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Samy Nicks & Rekwest: Direct and in the Mix

Samy Nicks & Rekwest: Direct and in the Mix

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Samy Nicks & Rekwest (plus friend, above) have come storming in with something devious on Direct Recordings. They’ve also powered through an interview, slung their coats in the corner and gone straight in on the mix too: check at end.

Hello I totally love this sound, it’s totally driving.

Why thank you!

Can you give us some background on ‘Animal Instinct’?

Indeed, ‘Animal Instinct’ came about when we first purchased Zeta – ie a VST ie a music-making piece of art.

I like that intro…

Tom had been listening to a fair bit of Reggae and Hip Hop and had the influence to write the funky intro you hear in the track. We’re a bit past the bare/empty intro stage now and would much rather have a switch like that on a dance floor to keep things interesting.

We love a bit of funk and that is all we have to say on the matter…

So please tell more about what inspires, in a sort of ‘cratedigging’ fashion… when people look for samples in thing and they go for a certain feel or vibe? What things do you look for?

Honestly, we are very opened minded and wherever the tune takes us will depend on what sort of samples we use to theme it. We normally agree from the start of the evening if the tune is going to be vocally carried, or old classic announcement styled sample… or neither!

We find the hardest part of the night is scratching our heads and coming to a title that we both agree on.

That’s the only instance we clash!

Over the years we’ve used a lot of Tomb Raider samples as Sam had a couple of the games on PC.

They’ve got a nice mixture of sounds in and really good for creating epic intros. Drum-wise, we create our own hits using different frequencies.

Rekwest’s brother Alex is occasionally very good at falling across rare movie samples that he will fire at us to use – thanks Alex!

And how does it lead to deciding on the tone of the tune as a whole?

I suppose this will sound a bit unoriginal but depending on the mood we are both in will decide what style we go for.

For instance, when we’ve had a few drinks it tends to lead to stinking dance floor jump up monsters.

Now you’ve worked with some key names in the past, and now you’re with Direct, so fill us in on the path to where we are now?

That depends on how much time you have with this interview.

To summarise, we got noticed by TenTon Beats and Dub Damage, moved to Multi Function for a couple years, got offered exclusivity elsewhere, declined that, left Multi Function, released EPs with Fatman D, Brockie and Profile and here we are now.

Currently closely working with Jaydan, Tyke and DJ Ollie of course, and keeping a non-exclusive stance for the time being to keep avenues open.

That’s the short story and if you really wanted us to, we could probably publish a novel with the finer details for you.

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Have you roadtested this material live? Sounds like would go off.

We have indeed, we have used both of these two tunes for intros and outros to our DJ sets. Masquerade 25 is probably our favourite track out of the two and has more appeal to the wider audience with its rave sound.

It generally appears to go down very well with the Belgium parties we play at.

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‘Masquerade 25’ sounds good, what’s the title refer to? Intriguing.

Well, 25 is our current age, not really sure why we added that to the name.

We had a laugh about that the other day because the track was currently sitting at number 25 in the Juno charts, so I said we should have called it ‘Masquerade 1’.

I look back and can’t really tell you what goes through our minds when we make the tunes. Supposed its best to keep an open one and not over expect anything, otherwise we try too hard and get nowhere.

Which has happened on several occasions!

With regards to the name, I suppose I imagined the melody would go off in one of those medieval masquerade balls ‘back in the day’, but with less of that new age electronic, computer, electric sound ya know…? Picture a quartet in the corner of a large pagan hall for that one…

I picked up the super ravey vibe on this… very infectious. So what’s your outlook on keeping things original, a spontaneous spark?

We think there’s a lot of ‘samey’ sounding tunes going around at the moment, one argument would be – house music generally does have a constant kick and sidechained sub, so why can’t drum & bass have similar replicants?

On the other hand, maybe we’re just being grumpy and like to pick at things ha ha. As we mentioned in an interview before, from personal opinion I think the best element is to be pleasantly surprised when you’ve heard a tune and you find out who made it.

It’s less fun when you can hear a used drum pattern or synth sound. Therefore our motto has always been to make ‘out-of-the-box’ tunes – fresh drums, fresh basses, fresh theme.

We’ve been praised recently for more of our lower-rolling-techy-sounding tracks and definitely feel the music is maturing.

DJ Spice said we had ‘funk’ in our tunes and I suppose that came as a result of listening to a wide variety of all sorts, both of us having very different backgrounds.

And what D&B inspires you right now? Who is doing no wrong both live and on record?

We’re very good at keeping up to date with all the new music out at the moment, but because of the abundance of tracks coming out, it’s hard gauge who really stands out for us. I think any producer who has the ability to come up with something new that they haven’t previously done similar of is admirable.

If I had to say anyone, I’d probably give credit to DJ Limited at the moment as I’ve been pleasantly surprised when hearing tracks and finding out they’re his, going back to what we said in the last answer!

So what is next from you? A new label I hear? Why did you want to launch Amusement Audio?

The label has always been in mind from the word go. We’re fairly secretive when it comes to playing/uploading certain tracks on radio and elsewhere.

Over the years we’ve purposely held a handful back for this exact reason as we wanted them to represent the best of our sound on the label. We’ve been doing a lot of remixes recently, including three for LionDub and one for Coppa on Comanche Records.

We should have a EP ready for Tyke’s label beginning of next year, and an EP on Smokin Riddims around March/April time. Got a couple singles coming in a few other places too.

Generally just concentrating on our sound as much as possible and working our way up the ladder and seeing where it takes us!

And any shouts?

Of course a gigantic shout to Ollie for arranging this and getting us involved with his brand. Big shout to Jaydan and Tyke for the support and of course everyone else that we have worked with over the years.

Enjoy the mini studio mix we made, especially for you…

‘Animal Instinct’ / ‘Masquerade 25’ by Samy Nicks & Rekwest is out now on Direct Recordings

You can follow Damian B on Twitter, @DAMIAN___B
D&B for some time now; studied at institution of Fabio & Grooverider.