Benny V & Dfrnt-Lvls – Oldskool Box Reopened
Jamie S23 hooks up with the Dance Concept crew and their latest addition to the camp to discuss the 2015 update to their hit ‘OldSkool Box’ plus some interesting information about a very special charity.
“Quite simply, ‘Oldskool Box’ was Dfrnt Lvls and I’s favourite track we had ever written. Not the most successful or the most famous – just our favourite. The remixes were more dancefloor orientated, hit a lot harder and were great. Modifieds version was smashed all over the shop and the Cabin Fever mix was actually the FIRST release from Cabin Fever ever.
We are really proud to have signed their remix seeing how far they have both progressed since. The idea with the 2015 version was to return to the roots as such and make something a little more melodic, so that’s exactly what we did!”
Blame has done a wicked job on the relick, was he an obvious choice to you or did you also consider going down more of a jump up route as per the previous remixes?
“Blame literally fell into it last minute. I had spoken to a couple of really big jump up producers to give the track a completely different feel and 2 big artists had confirmed interest but in the end, schedule got in the way.
There were no underhand issues or failure to agree money or anything like that, just time was moving on. Blame had literally just completed a remix of ‘Born To Do It’ on Dance Concept so it was a case of being on the phone and saying “actually, you know what? I have something else I could send you”. Bam! A few weeks later we were done! I LOVE Blames mix. Really pleased with what hes done.”
Previous versions of ‘OldSkool Box’ feature minimal or no lyrics at all, introducing a female vocalist really changes the dynamics. How did the link up with Sarah happen?
“I work with many talented young people at a charity call Only Connect based in Kings Cross. Sarah was an obvious first choice for us really, she can sing ever so delicately like on the intro of Old Skool box, and when the drop comes, this massive soulful dive power-house voice comes out at you from nowhere! Plus she absolutely loves DNB, she pretty much nailed it on one take.”
“It was a really spontaneous thing. Ben and Jason were making this track like wizards in a laboratory! I was curious and it gave me more insight into their music background. I love DnB especially when I hear those old school riffs and stuff. So when you add that liquid melody to a mad rugged beat it’s mind blowing, like, it makes your heart race and melt at the same time.”
“Dfrnt Lvls said to me on the phone “Ben, I have this wicked vocalist and we to get her involved”. Sarah was a joy to work with, understood what we wanted and took on the tweaks we asked for straight away. Voltage did the mix down on the track and even commented on how good her vocals were.”
The lyrics talk about an old school box which instantly reminds me of a vinyl record box, was this the original idea?
“Yes, the sun is setting yeah
I accept our time behind
Old school box will always be mine”
“Yeah that’s a good analogy. Perhaps the ‘box’ is because many of us store things that are or were precious to us in a box (or at least we did when we were younger). The lyrics mean you are looking back at something in the past that you no longer have. You know that feeling when you are sad you no longer have it but the pain has dulled enough that you actually appreciate you had it while you did and that it can never be taken away.”
“The idea of a keepsake box is so beautiful. Music is like that box. You put all those memories and feelings into this musical masterpiece and you give them power. All the darkness or whatever it is becomes magical.”
Dance Concept’s roots are firmly planted in the jungle, tell us about your musical background Sarah – what influenced you growing up? Have you always been a singer? Were you involved in the jungle scene at all?
“Singing’s been with me most my life. Soul and Gospel were big influences when I was younger. My mum’s into all the old DnB and house and garage so I’ve grown up with a big mix. Jungle’s raw and gritty which is so exciting, especially in a rave! I like intense music, all atmospheric and bringing genres together.”
Tell us about the charity link up, I think our readers would be interested in the background of their work. Any links or contact information would also be great.
“Only Connect has been my saviour! I’ve been given so many opportunities and actually really found myself there.”
“Only Connect is a creative crime prevention charity, we work with ex-offenders, youth at-risk of offending and youth not in education, employment or training. We have two recording studio’s, one at King’s Cross, and the other in White City. Our studios engages over 20 members sessions weekly, rappers, singers and actors who are all on a journey to progress working on creative projects. Music is one of the many services we offer, in the past two years we’ve released 7 mixtapes which you can listen to here. Sarah’s been on 3 of them.
It’s incredibly rewarding working there for me. Being able to use my skills and experience to help guys with their musical ideas and seeing them grow in confidence, then ultimately progress into education or work is great. On one of our projects, our songs were adapted and performed by an orchestra at the Barbican, you can catch Sarah on the last song , she was amazing. She performed a dubstep mash with drum n bass track we wrote. Seeing a 100 piece orchestra and choir do that was mad!”
Sarah, what’s coming next vocal wise? Any future link ups in the drum & bass scene? Where can we hear any of your previous work?
This year should be epic! Now i’ve had my son i’m finishing my tracks. I feel i’ve found the beast and he’s ready to roar….or maybe a nice flower blossoming. Whichever! I feel so ready to just live music right now!
Follow Sarah on Twitter
When and where can people get the tune?
“The track is out on Monday 2nd March from all normal stores. I would also like to thank everyone who has supported this project so far for their efforts, including Jame S23. All noted! ;)”