Few acts have surged to prominence and dominance over such a short amount of time as Russian trio Teddy Killerz.
From their face-melting scene entrance on Bad Taste to their glitch gymnastics on Skrillex’s OWSLA to their current exclusive status on Ram Records, they’ve shown creativity, dexterity and a defiance to do things on their own terms.
Case in point: this outrageous, almost psychedelic reversion of Dreadzone – Fire In The Dark.
Having floated on the UKF sonic stock market for almost two months, as of yesterday it’s finally been released by Dreadzone on their Dubwiser imprint. It’s also backed with an equally distinctive rub D&B upstart Bazil, who’s been a card carrying Dreadzone band member since 2012. We called up the band’s lieutenant Greg Dread to find out how the Teddy Killerz remix came about and more about the band’s relationship with drum & bass.
You’re known for fusing all sorts of styles as Dreadzone… Where does D&B come into this?
“I’ve always been checking drum & bass as a music lover and DJ. It’s been part of my selections as both the Dreadzone Soundsystem, which we’ve been doing for about 15 years, and it was one of the many sounds you would hear at our night Dubwiser in Notting hill, which ran from 1998 to 2001.”
What’s Dubwiser all about, then?
“Dubwiser is all about anything that has that dub roots… Whether it’s jungle, breaks or bassline house. We’re not purists. It’s like the music we make as Dreadzone. It’s got roots but it’s versatile and open minded. We came from the band Big Audio Dynamite in the 80s. Rock n roll, hip-hop, dub… it was all in the mix. That spirit is carried through in Dreadzone. We throw many influences into the pot. I don’t know where you’d put us in a record racks, but we’ve got our own sound.”
Any new material on the horizon for Dreadzone?
“Our last album was Escapades in 2013. We’re working on new stuff, we just have to get together and knock them into shape and try them out live. Later on this year we’ll be releasing a remastered version of our 2001 album Sound, but the main focus right now is the release of Fire In The Dark with remixes by Teddy Killerz and Bazil.”
I had no idea Bazil was Dreadzone family!
“Yeah, he’s been making some great moves in drum & bass, he’s got a very distinct style, quite minimal and tech rolling. I’m pleased to say he’s been a member of the band since 2012 but he was selling merchandise for us on the road for a few years before. He’s a lovely guy and great to work with. He does all the mixing stuff and laptop stuff on the stage and his remix of Fire In The Dark is great.”
And of course the massive Teddy Killerz mix… It’s not the first time you’ve worked with them is it?
“No. The first single from Escapades was Too Late, which featured Mick Jones and sampled Department S, an old punk band. It was very rocky. We were looking for remixes and someone suggested Teddy Killerz. They turned in this incredible dubstep remix. It was awesome. So we asked them for another remix!”
And they obliged…
“Yes. They caught the live show in London when we played the Jazz Café and we got along with them really well. Having seen us live they wanted to do a live sounding mix. I love what they’ve done… they’ve kept a lot of the original parts but made it fresh and powerful. It stands out from a lot of other drum & bass tunes i have heard. I played it out and it has such a huge sound. They’ve captured what the tune is about; the madness and mayhem of what’s going on in our conflicted world. It’s not specifically mentioned in the song but that’s definitely the original inspiration. We love hearing new dimensions on our music and that’s exactly what the Teddy Killerz have delivered once again!”