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Beats Working Presents: SOM, Roni Size & The Upbeats

Beats Working Presents: SOM, Roni Size & The Upbeats

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Beats Working are at it yet again, and this time around they’re bringing d&b pioneer Roni Size to Brixton Jamm this Friday, along with Kiwi heavyweights State of Mind and The Upbeats. After a string of successful events these guys have proven they know how to put on a party, and if you’ve been lucky enough to attend one, you’d know how mental they are! Room 2 will be hosted by Liquid Recreation and InnerSoul, so expect to hear soulful, wide-rolling and emotive drum & bass.

Ahead of the event we caught up with State of Mind who will be unleashing material from their latest LP Eat The Rich. For those who haven’t heard it yet, be warned: It’s an absolute monster. We grilled Pat about the concept behind the album, and why NZ has so many talented producers…

In the past your tunes have been politically charged, with ‘Mr Cover Up’ as a perfect example. What’s the story behind ‘Eat The Rich’?

The name comes from phrase by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich”. It’s mainly in reference to the capitalist model of the right, the trickle down theory and that shady behaviour that has been in place since the 80′s. We based the concept of the art and title around what a world would look like (in extremes) if things continued on this path of selfishness and greed. The artwork is by a friend we went to school with back in NZ, Tim Molloy. He creates some really out there Comic art and we thought he would be perfect for the album art. We basically asked him to design a few through things based around the idea of a Dystopian future.

How did the album come together?

We spent around 2 years working on it. The oldest tune was Helios and the newest being Fast Life which was made within the last 3/4 weeks before the album was released.

Highlights of the tour so far?

Vienna and Paris were both incredibly sick last weekend.

Bigger Faster Stronger is a personal favourite of mine off the album, do you have a favourite?

Maybe, Put It On for me. It was a track that I started in a hotel room in Amsterdam when I wasn’t in a particular good headspace due to stuff happening in my personal life back in NZ. When I took it to Nymfo’s studio we basically finished it in a few hours and it holds a special memory for me. I’m not sure what Stu’s favourite track from the album would be.

How did you get your big break in the scene? Any advice for budding producers?

Dj Presha (Samurai) was a big supporter of our tunes and he got them into the hands of people like Total Science, Doc Scott & Futurebound. They all liked the tunes and signed up various tracks. From there it all kinda kept rolling.

Best advice I would give is, only send out beats to people you look up to once you’re sure they are up to standard. If it’s the first thing you’ve ever written, maybe make another couple of tunes and then revisit your thoughts on that first one in a month or so. You do get better at listening critically the more tracks you make.

Is there something in the water in NZ that helps talented d&b producers flourish?

Fluoride!

Are you close with your fellow Kiwi cohorts in d&b?

Basically all of them. Right now I’m in the studio with The Upbeats in Utrecht.

Are your tunes a reflection of your mood and what is happening in your life
at that time?

I’d like to think some of the things going on in our life have an effect on the music. If that’s true, then, these last couple of years must’ve been kinda dark if the music is any gauge!

You’ve got your own label SOM Music- what was the motivation behind starting the label?

It was always an aim to have our own label. That way we got to take risks and release music we liked that didn’t necessarily fit the ‘box’ for other labels.

Whats coming up next on the label?

Well, we just released Borderlines new album, ‘Flashes of the Future’ which we’re really proud of. He’s a promising new producer from NZ and we loved his sound.

If you were a super-villain and could eat rich people and inherit their lifestyles, who would you eat and why?

Right now, I’d eat the NZ prime minister, not because I would inherit his lifestyle, but because I would be doing the world a favour by ridding it of a proper scumbag.

Eat The Rich is out now.

Catch State Of Mind at Brixton Jamm this Friday along with Roni Size & The Upbeats. Get tickets before they sell out! 

You can follow Maja C on Twitter, @_Maja_C
Head of content and curator of Drum&BassArena's YouTube and SoundCloud channels, Maja also works across UKF's editorial pages.