Drum&BassArena 2014: Matrix & Futurebound

Drum&BassArena 2014: Matrix & Futurebound

The fourth and final feature in our Drum&BassArena 2014 series celebrates another one of this year’s most exciting D&B runaway success stories. From their club command to chart success, Matrix & Futurebound are repping hard on every level.

Drum&BassArena 2014 comes complete with their own STFU remix of the top 10-hugging Control. A kindly reminder of the long-standing partnership’s rolling rugged roots, we called up Futurebound to find out more… And find out what’s next in their hit cannon, what’s coming up on Viper Recordings and what his opinion is on drum & bass right now…

Control is on our Drum&BassArena 2014 album. We’ve got the STFU remix but let’s rewind to the original…

It took about nine months to make from start to finish. It’s quite funny; when we finished Universal Truth back in 2007 we started on new material after our big tour and Control was based on one of those ideas we kicked around back then.

Heritage vibes!

Yeah! Not loads of it but some bars from that original idea over five years ago are still in there. It’s great when you open up old projects on things you think are dead a buried and find ideas that still have potential.

What inspired you to go back over that old material?

Time is a great way of giving perspective and you listen to things differently when you’ve had that space. So we go over old ideas fairly regularly in that way. With this we’d just had some really good success with Magnetic Eyes and were thinking about our next move. We wanted to come back with something even better and deeper lyrically. Control actually started as a drumstep track and was until the very last week. We had a Special Delivery booked in with Annie Mac and with less than a week to go we told everyone to hold fire because we knew we could do a better version. Everyone went into pure panic mode! It was a really good move to make… We turned it into a full-on D&B track and the proof of our last minute madness is in the pudding.

What was it about the original version that you didn’t like?

It was just lacking a bit of balls really. Me and Matrix always want to deliver something new every time; a different style of vocal, a different beat pattern and so on. The drumstep mix just wasn’t exciting enough for us so we went back in with a mind to smashing the hell out of it!

Vindication! It had a funny old journey in the charts didn’t it? It hit number then crept up to number 7… Did you think the top 20 was it? Or did you have a good feeling about the top 10?

Here’s how it is… All I Know hit the top 40 at 29. That was mental for us. So with Magnetic Eyes we hoped it would do a bit better than that. And it did; it got to 24. So anything higher than 24 was the goal for us. Top 20 would make us over the moon. So to go in at 18 was amazing then we monitored the sales as the week went by and things were looking great; it was getting some mad support and we had a really good feeling. But number seven? It surpassed every expectation!

Now you’ve set the bar even higher for yourselves!

Yeah. It’s all about progression. The music game is a hard game, you have peaks and troughs, but as long as you’re pushing yourselves and setting yourselves challenges then you’re doing yourself justice.

I’m guessing there’s another big one up your sleeves, then?

For sure. We’re deep in album mode now. We wanted to have it out late last year but the way the singles were going, and our radio support and the way we were connecting with the music loving public we wanted to hold on the album for a while and get more singles out there. So we’re just deep in the studio with four or five finished tracks. The next one is Don’t Look Back with Tanya Lacey which should be on the radio very very soon.

Cool! Let’s go back to the actual STFU remix of Control. Is that like a VIP for your club sets?

Me and Matrix have been making club tracks since we were kids. But when the radio opportunity comes along you’ve got to take it. It’s been really exciting to explore different sounds and work with singers and lyrics. But every time we do one of these records we always want to put our old stripped-down bass hats on and do something for the darker moments. It’s all about balance, you know.

I do. Now let’s get your take on D&B right now… Nice and healthy yeah?

I won’t sugar-coat anything, drum & bass is in a fantastic position right now! I’m just not talking the radio successes but the whole scene… The people promoting events, the labels, the producers who are smashing it on the underground. So many different sounds and styles; it’s so exciting! Everyone is smashing it in so many different ways. Plus, there is no other country that’s playing drum & bass all day on the radio! As a genre-setting country, I guarantee other countries will follow suit and start doing the same. Everything about drum & bass is great right now. We played at Fabric for Playaz the other week, that was sold out. Our Viper night at Fire last month was sold out.

We were there! Quite a historic night…

It was. 10 years in the making and we’ve developed year by year. I’m over the moon with the way we can release bangers alongside vocal radio records alongside rollers. The events needed to be addressed and we were getting a lot of requests to do Viper nights around the world so we’ve taken on someone who’s working on them and developing them to the next level.

There’s another Viper 10 Years night later this year isn’t there?

Yeah. We’re also doing an album called Decade which will feature 10 exclusives with all the guys on the label collaborating. Cyantific and The Prototypes have done something Prolix and Insideinfo have done a killer. We’re doing one with Brookes Brothers. They’ll come out as five singles around the late summer and will eventually lead to a big triple CD album with a mix, the 10 exclusives and 10 of our favourite tracks. Plus three more shows in London… Round two is in June so we’ll see you there!

DNBA 2014Drum&BassArena 2014 is out now!

iTunes Drum&BassArena Store Amazon

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.

Matrix & Futurebound

Matrix & Futurebound need little introduction, both having had illustrious careers in their own right. Matrix first broke through with his slick ...