Red Army: Utopical

Red Army: Utopical


… my sequencer screen in Cubase is my canvas…

It’s not every day that you get to talk to someone about paranormal activity, Futura 2000, Propofol, shower curtains, Raiden and cowbell. And the Bones Brigade.

Then again it’s not every day that an ep leaves such a ginormous crater as the new Utopic ep by Red Army and Clima. Huge and indelible. You might see it from space. Massive!

Time to call in the Red Army in this instance and get very Utopical.

This new ep sounds great… why ‘Utopic’? A title which sounds cool but threatening too.

Thank you! Super flattering! We infused a lot of old school’esque samples in this release, which is our utopia, kind of our haven given we’ve been fans of D&B for over a decade now.

How did the linkup with with the mighty Clima happen? You collab’d here? ‘Dread of the Ninja’ is huge.

Thanks you! We were both fans of each others’ music and they reached out to me about a year ago. We started off trading tunes and eventually they asked me if I would be interested in working on tune together.

That tune was ‘Jungle Justice’ which is coming out in the coming months on Turbine.

We stay in constant communication and are constantly working on music together. We feed off of each other really well and bring out the best in each other to the point that we’ve talked about working on an LP together one of these days.

Like most of our tunes ‘Dread of the Ninja’ came together rather quickly as we had a couple of collabs together and knew each others’ workflow.

You have a tune on the ep called ‘Bones Brigade’! that hurt me, I grew up with Ray Bones in my world, you skate? It’s a filthy tune.

Kudos for knowing about Ray Bones!! I was a rabid fan of anything Powell Peralta in my early days of skateboarding and was once sponsored by legendary skate shop Sessions here in California in the late 80s/early 90s.

I really set out to make a tune that incorporate some of the older sounds/samples that got me into drum and bass in the 90s and marry them with a lot of what is being made today.

The name came about as I had just watched the Bones Brigade documentary the day before.

This ep is so much about the beats, and the way you guys flex on percussion! I take it you love beats? I note cowbell too: you have cowbell.

There’s never enough cowbell in D&B! I’ve been playing drums since I was 12, so I’ve always tried to take a drummer’s approach when laying out all of my drums. I love to dissect drums and drum patterns regardless of the genre of music and figure out how things come together.

What’s five tunes that you’d cite as having ace beats?

I’m going to stick to Drum & Bass here…
Raiden ‘Ryugyong’

Raiden ‘Trellick’
He’s an absolute madman when it comes to his beat programming, and quite underrated in this department. I don’t think anyone has more intricate and cleaner sound drums than Raiden.

Digital ‘Watch It’ and ‘Quickdraw’ (with Spirit)
I’ve always thought Digital thinks outside of the box when it comes to his beats. You can tell they’re his by the second bar alone and has been probably the biggest influence on me since I started making drum & bass.

Source Direct ‘Stonekiller’
I’m just now starting to understand what they created, and they were what? 16 when they made this?!

Back to Utopic, the madness you’ve achieved continues with ‘Flatline’, wow! This must’ve been amazing to produce! And remember the film Flatliners? I wonder if that is possible btw? I still think it’s f*cked up as a concept!

I don’t know how possible the scenes in the movie are, but I’ve flatlined for a few seconds after a doctor gave me too much Propofol for a dislocated shoulder and had to tap my heart a couple of times to start it up again.

I had given Dan/Dust Audio an early demo of Bones Brigade and he wanted to know if I’d be ok with him giving it to P-Fine to rhyme over. I took the vocal that Pete had laid down for it and began to incorporate it into the tune. I was having a problem where his vocals kept getting buried over the music and came to the conclusion that the music was too busy to have vocals.

So I built up a tune based around his vocals, which I found to be a very effective way to make the tune. I would love to work with Pete again sometime in the future.

Is the tune aimed at anyone?

It’s not aimed at anyone in particular, more of a life generalization.


Clima have a superb tune called ‘Afterlife’ here and we’ve discussed flatlining. So any good stories? Paranormal type stuff?

I was just reading an article yesterday about a house my parents used to own and how everyone that buys the house, ends up selling it about a year or two later because of how haunted the property is.

It’s been in numerous books and there was even an episode of a show called Haunted Mansions in the Travel Channel dedicated to it. If you want to look it up, it’s called the ‘Snowball Mansion’.

And yes, I’ve seen my fair share of paranormal activity there, I’ve been surrounded by that sort of thing most of my life, it doesn’t scare me at all, it actually fascinates me.

What visual art do you like? Any: painting, graphics, film, just rap, I love it all. I find this ep is very ‘visual’ music, makes me want to go driving at 3am!

Growing up in the urban areas of the San Francisco area of California, I’ve been surrounded by street art most of my life. I didn’t really start to get into it until I got into the MoWax scene in the early 90s and all of the art of Futura 2000 (the famous sig below).


That’s when I really started to take notice at how much talent and work went into creating such pieces. That in turn got me into a lot of Sam Flores, Jeremy Fish and the rest of the Upper Playground crew out here in SF. Most of my house is covered in their artwork…down to my shower curtain.

Other than them, Android Jones is one hell of an artist.

For me, my sequencer screen in Cubase is my canvas; I’ve never been good at drawing or painting, even though my dad graduated college with an art degree. I struggle making stick figures, so I’ve always stuck to music since a very young age.

TO SUM UP, this ep rules, so in love with it; it’d convert, well, people not into D&B.

Thank you thank you! We had a blast making it and cannot wait to show everyone what else we have store in the future.

Any shouts?

Massive shouts go out to my brothers from another mother, Javier and Ernesto, Dan and Chris Dust for all of their support, Jay Stunna for always being a boss, Seth and Onset, Mark Kloud and Graphs and the Ground Mass Crew, Craig and Sam Nurtured, Darren and the rest of Proximity, my closest friends; the Drop Heavy crew here in Sacramento, Quadrant, Iris, Kid Hops and the ever so awesome Seattle crew, Enorme, Interline, the Rupture Crew, Nick and Ruffhouse, Geoff Samurai, the Untouchables – easily the nicest duo in the scene; Mental Forces, Epilleptech, Rustee from Vykhod Sily, Jackson Dirtbox and the epic DC crew, Daniel Acid Lab/Ahmad, Indidjinous and Anodyne Industries and I’m sure a million other people I’m forgetting. And much love to you Damian for the kind words and interview!

Utopic ep

You can follow Damian B on Twitter, @DAMIAN___B
D&B for some time now; studied at institution of Fabio & Grooverider.

Red Army

Drum & Bass DJ/Producer based out of Sacramento, California