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Fourward: Four Heads Are Better Than One

Fourward: Four Heads Are Better Than One

Austria seriously hearts drum & bass right now!

Mefjus is currently unavoidable, Camo & Krooked go from strength to strength and Body & Soul have been repping for years. Ill Skillz, Disaszt, Paul SG, Roy Green & Protone, the continental D&B mecca Urban Art Forms and, of course, the mighty Fourward.

Four passionate bass freaks, each with their own unique musical background, their collaborative efforts have garnered some incredible releases over the years. Not least this week’s release: the bulging four-track Aftermath EP. Released on Audioporn, it’s unadulterated fire. We gave Ludwig, a quarter of the act, a call…

You hear of duos, trios… But four? That must be a studio challenge!

“It is! It’s a logistical challenge because we’re all in different cities so it’s a hard to get us all in one room… But also because we’re like a band. There are four very strong personalities! We’re all very passionate about the music, it creates tension form time to time! But it pays off… After all the arguing and getting in each other’s face we come up with some really interesting stuff that we’re all happy with.”

Tension helps creativity…

“Yeah. As long as you remember not to take it too far. We’re friends for 15 years so things get pretty personal but we always keep it in a certain line so fights aren’t too hard!”

How far apart are all of you based?

“The furthest away is 100k, the closest is 5k… Our living situations have always changed over the years. We all started in the countryside, then we moved to Vienna, then some of us moved back to the country. Things are changing all the time for us.”

How do you work – do you have mirrored set ups?

“Sometimes it’s internet based, sometimes we’re all in the room…it’s different formations, depending on who’s free.”

All That Matters was huge. Any pressure for Aftermath?

“The pressure comes from yourself! You always want to do something better than the last release. We’d never want to make the same record over and over again. So yeah there’s pressure but we’re driving that pressure.”

Pushing Fourward, no pun intended!

“Haha! That is how it is!”

Let’s chat Youthstar, he’s got a real presence on Aftermath…

“Yes, he’s great. Such good fun to work with. We met a gig, got chatting and two weeks later I sent him a little groove. Three weeks and few emails later and the tune was done. It was such a natural process. I think you can hear that; we’ve kept it very simple and Youthstar is a very strong MC with some great lyrics.”

Definitely. There’s a lot of darkness in your beats…

“Yes. We love different styles from liquid to angry beats but it feels like we’ve found our sound; the darker, techier, heavier vibe sets. That feels the most comfortable for us.”

How do you feel about the recent comparisons to Noisia?

“Well it’s a huge compliment! But Noisia are on such a different level. It’s inspiring people say that but Noisia are beyond comparison – they’re too good!”

I’m loving Street Knowledge. What knowledge have you learned recently?

“We’ve been focussing a lot on our strengths recently; what comes easiest for us and what we should really develop as an artists. I think it’s helped us.”

What’s up next? The last few releases have been pretty generous… Are you building up to an follow up to Episodes?

“It’s too soon to think about another album right now. We’re doing some remixes at the moment and more EPs will follow. Thanks for thinking we’re ready to do an album though!”

When are you over in the UK next? And how do you DJ, do all four of you take over, or are you all repping solo?

“We’re coming over soon, I hope! A lot of the DJ work is solo, mainly me. Dominik and Niklas do some too and when a promoter wants to pay for more of us to play then a few of us will come over. For now though you just get one of us.”

You could do a really cool band set up with four of you couldn’t you?

“It could be a project for the future, but logistically, and time-wise, it’s such a huge commitment. It won’t happen too soon but there’s lots of potential with four of us… Watch this space!”

Aftermath is out now. Listen and download.

 

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.