It’s a headscratching romp that spans from old school classics to jugular-tickling slammers to sun-kissed guitarism and picturesque leftfield electronica, and it comes from Brazilian newcomer Urbandawn. You might know him; he’s only had a few releases so far but impressively they’ve been on labels like Bad Taste and Hospital. His latest, Retrocasuality is on Bad Taste Volume 5. We thought we’d email him a few questions.
Grab the beats and get to know!
Yo Felipe. How’s everything going at Urbandawn HQ?
“Hi! Everything’s great!”
You’re based in Brazil, right? What’s the scene like out there at the moment?
“Yes! The scene was really strong 10 years ago, and is coming back with full force in the past years; a lot of hard working DJs and producers going strong to get it right once again! We have really good underground clubs, São Paulo has a lot of good parties going and there are some awesome and talented producers like DJ Chap, Andrezz, Level 2, Crytical Dub, Nitri and much much more”
You’ve only had a handful of tracks out but they’ve appeared on the likes of Bad Taste, Hospital and Fokuz… How did that all happen?
“It was all really natural, just going with the flow. I’ve sent all tracks via AIM to those labels, they liked them and supported me. It was really important for me as a producer and musician to release those tracks in such big and important labels.”
I hear you don’t just produce drum & bass. Trance, soulful house, hip-hop…. Tell me more!
“Yeah, I’m a music lover and my intention is to never limit myself. My first approach with electronic music was with D&B, and during this time I’ve discovered other styles like progressive and trance. I’ve started to work on 4/4 project. It’s going really well, I’ve got a track licensed to Armada Music and Adrenalin Room, with support from the biggest names in the industry.
I also love old school hip-hop. I have done since I was 14 but I only just started making it. I’ve produced artists like Pentagono/Raél Da Rima and MC Marechal; and I’m currently working on some beats for other talented Brazilian artists. I’ve remixed Sizzla Kalonji & Bambas Dois for Universal Music too; it was a really challenging work but a good vibration!
I love all good and real music. I spend 100% of my time working with audio, I’ve met really talented people and they inspire me in so many different levels. I think that was one of the reasons to produce different kinds of music, but i try to emphasise the D&B and 4/4 stuff.”
I hear you were influenced by 90s Swedish death metal. What the devil?
“Yeah, that’s quite funny actually, people keep asking me this all the time! Pay attention carefully to the musical theory, death metal is all classical stuff, but with strong harsh guitars, crazy drums and screaming vocals. I love this because it’s a hybrid of the extreme and soft. I try to follow this instinct in all my works, be extreme in some stuff but in the same time keep the calm and harmony between them.”
Come on then, tell us what you’ve got coming out?
“Retrocausality is out now on the mighty Bad Taste, and it’s been supported by great artists like Alix Perez, Icicle, Sabre, DJ Marky, LTJ Bukem and many more. I’ve forthcoming releases on Bad Taste, Marky’s Innerground and a remix on SP Breakz.”
And finally. Thank you for the mix. Please tell us all about it!
“Thank you! I’ve tried to make it really dynamic with some of my early D&B influences at the beginning, really groovy stuff, some of my work, new and fresh D&B tunes and then something softer… until it gets to Pat Metheny to break the circle and finishes with two lovely EDM tracks to get it more interesting. There’s a bit of everything; hard, groovy, old school, melodic, jazz and complexity. It’s something good to hear at home, in the car, going to the club… whatever! Thank you so much for this, it’s a honor to talk about my work and influences, I hope you guys like the mix as much as I enjoyed doing it!”
Static X – Lovedump [Optical Remix] (F-111 Records)
Pascal – Turn It Over (True Playaz)
C4C – Psyke (1210)
Fistognosticated – Warning (Bad Taste Recordings)
Urbandawn & Ney Fausini – Cold Funk (Dubplate)
Urbandawn – Retrocausality (Bad Taste Recordings)
Noisia – Tryhard (Vision Recordings)
Klute – Glue Sniffer (Commercial Suicide)
DJ Chap – Colors Of Soul [Urbandawn Remix] (SP Breakz Records)
Urbandawn & Rotate – MTL (Dubplate)
Pat Metheny – Bright Size Life (ECM Records)
Red Snapper – Shellback (Warp Records)
Squarepusher – 4001 (Warp Records)