‘Borg’. ‘Device’. ‘Screamers’… take cover! It’s as if each tune from the Running Man ep is a uniquely-formed, bristling entity coming for you full force, complete with fanged allies, power-ups and extra weaponry… the title track itself cleverly encasing a respectful nod to D&B’s ‘spaced’ past. Imposingly vast and formed from technology much more advanced than ours, time to establish an uplink with Running Man‘s mastermind, Original Sin.
Did you go in with the intention of ‘let’s make a total killer ep’ with Running Man?
It was definitely a fun project, I enjoyed making all of these tracks.
There’s variation here, the raging tone of ‘Device’, the head nodding beast that is ‘Stronger’ for example…
They were made individually: it wasn’t compiled as an EP until after they were up to demo spec, as is the case with a lot of projects.
Each track has its own theme and that is intentional. I find sitting down to write a ‘killer’ anything is usually going to lead to disappointment
In general the ep seems to have dropped with considerable force…
I’ve been totally overcome by the response to this EP and as I’m writing this it hasn’t been released yet. I’ve had praise from so many of my peers for this project and a lot that I would have never had expected to say so, people like London Elektricity, TC, Friction, Crissy Criss, John b, Prototypes, DC Breaks.
And the title of the ep? Was there a concept?
It’s taken from the title track of the EP in which one of the main vocals is ‘I got to run’
Talk us through the mighty ‘Borg’…
I have an active imagination and love sci fi. At the time when I wrote ‘Borg’, I’d been re-watching some Star Trek and they can be kind of light with their incidental music on that show I’ve always thought… Why not make it more dark and aggressive? Make people feel the intensity of the situation?
I sampled the voice part and made my own mini score with some huge synth impacts/sweeps with z3ta+ and enhanced them with a generous amount of cavernous reverb. I use a lot of different synths now but z3ta will always have a place in my studio… I even named my cat after it a few years back.
Instead of a big fight or battle scene – which isn’t so easy to pull off in the audio realm – I figured a nice bit of tear out reece and trace amen would suffice
Tell me about vocalist Koo, the vocalist for the title track: where’s she from?
I met Koo via a friend of hers, Becky Hill. Koo was into D&B well before I knew her, which makes recording a lot easier. Some singers struggle with the tempo or structure if it’s new to them.
Koo is talented and I’m glad I’ve been able to work with her. I believe she is recording with a number of artists currently and soon to be releasing her own EP
There is a real science to this production, something which the snobs in the music may overlook. Some don’t ‘rate’ harder D&B. What have your years in the music taught you in production?
I like to take care in my work, for me its a labor of love after all.
What I’ve learned from my time – which I wont be specific about because its a long time now ha ha – is to stay grounded and work hard and the world will be yours!
What about live: any dos and don’ts about DJing live?
Engage with your audience: staring down at your hands isn’t gonna help bring people into the vibe and probably the most important thing is that a little preparation never hurt anyone!
There are so many ways to organize your music, create playlists and so on now there really is no excuse for being shit on the decks other than being passed out drunk. Which is a massive ‘don’t do’
D&B remains a very alien and unpredictable artform. What’s some reasons you love D&B?
I love music and D&B is a big aspect of that love affair for me but not the whole story by any means. That said, after over 10 years in semi dark windowless studios crafting this bizarre stuff we call D&B I’m still not done.
One of the things I love about D&B is the potential for diversity: there are so many sub genres of D&B. No matter what it is I’m feeling there’s a way for me to express through this medium.
And does this extend to ‘non’ D&B territory?
In my spare time I’m making an album length movie score-sounding project. So far there are no drums to speak of and I’m finding the whole process very therapeutic, mainly because I’m free to do whatever I want
What are some strongholds of D&B you like to play? What countries are great to play to?
I’m not gonna pick favorite countries ha ha! I play all over the world and I’d hate to have Canada or UK think I loved them any less than Belgium for example.
My fave clubs to play? Well Melkweg in Amsterdam I love but that’s maybe also for local shrubbery. Sick venue.
I like Fabric and I also prefer a ‘blow your mind’ size festival stage any day: for one in LA, I played to around 10k people.
Thanks, any final shouts?
I’m always thankful to my girl Nhan, my publisher, everyone at Playaz, my agent Jon, my family, friends and all the fans for supporting me and my music!