Concord Dawn has not just gone in and delivered The Fuzz ep… it’s more a case that it sounds as if the entire Concord Dawn operation’s been taken in to the garage and a discrete tinker with the workings underneath the bonnet’s taken place: it’s a little more grungy, it’s more volatile and high octane and you may be liable to feeling maybe a bit grimy after an encounter with it. In a good way.
But don’t mention ‘bass buffets’.
You have an effects pedal in the main visual for The Fuzz, has this also pervaded the music?
‘Trenchcoat’ and ‘The Fuzz’ both have a lot of guitar pedals being used in them.
A lot of dance music is getting more and more like the excesses of late ’80s glam metal, you know DJs with their name in lights playing in cages on custom stages and heaps of posing for the cameras and stuff, and that influence is starting to be seen in drum and bass now too. I wanted to take a more grunge approach, because you know, Nirvana were heaps heavier than Poison, despite not having any pyrotechnics or leather trousers or a jagged font for their name
2014 sounds like it’s been inspirational for you?
It’s been good for the most part. I did some inspiring travelling and also have spent a lot of time in the studio, and have made about 50 tracks between various projects. I’ve been exploring some other genres and having some fun with that… it’s the first time I’ve done that.
It makes it great coming back to making drum and bass fresh all over again. Which is important when you’ve been doing this for so long!
When did The Fuzz come about overall? Feel like it was a case of ‘Right, let’s go in’ on this?
They were all done earlier in the year but I was a few extrenal forces got in the way: such is life. I’ve never really made ‘fashionable’ drum and bass that is flavour of the moment anyways, so it’s not like it needed to come out when modulated square waves or foley clicks were in vogue or anything like that.
Did you nonetheless want to hurt the live arena and needed some heavy ammo?
I am over the whole “hurt” thing to be honest, but with any luck it will make people dance about a bit!
I wanted to make something heavy but still groove-based, as a lot of heavy stuff lately is like a bass buffet where there are like 30 dishes but many of them are poorly-cooked or don’t taste so good together and you never get to appreciate a flavour.
What is a tip you’d give someone on the production front?
Don’t listen to the genre you make. Make music not noises. Experiment.
What things have influenced you of late then?
Just real shit really: stuff that’s either acoustic or electronic music that’s made with some kind of soul or human emotions in it, whether that be sorrow or rage or happiness or whatever. Stuff that’s music, not stuff that’s a product.
Back to The Fuzz, could you take us behind the title tune?
I had a pretty clear idea for the track which was, you know, to do a kind of grunge thing. So I just plugged in a few pedals and ran some synths through them until I got the kind of raw sounds you don’t hear really on daytime radio ha ha ha.
And I wanted to use pretty live-sounding drums as much as possible too, rather than a kind of over processed vibe.
Then I just added layers on top and laid it all out and before you know it, hey there’s a tune.
I have to ask: what’s the state of D&B for you right now, how do you see it?
There’s always good stuff about in D&B but often the spotlight shines on the kind of cheesier stuff. It seems to have absorbed a lot of the worst aspects of “EDM” unfortunately but with any luck that will pass when the new wave of teenagers getting into it want something a little more visceral.
A lot of labels seem to have shifted their sound towards something they think will sell rather than having any kind of true ethos or sound but as always there are still plenty as well keeping it real.
What is in YOUR head right now, music wise?
A lot of Portishead, piano jazz, bassline house and techno lately. I’ve made a lot of techno influenced tunes lately and have a small mountain of collabs with another D&B producer on that tip. Deeper stuff, kind of influenced by older more musical techno.
Concord Dawn Minimix