Kolectiv, Dexta & Mauoq: Tribal Gathering
D&B is all about unity, a sort of spiritual culmination: a coming together of the spirit. Hands in the air. Feel the vibes.
And when, in turn, a creative collection of artistic minds fuse as one and produce music? What do you christen the first track on your ep?
OK… (deep breath) ‘Human Sacrifice’???? One for the ladies then.
Dexta: Yes, glad you quoted me there, def one to get the girls’ booty shaking (said no one ever!).
The name came from a sample I had laying on my hard drive, I didn’t expect the tune to get so dark and heavy!! I started this one late night alone just fiddling around with different drum patterns, and bouncy bass. Mauoq loved it and we took it to a session with Kolectiv and it came to life really well.
Mauoq: I’m particularly close to this because it got a bit problematic towards the end in terms of moving the project from one studio to the other and some sounds were missing here and there.
Especially a couple of them which I became totally obsessed with and after various efforts, finally managed to bring them back in. I couldn’t really live without the pigeons sound in that tune!
So Kolectiv on its own is ONE thing: I sort of imagine them leaping about the studio in cloaks and (quite literally) setting fire to things? Did you guys ALL work as one on the Roots ep?
Dexta: Hah, yeah for the most part we were all together in the studio creating this record, so as you can imagine, five lads plotted around one room for many hours, things got pretty random, we got footage of all sorts which has probably surfaced over some of our social media pages! I got speaking with Sam Kalm a while ago and we’d talked many times about getting in the studio together, took about three months but then we managed to lock a date in, Sam, Simon Carera and I sat down and made the bulk of ‘Temper Glass’, which the other lads were feeling, so we decided to get that finished and work on a second track and so the story goes!
Did you all hit it off when it came to shared vibes and atmospheres, then?
Mauoq: Yeah, absolutely: Kalm is the ultimate atmospheres master, Keza joins in on the white and black keys for the melodies and harmonies, while Carera makes sure everything sounds as it should and all the elements move and change when they’re supposed to!
At least this is how I see it when it comes to atmospheres and vibes.
Both Dexta and I understand and like these dynamics so it’s really easy and enjoyable for us to bring our vibes to the table and work with the guys to make one big vibe we’re all happy about, if that makes sense.
You mention ‘Temper Glass’ so could you talk us through the two wonderfully-titled digital tunes on here?
Dexta: ‘Temper Glass’: there’s a sound that hits like a snare throughout the track, and someone came up with the idea of Glass-House, which didn’t fit in too well, we decided to keep with the theme of glass, as it is one of the stand out sounds through the track.
It’s quite a progressive / aggressive tune, it flips from the nice atmospheric pads into hard hitting drums and bass then flips to a harder two step finale, it got us thinking, and then came up with the title slash idea of ‘Temper Glass’ after the widely used safety glass product, but changed the spelling to make it sound like the glass has a temper!
It doesn’t in the English language compute to anything but to us it does!
The bulk of the tune was made on day one, was great fun and definitely paved the way for more join collaborations with Kolectiv.
Mauoq: ‘Orange Roots’ is a tune I started some time ago using samples from another tune I’d made years before for a short movie produced with some friends under the name ‘Orange Valley Entertainment’. I always loved the vibe in the intro very much but was never too sure about the groove itself. Dexta played it to Kalm, who liked the tune and shared my same view on the intro, so he took it in for the Kolectiv treatment and sent it back to me.
Then Dexta came in and added his distinctive touch halfway through the tune: you can’t miss it! And also helped me with final tweaks and mixdown. So at the end of it, I was left with a tune I’d been unhappily fiddling with for quite a long time that now not only has its own character, but also represents quite clearly the influences of all my buddies!
What’s a good studio tip to get in the mode? Vietnamese coffee? pushups? kick boxing? seance?
Dexta: As silly as it sounds, have a good old tidy up, get all the old glasses and crisp packets in the bin, go and top up your water bottle close AIM and your web browser and dive in. Also, a tip if working with Keza of Kolectiv, make him turn off his phone!!
Mauoq: I agree with Dexta. & Vietnamese coffee is not the most welcome, to say the least.
This ep is entitled The Roots ep after all, so can we talk about what influences you?
Dexta: I could hear a noise anywhere and think of an idea, I mumble and hum a lot, I hit things (non violently for the record), read a book or an article here or there and suddenly be hit with an inspiring theme taken from a topic or a word, or even see an image and for it to somehow translate into a sonic idea in my head. I collect loads of little toys, colourful art pieces, and have random colourful things all over the studio, which is also luckily my work space… so I’m forever given opportunity to feel random and creative.
Mauoq: I suppose my influences are deeply rooted in the music I’ve been listening to for the past three decades, more than anything else. I’m sure many other elements factor in to eventually define what the end result happens to be, but I’m not very good at identifying them and I find it easier to relate back to my listening history which inspires and influences this endless need I have to tickle my soul by creating little sound arrangements that I never want to stop listening to and that give me goosebumps. The idea of creating something that makes people feel good and therefore creating a connection with them, no matter how many of them, is what inspires me the most.
On the mix you guys did this month (at end) there’s so much alchemy. I like that track 17 mins in btw…
Dexta: Good shout, whoever that was by it’s deep! We’d played a two hour back to back set last winter and it was really cool, there was a great progression in sound and a very eclectic selection, and it worked really well. We’d brought up the idea of a mixtape a while ago, but we were more concerned about getting tunes done. Ant & Alex at Dispatch invited us to host their podcast mix for April and we moved plans around and got it recorded straight away. Was good fun, hope you all enjoyed it!
What music out in the great global D&B tundra are you watching? What are you feeling?
Dexta: Arkaik is definitely one who’s ripe and ready to blow! Deft has been climbing the ranks within the bass music scene, Om Unit’s music is really versatile and meaningful which I love, Mtwn have been exploring loads of new styles and sounds and I’m really excited about their future. Silent Dust / Sinistarr atm are doing it for my sets, Jekyll has recently come back to the music scene and is blowing me away now more than ever. Finally watch out for a lad called Fixate: the guy’s tunes are on fire!
Mauoq: Arkaik and Homemade Weapons – whose sound really does it for me, each in its own unique way. Other than that I’m hearing some great stuff from Hardware and Vromm of the Various collective, some impressive beats are coming out soon on Nurtured Beatz and Flexout Audio from people like Interline, Mystic State and Transparent, plus obviously everything marked Diffrent Music / GiraffeStep: Dexta maybe felt he couldn’t say, but I definitely can!