Document One: Round The Block
‘Run The Block’ by Document One has caught many by the scruff of the neck, with ‘Small Steps’ sent in for good measure, to hammer the point home and leave a long, lingering, lasting impression. Time to document both further. And let’s face it, there’s never an occasion when the inclusion of the phrase ‘jazz n bass’ isn’t good, surely? Read on.
As the new year gains speed, how would you say you’ve changed in the last year, as producers?
Our writing process has actually changed a lot, we now spend more time working separately in our own studios rather than working side by side. It’s good because we can turn around music quicker, and more creatively. We tend to have different takes on things.
It’s wicked when we’re sending song files back and forth because there’s always a surprise when you first listen to something you’ve been sent.
Musically we’ve developed a much better understanding of the space required within D&B music. Our basslines have become more minimal and more expressive with lots more room to breath.
The music blew me away when I first heard it on Radio 1, so can you take us behind ‘Run The Block’?
Over the last year we’ve been experimenting a lot with jazz music in our productions and ‘Run the Block’ is a continuation of that. That song actually started with a drop which came together really quickly, we had a cool double bass groove so we sort of worked backwards from there.
We found a really cool rap accapella on a pack we downloaded from Loopmasters which fitted perfectly with the bassline.
It created a cool old-school-east-coast hip hop vibe which we stuck with. This track was a succession of happy accidents really.
There is rarely a creative agenda when we start a track, with this tune our only conscious decision was to continue down the jazz n bass route because we are enjoying it so much and it comes so naturally to us. We both have very musical backgrounds, and jazz has been a big part of that.
Introducing this into our productions was only a matter of time really.
Where did the fantastic double bass come from for the tune, what inspired it? Sounds great and I often wonder if the quality of the instrument lends itself to insane filtering opportunities! Got to be fun to eq/warp…
Inspiration came from years as young musicians playing jazz… Joe as pianist and Matt as a drummer and guitarist. Also, growing up listening to producers like LTJ Bukem and Roni Size with their jazz infused D&B.
The double bass itself is a Native Instruments Kontakt instrument. It’s multisampled so sounds totally authentic but gives us the freedom to play it on a keyboard.
Double bass is such a naturally huge sounding instrument with loads of low end so works perfectly for D&B and because it is harmonically very rich it is really fun to filter and resample.
‘Small Steps’ destroys, it’s great… but that vocal catches me with the mood: what was behind the vocal?
Again this tune began as a drop and the intro came later. We’d spent a lot of time on the synth work and sound design so the whole tune revolves around that, focussing on timbre rather than harmony. The drop by our standards is really tough, so we wanted an equally intense intro to build up to it.
Cinematic style vocal samples in intros are a bit of a cliche within dance music but we felt it created the vibe and intensity we wanted for this tune so we stuck with it.
What tunes are you feeling right now… ones that are delivering live?
Everything Drumsound and Bassline Smith are coming out with at the moment is really exciting and fresh! We’ve always been massive fans of their work but ‘The Truth’ was just ridiculous.
On top of that we’re really feeling Culture Shock’s latest work and Enei’s LP.
What’s plans for this year on the release front?
We’re currently working on a lot of music: we’ve got two tunes coming out on the next Technique compilation then we have another single on the way.
And what tune’s in your head right now?
‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ Kendrick Lamar