PREMIERE: Shyun & Droptek – Imprint (NeurofunkGrid)

PREMIERE: Shyun & Droptek – Imprint (NeurofunkGrid)
4 Dec, 2015


Some artists like to make a stealthy entrance; a few low-key remixes and free downloads before dropping their first single.

Other artists like to jump in balls-deep. Artists like London-based 22 year old Shyun. With only one free download to his name last April (the firecracking Maksim-fronted Mindframe) he’s returned with a full EP. Complete with a concept that narrates the intense Logic Pro challenges, struggles and total head fucks all new producers can relate to and a back story that involves him going deaf in one ear during the process!

Detailed to the core: it also comes complete with stunning artwork created by three different illustrators and designers.

The full EP is available for free on December 12 via NeurofunkGrid, a brand that’s championed the new breed since day one, playing a key role in the careers of acts such as Joe Ford, Muzzy, Xilent, High Maintenance, Impak and Akov.

The Down The Rabbit Hole EP is set to light the touch-paper for an explosive 2016 with a series of big collaborations already locked in for the new year. To whet your appetite we’ve copped this heavyweight Droptek collaboration Imprint. Check it here exclusively and get acquainted with Shyun with our interview below…

There’s a bit of an Alice In Wonderland concept going on here isn’t there?

The concept itself is not a direct reference to the story of Alice in Wonderland, but more a musical adaptation of what it represents. In the story, Alice is tried and tested throughout, facing frustrating and discouraging obstacles that seem more or less impossible to overcome. Though, through grit and determination, she prevails and comes out the other end stronger. This relates to many obstacles I’ve had to overcome, and feelings that I’ve become accustomed to throughout the development of the EP.

Like what?

One of the most frustrating hurdles was the ever-disobedient Logic Pro, throwing as many curveballs as it could at me. Those who use Logic Pro will understand the utter disgust and heartache one suffers when the [“Logic has quit unexpectedly”] error message pops up on the screen, as well as an array of bugs, crashes, corrupt files and failing hard drives and graphics cards! Having to redo hours of works is as awful as it sounds!

Sounds like you’ve learnt a lot along the way…. 

Like the majority of my production skills and knowledge, mixing is something I’ve had to teach myself as I worked. Prior to the project I’ve always tended to push that element in to the latter realms of importance, and then really struggled with it at the end. So, this time I adapted my technique to mix whilst I was working, which given the end result, I think I’ll be doing from now on!

In addition to this, I suffered some really unfortunate permanent hearing loss whilst away in the summer due to a severe ear infection, resulting in having to mix down most of the EP with only one functioning ear. Things were looking ‘more or less impossible to overcome’! The whole process started to feel like some sort of unbeatable puzzle, filled with dead ends, wrong turns and a WTF or two.

The title track is like a musical metaphor for my whole journey, starting fairly tame (in comparison to the rest of the track) and with each section switch up continuing to sink further into a more twisted state, which parallels tougher puzzles and obstacles that have been thrown my way.

Wow! How’s about the artwork? 

The artwork was an indirect collaboration between three artists. It all started off with Kate Illustrate! I talked to her about the whole concept of the EP and she did this amazing hand drawn ballpoint piece for the EP cover. After that, I got in touch with Rolly Rocket (who was the main brains of the operation) to talk about the design I wanted. About one week in, we hit a little problem with the artwork. The hand drawn piece just didn’t fit into the background graphics, and after trying a number of ideas Rolly got in contact with Marchofvenus. He specialises in manga illustration and re-drew the ballpoint piece that Kate did. After that was done, Rolly glued the rest of the artwork together into the finalised piece.

Finally, how did this Droptek collab come about?

In about mid 2012, before I’d really got in to production, I was in contact with James Saulsky from Synchronice. He came over from New Jersey to study a semester abroad in the UK, and what started out as a Facebook acquaintance turned into a great friendship. About a week into his arrival, he asked me if I want to come down to the pub to hang out and meet some other people involved in music. That’s where I met Lewis Droptek, who lived in London at the time. Pretty random encounter, but we became really good mates after some time. We had a crack at a collab about two years ago (which mostly consisted of me next to him in silence watching in ore and confusion, trying to make sense of what he was actually doing). However, about a year ago we had another go at collab when my all round ability in production had really matured and I could actually call it a collaboration this time round! We managed to make something pretty special that I think we’re both quite proud of.

Hit Shyun up: Facebook / Soundcloud

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.