On the occasion of the Eatbrain Night – Le Bikini, we had the chance to ask few questions to the full Eatbrain squad that comes to Toulouse for the occasion. Bassheads, have fun reading this !
The Quiet Office, what is it ? Can you describe it and give us some numbers about it ?
SKS: The Quiet Office is an association law 1901 which organizes events in Toulouse mainly. For example, DIRTY nights, Toulouse Massive, label nights and Festival Drum and Bass (Vandal Records, Critical, Shogun, Eatbrain, Outlook Festival), Hip Hop parties (Dilated People, Talib Kweli in November …) Techno Request and soon Future Beats …
We will celebrate the Dirty’s 10th anniversary in March and the fourteenth year of Toulouse Massive in January!
Why did you organise an Eatbrain Night ?
We’ve been talking about it with Jade since the first time I made him come to Toulouse in 2012. Meanwhile the label has signed Toulouse artists (Signs, The Clamps, Black Owls …) it was obvious, it took a little time but we got there …
As an event organiser, how did you experience the evolution of Neurofunk?
Does Eatbrain represent this evolution ?
The people of Toulouse and the south in general have always been lovers of powerful sound, notably thanks to the work of Celine and its label Hardcore Karnage but also drum and bass nights to the old Bikini.
I also think that the reconstruction of the Bikini and the famous quality of its sound system allowed this music to be appreciated for its true value. Besides, the style has become more and more represented in the drum & bass landscape by the labels but also with artists like Noisia, Calyx & Teebee which made it more popular.
Jade did a very good job with his label at the level of artwork and music, making quality EPs. He is for me, a major Neurofunk actor.
What can we expect from The Quiet Office in the coming months? Other “Label” parties?
The coming of Talib Kweli in November at le Connection Live, the Toulouse Massive in January 2017 and in March, the 10 years of Dirty are the next upcoming dates to le Bikini. For the rest, we keep the surprise !
If you want to know more:
Since the launch of the label, least we can say is that Eatbrain has become an unavoidable crew in the Drum & Bass scene; to the extent that today, it is one of the, if not THE, reference label on nowadays Neurofunk. How would you describe this evolution, how could you explain such a success?
Jade: I’d like to believe the success comes from the quality music, that was always top priority from day 0. We are lucky to put our hands on such golden material we have been able to work with so far. But there was an evolution for sure, in the beginning I created the label for my own output, but it gradually became the movement it is today.
If you had to talk about one particular thing or even that had the label go from underground & local organisation to a worldwide renowned label, what would you pick? Did it somehow changed the way you are managing the label?
Eatbrain was never a ‘local’ label, I’m Hungarian, the label is run from Budapest, but run with the help of the Dutch distributor company Triple Vision, vinyl is made in The Netherlands as well, the artworks are multinational cooperation. Also, i already had a decade long career when I launched the label, so it had some attention from the start.
I always considered the 4th release (Mefjus & Neonlight) a turning point in the life of the label, that was when I decided Eatbrain needs to be about more than just Jade.
What can we expect for the label in the forthcoming months? A world tour?
We have so many big surprises for 2017 it almost hurts not being able to spoil most of these..
What I can talk about is there is a remix EP coming up for L 33’s Karate LP, with names like Joe Ford and Prolix. Synergy (Segment & Concept Vision) are back with a crazy EP ealry in the year, and the big bang is going to be Agressor Bunx’s album. And we are going to have the Eatbrain Stage at Let It Roll once again! A lot more to come…
Le Bikini is a pretty special venue, some might say one of the best in Europe for electronic music gigs. We still remember that you came around here in 2012, alongside with Prolix, for a Playground gig. Why did you decide to organize a Eatbrain Night in here? What are your expectations for this party?
We are extremely excited to work with The Quiet Office on this show.
Also, we have some roots in the city, having released Toulouse based heroes Signs, and more recently Bl4ck Owlz and the Clamps.
I expect the night to sell out quickly, so come early not to miss this.
If we follow your path a little, you started listening to Drum & Bass in 1997, 20 years ago. How have you experienced these two decades of evolution?
Mindscape: In the early days it was all about jungle, atmospheric D&B, and early Metalheadz tunes to me, I really loved those stuff back then and still. But when I heard techstep and early neurofunk for the first time, I felt like “damn this is it!”, this is what I need, this is what I am.
The whole scene changed a lot since then, not just music-wise, but the scene changed too, I’ve seen several generations of producers, DJs, and in the local party scene too, every generation rock hard though. I think drum and bass was and is still about the future and technical progression. Nowadays, we have a lot of more advanced possibilities in production and DJ tools compared to the possibilities 20 years ago.
There’s a lot more sick producers, tunes, labels and releases around, and since drum and bass became an adult and unavoidable genre in electronic music, it’s a natural way of evolution.
I still love those oldskool vibes, it feels a bit nostalgic, reminds me to the “golden ages” and old raves, and those tunes are my roots, but my main goal is to stay up to date with current and future music.
Since the very beginning, you are one of the main soldier of the Eatbrain army. Why have you decided to take part of this project, and what pushes you to keep on going with this crew still today?
We’ve been very good friends with Jade since ages, who’s the owner of the label, so it was quite obvious from the beginning I would make tracks for his label. He’s running Eatbrain on a pro level, it’s not just about the dope music he releases, but all the label image, artwork, merchandise, promotion is top notch.
The label nights around the globe – and the enthusiastic fan base everywhere we go – keep us inspired to push the limits further. And there’s a cool bunch of friends at the label now, it’s like a family, producers, DJ’s, MC’s, we’re always having a good time with the horde.
For several months, we’ve seen you on line-ups alongside with Jade, performing B2B. How would you describe those sets? What do you like about these scenic performances?
We started to play b2b for fun a long time ago, occasionally, I think later we realized it’s a good combination, Jade and me… We are friends, and the same breed musically, so it became a “thing” I guess.
When you’re playing alone you build up your own sets, you play your favourite tunes which you and your crowd love, there’s no compromises really.
It’s a different kind of experience to me to play back 2 back with Jade, and I love all and every of those sets with my partner in crime!
He’s a talented and gripping DJ, we like the same kind of tunes broadly, although we both have our own definite taste too. It’s always interesting and inspiring how he reacts to my mixes, or how i will react to his combos in the next round.
You’ve already played at Le Bikini, but how does it feel to come back here with your full crew?
I’ve played in Toulouse for a few times already, it’s always fun,
but now we’re going to smash it with the Eatbrain crew this time, which is even better, so I can’t wait for it!
There must be something in the water in Toulouse, because you have lots of talented artists over there, like The Clamps, Signs, Bl4ck Owlz and more…
So I guess the people already know how to go crazy on a proper drum & bass night. . Le Bikini is an awesome venue for that! Big dancefloor, sick sound system, perfect dj booth, I love the backstage too, it’s a professional club.
I remember the first time i saw that large amount of cars parking outside at the club, I was like “wow it’s gonna be huge tonight”, hopefully it will be the same this time!
- Follow Mindscape
We don’t need no more to present you anymore, Telekinesis is a duo that has proved its value already! Could you tell us a bit more what’s the role of each of you in the project?
We are both producers and DJs. We always make the tracks together in the studio. Marko tends to play more Telekinesis shows as Luka has also his solo project but Luka has the crucial role in the studio.
Every year, you keep on having gigs, and producing fresh stuff… What can we expect from you guys in the coming months? Any (side) projects? Album on the road? Non-D&B music maybe?
We have just released the New World Order EP on Blackout and already started working on a new one. In december L33 is coming to town and a collab is planned. Really looking forward to that. We are not thinking about an album at the moment we just want to release more bangers as EPs. And no, Telekinesis will always make dnb.
We know that you’ve been working with Eatbrain for a while. What do you find there that you couldn’t find elsewhere?
We like how much thought and effort Jade gives to every little detail about the label, he is also super fair and nice. A great friend, if he was a zombie I would not kill him.
Are you ready for Toulouse? How does it feel to come back with your Eatbrain friends?
Oh yeah! When I last played there, the moment I finished I said to myself “I wanna play again here!”. So I have been waiting for the second chance all this time.
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It’s partly thanks to your EP – “Naked Lunch”- out on Eatbrain, that the name Signs came out of the shadows. How would you explain the success of this release?
It’s true, this EP allowed us to project ourselves in the front of the scene even if before it there were two single and the Indigo EP on C4C that helped us to get out of the shadows. After that it’s the first EP on which we gave so much work and with the rise of Eatbrain at that time it made a good combo!
Since then, you signed with several huge labels like Blackout, RAM, Bad Taste, Division, Piranha Pool… How would you explain this expansion in two years only?
A bit of work but mostly of drugs, alcohol and bitches !!!!
No, really, all jokes aside, we wanted it so much, we didn’t stop and as soon as the breach opened, we did not ask ourselves, we went straight on it and it began to pay off!
Aside from Neurofunk, you also released several Beats/HipHop tracks (Bliss Flop, Clap Yah…). What do you like about this kind of music?
All of us have a lot of hip-hop influences. It’s a style that spoke to us right away. You can also drop it on big dancefloor then listen it at your home, quiet. When you compose it, there is no barrier. You can incorporate what you want without really adhering to specificities, except, maybe the bpm that varies Between 80 and 90, which allows you to play it in your drum & bass sets. It’s completely new and we really believe in this style.
If you had to list up 3 artists or bands that inspire you most, which one would it be? Why?
Kendrick Lamar, no need to talk about him. Go listen to his music, the guy is just above. His music is really symbol of gathering without being classified in a specific kind, even if it remains focused hip hop obviously.
Amon Tobin has always inspired us. He is considered as a genius of sound design, he leads the art of combining concrete sounds with synthetic melodies up to beyond audiovisual borders thanks to unusual installations.
And Tyler the creator for his madness and his creativity, as well in his lyrics, his music, his video clips or his clothes.
You’ll be playing at home, alongside with the label that had you get famous as Signs. How does it make you feel?
It is a real pleasure !! This is our second Eatbrain Night and we have prepared some dubplates for the occasion !!! This night promises to be VERY dirty !!!
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When and why did you start to produce drum and bass ? What gives you the motivation for it ?
L 33: In general I started producing at early age of 12 but the Drum and Bass thing started 4-5 years ago for me. I believe i was around 17-18.
The best motivation is the support people been giving me for a long time and I can’t express how much I appreciate that.
You are also known for being this one producer that killed the Neurofunk game last May, with this Karate LP release, out on Eatbrain. Could you tell us a bit what this label represents for you?
Dark. Deep. Unfiltered. Unrestrained. But basically Eatbrain stands for the hard dancefloor sound. Extremely happy that I’m a part of the crew. It’s a big family thing!
You already came to the Bikini in September 2014. How does it feel to come back, alongside the rest of the Eatbrain crew?
I still remember that night. It was amazing. For me Le Bikini is one of the best clubs in Europe. I’m really stoked about the upcoming Eatbrain night in a few weeks. It’s gonna be massive! Thanks for the invitation! And the thing that really impressed me was the crowd. Oh goshh!!! These guys don’t get out of the club till the very end of a party! Ravers attitude at its best.
Your reputation is no longer to build, your tunes are known all around the world and you get to play at some of the biggest gigs & European Drum & Bass festival.
If you had to list up three things that you would like to achieve, which ones would it be?
Well, I would like to get better and better at the thing I do. Polish everything to perfection. And constantly develop myself.
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Two years ago, you had your very first gig in Toulouse. Since then, you never stopped to grow bigger and bigger and you get yourself known and respected in the Drum & Bass scene. How do you live with this evolution? How would you explain it?
Agressor Bunx: Yes, Two years ago we had gig in Toulouse it was absolutely crazy and one of the favourite event! We are so hard working to be what who we are. We always try to make something interesting and special!
You are brothers. It’s not too hard to work “in family”? Living together almost permanently?
Yep, we are brothers, and sometimes it’s really hard to make some choices, but it’s normal ! We think all artists have the same problem when producing together. We are living apart, but sometimes we are working together,for example, when finishing any tunes.
What are your roles in this duo? How did you set them?
Hehe, We don’t have any roles, we do everything together! Sometimes we choose who will do some work but it’s just sometimes.
Today, you already signed with monsters like Eatbrain, Blackout, Program (among others…), you played your set on one of the biggest scene in Let it Roll… What are your upcoming objectives?
We are so happy to work with Eatbrain, Blackout, Program and other big labels ! It’s just our strategy to move up and up… Yes we always try to have objectives and reach them. Don’t stop and to be the bests and the main ones!
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Max & William, quick question to introduce you a bit: how did you meet? How could you explain that it worked out to produce together, and for what reasons did you decide to launch this common project?
Hypoxia: Hi Tom, we love to talk about what we do and share our excitement with all of you.
So first of all, Maxim and I and know each other for quite some time now. We both were part of the Antwerp drum and bass scene and met at a party when we were 17 years old.
At this point in time, Max was getting some grip on the production process and started out with the project Athys & Duster. I was more focussing on the music and playing out as a DJ, my interest in sound design and production came a few years later.
We teamed up somewhere in 2013, after sending and bouncing out some bits and bytes to each other. The stuff we wanted to do was quite new for both of us, but we shared the same vision on the music, so Hypoxia was born.
You signed some tunes with Eatbrain, Bad Taste, Drum & Bass Arena or Titan Records. A lot of gems among those, with always the same strength and power. Why do you like that much to create always more powerful music?
We love the older techy type of sounds like the older Ed Rush & Optical, Kemal, Renegade Hardware stuff…
One of the aspects of such sound is to bring the track alive with not too much weird stuff going on, but focussing on a few aspects.
If you go back to the years where a lot of this techy sounding music is produced, you were limited to the amount of samples your hardware sequencer could store. Limitations like this forced you into being creative and work out tracks with less elements.
“Less is more”, and we like this straight forward approach.
Building a track with less elements gives us opportunities to push out and focus on some elements of our sounds. Mainly of this results in powerful tracks.
We could do more experimental stuff and go way beyond a healthy portion of creativity, but we feel that our music shouldn’t be for scientists only. It’s fun to do it though, but we don’t want to become niche market guru’s who get lost in reality with complex arrangements.
(Signal, help us out here? 😉 )
With a lot of pros and cons about having a straight forward approach, we’re happy to found a consensus for our music and still be able to reach a wide audience with a personal twist.
You also created a more professional project with Nickbee & The Clamps, NHC Studios. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
We are good friends since a few years now and we are talking about our mixdowns and masters on a weekly base. So Nickbee approached us if we were interested in starting this mixdown and mastering services and we said yes. We were doing it anyway for friends and some producers, doing it official under NHC studios made total sense for us.
And we are doing more than mixdowns and masters now. At the moment Max is co-producing Set Things right’ album, which is a metalcore band from Belgium.
We saw your work on several collaborations already (HYQXYZ, Doctrine…). Can we expect from you guys to have other similar projects? Maybe with Nickbee or The Clamps?
Definitely, we send out bits and stuff to other producers and start out ideas of collabs. But all this is still in an early stage, so we’re going with the flow and more and more collabs will come out eventually.
Doing collabs is also a great learning curve because we see other people using our sounds in a way we would never thought about it and visa versa. Expect some bits of the projects we’re working on early next year.
The Drum & Bass Belgium scene has never been so huge, according to what we see from the other side of the border: festivals, Star Wars gigs, Blackout, or simply the Jump Up phenomenon… How would you explain such a huge response from the Belgium people?
For us, when we were younger, drum and bass raves were places where we could go to, have fun with friends and escape from the daily struggle without having to be bound to rules.
Drum & Bass is all about breaking the rules.
It’s one of the most forward thinking and variated electronic music styles we know, because you aren’t tied to anything except for a tempo or groove. You could classify Noisia, and Netsky as drum&bass, but there such a big difference in what they do and there are a lot of variations. I think this variation gives the opportunity to have different atmospheres to choose from when programing a Drum & Bass event.
About Jump up : Jumpy is a younger cousin in the family.
It started out with producers like Hazard and Original Sin, but has evolved in a less complex harder style of drum and bass, which is easier to get connected to on a musical level.
Due to the fact it’s not as complex as neurofunk, we understand that younger producers get attracted to a sound where hard and filthy is the main goal. So with a huge pool of producers and a lot of teenagers who are searching for that hard rebel sound they want to identify with, it’s not weird jumpup is dominating the scene in Belgium with a lot of parties.
But in our opinion, there are a lot of shows who lack originality and choose to promote quantity above quality. And if you had to choose between an expensive quality clubnight or a cheaper warehouse show with +10 dj’s on the lineup, what would you do as a young student? A safe bet for promoters to do such a night.
Not meaning that all jumpup or parties are musically boring and cheap, there are a lot of nights that are pushing the boundaries and program forward thinking jumpup like Stealthbombers, Rampage, Antwerp City Flow.
As said, besides our cousin ‘Jumpy’, there are a lot of different styles and parties that bring more mature sounding Drum & Bass in Belgium. But in the end, it’s all about having fun and listening to music. We don’t judge people on their personal taste.
- Follow Hypoxia