Drum&BassArena 2012 Part Four: Optiv & BTK

Drum&BassArena 2012 Part Four: Optiv & BTK

We are now less than one week away from our biggest release this year! Ladies and gentlemen, we give you…

Out on Sunday for download and Monday for 2xCD, Drum&BassArena 2012 is the ultimate snapshot of where our scene is right now. From funky to firing, gritty to growling, soulful to smooth, this selection of 40 tracks sums up just how exciting and forward thinking drum&bass can be.

Just in case you’ve missed our exclusive blog interviews in the weeks leading up to this, we’ve chatted to Sigma about their four contributions, we’ve locked horns with Hamilton to discuss Rich Kids and last week we revealed that Stray & Halogenix’s Rude Industry, available exclusively on Drum&BassArena 2012, was the first tune they ever made together!

For our final blog on the album, we’ve rung Switzerland and demanded to speak to Optiv and BTK who’ve given us Ignition – featuring Ryme Tyme – exclusively for our album. A Brazil-meets-Blighty powerhouse living in Bern, they’ve been heaving out heavyweight D&B together for over two years on noteworthy labels such as Renegade Hardware, Frequency and Virus. As they say in their own promotional gubbins, the hills are indeed alive with the sound of (sick) music. But our question is, how the devil did these two international cats end up in Switzerland?

“I was playing here in Bern and met my wife,” grins Optiv. “We’ve been married six years now. Vinnie (BTK) just thought it was a cool place to be!”

Life doesn’t get much sweeter. It turns out Optiv and BTK are a perfect partnership, too. Like Stray & Halogenix last week, the two of them complement each other’s studio specialities. Both users of Cubase 6, they were already singing from the same DAW hymn book, it was just a case of marrying their skills.

“I’m really good working with audio files,” says BTK. “And Optiv’s better at working with VSTi’s, which turned into a nice combo to our work flow. He’s has been working as a producer since 98 and I since 2000, this adds a lot on our experience especially when it’s about sitting together in the studio. And we’re up early everyday writing tunes.”

The wholesome, early-bird vibes of their relatively newfound Swiss lifestyles are paying off. They’ve got a whole album ready to drop next month (Dirty Tricks on Virus) but first, Ingition. Just in case you’ve not heard The Risky hammering it on the podcasts, here’s a snippet… Featuring our founder’s dulcet tones describing why he had to sign one of their tracks.

“Risky hit me up on AIM and mentioned the D&BA compilation,” explains BTK. “He asked if we could submit one exclusive track for it. We felt honoured to be part of such an amazing project. Ignition is a straight forward dancefloor track, really. We’ve tried to get that early 2000’s techstep vibes into it. Using the “Skull Snaps – It’s A New Bay” break alongside long midranges, Ryme Tyme vocals came to round up the track.”

A clinical, gritty banger that adds extra weight and beef to an already hefty compilation, to describe Ignition as a ‘a straight forward dancefloor track’ is a little humble, in our opinion. But either way, it’s a great taste for the album that’s to come.

“Expect the usual trademark Virus funk with an upbeat modern twist,” grins Optiv. “It’s predominantly aimed at smashing up the dancefloor and bringing the full on party vibes that our tunes are recognised for.”

Sounds explosive. Watch out for details on that next month. In the meantime, don’t let Ignition pass you by and get your pre-orders here… Digital / CD

And if you can’t wait until this Sunday. Catch us at the launch party with Brookes Brothers, Phace & Misanthrop, Break, Total Science, Interface and MC Lowqui at London’s XOYO THIS FRIDAY!



Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.
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