Dub Head: Free Labsamples D&B Sample Pack
Ukranian producer Dub Head is on a mission lately: Fresh from releasing his sublime debut EP on Dispatch LTD, he’s teamed up with the folks at Labsamples (spearheaded by D&B craftsman DLR) to deliver a wicked new sample pack, complete with a free taster…
We caught up to find out more…
Dub Head in the place! Big ups, good to chat – Where have we caught you today?
Hi! Happy to talk to you again. I’m at the studio at the moment, spending most of my time here.
How would you describe your sound for those who aren’t acquainted?
I lean towards more atmospheric, dark and grimy sound in my tunes. I try to immerse the listener completely into my world – minimalistic and cold.
What was it about D&B that made you fall in love with the genre in the first place?
Drum and bass amazed me with its diversity. There’s no genre as diverse and expansive. I got into it around 2007. My friend sent me a Lifted Music Podcast by Chris Renegade & Spor and what I heard blew me away… I began to explore further and discover new artists. Around the same time I found out about a local d&b night, that is still running to this day! It’s quite unique here in Ukraine… So, basically, that was how I got into all this and made it an integral part of my life.
Which artists inspired you to start producing yourself and why?
One of the key figures was probably DJ Bes (TAM Records owner, and one third of the Gydra project). He has his own very popular Neuropunk podcast series, which features only ex-USSR region artists and tracks. Some big names like Teddy Killerz, Enei, Agressor Bunx, NickBee, Cod3x and Gydra came through Neuropunk. I set myself a target to feature in that podcast and after 2 years of trying, I managed to do it. I was learning the DAW by myself, as there was not much suitable tutorials on YouTube to look up to. Now it’s much easier to get knowledge.
How did you break into the industry and get your music heard then?
My first releases were on Russian labels and there was not much quality 🙂 Then one of my tunes appeared on Ammunition Vs NeurofunkGrid: Talents LP Vol.1 and it went uphill from there – Future Funk Music, Mindtech Recordings, Syndrome Audio and, eventually, Dispatch.
How did the link with DLR / Labmasters come about?
Before signing to Dispatch all of my tracks were made on $40 computer speakers, because I couldn’t afford a pair of studio monitors. I was sending promos around the scene hoping to get some feedback, and one of those who replied was DLR… We started talking, I was sending him tunes more often and six months later he introduced me to Ant TC1, and that’s how I got signed to Dispatch!
After that I started building my studio and devoted all of my time to music. I left my day job (but I wouldn’t really advise doing that!) as well. While I was making my studio come alive I received an offer to do a sample pack, but had no opportunity to work on it at the time. Half a year later I became available for the project, but the offer was no longer standing… So I sent the pack to James and he signed it!
Big! How important has creating the sample pack been in the development of your own sound?
Creating a sample pack is quite time consuming but a lot can be learned from this experience and it helps to learn to control your sound. It also helps to create identity in your own art. So I think it’s very important in building your own career.
Are there any packs in particular that were seminal in your progression as an artist?
Packs from Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Enei, BOP, Icicle. I really love breaks and percussion packs.
Tell us a bit about the pack you’ve got coming out on Labmasters?
I’ve decided not to focus on specific instrument or sound, so you can find everything you need to make a track inside my pack: bass loops, drum loops, one shots, fx loops, pads, stabs etc. More than 500 samples in total, so I hope everyone will find something interesting for themselves.
How do you approach a project like this? Was it inspired/ driven by anything in particular?
I consider this project more like self-development exercise and an opportunity to share my sounds with other musicians. My advice to beginners is to spend more time creating their own sounds – it will simplify and streamline the creative process as a whole.
It must be inspiring for you as an artist to get back in the studio for a project like this and explore new sounds and possibilities?
Of course! It would be quite a challenging task without inspiration. And patience, it is essential too. You have to be prepared to invest lots of time into creating something like that.
Definitely. There’s been a bit of contention surrounding sample packs in the past, with one school of thought suggesting budding producers should be out making their own sounds, and the other suggesting that sample packs give producers the opportunity to work with real, developed sounds – do you think it’s important for up-and-comers to strike a balance using sample packs and creating their own sounds?
It is quite important balance to find for an artist. Without your own sounds you won’t be unique it would be harder to show off your skills or vision. It could affect the culture as a whole – everyone will sound exactly the same. So I’m sure it is a crucial aspect to consider and to treat responsibly.
If you could give your younger self advice about production and the use of sample packs, what would it be?
Spend more time with your synthesizer…. Try to think outside the box. Learn your DAW. Use FX processing in a way it was not meant to be done. Never delete your sketches. Record everything around you with a mic.
The recent Bad Signal EP on Dispatch was seriously badass. Really diverse release – what else have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
I’ve almost finished my next EP for Dispatch, and there’s also an EP for Vandal Recordings in the works and a couple of tunes for Blendits Recordings. There’s also one big project I’m involved in but I can’t discuss the details yet…
Can’t wait to hear it all! You’ve recently opened your own studio where you’re a teacher and sound engineer, tell us a bit more about that – is it something you’ve always aspired to do?
I wanted to build a studio, a place where you can go to think only about making music. I spent six months together with my close friend building it. I reflected on times when I was learning the craft myself – I’ve been missing a mentor, a person to ask for advice or guidance. So this gave me an idea to start teaching. During the lessons I can discover something new for myself as well, because my students might have a different views and techniques.
Respect! Any final shout outs?
Big up to all the fans and artists!
Get Dub Head’s free sample pack here and get notified when the full pack becomes available