2014 was huge for Dimension. Signing to Chase & Status‘ label MTA Records recently cemented his place as one of the scenes biggest rising stars.
Having just released his first single on the label, the talented producer is gearing up for his B2B set with Kove at MTA’s milestone 5th birthday this Friday. We caught up with the man himself to chat about the event, the single, and his new year’s resolutions…
Yes Rob, thanks for taking the time to chat! How are you keeping yourself warm on this particularly crisp day?
I’m quite lucky in the fact that my studio keeps pretty warm during the winter. It’s the summer that is the issue, its gotten so hot that the acoustic treatment just melts off the wall.
Time to invest in some air-con perhaps? You were recently signed to Chase & Status’ label MTA – huge congrats! Is that something you were working towards or did the offer take you by surprise?
I wasn’t working towards it at all, I was just in the studio trying to make the best music possible. They hit me up whilst I was out in Australia on tour and so we met up when I returned. It wasn’t an easy decision because I’d built up such a good working relationship with Mark, Jon & Jamie at CYN. So yes, it was a big surprise!
Do you think approaching you to remix ‘International’ was somewhat of an initiation into the label and was the pressure on when you were working on the remix?
I think it fit in quite nicely with the timing of my signing, plus ‘International’ in particular leads itself to a d&b remix. Chase & Status are obviously a massive outfit, so it’s great to see when you look back at their releases that they put trust in their own artists to remix their singles. There definitely was an element of pressure – I’d just signed, and no one wants to make an average remix of Chase & Status, do they?
Well, lucky you didn’t! Your debut release on MTA Records just dropped – Love To Me / Move Faster. Tell us how the tunes came together…
They both started completely different as to how they sound now. Love To Me started with me messing around, singing through a vocoder. It sounded rubbish so I started to chop it up. That was the foundations of the tune – then I was put in touch with a fantastic vocalist Amy Pearson, who injected life and energy into the tune, it gave it an identity. I think there are some samples of a woman jogging in there somewhere as well.
Move Faster was built over the period of about a week of solid studio time. I wanted to make something that was strong musically but that still had impact and worked in the clubs.
The artwork for the release is seriously impressive. Who was behind it and what was the inspiration for it?
Thanks! I wanted to try and create a unique look that people would relate to my music, but also something that really represented me, what I like and what I’m in to. I’ve loved the contrast between elegant themes backed with darker, underground music. I found these beautiful hand made metal sculptures and instantly thought they would work. I went through it all with the designer and came back with that we see now. The man behind it all is called Tom Cotton – he’s an amazing designer and completely understood my vision. The artwork is going to carry on in the same way, with various different sculptures representing different singles.
We have to ask what’s on everyone’s lips… When will we hear more about the Culture Shock collab and how did the connection with you two initially come about?
We just got talking at gigs and we both decided it would be a good idea if we both got in the studio and tried something. A few weeks later he came to my studio and we just sat down with a blank canvas. In that day we got a super solid idea going and I’m really happy with the tune now – I’d definitely say it sounds like a Dimension & Culture Shock collaboration, I’m playing it in all my sets at the moment.
You’re playing at MTA’s 5th birthday on the 19th of December – will this be your first official gig for them as a signed artist?
Yeah, I’ve done MTA nights before – but this is the first as an official MTA artist. I’m going back to back with my man Kove – I’ve seen the confirmed final line up and it’s going to be a huge night and a pleasure to be part of.
Do you still get nervous before events?
I’d say it’s more apprehensive. I guess it’s like anything, when you start a new job or learn to drive – eventually it becomes a routine, but I’m lucky I love what I do.
Do you plan your sets in advance or wait till you’re in the club and get an idea of the vibe?
A bit of both, if you walk into a club with no idea what you’re going to play – your set is probably going to be a bit all over the place. It’s better to approach a gig knowing you have a few certain mixes or sections that work. That said, different clubs are filled with different people and you need to cater for their tastes. At a UKF night for example, you can pretty much play anything and the crowd are going to dig it, where as at a festival this might not be the case, so you need to adjust.
Makes sense! Have you started thinking about how you’ll approach your set at the 5th birthday?
Yeah, so this is a good example. Because I’m going b2b with Kove, I’ll probably go round his before hand and decide how we’re going to approach it.
Any exclusives up your sleeve?
Definitely. I’m currently testing loads of my own new stuff in my sets at the moment, trying to get the mix downs right. I’ve just done a tune with Friction as well which seems to be going down well.
Wicked! Can’t wait to hear it! What has been your favourite MTA release over the last 5 years?
It’s almost impossible to say, when you look back at the catalogue. I suppose it’s fair to say the Nero LP was pretty massive.
You’re joined on the line-up by some huge names such as Nero, Shy FX and Kove – are there any artists you looked up to as you were breaking through that you never thought you’d be on the same line-up as?
You get so caught up in trying to progress and work on whats next that it’s easy to forget what you’ve achieved. Maybe it’s the way I am but I almost enjoy it that way – it would be easy to get complacent. The thirst for new music is at an all-time high, so you need to work hard and deliver it. But yes, of course, having your name up with Nero, Shy FX and more is mad!
Which artists inspired you to get into production in the first place?
There are loads but I would probably have to say Pendulum. Their Hold Your Colour LP was what made me want to write tunes. That came out in 2005, I would have been 14!
Stop it, you’re making me feel old… As we approach the end of the year it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months – what have been some of the craziest experiences you’ve had this year where you’ve had to pinch yourself?
It’s been a fun year and definitely step in the right direction. Signing to MTA, Special Delivery with Annie Mac, Amnesia in Ibiza, and getting playlisted on 1Xtra were all definitely big moments that I’m proud of.
Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
Maybe try and get a tan? I always told myself I would get tanned when my music takes me to hot countries. Unfortunately the sun doesn’t shine too brightly in Cologne at 3am.
Tanning is no good for your skin anyways 😉 Which event had the craziest after party this year and why?
Unfortunately, I’ve been sworn to secrecy not to mention anything about that night.
What happens on tour, stays on tour eh? Good man! What can we expect from you as an artist in the new year?
I’m really working hard to try and take my level of production up another level. It’s easy to become comfortable with your production techniques but I’m always on the look out of ways to improve. I think my next single is the best one yet, so I’m super excited to get it finished and get it out there.
Well we certainly can’t wait to hear it! Which artists are you expecting big things from in the new year?
Great question. I think TCTS and Koncept are definitely two names to keep an eye on. I’m looking forward to hearing the new bits Cyantific will be putting out on Viper as well.
What is one thing you definitely won’t be doing in 2015?
Getting a cock piercing?
Ha! Well, that makes two of us… And one thing you definitely will?
Somehow, Kove managed to blag a Nando’s black card so I guess I’ll be eating more chicken.
Catch Dimension at Nando’s and MTA’s 5th birthday. Tickets available here.
Love To Me / Move Faster are out now.