Masker – Exclusive

Masker – Exclusive

Jamie links up with Masker, the man of the moment in respect of big, rolling basslines and frantic vibes to chat about his recent releases, influences in the scene and what to expect next from this talented producer. We also have an exclusive mix to drop into the article – wicked!

Audio Danger has really smacked 2017 so far with it’s release schedule, it must feel pretty special to be a part of that movement? How did the initial link up happen?

“For me, Audio Danger Records have been a pleasure to deal with. I have rated their previous releases since they started out in 2010. It is really nice to work with a more established label that have a solid direction and a good feel for the scene.

I actually met Tim (Jimmy Danger) on a road trip to Belgium a few years back to Gun Audio Festival in Antwerp. A couple of my mates were playing out there (Hedex & DJ Red-I) with Jimmy on mic duties.

In regards to the music I approached Audio Danger Records by sending them a demo of ‘Whipped Up’ sometime last year (which is out now on ADR Hydra EP Part 3). I thought the track fitted the labels style well which is really important in my eyes. Also this style really suits me so look out for more releases on ADR in the future!”

‘The Shadow Web’ release is doing well, especially on the dancefloor where it’s almost impossible to get away from both tunes! Good news indeed. What do you think takes a producers tune to that kind of level considering the amount of choice these days?

“Originality is key. If you rewind the scene by 10 years to DJ Hazards release ‘Killers Don’t Die’ on Playaz – that is my definition of originality! Previous to that release you will not find a track that marginally sounds like it and what a banger it still is. These type of tunes are timeless in my eyes.

Don’t get me wrong there are bundles of tunes out there which are similar and hold their own strongly but as a fairly new artist on the block the only way to really stand out is to be creative and try to build your own sound. The overall feedback from my last release ‘The Shadow Web & Victim’ has been great and is making the moves I was hoping for.”

‘Shadow Web’ really has that 2008 Mampi Swift kind of vibe going on, was that the sound you were trying to replicate in some respects? Big single note crumbling basslines a run!

“I have always been a huge sucker for BIG one note bass hits whether it’s Scorpio’s ‘Trouble’, Mampi Swift ‘The One’ or Flat T ‘L Bass’ That is my vibe! The impact these tracks have is amazing. A massive surge of bass straight to the cranium!. The kind of track that is switched from nowhere and blows you into next week on the dancefloor.”

Talking of which, what’s the process is making such devastating basslines for you? Are you one to go back to basics with samples and analogue kit?

“I try to use as many different methods as I possibly can to broaden my knowledge in the studio. Both ‘Shadow Web’ & ‘Victim’ bass lines were created using a Novation Bass Station 2 analogue synth which I love using to get that old school roller vibe. I do use Native Instruments Massive even though it is commonly used, I have discovered you can gain a large proportion of unique sounds from it.”

What’s your biggest challenge (bar the current heat situation!) in the studio right now?

“I would say time to be honest as with a lot of other fresh artists in the music industry we work a full time job along with the ins and outs of general life. The hardest things to get done are the things you love the most, that is life! In terms of production technique getting loud volume with clarity from a mix is one thing I am contending with but it’s all good and part of the learning curve, it is just a case of time and patience.”

If you could name one producer from any era and any genre that has really influenced your sound and work ethic who would it be and why?

“I honestly couldn’t tell you, There are hundreds of producers out there I am influenced by.

Here are just a few names from early days to current:

DJ Die
Roni Size
DJ Hazard

As a DJ, what’s your go to label?

“Again, very hard question to answer!

Here are just a few to list:

Full Cycle
V Recordings
Digital Soundboy
Low Down Deep

I would also like to mention that I am feeling what Natty Dub are releasing right now they are packing some serious vibes!”

Things have changed a great deal in the drum and bass scene in the past 5 years, it’s like an ever-evolving situation right now. What’s your thoughts on the next 5 years?

“It’s constantly moving, you can literally sit there and go through DJ sets and hear the new sound every few months. One producer will come with a fresh new bass sound and it becomes contagious.

I have some real high hopes for what’s to come in the next 5 years. The ‘old school’ vibe is 100% coming back to the dancefloor right now which I am a massive fan of. I actually recently attended Tranzmission festival in London a couple of weeks ago and the reactions to the older music was wicked! Brockie and Det in the Jungle Fever tent was live start to finish!”

What’s next from Masker?

“The next scheduled release will be coming out on Low Down Deeps sister label Subway Soundz. The track is titled ‘Dirty Business’ which has been getting a lot of love. If you listen to Logan D’s live show you most probably would have heard it in his sets.”

Finally, what’s your thoughts on the difficulty in breaking into the scene as a producer, DJ or both in 2017? Are the rumours true regarding the ‘old guard’ blocking progression in your eyes or is this just more nonsense from social media?

“Well it isn’t easy thats for sure! I personally don’t believe that anyone can block you from breaking through. As long as you are dedicated and hardworking with the prize in your eyes you will achieve your goals! You obviously will have to come with the talent too. I know of many under rated producer out there that are absolutely tearing it up at the moment but it is only a matter of time before they get the deserved recognition.”

Any shouts or big ups?

“Firstly I would like to say a massive thanks to Franko Turno for all the knowledge and guidance he has passed on and helped me with over the last couple of years. I can genuinely say i wouldn’t have progressed at this rate without it. If you are thinking of learning how to make music I would strongly advise you get booked in for a session.

Also big love to Jack Hedex who also helped me along the way with my production, Logan D, Coda, T>I, Red-I (aka Mr Whippy) and of course the Audio Danger Record gang AKA Jimmy Danger & Mila_Mila 207

Shouts to my dog Marley for all his support in the studio!”

You can follow Jamie Section 23 on Twitter, @JamieS23
Jamie S23 is part of the editorial team at Drum&BassArena, has a huge collection of vinyl from the 90’s and spends many hours wishing music still came on cassette. He’s stupidly into fitness and most importantly, a devoted Dad. Reminisce about air horns, lighters and The Sanctuary with him via Twitter or Soundcloud