‘When the beat drops is the moment you are hit with the fiyah’
Peer Pressure have dropped the Breaking Ground 4 compilation. Is the title about breaking boundaries, or maybe about synergy and innovation so dense in mass that it effectively destroys floors everywhere?
Martyn nytraM, Necrobia, Philth, Facing Jinx, Styla and Wreckless all loom large here, so it’d be no wonder.
Speaking of, Wreckless took us through.
Hello sir how’s it been this year, what have you been doing? What’s a few things that have amazed you this year?
Hello Damian. It has been very good this year. I have started waking up early to make more time for beats and learn guitar so I am excited about the potential new channels to explore fusing some moody guitar parts into my D&B tracks. What has amazed me this year is mainly things that I have been reading.
Tell us more.
I love acoustics and I have got this book about acoustic landmarks across the world, places where if you drive at the right speed on this road the road will play a famous symphony, or this other place where as the tide and waves roll in it pushes water through a pipe organ to create natural and completely unique music.
That kind of stuff I find really amazing.
I am getting into serialism a little bit too which is very difficult but interesting and the concepts are amazing for sure.
This fabulous ep has dropped on PP and it’s great, it’s just full of ideas, sounds, snapshots… can you, well, do the honours sir?
It is a three track EP, part 4 of the breaking ground series on Peer Pressure. The first track is a collaboration between Facing Jinx, Philth and Styla called ‘Chordplay’. This track is really special to us because different incarnations of the track have been lurking under the surface for about four years now and only now has it come to light.
You can really hear each producer’s imprint on the track, the crazy bass that is iconic of the the mighty Philth, beautiful chords from Jinx and incredible synthesis from Styla.
This also has one of the most interesting snares I think I’ve ever heard. Definitely a favourite of mine.
The second track is from a new producer to Peer Pressure called Martyn nytraM, the track is called ‘Hellfire Club’.
It is a beautiful track that reminds me of classic Blue Note sets, the 2am set on moonlight beach would be the perfect scene for the intro.
When the beat drops is the moment you are hit with the fiyah.
It’s just a disgusting techy roller that will burn anything that lies in its path. The only moment of relief is the a hauntingly beautiful vocal that has a delicate sadness to which perfectly contrasts some the darkest beats I’ve head in a while.
Third and final track on the EP is called ‘Changes’ by Necrobia and Wreckless… me.
This one is another track that has been around in some form for a little while but needed to be released with suitable hard tracks to make sense on an EP. ‘Changes’ is about one thing, relentless pounding energy.
It is a minimal head-down stepper that is peppered with one militant percussion hit that cuts through the “same old, same old” and forces you to change perspective.
Back to Martyn nytraM is a bit of an eye opener! Can you give us some background on him? This would be even amazing beatless…
He’s originally an Essex boy like me which is probably what drove him to drum n bass. He met Philth at sub and bass over a mutual admiration for Goldie’s set. I think people will be able to hear that as one of his influences.
I think that is where the connection to Peer Pressure happened and he sent over his stormer of a track, the result is what you hear on the EP…
I completely agree with you about the sound design and atmosphere in the track, that and the vocal are all stunning. They all have such a strong atmosphere and vibe. The vocals are really haunting with glimmers of a dark strength.
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” comes to mind when I listen to this one.
Tell us about the emergence of you and Necrobia’s ‘Changes’?
I think this one really was really organic, I had written the basic idea for the track about 4 years ago and I knew it was a sick idea but at the time my production skills were not quite good enough to really make it thump the way I wanted.
I played the idea to Necrobia and he really like the idea so he pumped it up into the stormer that it is now. It started with the main syncopated rhythm and we really built it from there.
Does the title infer anything significant, maybe changes of late?
Yes there is a proper concept and story behind the tune. Times when something in life forces you to change; this track is about that moment. The full story contains loads of really personal details so I will have to skip that bit…
But at the time I was reluctant to that change despite it being out of my control.
The relentless rhythm represents my reluctance to change, the cutting percussion represents that thing in life that cuts across all your plans and forces you to move.
I think this is kind of up Necrobia’s street, he likes the idea of making beats so hard that they force the listener to move or to have an opinion, a kind of ‘leave no survivors’ philosophy. The final part of the track is the fallout after the fact, when all the smoke clears you see things as they really are.
Speaking of changes: I ask a lot, about how people work remotely, as in collabing in different parts of the world, how does that happen? Do you access the SAME DAW as it were?
With me personally I like to collaborate with two people in the same room. Whenever I’ve done collaborations over the internet I find the split of the work and the final product tends to lean towards one of the producers.
This will always happen to some extent, but I feel like internet collaborations amplify this, if you are not careful. When Necrobia and I collaborate we always meet up and chat for hours then do about 30 minutes work on the track.
That’s probably why we only do one track every three years!
However if I was to defend this method of working I would say that my two collaborations with Necrobia ‘Changes’ and ‘Source Code’ are still some of my favourite tracks I have ever been a part of.
Can you tell us about the artwork? I do love its mystery, its automomy. I wish I had a t shirt of it.
Alex/Facing Jinx is the man that created this. He has been getting into his photography as another creative outlet.
The first artwork he did for me was for my Face of the Deep EP.
Since then he has been going from strength to strength and I think he has done an excellent job with this one.
I like the idea that producers are constantly making beats and what people hear from producers is really about a year old, it’s like a reflection or an alias of where they are now.
I think that this is beautifully represented in the artwork and really captures the mysterious side of drum and bass. Jinx has just created the Peer Pressure band camp so I am sure if enough people want it on a T-shirt he might oblige.
I would buy one too… let’s start a campaign to get them on the bc.
Is there any other cover art that comes to mind that you like?
The last thing that I have seen that I absolutely adored was the artwork for Rosie Lowe.
My mate Chris told me about her, everything she does music and art is all linked. It is so simple but so expressive.
It is that sort of beautiful expressive simplicity that I find very inspiring.
What’s some random tunes you are enjoying, any era, any genre.
Prince ‘When Doves Cry’
Stevie Wonder ‘Master Blaster (Jammin)’
Lauren Aquilina ‘Lilo’
Lady Leshurr ‘Queen Speech Episode 4’
I absolutely love all five of them at the moment. You asked for random!
OK thanks man.
Always a pleasure.