A producer who oozes sophistication and flow in his work, and an awesome DJ as well, we were keen to go Behind The Bass with D&B stalwart FD. With his newest body of work “Serious” now out via SUNANDBASS Recordings, we had to chance to hear a little more about it, and FD as an artist.
First things first, tell us a little about you. Where are you currently based? How long have you been making music?
Hey there. I’m based over in Europe and have been making music seriously since 2006. I made my first tunes back in 1999, but that was with a friend who engineered them, and I just helped with ideas. I got my own set up in 2006 and have been working on improving my song-writing and engineering skills since then.
What/who/where inspires you the most creatively?
That’s a tough one! It could be so many different things, I love to try and bring inputs in from as many different sources as possible, and also make them not too obvious ones either. It doesn’t have to be music – it could be art, food, nature, politics, science, love, whatever. That’s the beauty of being creative isn’t it, you can take influences from anywhere. Of course I often find music inspiring, and this can be a great source of inspiration, especially for song-writing. But I like to try and bring in as many influences as possible – when you produce music on a computer in your studio, you basically have a whole orchestra and more at your fingertips – why not use it all?
You switch between making music and playing out – do you prefer one to the other, or do you enjoy the balance of both?
I love both, and both bring different kinds of enjoyment. Getting that first idea down in the studio, there’s nothing like it – dropping it in a club and seeing people dance to it and enjoy it – there’s nothing like it! I love both, and for me, they go hand in hand. I make music because I love to do it and it’s a lovely way to express myself and my feelings. I love to play out as there’s that buzz of hearing that music loud, sharing it with people, seeing what feelings and emotions they get from it – it’s a totally symbiotic relationship in my opinion.
You’ve just dropped Serious – your debut EP for SUNANDBASS Recordings and it’s wicked. Was it a project you enjoyed working on?
Yeah I did. “Serious” actually started as a sketch just after SUNANDBASS 2013 – and I called it ‘post holiday blues’! I never finished it though, not sure why… maybe too blue, haha! But then I came back to it recently and thought it could be a good track. I just nailed it out in one session pretty much and was really happy with the results! I was really happy with “The Edges” too. I used a classic drum break in it that I haven’t used before and felt like I did it justice, so that was cool.
How did the Calibre remix come about? If there was one tune from him that you could remix, which would you choose?
Calibre is a producer who I’d say really cemented my love for drum and bass since he appeared – he’s one of the best in the game and constantly creative, and never a follower. I’m always so inspired by what he does, so of course to have him remix one of my tracks has always been a wish of mine. He’s also one of the pillars of SUNANDBASS and I think he always really enjoys his time there too, so the link was there and it just seemed like a good idea to do it – and so we did! I think I’d find it virtually impossible to pick one of his tunes to remix, I love so many! But I still really often play “Think Again”, an older one of his from the mid 2000’s – that could be a nice one!
The title track has had a lot of attention since Lenzman first included it in his Dope Tape – are fans still showing it plenty of love?
Yes, it seems they are! I was really pleasantly surprised how well the tune went off after Lenz played it in that mix and it seems people are still digging it now, so that’s great.
What are three tracks you always include in a set?
I don’t DJ like that, to be honest! I never prepare a set and I always play ‘live’; mixing and selecting tunes off the cuff, depending on how certain tunes are working and what people are dancing and vibing to the most. Before I started DJing and producing and was only going out raving, the DJs I always found the most exciting were the ones who played the new stuff, tracks I didn’t know, and the stuff that surprised me! That’s what I want to hear in drum and bass, stuff that surprises me! So if I always played the same tunes, I personally would get bored! I also want to play fresh and unknown tunes. I think that’s a DJs job, and as I’m constantly being sent new music and dubs, I have to constantly update my selection. Of course I have my favourites, and I suppose I often play my own tunes, but there’s no tune that definitely gets played every set – that’s just not how it works for me!
If you could work with any artist within any genre, who would you choose and why?
Another tough one, there’s so many people I rate in music! I love hip-hop though – so imagine being able to work on a beat with DJ Premier! Damn!
What do you have coming up throughout the rest of 2017?
Are there any more releases/shows in the pipeline you can share with us yet? Sure. There’s plenty of shows upcoming all across Europe, and some nice festivals over the summer too. I also have an EP coming in May/June on Total Science’s CIA Records, and then an EP coming on Lenzman’s label, The North Quarter – both of which I’m really excited about!
You can grab Serious here.
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