate? Without being too predictable with the opening question, tell me a little bit about how you got into DnB?

It started off in school with my cousin, he had some decks and we used to meet up at his house and roll out mixes, with him teaching me the basics; how to queue etc. Then I saved up for my own pair of Technics and knew from that point that I loved DJ’ing. It then got to the point of ‘well what do I do next?’ so I started producing as a natural progression, as if you learn the art of dj’ing you kind of have the touch for making music as well. I also think that people are born with musical ears, if you haven’t got that natural musical instinct, you can’t really do it.

Outside of DnB, what sort of stuff do you enjoy listening to and take inspiration from?

Techno, a bit of dub, but I mainly like chilling, watching films and having a break from music to get a bit of downtime from it all. TV series are mainly the one for me - all the obvious ones: Breaking Bad, Dexter and all of that, and I’ve just recently started watching Narcos too, which is pretty sick.

If you were to name 3 albums that influenced you the most, from any genre, what would they be?

Fugees - The Score, that’s a sick album. Wormhole by Ed Rush and Optical, that’s an obvious one it’s got a good place in everyone’s heart I think. I can’t think of a third one it’s really difficult. Maybe an old [Renegade] Hardware thing or the first Metalheadz Boxset, the tin one, but it’s tough as there’s so many good albums out there that it’s hard to pinpoint.

Rumour has it that there might be a collab EP in the works with a certain man named Alix Perez. There’s been a few clips floating around online ripped from mixes and such but what can you tell us about that and how did the collab come together?

Alix is a good friend of mine, and after Dimensions last year we decided to get on some tunes. We’ve done about 5 or 6 now, and he’s got a new studio so after this festival we’re going to meet up and finish some stuff up and probably work on some new material. We’re thinking of doing an EP but we’ll see what happens. It’s good fun working with him, he’s a great engineer and very talented.

Speaking of studio work, what are your essential pieces of studio equipment?

I use Cubase and I did have a Virus but not any more…I’m not much of a hardware man so I mainly work within the box. A great plugin I use a lot is CamelPhat, which is good for everything, and can really help me get the sound I’m looking for. I also use the FabFilter stuff quite a lot, as well as the Filter Freak range and the Waves plugins, which are always about in my projects.

What other new stuff can we expect from you in the future?

My new EP in October on Exit, called ‘Outset’ which is has 4 tracks. I’ve also got a project with Darren (d-Bridge), Loxy, Resound, Kid Drama. We’re calling ourselves Modulate and we’ve done 13 tracks, which is on an album called ‘Legacy’ that we’ve just got the artwork through for, and I think that’s set for release in October/November also. It’s been an exciting project and one of those where you’ve heard it so much you’re kind of sick of it but have got so much love for it.

So you’re no stranger to Outlook Festival, what’s your favourite aspect of the festival?

The Mungo’s Stage – mate that stage kills it, every time I play it’s one of my favourite sets; such a good system, the crowds’ sick, the vibe is great and it’s tight-knit – you’re really close to people and it’s a nice atmosphere. You must bring your earplugs though! The boat parties are also always a highlight too and good fun; very wavy!

Favourite places played other than Outlook?

I got married recently and went on my honeymoon in Thailand and did a few shows out there at the end, one in Hong Kong and one in Bangkok, they were both wicked, there’s really great people out there. There’s Australia and New Zealand as well, that was a great time, really beautiful places. I can’t go without mentioning Sardinia also, Sun and Bass, that’s another special time of the year too.

With DnB being such a tight-knit community, what’s that maddest story from touring?

Oooh bloody hell, you know what there’s so many, I can’t actually pin-point one, everyone always up for a good craic.

Ok then I’ll narrow it down, Who’s the craziest person in DnB you’ve met?

[Dub] Phizix and Strats, they’re mental!

Finally if you had one piece of advice for any budding producers/Dj’s out there what would it be?

Always work with good sounds and keep doing what you’re doing as you’ll always progress and progression is key. If you don’t keep doing it you’re not going to get anywhere with it. Keep on rolling out tunes, even if they’re shit, because everyone writes shit tunes, you just don’t let people hear them and then out of 3 or 4, one will be good. Also always stick to one plugin and learn it thoroughly, instead of having loads and getting nowhere with them. Learn a little a lot not a lot a little. Stick to your guns, and do what you want to do and not what other people want to hear.

Cheers mate, thanks for the chat and I look forward to all this new material.