The distinctive sound of FD has etched it’s way into the heart of D&B, and particularly in this early phase of 2016 with Radio 1 airplay and some lethal compilation appearances… about one of which we spoke: his appearance alongside Total Science on Classified V2.
None of which will prepare you for what he had for breakfast recently though. Beats granola.
Hey FD, how’s life??
Good thanks mate – had a busy start to the year with a couple of releases and lots of new music being made so that’s always a good thing!
Have you changed as an artist in recent times… how do you evaluate your role/work over time?
I think one thing that I’ve been really working on is my speed and spontaneity when I work. I’ve decided it’s quite a key thing when just trying to get out an idea – work quickly and just get the idea out and don’t get distracted on technical elements such as mix and so on.
This way you hopefully have a more ‘pure’ idea, rather than something that sounds worked and so maybe slightly contrived.
I guess this came from listening back to older tunes I’d done and them sounding to me like they were a bit ‘overworked’. By this I suppose I mean that it feels to me like I can hear the idea was developed slightly more slowly, and so maybe it doesn’t have enough of a naturalness or a flow to it that I would like it to have.
There’s a connection to with how D&B is changing too I think… how it affects your work as a producer. Meaning: you can’t be involved in D&B and not be aware of the changes afoot.
In this instance, I’m not sure if this ties in with how D&B has or is changing – it’s just something that I became aware of regarding my own music, and so wanted to improve upon.
Having said that, it could then also be a reaction in that I often feel in music today: that ideas are secondary to sonic quality.
I’m generally always more interested in idea than mixdown – but there are always exceptions to the rule!
So this ep is madness. I mean look at the inclusions. Just look at them.
Yeah I think it’s a really great EP overall – everyone seems to have come with their A game for it, whilst also bringing different stuff to the table. I actually really like all the tunes, and as my friends will testify to, I’m pretty hard to please!
The Ulterior Motive remix must’ve been a challenge to do as the original is so great and has such a distinctive hook. They did a great job keeping what was there, but also updating it with their twist, whilst also obviously making it as fat as ever with them. I also like the way it has quite a deep touch to it in a way, you can really hear that at home when you listen. In the club though, it’s just going off!
The ST Files & Response tune is also really great – a super deep little roller and a really nice mixing tool. I’m obviously a massive ST Files fan and so it’s great to see him making more music again – but I’ve also been really impressed with a lot of the Response tunes I’ve heard; he’s got something pretty special going on and just seems to be doing his own thing, which I’m always all for.
The Villem & McLeod tune is also really interesting – a cool composition, and all really well made, tight sounding elements. They seem to have a lot of different tools in the bag and able to make a broad range of tunes, but there’s always a certain stamp of quality with them.
I’m also super happy with collab between Total Science and myself. It’s not often I’m happy with a tune I make! It was really great fun to work with the guys – and obviously a complete honour – I used to buy their records on sight for a long time, and so to have the opportunity to work with them in the studio was really amazing.
Also, it was of course pretty off key too as you can imagine, I think everyone knows enough about those guys to imagine what I’m talking about ha ha! But we had a great time, I hope it will be the first of at least a few more!
Your track struck me with it’s beautiful cinematic overtones in the middle… what inspired? Take us behind it in general?
It was all a pretty quick process really (maybe ties in with my earlier point), and we had pretty much the whole tune down in around 4-5 hours. Quiff had a solid base drum pattern that we could work with, and they had that Bobby Byrd break lying around, which is one of my favourites, so that was quite an easy choice to use it. Once we had that rolling, we had a flick through some samples and the piano just jumped out at us straight away.
We just used the one sample and just messed around with its arrangement, and that then gave us the hook. The vocal was quite cheekily found, and I just chopped it up the way I do in Ableton and it seemed to work well. We then decided we wanted a pretty epic middle breakdown, and Smithy is just a whizz with chords and progressions, and just got it down with us going ‘yeah that one, that one!’
Quiff then added a few more melodic elements to keep the interest going and that was it! It’s always funny how the good ones often seem to come together so easily!
How do you and TS enjoy working together?
Yeah I think it was great fun for all of us. It’s just really nice hanging out, and the guys love taking the piss out of me about how much I eat. There’s also a lot of juice drinking and standing in the kitchen chatting large amounts of sh*t – what more could you ask for from a studio session?
I certainly personally really enjoyed it and also felt like I learnt a lot, and love hanging out with the guys, so I hope there will be more in the future.
Any gigs recently you could tell us about?
Yeah, it’s been a nice start to the year, with a couple of SUNANDBASS label parties going down. Me and ArpXP were over in Vienna a couple of weeks ago for Vollkontakt which was really great. They’re a great crew and really have something good going on, pushing all sides of the music, but always keeping the quality high.
Their venue is sick, with a great soundsystem so it was really nice to play there and see how the new stuff went down. Vienna is also such an amazing place, always nice to be there.
We also had another SUNANDBASS party in a tiny town in Italy called Orvieto, That was an amazing experience too and totally out of the norm – when I woke up in the morning and opened the hotel shutters, I was looking over incredible countryside and rolling hills.
I then had wild boar stew for breakfast! And again, with super lovely people and a privilege to see another amazing place in the world, really great.
What tune is in your head right now?
Well, ‘Found A Reason Why’ as I’ve been writing about it – and ‘Human Error’ by DLR & Break, such a sick tune. Wonder if they’d mix well?
Thanks, any shouts sir?
Thanks to you and DNBA, Total Science and everyone working with CIA and of course the SUNANDBASS familia!