Lynx has always been futuristic, let’s get that straight, but his slick new salvo on Ram ‘Take Back The Night/Shimmy’ has taken many by surprise. It’s simply something else. But enough prelims talk: those with a finger on the future function – or at least the scroll bar – may sense a biiiig, in-depth chat with the man himself to come…
These tracks have a big heart and ‘Take Back The Night’ knocked me out with its passion straight off: how does that sit with you?
Thanks! Its always better to have music that evokes a strong feeling rather than none. ‘Take Back The Night’ was a track started nearly two years ago. It was very stripped back compared to the release version. Just the piano beat and bass. I recall I called it ‘Platinum’ back then. I was dropping it in my DJ sets and it always had a great crowd reaction, but I knew it needed more.
What did you do?
Last summer I reloaded the track up and decided to focus making a big breakdown and buildup section. Kind of a nod to the 90s rave era. Something I don’t normally concentrate on as my tunes are more ‘rolling’. I then sent the tune to Andy C, just to gauge how the track is working. He loved it and snapped it up for Ram Records and started playing it in all his sets. So at that point I thought Why not go all the way and make a vocal version of the track?
Often labels/DJs can get weirded out when you suggest this, especially with a track they’re already supporting. However I was happy that Andy C and Ram totally got where I was coming from. I drafted in the vocal talents of Newsome someone I had been writing a couple of non D&B tunes with. He really got straight into the groove of the track and did an awesome job.
Must be great to be part of Ram?
It’s a real honour to be part of the Ram history. It’s nice to be recognized not only as a deep D&B artist but also one that can cut it on the big stage. Plenty of gigs are starting to come in off the back of this release, which is always a good way to express what I do.
You mention Newsome?
Newsome is someone who’s clearly on his own musical journey. From Brighton, he’s better known for his super cool electronic music. His productions are equal to his vocal talents.
We got a few new tunes we are writing at the moment. Definitely one to watch closely in 2014!
In ‘Take Back The Night’ there’s a new vibe, and new SHEEN to the Lynx sound I feel, and this continues in ‘Shimmy’…
Hmmm yes, I guess it is a different angle for me. I’m not usually one for having riffs in my music. But of late, especially with this single I’ve been writing riffs more. The sleek sheen probably just comes from keeping things simple, focusing on bringing out the strongest elements in the music.
Maybe put it this way: are you producing in a different way than you did, say two years back?
Just over a year ago I mentally had one foot out of D&B. I was searching for something new, creatively. At that time I was writing an electronic/pop album with a vocalist. We were pretty much finished and had some initial interest from big labels. But for many reasons I can’t explain right now, it will sadly never see the light of day. However, it’s really had a positive impact on how I write my music and I think I have found a new way to express my music in a clearer way. I think it sounds more radio-friendly for it, but importantly without diluting down my sound.
What inspirations find their way in?
The inspiration for ‘Shimmy’ was particularly Basement Records music: DJ Ratty and Tango…. ah it feels such a long time ago now. They used to nicely combine jungle drums with a 4/4 kick drum, merging happy riffs with dark drops. It was a real mashup of flavours but all done brilliantly.
How does it find it’s way in, these memories and intentions?
It’s strange because at the time of writing music I’m not sitting there thinking I got to do a tune like this or that… it all generally runs pretty naturally. It’s only when I sit back and take stock of what I’ve written, that I know where the inspiration has come from.
I’m basically a lost musician who’s trying to find the answer. Of course I’ll never get there, it’s all about the journey!
Well you can’t be that lost: who do you bounce ideas off?
It really depends on the track. If it’s a collaboration then of course I bounce ideas off the other producer or vocalist. If it’s a track I’m writing alone then very few people. I might even finish the track without even playing it to anyone. I sometimes play tracks to my girlfriend and friends. Whilst my girlfriend is very supportive of what I do, I often just get a generic ‘It’s good babe’. I cant blame her though: she has to listen to me talk about what I’m doing alot!
Back to the radio mention, I see Mistajam is into this single.
Yeah Mistajam has dropped the tune everyday for the last couple of weeks on Radio1 and 1xtra!
D&B gets lots of radio airplay overall…
It seems D&B is gaining acceptance in the commercial world. I think business-wise, it’s a simple fact that genres come and go, but D&B is always there, always has a following. Kind of like hip hop after its initial underground era, it started breaking into the mainstream. Therefore it can’t be ignored.
I feel that such a synergy between sound and the mainstream may point towards a certain Ultra Guilty Pleasure?
A friend played me a Cliff Richard song the other day and I thought it was awesome! Bizarre. ‘Wired for sound’. Go check it, a great pop tune with some crazy time signature changes. Definitely a guilty pleasure of the highest order! One that I probably shouldn’t be saying on DNBArena. Oh well.
Rollerskates in videos never fail. What about more videos for Lynx? D&B is lacking them at the moment I feel.
Hmm I’d like to see more music videos for my tracks. It’s another sense that gets stimulated and helps enhance the music. That can’t be a bad thing. However music videos can be extremely time-consuming to make. I can say that first hand as I helped a lot with editing ‘Locked On The Low‘ a few years back, a single out on my label Detail Recordings. If D&B gets more music videos then that’s positive for the scene surely.
How would you sum up the outlook for Lynx and 2014?
There’s a lot of big exciting changes on the horizon for me, this Ram single is just the beginning!
You can catch me at Ram at Fabric on the 14th February. I’ll also be in in Bournemouth at the 02 on the 21st February. And I also have a track on the Hospital’s We Are 18 compilation that’s out now.