Having discovered Dubstep in 2007, DFRNT overtaken by the sound jumped in to production. He had worked on a number of styles in the past, all developing out of his previous work on mashups and bootlegs. Within a few weeks, he had worked up a furious remix of Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop” and with a solid base of feedback and play from some big name Dj’s his dove head first into his own original material. His previous production work under other aliases, (including mixtapes, mashups, remixes and original production from chill-out stuff, to drum & bass) has seen success on national radio stations and in clubs around the world; most notably a Saturday night slot on XFM’s ‘The Rinse’ show. It was not however until DFRNT’s dubstep production work surfaced that things started to get serious. Currently based in Edinburgh, DFRNT produces music, runs the Echodub label, manages Modus magazine, and writes SittingOvation. We sat down for a chat with him to see what all the fuss is about…
How would you describe your music?
Emotionally charged deep dubstep, mixed with techno, dub-techno, IDM, chill-out and touches of garage. haha I hate when people ask me “oh you,re a producer?! What kind of music do you produce??” I normally say – “oh, just like, chilled electronic, technoey kinda dubstep stuff.” I hate using “the D word” since people have visions of trouser-flapping mid-range bass noises, and that’s not really what I’m about right now.
In terms of people producing dubsteppy techno type stuff at the moment, I love most things put out by Scuba, Dave Huisman (as 2562 or A Made Up Sound), Pinch, Headhunter, Shed, Breakage, Jack Sparrow, Ruckspin, Planas, Quantec and a bunch of other folk. THere’s so many to name. I love to sit through SOundcloud and check all the tracks from people I follow – there’s nothing more inspiring than hearing what other people are doing within the same genre and how they’re pushing it. I find that gives me most inspiration to produce.
Best Night you have played?
I think the two best nights I’ve played were in Manchester. Over the two nights we had Indigo, Ruckspin, Rob Sparx, xxxy, Stenchman, and a few others. Both nights were brilliant – there’s a great energy for that kind of music in Manchester. Definately a great scene.
Where is dubstep going for you and generally?
For me, dubstep is going nowhere. My music is meandering right now. I go from producing deep dubstep type stuff, to slow deep-house to drum & bass, and back through techno. I’m trying to find my footing at the moment. I thought I had it nailed, but I don’t know what I prefer anymore. I’m going to have to come up with some other pseudonyms to put out this stuff! THat or I’ll maybe do some concept album type work. Maybe a series of EPs on different styles.
Generally dubstep – ach, I dunno really. It could be going anywhere. I know what I like, and I know what most punters want to hear in clubs, and those two things don’t always match up. I’d love to see it different. I’d love to see eye-to-eye with audiences like when I DJd techno music – I was in to it, and they were in to it too. But now it’s one or the other. I love it and nobody’s feeling it, or they love it and I’m not really in to it anymore. It’s a shame.
So yeah – I don’t even know if that answers your question! haha
Hot tips on artists up and coming?
Jack Dixon is making waves with a lot of people right now. I have him tipped for success. Sepalcure are working some crazy magic on their tracks too – I see them doing well, especially after that incredible Hotflush EP. Also – if he produces some more, there’s a brilliant Liverpudlian I’m rating called Absense. I’m also a fan of RoofLight, Asusu, Indigo, Egoless, oh man – there’s too many. There’s so much good music, but the reality is that hardly any of it is going to reach people that care and that really bugs me. I don’t have a solution yet either. I think that bugs me even more!
Advice for up and coming producers?
Don’t put anything out till you’re happy with it. Listen, listen and listen again – if it doesn’t stand up against the tracks you aspire to be like – don’t send it to people. THey won’t listen and you’ll taint your productions. People who get dubs (on the whole) tend not to care if you’ve been producing for 15 minutes or 15 years – if the music is rubbish, it means nothing. So get your tunes sounding good first. As good as you can get them. If there’s any tiny little thing that bothers you about it – don’t think “oh I’ll fix that later” – fix it now, before you send it to someone. I get loads of stuff sent to me where someone has said “I’ve got this tune that I’m still working on, it’s like 50% done, can you listen to it” – unless I’m in a super-helpful mood I’ll just think “why send me something that’s not finished?” – Obviously it depends on your relationship with who you’re sending it to, but just be careful I guess. ALso don’t send a massive wobble tune to a deep producer and expect them to like it – and vice versa.
Keep working at it – but don’t force a tune to work. If it odesn’t work – try something new. Forcing yourself to finish something isn’t going to give you pleasure, so you’ll just end up with something half-arsed.
And everyone has this crazy notion that suddenly there’s no money in producing music and selling it – and that all the money is in live gigs and DJing. I’ve come to the realisation that there’s no money in either one of those things. If you’re in it to make money – then stop. You’ve already blown it. Go and get a proper job. Music is (for me anyway) a release, a chance to express myself in a unique way – I’m not trying to make money, and as a result it’s a satisfying area of my life. As soon as I push myself to finish something for money, or try and do it for profit – the love goes out the window, and it becomes soul-less. Scrap that.
What film would DFRNT soundtrack?
I can’t think of a specific film, but it would probably be something set in Winter, or in The Arctic. It would likely be futuristic, and there would probably be lots of emotion. I’ve not found “the” film that my music would suit yet – but I’m working on it. Film soundtracking is somewhere I’ve always wanted to explore.
Favourite genre of music?