Seba: Exclusive Mix & Interview

Seba: Exclusive Mix & Interview

Seba’s highly-anticipated ‘Jungle Music’ dropped on Secret Operations this month, and it was well worth the wait. With the heavenly ‘Cloudless’ on the flip, the Swedish producer has managed to capture a real sense of 90s nostalgia and infused it with a futuristic twist.

To celebrate the release and the end of the year, he went in the mix with a superb selection, available as a free download. We caught up with the man himself to chat about the release, the mix, and what’s coming up in 2016…

Yes Seba, nice to have you with us! The ethereal Jungle Music / Cloudless dropped on Secret Operations this month – what a stellar release, massive respect to you sir! Talk me through Cloudless – very dreamy… simply breathtaking really. Anything in particular inspire it?

I was a part of Good Looking Records back in the 90s and we used to do stuff like this. I kind of miss that sound even though it is still around. I constantly try to go back to what we were doing then but with more of a modern twist to it. I recently released a track “Nichoho” on Warm Communications that has a similar idea behind it as well.

I find tracks like this rather hypnotic. Very cathartic to listen to. What’s it like during the production process? Do you get a similar lift from it?

I love the creation process, which is building up a loop with this kind of feel. I then mute and un-mute certain tracks to see how everything blends together, and this is where I get stuck most of the time. Because it’s so hypnotic as you say, I can’t really focus on how to structure the track and end up playing around with different ways to do it for a very long time. Sometimes until I grow tired of the track and put it away for a few weeks.

Jungle Music is an absolute wall-slapper. Proper throwback to the old-school and really captures the essence of that 90s sound, which isn’t easy to achieve – is that what you were going for with this one?

I wanted to do like an “early years” D&B track. When it was still breaking away from Jungle… I started it slightly different with just a sub-bass and some rainforest birds….. Done! Funnily enough, the last thing I added was the crunchy 12bit Ultramagnetic MCs break that makes the whole track sound really olds-chool.

Absolutely love the rainforest samples sprinkled throughout – proper jungle feel to it ☺ quite a lot of layers in this track, I really love how it progresses. How long did it take to complete?

Like most of my music, I get tired of my tracks and put them aside for a few weeks. I would say it took almost a year to make, but probably 2 weeks in effective studio time. I don’t get much studio time as I have another job which takes up 6.5 hours every day. But I try to get in to the studio as much as I can.

How do you feel the state of D&B today? Do you often get nostalgic for the ground-breaking sounds people were making in the 90s or do you still get just as excited about stuff you hear today? 

I recently made a rant about this on Facebook. Got 400 likes and 100 comments in 24hrs… It got a bit misinterpreted by a few, that I was complaining about the state of D&B today and that it isn’t creative anymore. My point of view is that there are too many people trying to push their own brand rather than pushing the music. It didn’t use to be this way. It was more about who could make the craziest sound rather than who could get as many people in to a square. This is something I miss. I’m not saying it is gone, but a lot of listeners are focusing on popularity rather than invention.

I think drum & bass has reached a point where house music was a few years back – when a few of my fellow countrymen decided to take their music to a certain extreme until it got rejected from the house audience and got introduced as EDM. I get booked sometimes to play with some popular DJs that play almost dance-chart music, but the stuff I play is so much deeper. I can keep a crowd with my music, but it’s virtually impossible to do that after 1.5 hours of peaks, impacts and effects. The equivalent would be to play a deep-house set after some aggressive dubstep. But things go in cycles, and I guess as long as we can keep the music alive it will resurface again, or find another path to its own audience.

Well said. So, who have you got your eye on in 2016? 

Can’t tell you her name. All my other girls would get suspicious!

HA! We’re not looking to upset anybody 😉 Now you’ve gone IN on an exclusive mix for us – respect! Tell us about the mix, any exclusives? 

There are few bits in there that are forthcoming on Soul:r and Commercial Suicide. I also have a track with Jenna G at the very end of the mix that is not even scheduled for release. I might keep that for my next album!

Let’s chat Nichoho – dropped on Warm Communications recently. Quite an interstellar vibe on this one for me – is there a story behind it? 

Same idea as “Cloudless” really. I wanted to go back to the Good Looking sound, which is not really easy. Back then you could play just one chord with a synth pad and play some keys on top and it would sound lush. Today it sounds a bit weak. So I’m trying to recreate that lush feeling, with some attitude and feeling of modern technology.

What significance does ‘Nichoho’ have as a track name? 

I’ve been spending some time in Ukraine, and “Nichoho” is the first word I had to learn to pronounce properly. My teacher dismissed every attempt I tried until a friend told me that I had a good pronunciation. The word “Nichoho” itself means “Nothing”.

Sienna on the flip is lush as well. Deep lil’ roller…

Sienna is the name of my friends Bryan and Kimberly’s little baby girl. She was named Sienna when I was working on the track. I’m really happy for them and I decided to use their daughters name on my track as a surprise.

And what a lovely surprise! So what’s coming up on Secret Operations and for you in the new year? 

I’m thinking of putting together an album, which will be my third. But the amount of time it takes for me to complete a couple of tracks, I doubt it will be released in 2016. There will be at least 2 more singles.

I also have forthcoming releases on Soul:r (fourfit EP), and collaborations with Method One on Samurai and Commercial Suicide in early 2016. I’m going to team up with Paradox again to do another release as well. And I think it’s time to do another Seba & Manos heartbreaker!

We like the sound of all of that! Big up Seba! 

Jungle Music/ Cloudless are out now. Get them here

Catch Seba at The Launch NYE in London. Tickets available here

Follow Seba on Facebook / SoundCloud

You can follow Maja C on Twitter, @_Maja_C
Head of content and curator of Drum&BassArena's YouTube and SoundCloud channels, Maja also works across UKF's editorial pages.