Drum&BassArena 2013: T-Phonic
Hold tight D&B lovers… Drum&BassArena 2013 is coming! Our first big release of the year, it’s a double disc celebration of everything that’s great about drum & bass right now. This year we’ve excelled ourselves with no less than 12 exclusives that you will not find anywhere else! One of those exclusives is Regenerate, a lush liquid roller from T-Phonic. We thought we’d give him a call…
Regenerate: An exclusive track for Drum&BassArena 2013. Thank you! Tell us all about it…
“I made it a while ago actually. It’s all updated and pristine for 2013. I guess you’d call it a light hearted, liquid dancefloor track. It’s got a hook you can’t get out of your head!”
The holy grail for producers!
Tell me. If you could ‘regenerate’ into anything, what would it be?
“Haha! If I could regenerate I’d want to be like Wolverine! I’d keep myself in top condition, give myself some new lungs and sort out the tinnitus in my ears. Or maybe (I’d regenerate into) Megan Fox’s knickers? Either way I’d be pretty happy…”
Haha! So how are things going anyway? You’ve been on the scene for a few years but it feels like you’ve gone all ‘next-level’ on us recently…
“I hope so! I was using a PC and making tunes in a concrete square room, which is the worse type of environment you can write tunes in. So recently I’ve invested in a Mac and got a whole load of acoustic treatments for my studio. The difference has been amazing. I’ve had three tracks out and I’ve got another seven ready to come out in the next few months. It feels next level! It was so frustrating writing tunes before; you’d listen to the track in cars, on soundsystems and stereos and make a note of what needed to be changed… Then take it back to the studio and it didn’t sound like anything needed changing. I was making the changes blind and it was taking ages to really nail a tune. So the time it takes me to finish a tune has quartered.”
“Yeah. Also I was teaching music production which took up a lot of my time. From St Albans to London and back it was a full on day! I’d get back from listening to students making beats all day and found it really hard to find the enthusiasm to make my own beats. So as soon as I’d saved up enough money to sort out the studio I gave myself a few months off to really focus on tunes.”
So you’d have set up the studio ages ago if the funds permitting? Dedication!
“Certainly. You have to sacrifice a lot to get where you need. Girls just want the fame and money… they’re not happy to wait while you do the hard work!”
So you’ve lost loves along the way? This is a true Hollywood style story of making it to the top!
“Haha! I wouldn’t say I’ve lost loads, but you do have to make sacrifices to get where you want to be don’t you?”
You do. Back to the beats… There’s your All Night Long EP coming soon isn’t there?
“Yes. I’m very proud of this one, it’s quite a big project and it’s coming out on Titan Records. Part one has All Night Long and One More Chance which I did with Modula. They both feature Katie’s Ambition.”
She’s the D&B vocalist of choice right now!
“She is! She’s a friend of AMC, he linked us up. She came over to record a vocal for AMC and I played her this little sample I wanted her to re-sing. By pure coincidence, the same sample was used by another D&B act… So we started looking at other ideas, Katie sang this hook and within half an hour she had nailed the recording. It’s wicked! Then there’s part two of the EP coming after with This Feeling, a track with a vocalist called Lauren Bartlett, and a big growler called Deep Impact, which has already been tried and tested at a lot of festivals.”
Nice! What else have you got going on?
“There’s a track with AMC called Where You At which is coming on the new Surface EP for Titan. I’ve got about four or five tunes ready for a new EP and I’m doing a few remixes right now too. I’ve also just had a remix of Ellis Dee and Twista’s Touch Me on Sub Slayers.”
Ellis Dee is a legend!
“Yes he is! I’ve met him a few times on the breaks circuit. I’d started a bootleg of the original and we were chatting online and he said he’d love me to remix it. Jay Cunning signed it exclusively to Bass Selection Volume 1 and it got the money shot of the month in DJ Mag.”
Congrats! So let’s end on an inspirational note. What with your teaching background and everything, I think it would be rude not to get some tips for aspiring producers…
“Of course. Put in the hard work! And it is hard work. Everyone sees DJs as guys just travelling around to cool parties. They don’t see the guy sitting in his studio on his own going mental and not answering the phone because he’s got too much work on. Secondly, reference your music! Constantly listen to people’s music and compare it to what you’re doing. Analyse the frequencies and try to match the dynamics of tunes you love. You’ll never get it exactly the same but you do learn a lot quicker if you’re constantly analysing what the pro’s are doing…”
Drum&BassArena 2013 is out April 7 (2xCD/Digital)… Watch out for more info VERY soon!
Celebrate the launch with us on March 29 at Village Underground, London with Calyx & TeeBee, LTJ Bukem, Spectrasoul, Sigma, Dimension and Emperor. Full details here