Five Minutes With: Current Value

Five Minutes With: Current Value

Interview: Damian B

“I am in love with technical things that amaze me because they resonate with my very being…”

You could find yourself sporting a long grey beard by the time you trawled the spectacularly twisted debris of Current Value‘s legacy online. He’s been happily brewing chaos since the late 90s shredding happily via labels such Tech Freak, Position Chrome and TOV. Thankfully he shows no sign of abating. He doesn’t even waver or glance up at you while quietly mapping out his arcane masterplan.

Then there’s the collabs: copious blood splashed about in the lab with heavyweights such as Tech Itch, Cooh, Limewax, Nanotek… oh yeah, and a certain Bjork. More on that later.

Now a new album drops. Coming at you like a Hunter Killer out of the acid rain, released on Subsistenz it’s entitled ‘Stay On This Planet’. Although a more fitting description might well be ‘DESTROY The Planet With Twisty Neuro Hell Beats’…

So I simply ask…

Mr Current Value were you in a good place when you made this?

Yes in fact I was! I was inspired and full of ideas sitting in my little studio at home in my hometown Berlin early this year.

You are known for your technical prowess yet simplicity prevails. That title is so… succinct.

Well, it may sound strange but it just “popped up” while working on an idea for a tune. Here’s an attempt to interpret it philosophically: “Appreciation comes before excellence.”

Can I ask: is it a case where things necessarily change as the technology moves on? Is it ‘better’ than the past or just… different?

I’d say this: ‘The journey never really stops’. In fact that’s the true face of working with sound and producing for me. New technology becomes more and more a direct interface between inspiration and creation – if it’s in the right hands.

That said, I think nowadays people definitely have more and refined access to all the important parameters regarding sound creation. And the hunger for research just seems to be growing the more one gets into it.

To get back to your question however, it is generally ‘better’ in the sense of access to sound, and in my case it’s different in the sense of the overall vibe and direction of my work today.

I loved it all, but my faves on Stay On This Planet are Equivalence, Vessel and Get On. I love the drama of it. What are your faves?

Interesting faves there! The title tune itself is quite representative for this album and it’s got more of a “cosmopolitan” edge to it. I think it’s the most accessible tune on the album. Apart from that my faves – right now – would be these. I’ve broken them down.

Ghost Rider

I just loved the relentlessness of that Swedish Ghost Rider guy and his ridiculously hyper charged speed bike – Hayabusa Turbo! It’s very energetic and inspiring. And stupidly dangerous and careless and narrow-minded. I like that way of relentlessness and that “idea” of being unstoppable. And to write music about it!

The Arrival

I love it when people say “tuuuuuunnnneee…” as an often occurring comment on this tune. To me it means they somehow got the message. It has triggered something they’re after. I’m personally in love with technical things that amaze me because they resonate with my very being. And to translate that into music for me is a way to “make see” and communicate on a nonverbal level. It’s a very beautiful thing.


Command introduces a new beat structure of mine that some of you might have heard in my Crusader VIP dubstep tune that I like to include in nearly every set I play in these days.

I’m also happy that it – soundwise – as it takes the older CV aesthetics somehow to another state. It doesn’t just repeat what’s been said already.

To sum up, it’s made to sound unbelievable loud, to destroy live yes?

Yeah, more or less ha ha. Let me help out with my interpretation: “KILL IT” is what they say!

Vocals appear on this album but not in the same quantity as other elements such as bass, synth, ambience. Would you ever consider usurping this ratio?

That could happen, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a new challenge for me! In fact I’ve always been and still continue working with Snow for that matter. Yet I consider my musical language to be more focussed on the bass/beats/pad/fx side of things.

Such was your rep that you worked with Bjork. Was it fun?

It was awesome! Fast, uncomplicated, excellent material. It was as if it was made JUST for doing remixes. And it was an honour: which sped up the work flow even more!

They contacted you didn’t they? Tell us all.

I got contacted by Bjork’s manager and got asked if I would let them use parts of one of my songs on my LP on Tech-Freak Recordings called The Good. They needed the answer NOW and the material the next day because they were already about to give it to the mastering.

No way…

I replied: “No – let me offer you a new beat specifically produced for the song and tempo you need it for. I’ll send it… tonight!” And they agreed. They obviously didn’t consider this to be an option beforehand as they thought time wouldn’t allow.

You’re like a super hero with Current Value cape.

It was heaven and I loved the urgency, in fact I actually like it when I’m pushed for time as it puts in an extra bit of challenge. So that drum part in the tune Sacrifice got done by me…

What was a special moment of D&B history for you?

What can I tell you that electrified me and probably even drastically changed my musical perception? It was when I first heard Photek’s Niten Ichi Ryu – awesome!

Finally, where do you gig man?

Russia, Ukraine, most European countries… including Germany! Plus Australia and New Zealand and the US. I’m happy to add Japan and a few other far eastern countries to the map as a ‘Stay On This Planet’ album tour is about to be set up…

Stay On This Planet is out now on Subsistenz




Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.