FD’s Top 10 SUNANDBASS Midnight Rollers
It’s been a hot minute since FD gifted our ears with a fresh release, and with his sublime All Yours EP landing on SUNANDBASS Recordings earlier this month, he continues his quality over quantity ethos, once again proving it was well worth the wait.
3 slices of signature FD wizardry, the EP captures the essence of summer in the hypnotic title track alongside the warm groove of Wah Wah Track, with a brief murky detour on the stepper that is Second Villain co-written with Ryck.
The release comes at the perfect time with SUNANDBASS recently revealing this year’s full line-up, sending anticipation for the looming event into a frenzy.
Having recently reached for 10 perfect daytime cuts for UKF, we asked FD for his ultimate midnight rollers – but first, we picked his brain about the new release. Dive in…
The All Yours EP is a bit special mate! Capturing a wide spectrum of sounds as this does is complex on a 3-track EP, but you’ve really nailed it. Was that intentional and important for you to showcase, or did it come together naturally?
Thanks! We started off having ‘Wah Wah Track’ for the EP, and then it was a case of seeing what I had that would fit with that. Ryck and I had then made ‘Second Villain’ which Stefano liked, and then to have a musical thing with those two just seemed like a logical idea to me. So yes, it was quite intentional. I remember some of my favourite releases having a whole variety of tracks on them and so I like to present something like that.
Was the release inspired by anything in particular?
I can’t say it was to be honest! I don’t think I really write like that – it’s more a question of whatever catches me that day – be it a sound, a sample, a conversation, the news. It really can be anything, and I think that’s a great thing about drum & bass, you can really make something for every mood within the genre. That was really something that made me fall in love with it in the first place; I felt like there was a piece of music within it that would suit however I was feeling at the time, something that I always was after in music.
Do you need a wider inspiration to drive a release, or do you tackle each track on its own and see where it leads?
Tricky question really – and I think maybe not so easy to discern between the two. I think it quite depends on the project really and how you get into it. With the bigger projects I think there needs to be a thread between everything that you do, and obviously you’ll then be looking at how each part interlinks together and so it’s not just about the tracks. And to be fair, with smaller ones too. It’s also important to have some kind of vibe behind even a two track release. But really, there’s a wider inspiration at play most of the time I hope – even if you do spend a hell of a lot of time in front of the computer, you can’t live in a bubble! And I personally find it impossible not to take on everything that’s going on around me – mad times right now.
Indeed. What else have you got in store for the rest of 2018 and beyond?
After this EP, the next release will be for the lovely Warm Communications. I did a 12” for them a few years back, one side of which was called Stripped. Jubei really liked that one and so did a remix quite a while back. It still sounds just as great now, and we never gave it to anyone so it’s still super fresh. I always wanted it to come out as I love it, and I’ve finally, finally, done something that I thought was suitable to go with it (see answer above!) – so that should be out soonish, I’d hope this year. After that, there’ll be some more info sooner rather than later I hope!
SUNANDBASS is just around the corner and it’s set to be an emotional affair. Every year the legend of the event spreads, you can feel the love and emotion after it’s done and dusted. I remember thinking “okay, now I truly get it.” after my first experience there. What makes the festival so special to you?
There’s a few things I think that really set it apart. I think you can really feel the love there, and the sense of community and being together and the pure enjoyment and dedication to the music, and that just really shines through there. Sardinia is also a truly beautiful place, and to have the chance to enjoy one of your favourite pasttimes there is quite something. And again, just to be all together in this magical place, able to enjoy such a great thing together – that’s no small thing!
This will no doubt be impossible to answer easily, but any standout memories from the festival you care to share?
Quite difficult you’d think – but also not. I have one in particular that always comes to mind, I wonder if I said it before! But basically, 2015 I think, closing night, closing set, Marcus on the decks, and he just slayed me. Out of nowhere he bought in ‘The End Part II’ and I just lost it – screaming at him and LowQui, haha! And into that he played ‘Reunited’ by Ill Logic & Raf, just such a beautiful mix. And then to end the set, ‘Honey Dew’ by Calibre and then ‘Secret Liaisons’ by Source Direct – just some of my most favourite tunes, on an already extremely emotional night – I’ll never forget it.
Ooft, goosebumps just thinking about it! You covered the perfect daytime vibe at SUNANDBASS via UKF – what about when the evening sets in? What kind of energy are you drawing on/ expecting under the stars?
Well like I said in that piece, it’s hard to define what is the difference between what you’d draw – that’s another great thing about SUNANDBASS – such an educated and informed crowd, you can basically do anything you want!
Now immerse us in your selection of 10 perfect SUNANDBASS midnight rollers…
There are a few that come to mind for this, and it probably helps that I’ve played more D&B there in the evening; so I’ve got a couple for ya…
Calibre & ST Files – Falling Down
This was THE TUNE of 2011. I think almost everyone played it, and it dropped as heavy each time as the first. What a way to start a label, be amazing if these guys do more music together.
Enei – Count To Ten
Another tune that got absolutely battered the year it was on ‘plate’. It still goes off as much in Sardinia now, guaranteed vibes.
Ray Keith – Dark Soldier
Cheesy? If you say so, very possibly in my top 10 ever!!
Calibre – Honey Dew
How this escaped an immediate release when it was made I have no idea. It may be ‘softer’ than the first three, but it never fails to get the place in a tizz – such an amazing and uplifting hook – brilliant.
Lemon D – I Can’t Stop
Love this tune, but it does have one of the longest intros ever. Played it once and it went down really well – then Smithy from Total Science comes and longarms it 3 minutes in. I’m all for the vibes yeah, but I had 3 minutes of the set left!
Marcus Intalex – Stingray
Really clever tune from Marcus. Almost a bit bait, I can quite imagine him saying he didn’t like it at all, but it goes off every time and it just walks the line brilliantly.
Digital & Spirit – Cool Out
Ice cold. One of those intros of yester-year, 3 minutes or something, but it has you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what’s going to happen. Sets a vibe so well, already decided I want to start my set with this this year.
Krust & Die – Never Can Tell (It’s a Trap)
Another one that’s maybe a bit on the line, but it’s a guaranteed skank-out in my opinion. Definitely getting, and giving a few punches when this one gets dropped.
Children of Zeus – Still Standing (Lenzman Remix)
Not a bad vibe when you’ve got the whole place singing every word with you. This tune did this in 2016 over and over again as nearly every DJ played it, and it worked every time.
Digital – Gateman
And then finish with a bang. I saw someone saying the other day that this maybe has the best bassline of any drum & bass track ever – maybe hard to disagree.
The All Yours EP is out now on SUNANDBASS Recordings – get it here