Bladerunner: In Hi-Resolution
Bladerunner is back making a sonic splash, this time through his very own label, Hi-Resolution Recordings.
We caught up for a chat about the label, a very special exclusive coming up on Drum&BassArena 2016, and more…
Yes Dev! Thanks for taking the time to chat. Where have we caught you today?
Just in the studio where I spend most of my time making fresh beats!
First things first – you’ve recently launched your own label – Hi-Resolution Recordings. Big up! What was the motivation behind starting your own label?
I wanted to start a new label because I make so many different styles of drum & bass, so it’s quite a challenge to get tracks released which aren’t necessarily the classic style people are used to hearing from me. I’ll be releasing a more diverse selection of styles I want to promote on the label. Most importantly it’s another outlet to get more music out to the people.
Fair play! What’s the ethos behind the label?
I just wanted people to hear some of my different styles which I’m really feeling at the moment, and I’m a believer in less quantity and more quality. Hence the name ‘Hi-Resolution Recordings’.
Your first release on the label is coming in the form of Electro Funk and The Storm. Talk me through Electro Funk – seriously naughty track! Is there a story behind it?
This track was about me getting back to my old experimentation days which I love. Sometimes when you progress in your career and have a lot of deadlines to meet, there’s not so much time for experimentation and you tend to stick with techniques that have worked for you in the past. This is me trying some new styles. Going in with some sinister strings and tough beats, with some stabby staccato hits leading into some face melting gritty bass!
The Storm is WEIGHTY! Proper war riddim. What inspired this one?
The Storm was inspired by my influences of dark jungle and neuro, from the likes of Digital & Spirit, Bad Company, Noisia and Prolix. I wanted to do something totally different from my usual style, and set about making new noises and breaks. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and knew as soon as I had finished this one had to be for the new label!
What’s coming up for the label in 2016?
This year I’m just going to be releasing my own material on Hi-Resolution, and I already have the next two singles lined up. Later on I’ll be releasing a few seriously heavy tracks from other artists I work very closely with.
Can’t wait to hear it all! Speaking of releases, you’ve got an exclusive track coming up on Drum&BassArena 2016 – Set You Free. For me it embodies that classic Bladerunner sound with that deep sub-bass and nostalgic vocal – seriously BIG tune. Was it made specifically with the album in mind?
I had started making the strings and intro vibes and had the bare bones of the track done. When I was asked for a track for the album I thought this one would work really well and you guys agreed, which was excellent!
We’re coming up to 20 years of Drum&BassArena (feeling old yet? We are!!!) – what’s one of your oldest memories of the brand?
When I first had dial up internet many years ago I remember checking out all the fresh dub plates that were on the site. Yes, it does make me feel very old now!
You’ve been a regular at a lot of our events too – what’s been your D&BA highlight over the years?
I think my best memory is tearing up the summer BBQ with Serum in the courtyard at Ministry. The vibes were second to none. Also, appearing on D&BTV for the first time.
How do you feel about the state of the scene at the present moment? Do you think it’s the strongest it’s ever been?
I think the scene is going through a transition. It can be quite hard to keep people’s attention now as everything moves so quickly these days, and there are so many artists trying to be heard. On the whole I think it’s very strong as always, and there are some great new producers coming through.
What have been the most significant shifts in D&B over the past 20 years do you think?
For me it was when Jungle started to developed into Drum & Bass in the late 90s, with artists like Goldie and Bad Company changing the game. I also think there’s a massive difference in sound quality now, as a result of big improvements in technology that have changed the sound again in recent years.
You’ve always been one to retain that old school d&b flavour in your tracks.. what inspires you when you’re locked away in the studio?
I love to include breaks and reeses in my tunes which gives them that old school vibe. I’m always inspired when I have new sounds and equipment to work with, as it keeps things fresh.
What’s coming up for you in the rest of 2016?
There’s plenty in store for the rest of the year. I’ll be planning the schedule for the next release on Hi-Resolution. I also have EP’s coming out on Dread and Formation records.
I’ll be touring the U.S. in March on the World of Drum & Bass tour, Innovation in the Sun in June, and playing across the UK and Europe throughout the year.
Any shout outs?
Big respect to all the people supporting my music. And all the artists and labels I work with too!
The Storm/ Electro Funk are out now. Get them here.