Some huge names have devised something pretty monstrous, and it’s looming on the horizon: Silent Witness and Survival with ‘Scattered Movements’. SCAR with the ‘Skank Demon’… and there’s one electric entity connecting it all like a dangerous, zapping, flickering, live cable: Visionobi.
We spoke exclusively to Visionobi and he went IN on the MCs-in-D&B selections at the end…
Visionobi! This combo of you, SCAR, Survival, SW… well it’s sounding great, can you tell us when the tunes came about?
Hi, thanks very much! Well, myself and Michael AKA Script have known each other for a while now and always talked about working on some music together so as soon as Scar evolved it seemed the natural thing to do was to finally make it happen.
We went in to the studio last December to work on some music and ‘Skank Demon’ was formed, then ‘Scattered Movements’ was forged a little while after that.
You sound like you’re pretty inspired by the music, like it all came instantly, the words, is that the case? I’m thinking of ‘Scattered Movements’ right now.
Ha ha sorry to disappoint you but it’s actually quite the opposite. I was at the Scar studio working on Skank Demon and I passed Mike and Steve a sample CD with a few of my vocals on it. Next time I hear anything about ‘Scattered Movements’ was during a phone conversation with Ant TC1…
We were discussing a few bits and then Ant started saying he was really feeling the track I had done with Survival and Silent Witness and I was like You mean Scar? He responded saying, Nah I swear it was with Survival and Silent Witness…
After a bit of back and forth he then proceeded to play it down the phone to me. I was waiting to hear ‘Skank Demon’ thinking I was right but was caught off guard as I hear ‘Scattered Movements’ for the first time down the phone, ha ha! I was chuffed and walked away with a very random story to tell and Ant walked away with a promise to punch Steve in the face for not having played it to me or even told me about it!
I wasn’t fussed at all, I was just happy that Steve was feeling the vocal and had used it! It’s a vintage lyric, one I wrote about 7/8 years ago. All the creativity of making it fit with the track is down to him and Dan on this one!
What in D&B is killing you right now, that is just incredible, and makes you glad to be alive?
Gerra & Stone’s recent Unbreakable ep is awesome! I’ve known and worked with these guys since we started to make moves together, so they are very good mates of mine. To see their progression through D&B is inspiring.
Halogenix’s ‘All Blue’ Ep was hugely impressive as well. I know Laurence pretty well and been a fan of his music for ages. I think this EP really shows just how good he is and how his craft is so heavily influenced by the roots of D&B.
Artificial Intelligence are also killing it right now! They got some incredible stuff on the way that I have been lucky enough to hear. Can’t wait for their album to drop on Headz! It’s going to be killer!
On to the live arena, what spots have you played that have left a mark on you, in terms of great crowds, great sound, places like Fabric for eg.
Fabric is always a privilege to play. I started raving there when I was 17/18 years old and it played such an important role in my musical development, so hosting there is still pretty mind-boggling to be honest.
Exit Festival has been a highlight for me on two different occasions: nce with Wilkinson and the second time with Critical Soundsystem. The sheer volume of people was epic!
And Exit Vs Headz in Leeds was pretty special back in May. The calibre of artists associated with both labels is impeccable, so for me to feature on an Exit/Headz line up was very humbling.
Everywhere I’ve been in Europe I have thoroughly enjoyed. Shows always throw up surprises and each one is unique, so there are so many more I could mention because I love to play out!
You’ve toured with other names too, can you run through who? Enei comes to mind! I say it too because ‘Skank Demon’ makes me think of him and I always thought he must be awesome to accompany live.
Yeah I’ve played with Enei lots of times! I really like his fast paced mixing style! The best time was when I hosted for Critical Soundsystem – Kasra, Mefjus and Enei – at Exit Festival recently. We closed down the main stage on the last night playing to around 15,000 people!
It was a special moment for all of us.
I kept looking round at the guys and they were mucking around having a right laugh! It was great to see and pretty much dictated the vibe. That for me is what the music is all about, fun expression and letting yourself go! It was one of those sets that you just don’t want to end.
Artificial Intelligence are another of my favourites! Their set execution is exquisite, typically moving from liquid in the earlier stages of their set to a much darker more moody selection towards the latter stages. Great transition and a true D&B journey.
Some of my other favourites have been DBridge, Skeptical, Jubei, Gerra & Stone, Logistics, Nu:Tone, Ulterior Motive and Zero T.
I’ve been very lucky to host for so many of my favourite DJs! I feel blessed! Ironically I haven’t played a Scar set yet, but looking forward to that at Dimensions.
Now on to ‘Skank Demon’ itself, what a filthy tune: can you tell us about your work on this? I love the FX on the vocal. Proper march on this tune…
Well, myself and Mike (Script) had been talking of doing a tune together for a while so I went down to the studio and they had this filthy, rolling, gritty track already on the go.
They asked me if I wanted to lay down a hook for it and once I heard the beat one of mine popped in to my head and I knew it would work.
I altered it slightly to fit the tune and then we cut off the last two lines, deciding it sounded better with the line ‘Skank Down low’ repeated at the end to add emphasis to the track. The effects really add depth to the vocal. The guys tweaked the recording so that my voice sounded more evil, which made it sit more comfortably with the track.
What’s some D&B tunes that inspired you where the MC comes in and it all simply WORKS?
I have always been a fan of vocals in tracks, one of my early favourites was ‘Railing’ from Roni Size/Reprazent New Forms feat Dynamite! It was the first MCing I heard on a track and it was true inspiration and pretty much the reason I started MCing.
Staying on an old skool tip, two vocals that I think complemented their respective tracks perfectly are ‘Peace Love and Unity’…
… and ‘Nasty Ways’. Both are so Epic in their own way and I still play these all the time. The nostalgia is incredible!
Moving in to more modern times I couldn’t be asked this question and not mention Icicle feat SP ‘Dreadnaught’. This was a real game changer and paved the way for MC’s to lay down vocals more on Drum & Bass tracks.
I’ve always been a fan of variety and in my eyes there is no better MC for a track than DRS.
I could mention so many tracks here and for me both of his albums are up there in my top 10 D&B of all time. The reason for this is that I deeply relate to all of his lyrics and his style is so versatile. Three of my favourites of his are ‘Raindrops’, ‘The View’ and ‘It Aint Easy’…
I could go on forever here but I’ll wrap up by mentioning Codebreaker and Sense. Their honest lyrical content is awe inspiring on a track. I love it when MC’s go deep and really dig around a subject.
What’s dates and happenings up next for you?
25/08/15 – Evolution presents Cyberfunk – London
27/08/15 – 05/09/15 – Dimensions and Outlook.
06/09/15 – Ram Records – Sundown Festival
25/09/15 – Fathom Audio Boat Party – London
23/10/15 – Ram Records – London
30/10/15 – Hospitality – Leeds
07/11/15 – Hospitality – Sheffield
04/12/15 – Truss, Birmingham
Got a few tracks on the go with a number of artists but not giving anything away at this stage…
If you want to hear more make sure you check out my ‘Under The Influence’ video released in May.
The track is produced by Gerra & Stone and the concept is one for the heads. It’s available for free download via my soundcloud so go check it out.
Scattered Movements/Skank Demon