#038 – RED


After a couple of months away from the 170 time signature, this guest mix sees the drums and the bass returning with an almighty bang. We are proud to present our 38th guest mix from local DnB DJ and producer RED. After an excellent year which seen him improving his productions skills and turning out regularly at nights across the city, RED tells us about his forthcoming EP, what it’s like supporting Andy C and Friction, and also the most in depth answer yet to our famous retro video game anthropomorphised creatures question. The mix is not to be sniffed at either, to say the least. Enjoy!

Hello bud, been a long time coming but great to finally have you featured with us. How’s it going?

Hey mate, yeah I know thanks for having me! All going well just taking each day as it comes, trying to get as much production in when I’m working between the two jobs but it’s all good!

Wicked. Right, lot to get through today, but can we begin by briefly asking how you got involved in DnB? Where did the obsession come from, and can you remember any early moments where you thought: ‘shit, this is the type of music I want to start mixing and producing’?

Well I first heard DnB at a local DnB event in Morpeth that was called LoFi and was ran by a couple of guys from the high school, one of them was Colossus that has been releasing a few things and was featured on the Hospital compilation album of 2015 so he is doing well for himself now! From then one of my mates held a 18th birthday at the club/bar in Morpeth and one of my now very good friends Ben was DJing on that night. He smashed the club down, he still has the recording and it brings back so many memories when we listen to it. From then on I wanted to give it a try myself, we hopefully one day want to do a B2B set with each other; would be such a laugh cause of our loves for the different styles of DnB and it would be an interesting set! The final nail in the coffin for me and this genre was definitely Turbulence. My first Turbulence was Netsky and Brookes Brothers and it was a night to remember, I remember the last tune that was played was Camo and Krooked – ‘In The Future’. I didn’t know the name of it at the time but all I remember was the feeling that how much I loved it and lost myself in it and from then I was hooked for life. Producing was always a goal of mine; it was so daunting when I thought about it but I started mixing about 4 years ago. I had a Numark Omni as my first little set up and still have it somewhere. I feel like I should frame it cause it was the first DJ equipment I bought and had some good times with it. I then moved to CDJs and have a 1210 that I like to mix my ever expanding collection of vinyl on from time to time too. Production has been more of my goal the past year to be honest. I dabbled in 2014 on and off but was so busy with university I couldn’t find time. 2015 was all about the production and I think I’ve came along way from when I started 12 months back.

2015 has been a busy one for you on a few different fronts: so let’s start with production. Earlier in the year we got to hear one of your first offerings, ‘Feel The Groove’, and there’s been a few others since then to, as showcased in your mix. Tell us, what’s your approach to making DnB, what sort of gear to you use, and how do you feel your skills have improved or developed in the last twelve months or so?

Yeah so ‘Feel The Groove’ was probably my first complete track but definitely a starter track because I listen back now and it makes me laugh. But the vibe was nice in it, deep rolling with a minimal drum pattern that just well makes you feel the groove haha. I have went back to it a couple of times and made a few new versions, and it’s definitely something I would like to develop into a more full bodied track. When I make DnB it will either be some random hook I’ve had in my head while I’ve been at one of the jobs and have recorded on my phone and developed from there, if anyone ever heard these voice recordings it would be a right laugh for them as its just really weird noises and attempts of bass sounds so I don’t forget. Other than that my inspiration comes from other genres which is something that I can’t stress enough to any other starting producers. Going out of the DnB genre to find inspiration is priceless, I think it helps you create something that is different to other producers out there cause you’re not all trying to make ‘Whip Slap’ inspired tracks haha. The gear I use is a 27” inch iMac, a couple of Pioneer S-DJ60X monitors, a Scarlett 6i6 Soundcard and Ableton Live 9. Production software that I primarily use is Serum and Massive for my main synths. I love Serum so much: if you’ve not heard of it, newer synth to the game but is so powerful! I also have Arturia Analog Lab which is basically what it says on the tin, all the old vintage synths that have been replicated to be used as VSTs instead having to pay thousands of pounds for them, some great sounds come out of that little piece of software. Then I have some Ozone plug ins that really bring out the nasty sounds which is always good, for example Trash 2 is one hell of a distortion plug in and I use it on a lot of my basslines.

What tunes to you have finished at the moment, and might we be able to get our mits on them anytime soon?

I’ve been working on a collection of tracks which is going to be released on my Soundcloud. The EP will be called Electric Lab and has 4 tracks in it. The title track is called Unknown Matter which is the first track in my mix for you guys, and then the other tracks are called WMD, From Within and a collaboration track with a friend going by the name of MiDiChild which is called Dreaming (Native Language). I’m hoping to get this EP out by March at the latest, I keep getting stuck in my head little things I can do with my tracks and then that makes them not finished again so I have to start really making the decisions and saying that the tracks are done and ready for release or they will never come out haha. I also designed the artwork for the EP and I’m happy with the way it came out, I was going for a minimal style that would really fit the emotion of the tracks on the EP. Today is the day I will be releasing the audio for one of the tracks on the EP called ‘From Within’, this track is a combination big heavy synths with some soft arppegiated sounds, its got some big drums to fit the purpose of this track too and the second drop is something a little different. I won’t spoil it for listeners but it’s definitely my favourite part of the track and who knows I may make a VIP with that in mind.

As none of us at OHOD can even turn on Cubase without breaking something, we’d like to ask what challenges you’ve faced whilst slaving away in front of your computer making sounds. How are you coming to terms with the technicality and fiddliness of it all?

Have to say I was the same when I first opened up Logic for the first time which is why I went to Ableton, I couldn’t cope with how tidy Logic is and could never find anything. Anyway back to the question, it was really hard to start with trying to remember all the little technical things like compression and EQing etc when I was trying to work a job at a hotel and do a graphic design degree at the same time, it was just like I was trying to chuck as much information into my brain as quick as I could haha, then moving into stuff like multiband compression which sounded like something I would never be able to come to grips with but actually it’s a lot easier then I thought. I used to go to one of my mates houses that produces crazy big electro style tracks and he taught me a lot of the basics and helped me speed up my learning process. He loves DnB so he learnt a lot about the genre from me in return for teaching me how to produce. I think that is a fair deal right? I thought so too haha. Other then that YouTube and a few other tutorial sites really help out getting the basics down and trying to progress into the more sound design side of it which is something I love. I love starting with a simple wave in a synth and chucking it through distortion plug in like its going out of fashion then back through other plug ins to see what crazy sounds I can get, then using Ableton’s sampler to go a bit further into manipulating it so yeah I have a lot of fun sometimes.

Let’s flit over to the DJing side of things now. You’ve been playing out fairly regularly, most recently supporting Andy C and then upstairs at Cosmic Ballroom. How do you feel the years been in terms of gigs?

Ahh I love DJing, especially now I play my own tunes to the crowd and its always good to hear people screaming with joy. I know them moments from seeing artists play new tracks and you have no idea what’s going to happen and when it does what a feeling it is, happens to me whenever Camo and Krooked or Calyx and Teebee drop new stuff. I once left a venue because Calyx and Teebee dropped their track ‘Wipeout’ and it had never been heard before and when it dropped I couldn’t move cause I just loved it and I had to leave after their set haha. This year has definitely been a fun one for gigs, supported a lot of big acts thanks to the Dilate crew, they put on some sick nights and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. They’ve managed to get slots for the second room of Innovation in the Sun and have asked me to come along and play for them which will definitely be happening! My set at Andy C was definitely a one to remember, the second room was just as packed as the first one so all the Djs that played that night deserve a massive big ups. We all tore the place down and kept the vibe going in there all night. Then of course by the time everyone reads this I’ll have done Friction too, which will be packed to the rafters, and I have lots of fresh dubs to play including some pretty much final versions of my EP so I can’t wait to play them out and see what the crowd thinks!

You’ve touched on this already, but were at Andy C, and even though things are a little bit hazy we understand you kicked off with your own beat. What’s the reaction to your own tunes been like across dancefloors, not just at Digital that night but across all the one’s you’ve played at?

It’s the best feeling playing your tunes out to people and the reaction being nothing but good. It’s one of the reasons I got into it, to be able to create something unique for an audience that appreciates the music that much. Definitely at Andy C I had the biggest reaction but that may be because I was so close to the crowd in comparison to at World Headquarters so I could hear people screaming and making the classic ‘Urgh’ noise haha.

How do you go about selecting what you want to play in each set?

For the past year I have stopped doing as much planning for my sets as I used to, I used to be very organised on things like sets cause I always wanted to create that journey (as a lot of DJs like to say) and I felt it actually wasn’t as good when it was planned. But to be honest that might just be because I knew everything that was gonna get played that night so it didn’t seem as interesting as playing things on the fly. So now I plan my first 5 minutes to really get the crowd moving and then I have a rough idea what I want to play for the rest of the night, only now I understand when people say you go off what the crowd wants and essentially control the vibe. If people go crazy for the big RAM Records bangers then the crowd will get more of it but I like to try and have my sets so there is always something for everyone in the crowd. So you’ll hear rollers, bangers, minimal stuff, then the oldies like ‘Disco Dodo’ by Lynx and ‘Friday’ by Capone, love them tracks and they are timeless, everybody knows them when they drop, maybe not the name but definitely the tune itself.

Now, flipping things again, a while ago your night Mentis had the likes of Andy C, Mutated Forms, Fred V and Grafix, and more up in our fair city. While we know you probably can’t say too much too early, is there plans to bring it back next year?

We are definitely looking into bringing Mentis back and have a few ideas in mind for artists we want to bring up to Newcastle. Dilate do an amazing job at keeping the line ups coming with a nice variety but I’m a big RAM Records fan and I want to bring up the likes of June Miller, DC Breaks, Calyx and Teebee and that’s just a few but yeah we are definitely looking into it and will keep you informed!

How does your day job as a graphic designer feed into your music? We know there are producers who like to draw or sketch out ideas and tunes to visualise how they might feel and sound, and were just curious if your background in graphics influences how you approach both mixing and producing tunes?

One thing I’ve always said and that’s music drives inspiration which is very cheesy, but I will sit there and listen to a new album and it will give me design ideas, and I’ll sketch them out or type them out in my phone. Same with music, I will be sketching out some illustrations and then I will picture the emotion of the illustration and look at maybe how a tune would go with it – sometimes that’s how my tunes come together. Either that or I’ll get an idea while I’m working and have to put the recorder on my phone on and make crazy bass noises or I start to tap the desk for a drum loop I have in my head haha. I have this app iMaschine and that’s basically sketchpad for my ideas and I just export them out and onto my studio computer and work from them.

Finally for this section, as 2015’s just come to an end, tell us the producers you were most feeling last year and why…

Producer I’m feeling is a tough one but apart from all the big names like Dimension, Culture Shock, Calyx and TeeBee etc I would definitely say L33, Signs and Cartoon are some up and comers I’m feeling at the minute. L33 and Signs are doing some damage in the neurofunk side of DnB and Cartoon have got that uplifting vibe going really well. Also Document One. I have to say they’ve impressed me with their releases in 2015, and ‘Jazz Club’ is one of my favourite tracks from 2015. I created a Best of 2015 mix this year as I was meant to do one last year but left it too late. It was so hard to pick what would make the cut because if I had it my way it would been a 4 hour mix most likely haha. It’s been an awesome year for DnB and hopefully 2016 keeps that momentum going.

Questions we ask everyone…

What is the most prized vinyl in your collection?

Definitely ‘Murmur VIP’ By Break and DLR, no doubt an awesome VIP and being a limited edition vinyl it has its priceless value.

What one tune would you have most liked to be a fly on the wall when it was being made?

Either ‘All Night’ by Camo and Krooked or ‘Skank’ by Calyx and TeeBee, them two tunes are two of my top favourite tracks so I would love to know how they came about and actually were created.

What’s your food heaven and food hell?

Food Heaven for definite is Mac & Cheese with bacon and food hell is definitely the classic vegetables, I try so hard to like them but they just don’t like me and now I give up on them and only eat them when I need to haha.

In a four way, hell-in-a-cell battle to the death between Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon, who would win and why?

Damn man this is a hard one. Spyro got the fire and horns going on so surely he has a fighting chance but Crash could just jump on him and ride him around and take out everyone. But then Super Mario could eat some top quality mushrooms and just beat on everyone haha. I reckon if it came down to it Sonic would piss off crying or something and Mario would get impaled my Spyro then Spyro is stuck in the wall cause of his horns and Crash just mauls him to pieces and there is your winner.

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone who wants to start making music?

Don’t be scared to make shit tracks, it can only get better! I never listened to people when they said don’t compare yourself to the big boys cause they’ve done it a lot longer then you but I still don’t listen to that haha I aim as high as I can see. Bookmark YouTube and never leave it alone, it is such a good resource for music producers as most likely there is someone out there that has the same sort of idea of producing a sound and there will be a tutorial. I had no music theory knowledge until the past year where I’ve been teaching myself, don’t let that stop you from producing because your basslines are one notes so as long as their in key your fine. There are plenty of videos online to help you know how to make music in key so never fear YouTube is here for you!

And finally…

We know you jetted off to Bali, via Amsterdam and Doha, just after playing Cosmic at New Year. The question is this: give us two places, anywhere in the world, you would most like to DJ at and why?

EDC Las Vegas for sure. One hell of a show and the crowd always looks amazing! Arcadia Stage or a boat party at Outlook would be the other one so maybe one day one of these will be crossed off I hope!

Last up. What do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?

Definitely want to be stepping up a notch in my production and hopefully on the horizon of releasing some tracks through labels. I have a few things in the pipeline which can’t be talked about unfortunately cause nothing is final but yeah I’m definitely in this genre until the end that’s for sure.

That’s everything mate. Cheers once again for taking the time out to speak to us, and all the best for the year ahead. Now is the time to get your shouts in if you’ve got any…

Massive thanks for having me for the feature guys, love the site and what you guys do so big ups yourselves! Shout out to my Bakers Dozen family and all my Leeds family. This music brought two groups of friends together and this is why I love this genre, you create memories and friends for life. Shout to my wonderful lady on the other side of the world travelling Australia currently, see you soon! Big ups my brothers down in Leicester that have been through all the stuff with me this year and pushing me to do what they believe I can do. Big shouts to my mate Ben, I’ll never forget the day he gave me the Worldwide 001 Compilation album and that was me hooked to Drum & Bass so big ups to him! Apologies for the deep shout outs but without these people I wouldn’t be where I am today. Believe goes a long way and really drives the motivation, Thanks again boys!

Tracklist

Unknown Matter – RED
Future Fold – Mind Vortex
Buffalo Charge – Dub Phizix
Dustup – Noisia & The Upbeats
Friday – Capone
Take You Higher – Wilkinson
Do You Love (feat. Angie Brown & T-Phonic) – Sigma
Time Remains – Furlonge
Heartbeat Loud (Extended Version) – Andy C & Fiora
Grand Funk Hustle – Break & Die
Hotbox – Mind Vortex
Stronger – Sigma
Tonight – Wilkinson
Want My Love (Club Mix) – Metrik
Move Around (Instrumental) – Camo & Krooked
Chubrub – Ed Rush & Optical
Rush Connection – Culture Shock
Endlessly – Teddy Killerz
Wipeout – Calyx & TeeBee
Turn Up (The Music) – Camo & Krooked
Scatter – Friction & Total Science
Circles (feat. Sam Wills) – Enei
Flavour – Dimension
Calling – Smooth
Thunder Biscuit – State of Mind & Trei
Together In The Night (feat. Mira) – Chris SU
Skyline – Camo & Krooked
One More Time (Cyantific Bootleg) – Daft Punk
Food Fight – Hazard
The Big Rush – Camo & Krooked
Slippin’ – SpectraSoul
Anonymous – Dirtyphonics
Swag – DC Breaks
Pump – Tantrum Desire
Utribaled – Rene LaVice
Gambino VIP – DC Breaks
Protection – Culture Shock
Follow Me – Document One
Where Are U Now (North Base Bootleg) – Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber
Piano Dark – Culture Shock
From Within – RED

#038 – RED – DnB by Onehouronedj on Mixcloud

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