Bassweight Sessions 5: EshOne

ElkRide_AngelFire

What up fam’.  Hope everything is well.

Well, the nominations for the Dubstepforum Awards 2013 have closed and any day now we should see the announcement that voting can begin.  I hope to see the BWS name on the voting sheet!  What a year 2012 was for dubstep, right?  So many great tunes released, labels started, and boundaries pushed during the past year that it’s hard to predict where things will go in 2013.  One thing is for sure, and that is the simple fact that the music, people, and scene will continue to progress.  I’m going to compile a ‘Top 20 Releases’ (obviously just an opinion) feature for 2012 as I did for 2011, and am hoping to have it all wrapped up by the end of the month (there’s soooo much good music to sift through).  I’ll keep you guys posted on that so be on the look out 🙂

Today I have a special feature with US native Donnie Valdez, most commonly known as EshOne.  A long-standing staple to the US underground, Donnie has sought out to test every boundary possible with his music whether it be formula, tempo, or distribution.  Donnie has been releasing music since 2008 in both digital and vinyl formate.  In 2011, he started up his label Elk Beats and has been releasing music exclusively through that outlet (more information regarding that in the interview below).  Donnie is an all-around genuine guy who carries himself and his music in a concise and to-the-point manner.

Take a gander below if you want to get to know Esh a bit better.  Also, he has been generous enough to offer a free tune for you to play while you read the interview!

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BWS:  Can you give the readers a quick blurb about yourself (name, hometown, music you make, etc.)?

My name is Donnie Valdez, I have tracks out there filed as EshOne, Don Valdez, and a handful of other names that I will not say. I’ve split my time since I was young between southern California and northern New Mexico, so I guess that’s had sort of a big influence on my sound. I’ve been focused on bass heavy music since I’ve started, moving through the darker stuff as I’ve come along. At this point I’m trying to play mostly, if not all, my own music in my sets. I try to create and maintain in a variety of tempos and styles, and as the library grows, the fun does too…

BWS:  Can you remember any sort of defining moment that made your mind click, and you knew from then on that you wanted to make music?

Yeah. As far as making music in general, my mom bought me a mini acoustic guitar when I was a kid and I used to play these super annoying songs to her. It was hilarious to me. As far as creating electronic music, it started from playing whole sets on vinyl, and the whole time wanting to have made one of the records I was spinning. That was the cool part to me; playing them and having the knowledge and taste to like good music was an achievement, but what about making it? That’s the shit. This is still the driving force on a personal level. You can never be good enough at making music. You can never learn enough. There’s not like a pace you have to keep though, or a race against time. It’s all about having fun, and the harder you work, the more fun you have.

BWS:  As far as I know you paint among other sorts of visual art, can you elaborate on that a bit?  Do you find any sort of connective element in creating both visual and audible artwork?

I like to make stuff. I don’t draw or paint as often as I did before, but I do a lot more screen printing and digital art these days to make up for it. I used to paint skateboard decks and sell them, but it’s been a while! I do some design work and web development, if you looked at my productivity from a financial standpoint, design would be my main gig. As a connective element between visual art and music, I’d love to learn more about video and editing. I think it would really compliment any music I create, although it’s something I’ve never had the equipment for. Now that these handheld phone things we all have are capable of so much, I might do some weird stuff and see what comes out.

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BWS:  Where can the readers find your art if they’re interested in purchasing?

I’m continuously putting things up on the Elk Beats website [ http://elkbeats.com ], right now we are limited to digital music, and occasionally tees and posters – but cassettes, greeting cards, and weird sculptures are coming. Soon.

BWS:  You’ve got a pretty solid history within the dubstep scene here in the US.  What’s it been like to watch the scene evolve and branch out during the past 6-7 years?

It’s been entertaining! It’s crazy to me how much it’s grown. At first it was kind of this niche thing. Hard to find, and special when you found it. Then it was everywhere, and sad to say, pretty annoying. It blew up the the point of melting into the electronic music/dance music scene, this big flow of repetitive beats that are categorized in weird ways, and has now secured its place in the production style hall of fame. Now that it’s more settled, I’m hoping that everyone moving on takes to heart some of the amazing parts of this genre: the bassweight, the moodiness, the weird polyrhythmic aspects of the truly deep tracks, anxious syncopation, patience with the pace… I’m also hoping that those who stay with it don’t ride the sound into the ground, rather experiment and innovate. There is so much space to explore still.

BWS:  Any moments in your history that stand out as game-changers?  Tunes, events, etc.?

I make music fast… Like really fast. Now that I’m working with different tempos, it’s easy to make a house track when I’m not feeling like making dark bassy stuff, or the other way around. So the event is that I recently started playing digital music, on CDJs, which has opened up so many new doors to me. I’ve been stuck in the position of only playing a certain style and tempo of music for a while, because I would cut dubplates for every set. Financially, I had to cut only my best stuff, and things that were sent to me, that would mix well together. Time was an issue to – if I got sent a wicked promo that came out 3 weeks later, and I only had one gig in that time, it wasn’t worth the cut. It was painful to let those go, and not be able to play some serious tunes I’ve had my hands on in the past. Now with the capability to play all the promos I’m sent, and all of the styles of music I have, including things that are old and obscure, or aren’t finished yet… My sets have become infinitely cooler. To anyone reading and thinking, “I told you so,” I don’t regret playing on dubs and vinyl for so long, and I may go back to it. I’m just on a path of super inspired and rapid creativity right now, and the lathe can’t keep up!

BWS:  I’ve seen your dubplate collection (or at least segments of it).  Do you still get the same feeling each time a new box of acetate arrives on your doorstep?  Whatever that feeling may be…

I love dubplates, I will always love them. Everyone who’s held one will talk about the smell of them. It’s true. They have a very distinct smell, and I’m sure opening a box of fresh cuts by an audiophile is very similar to opening a bag of the finest Humboldt Kush a weed smoker could get their hands on. It’s magical! Going to the mastering studio for the cut is even more exciting than a box at the door. Watching a needle etch your track into a metal disc and seeing the acetate shreds getting vacuumed up and hearing it all in real time is an experience like no other. On a performance level, I am to the point now where I just want to cut dubplates for personal use. Just my best stuff, to collect, and have a physical copy of.

BWS:  I saw you post a cartoon strip like a week or so ago (state of the music industry from The Oatmeal), and you said it gave much of the reason behind the inception of Elk Beats.  Can you go into more detail what you meant by that?

Oh yeah! The cartoon had to do with the digital distribution market, the disconnect it creates from fans to artists, and offered insight into the benefits of cutting out distribution altogether. It’s all true! At Elk Beats, we just sell through our website. It’s never been about getting charted on Beatport, or iTunes, or any of those things. To be honest I don’t give a shit about any of that. As a DJ, I would personally never touch anything I found on any sort of a chart, and to be quite honest, I don’t want DJs who think like that buying my shit anyway. We’re making and putting out stuff that not everyone will like, which is perfect, because we’re making it for those who are going to like it. This model is fantastic! I get to meet, or get emails from, everyone who’s supporting Elk Beats and the crew. It’s rad getting to know who likes what we do, and to see what they do! Also, getting to work with some of the artists I have so far with Elk Beats has been a great experience. Both Raggs and AxH have been inspiring and fun people to build with, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so.

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BWS:  Is there any specific direction you want to take your music this upcoming year?  Personally or with Elk Beats?

I’d like to continue making different styles of music, and finding better ways to mix them all together. I’ve been inspired a lot this past year by people who mix different tempos, especially Wheez-ie, Distal, and Sublmnl Sound System. As for the label, I’m always looking for ways to push Elk Beats to the next level. I’m working with a couple of artists who I believe will help do just that, and looking forward to what we’re going to put out this year. More tempos, more styles, more art. Look for lots of cool merch and one of a kind stuff on the Elk Beats site this year.

BWS:  What was your favorite piece of music the past year?  If you can’t single it, top 3/top5?

There are way too many outside of the bass music/dubstep sound, so for the sake of simplicity, I’ll go with Goth Trad – Man In The Maze. That song is an amazing piece of music, as is the whole album. Plus he is one of the coolest people I have met in the music scene, a very smart guy.

BWS:  Can you tell us a little bit about the song you’ve be so generous to share with the readers?

This song, The Lagoon, is just one of those weird songs. It comes with a super thick vibe if you can pull it off right. I’ve only played it a few times. In order to play the track, the sound system has to be super beefy, the crowd has to be in the zone, and the set has to be authoritative. It’s one of my favorites for that reason. If you can play it, and it works, you’ve created a very rare and very fulfilling energy with a room full of people who will appreciate it.

BWS:  What do you think could be the most useful piece of advice to any new producer?

The more unique your music is, the more accurate it is. It’s just like telling a story. You can exaggerate the parts you think people will like, and leave out the personal stuff, or you can tell it your way and get better and better at communicating what you like about it. Decide what you want people to hear, and work hard at getting that sound to them as clearly as possible. It sounds easier than it is, but that’s the fun part.

BWS:  Who shot Biggie and Pac?

I think it would be disrespectful to speculate. I’ve been inspired by the music of both, and I’ve never even met either, so I guess I can say no one shot them. They’re still alive and reaching people through what they made, and will never stop.

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Here’s the beat Donnie has been kind enough to give away – a track titled ‘The Lagoon’ that emits a classic vibe with a slumping bass line for all the soundsystem heads to nod to.  Big up Donnie, much respect and appreciation for the interview!

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EshOne Pages:

FACEBOOK || SOUNDCLOUD || TWITTER

Elk Beats:

FACEBOOK || SOUNDCLOUD || TWITTER

I’ll catch all your mugs next time!  Big up and one love.

– Kinman

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Bassweight Sessions 3: Calski

Big up fam’.  As I had said on Tuesday, I have a very special interview today with a Bristol-based producer.  There’s got to be something in the air in Bristol because the amount of top-notch musicianship that comes out of that city is just massive.  I’m going to have to collect some air in a jar whenever I get over there and take a huff each time I get in front of my beat machine ;).  Anyways, let’s get down to business!

Today’s feature is with Calum Lamont, aka Calski.  If you’re not familiar with his sound, I strongly urge you to look into it.  This is a producer who, in less than three years, has gained himself support from some of the scenes rising stars like My Nu Leng, DK, and The Town as well as dominators such as Phaeleh.  To try and pigeonhole Calum’s sound is nearly impossible (he’ll even tell you himself) as he is constantly changing the tempo, approach, and style of his productions.  What is very clear about this man is his ability to make beautiful music, so it should be no surprise that the King of melodic bass music, Phaeleh, has been showing his support.  Don’t want to say much more because his responses are quite informative.  Take a look below to find about what Calski has to say about being a musician in Bristol and why he feels it best to produce a multitude of genres rather than stick to a single formula…

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1.  Just to get the formalities out of the way, can you give the readers a quick rundown about who you are and the music that you make?

Im Calski, I’m from bristol and I make sub bassy, melodic and percussion based music. It’s always a tricky one when someone asks that because I dont really know what to say. I tend to cross between genres and try messing about with different styles so it hopefully stays interesting for people.

2.  How long have you been involved with music production?  What was it that sparked your passion?

I’ve been producing for about 3 years now. When I was younger I played the saxaphone and piano, which is what started my passion for music.  I only moved onto computer production after I downloaded a free demo of fruity loops on my mums computer and started making cheap grime tunes, but it was pretty pointless because you couldnt save your beats on the demo!  After I got bored of the FL demo I just enrolled in a music technology course and it all went from there really.

 3.  You seem to really have an exceptional ability to work your drum tracks.  Is this something that just manifested itself through your production style, or do you make the conscious effort to create the cleanest and fullest drum tracks?

Percussion is just something I’ve slowley progressed on over the years.  I love fat, punchy drum beats and anything with rythm and a nice bouncey vibe to get your head nodding.  I always find its important to work the drums as much as you can because in my tunes they are usually the main factor along with the sub and they can make or break the tune.

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 4.  Furthering on your production style, your sound is undeniably distinct.  I don’t know if it’s just something about Bristol that injects creativity into people, but the amount of artists w/ fresh sounds in massive (Die & Break, Addison Groove, Phaeleh, Guido, Kahn, Appleblim, list goes on…)!  How would you say the environment in Bristol has transposed itself into your productions, if at all?

Yeh its a hugeley inspirational city for music, arts and culture.  I’ve lived here for about 4 years now and dont think I will ever move.  I believe the city has had nothing but positive effects on my music, Bristol has some sick producers and labels in so many different genres so I try to take inspiration from everywhere I can. I started getting booked for small gigs for no money when I first moved to Bristol and it made me see just how big it all was, seeing people making their own tunes and doing well at their own thing drove me to try it myself.  I believe its important to be around people with similar goals and aspirations as you because you motivate one another.

 5.  You tend to cross genre platforms when writing music.  Some people believe that when trying to build a name for yourself, it’s better to identify with a particular sound in order to “brand’ yourself, in a sense.  You seem to have transcended this philosophy, so I’m curious as to hear your thoughts about cross-genre beat making.

Personally I think its important to cross different genres.  Most of the people I look up to and aspire to be are versatile producers.  I think if you use the same drum pattern, synth or stlye in every tune you make, you might make a few bangers but eventually people will get bored because its too predictable.  When I start making a tune, I never have any idea where im going to go with it.  I usually start with percussion and see where it takes me from there, but it never usually ends up where I thought it would!  I also listen to all different sorts of music so I can hear something that will inspire me to take a tune in a whole different direction when I’m half way through writing it.  I can be pretty annoying sometimes as well!

 6.  You and KeyedUp make quite the team.  How did you guys get linked up?  What more can we expect to hear from you two in the future?

We live in the same sort of area and just met through the music scene and started making tunes when we were chilling at mine. We dont really make tunes anymore because we are just heading in different musical directions.

 7.  Your debut EP on Overcooked Records  will be seeing a released October 1st.  I’ve listened to the tunes, and they’re top-notch!  How has the reaction been so far on the release?

Thank you 🙂  There has been a really positive reaction so far which I am really greatful for.  It’s had a few good reviews and its being played by some of my favourite artists.  People like ‘Enigma Dubz’, ‘My Nu Leng’ and ‘Phaeleh’ have been supporting it which is a real honor for me because I’ve been listening to their stuff before I even began producing.  I think the good thing about the EP is there is a variation of styles and hopefully a track for everyone on it, and if not.. wait for the next release!

 8.  Is there anything else in the near future that the readers should keep their eyes/ears out for (gigs, releases, etc.)?

There should be multiple releases dropping in the next couple of years.  A few EP’s on Overcooked Records and some releases on various different labels in between. Lots of different vibes to come!

 9.  What’s the one piece of advice/knowledge that you have today that you wish somebody would passed down to you early on in your career?

Without sounding too cliche …Just work hard at what you want to do, be persistent and determined in life and one day, eventually, it will pay off.

 10.  Who shot Biggie & Pac?

illuminati 😉

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Much respect out to Calum for taking the time out of his day to contribute to our Bassweight Sessions series.  If you haven’t already previewed his EP on Overcooked Records, the ‘St. Andrews EP’, be sure to check the link below as it’s most definitely one you’ll want to add to your collection!  Featuring 3 Originals, a collaboration with Enigma Dubz, and a remix of an Inkarv production.  Big sounds no doubt.  The EP is available for pre-order of iTunes currently and will be officially released on October 1st at all good online record stores.

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Also, to top things off Calski has been generous enough to build a mix for all your listening pleasures.  Unfortunately there were some complications while trying to upload the mix to Soundcloud, and I was not able to use that particular platform.  I have uploaded the mix to Mixcloud but, since the ability to embed the players used by Mixcloud to a WordPress site is non-existent (C’mon WordPress, seriously?!) you will have to follow the link below to our Mixcloud profile.  Believe me though, it is WELL WORTH the extra two clicks you will have to endure ;).  Check the link below…

http://www.mixcloud.com/BassweightSociety/calski-bassweight-sessions-3/

I hope you all enjoyed the words and the mix!  Will see you next time.

To the gods.

-Kinman

In The Shadows Vol. 2: Camu

Happy Friday everybody!  And for all the weed heads out there, happy 420!  I’m sure you’re already knee-deep in glass jars and an assortment of delicious snacks, so I think I’ll just move along to today’s feature as I don’t think many of you will have much of an attention span, haha 🙂
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Over the past few weeks I’ve have  befriended a young producer who has turned out to be a great influence of mine.  The sheer energy that this kid has for life, his friends, and his family really makes you think about the things you are grateful for.  His enthusiastic dedication to his music is something that I believe to be an absolute necessity to success with your music.   I mean, obviously there is no correct/incorrect way to make music but, the way that each of his songs reflects a specific journey or interaction is just very fascinating to me.  When he describes the influences for each of his songs to me, and then I listen to them, the songs seem to perfectly portray his words, but in an audible fashion.  I am very confident that this man is on  a path to great success with his music.
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It should come as no surprise that I am an absolute nut about the “tribal” style beats.  Layers upon layers of hard-hitting, deep, and rythmic percussion.  Maybe it’s the fact that it has been instilled in us over thousands of years of tribal culture, as Killawatt stated in his interview with us earlier this year, but, there’s just nothing else like in my book.
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Today’s feature is on 16 year old Dutch producer, Camu.  I first caught wind of his music after one of my routine scans of Trusik a few months back.  Instantly, I was HOOKED.  It was the tunes ‘You Are’ and ‘Asmat’.  I will never forget it because I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “this is the it!”.  Camu’s incorporation of tribal vocals, spacious soundscapes, and powerfully taunting sub-frequencies is something to really watch out for.  His music perfectly embodies one of the most prolific phrases among deep heads, “meditate on bassweight”.  Every tune is a story, and you can really hear/feel the story progress into each of  it’s different states of emotion.  As he is still quite young, I am very anxious to see the ways in which his sounds evolve and begin to really blow people away.  The man has been generous enough to giveaway THREE of his songs to you, the readers.  I have listened to all of these songs, and they are absolutely beautiful, all of them.  You guys should feel lucky too, as two of the songs have only been heard by myself, Camu, and MAYBE a handful of others.  It was really a shock to me when he came back to me saying that he has three tunes for us, as I was only expecting to do a giveaway of one tune.  It was nuts!  I feel truly blessed and all of you should too.  Please show the man some support by checking out his pages and shout him a personal message or something!  Anyways, enough of my rants, let’s get to know Camu!
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BWS:  Let’s get the formalities out of the way, give our readers a quick rundown on yourself.

Yo Kinman, I’m Shawnee from Amsterdam. I have produced music since 2008 and I focus mainly on Bass and percussive music. I’m a very peaceful person and I’m really honored to be interviewed by you!

BWS:  16 years old.  Not going to lie, you seem to have a much deeper consideration for the spiritual side of life than I would expect.  You mentioned visions that have inspired your songs in your Trusik interview not too long ago, can you tell us more about that?

Well I dream and think a lot, and the last couple of months have been very busy for me. So many things have happened and I’m not really good at expressing my emotions so I close my eyes and I just dream, think about what has happened and what’s going to happen. And with those things in mind I make music.  The past few months have been very hectic, a lot of bad shit has happened but luckily  things are starting to get better now. Much better in fact.  I can finally find peace with the things that happened and put all the stuff behind me, which is something I could never really do before, and I could never do it without my girlfriend. She has helped me get through a lot of the difficulties in the past few years and she’s always very sweet to me. I truly love her with everything I got. She always supports me and always is there for me, and that means much to me.

BWS:  I’m sad to say that I’ve never had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, although hopefully soon!  How much influence do your immediate surroundings have in your music?

Well in a certain way it does.  When it is busy around me, for instance, my music is always a little harder and more filled with drums. And then at times when it’s quiet my music is more soulful, more emotional.  The city itself also has and influence on me, there’s a lot of great architecture and a lot of creative people and there’s always something going on. Never a boring day here in Amsterdam.  I love to walk and discover new parts of the city with my girlfriend, there are a lot of beautiful places here that many people don’t usually visit.

BWS:  What is the “dubstep” scene like in Amsterdam?  Are there a lot of good opportunities to see and hear the artists you love?

The scene here is mostly bro, of course there are a few good nights, Sonic Warfare, for instance, but unfortunately they stopped after 5 years, which is truly a great loss for the scene here.  I personally don’t really like to go out that much though, so I don’t really have much information about the scene. I just don’t like being around all of these angry, screaming and moshing kids. I really prefer to stay at home and just relax.  If there’s a night with really good artists I might go though, but overall I’m not much of a party person.

BWS:  How did you first get into the 140/dubstep arena?

It came out of the blue to be honest, I had never heard of it before until one day, after my brother came home from a long holiday. He was in his room and played Bar 9 – Triple Drop, I had never heard anything like it and I was hooked instantly!  After that I started listening to artists like Excision and Datsik and so on. Later on I discovered Dubstep Allstars vol. 4, and that completely changed my perspective on the genre and I started getting more into the original sound. Artists like Burial and Kryptic Minds became instant favourites of mine.  Then in December 2009 I went to my first gig, which was Sonic Warfare, and DJ’s such as Youngsta, The Bug and Jack sparrow were performing and I didn’t know any of them until then. Was truly an amazing experience!

BWS:  Each of your tunes is it’s own journey man, straight up.  You have really created your own sound.  Where or how do you see yourself progressing in the near future, as far as your sound?

Thanks a lot man, that really means a lot to me!  Well I hope I get better at doing mixdowns and at making soundscapes and such.  I just basically hope my sound will get better and better over the years, I want to leave people stunned when they hear my music, create a certain vibe that will make people happy and I hope my sound will always stay original. I don’t want to sound like anyone else haha.  It would also be great if I could someday expand my sound to other kinds of music like Hip-Hop, Techno, Drum & Bass and Ambient music.

BWS:  What is your primary means of production?  Laptop? Hardware? Live instruments?

I use my laptop with Renoise and a lot of samples, basically.  Then for the synths and the sub I use Massive, and sometimes I use my microphone to record my own samples. A bit of fieldrecording.

BWS:  Do you any rituals that must be taken care of before you can hit the studio?  If so, what are they?

Well, before I start any serious tune I always make sure it’s completely dark in my room.  I have a nice big glass of water and I burn my favourite incense. (Nagchampa Agarbathi or Vidwan) That is all really.  Before I start producing I usually read or watch something that is very inspirational to get me into the mood, to forget about this place and travel to the place I am going to create.  I start a lot of tunes every day though, like when I’m at school or get a sudden burst of inspiration.  But most of the times I end up leaving those tunes after a while.  My best tunes really come from concentrating, being in the dark and being relaxed.

BWS:  Now, you’ve been generous enough to give us a song today for the readers to download and enjoy, can you tell a little bit about the tune and how it took its form?

I have decided to give away three tunes, since I have reached 100 likes on FB, 200 followers on soundcloud and, of course, because of this interview. All of this really means a lot to me and I would like to give something back in return to all of you!  The first tune is called “You Are”, I made it in December last year. I basically wanted to make something melodic and I found that vocal sample and just had to use it. It’s been one of the best samples I have ever found, really. I had thought for a long time for what I could have done with the second part of the tune, but after trying so many different things I finally made something that sounded good and that made me happy.  The second tune, “Lying Entombed” Is a tune I made early march. I read an amazing book about the Aboriginal people and that gave me a lot of inspiration. I actually made a couple of tunes based on that book but this tune came out the best and I would love to share it with everyone. Nobody has heard it yet and I am really proud of the second drop.  It was really so much fun writing this tune.  Finally, the third tune I’m giving away is called “Visions Of Wings”.  Monday last week I experienced something very unique and that is the whole idea and inspiration behind this tune.  The tune runs at a 174 bpm, something I hadn’t really done before,  but it really turned out great and I’m very pleased with it. This one is also brand new and only a few people have heard it.

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If somebody wants the WAV’s of these tunes feel free to get in touch with me!

Much respect to Bassweight Society and Kinman, I hope all of you have enjoyed reading this and are enjoying my music.

Peace and Love for my Girlfriend, my family and friends.

Take Care,

-Shawnee Camu Alltmann

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Many thanks out to Camu for this interview and, most importantly, his generosity!  Be sure to stop by his pages, drop him a “hello”, and keep your eyes on this one, he’s going to be making waves very soon.  Below you will find his contact info/pages. You will also find all three of the free downloads below, hosted on the BWS Soundcloud page. We all hope you enjoy the music and enjoyed the read.  Until next week….

Camu Soundcloud

Camu Facebook

AIM: camusounds

Skype: camu_dj

Email: Shawnee_altmann@hotmail.com

Camu – You Are (FREE DOWNLOAD)

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Camu – Lying Entombed (FREE DOWNLOAD)

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Camu – Visions Of Wings (FREE DOWNLOAD)

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One love to the gods, ya’ll.

-Kinman

Fresh Cuts: Proxima, PanLeft and Epoxy

What’s good fellow bassweight champions? Welcome back this fine Thursday morn. Today we’ve got a couple brand new bangers we’d like to feature from some up-and-comers surely to watch. Don’t sleep on these guys, read on and check out the treats from Proxima, PanLeft and Epoxy.

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Gonna start this one out heavy with the insta-nod jam, ‘Formal Junction’ by Proxima. Released on Tempa in late March this tune is honestly a mind melter. For those who don’t know, Proxima is Icicle’s cousin, and well let’s just say, it runs in the family. With a slammin’ debut release on Tempa of all labels,  Proxima is someone to surely keep on your radar. Don’t forget the flipside either. ‘Grunge’ delivers some hop and bounce while still maintaining the bassweight depth we’ve grown to love . Check out both tracks below, and purchase them here.

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Right, so next up is a club-promoter turned sound designer, PanLeft. His debut release via Blah Blah Blah Records has been in the works for a bit now, but just got unleashed on the public last week. The track that caught our attention, ‘Electrika’, is simply great. It’s epic buildup, snaps back right before the moment of truth and makes for an epic drop. Shying away from the traditional dungeon sounds, PanLeft takes deep in a different direction. The flip, ‘HRTS’, literally will HURT your chestplate, so be careful. Beatport.

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Last up are some straight-forward bassweight slumpers from newbie, Epoxy. Rather than spray you with adjectives about this free release, I’ll let the tracks do the talking. Make sure to like Epoxy on Facebook and stay posted on his Soundcloud. Make sure and download both ‘Cut Off’ and ‘Prec’ and give some love to Autopsy Audio for generously releasing such a nice, free, EP. Thanks!

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Download the EP here.

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Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy these releases as much as we did!

Peace.

Shice

Exclusive Interview: TMSV

Blessings, friends.  Welcome back.  We have a truly amazing feature today with, in my opinion, one of the greatest producers in the circuit right now.  Tomas Roels, aka TMSV, has been kind enough to give us a few words about his influences, his plans for 2012, and some thoughts on the US dubstep scene.  It is really an honor to have the opportunity to work with this guy as I’ve been a huge fan ever since I first heard his sounds on Box Clever in 2010.  Being creative as a youth with things such as painting and drawing acted as a catalyst into Roels’ adoption of music production.  The idea of “creating something out of nothing”, as he put it in his interview with FatKidOnFire/MakeItGood back in August of 2011 (Check it here). It wasn’t until he was around the age of 15 that he began the journey of forming his own ‘sound’.  While things didn’t necessarily take off in the beginning, as soon as he was introduced to jungle and drum and bass, things began to come together.  After gaining the satisfaction of creating his own music, “something from nothing”, his passion and dedication exploded.  After becoming bored with producing “hard and repetitive” dnb, he was introduced to dubstep by his cousin.  He was hooked on the space and endless amount of possibilities that the space provided for his compositional creativity.  The rest is history.

Fast-forward to 2012 and TMSV is receiving support from Mala, Youngsta, DJ Thinking, DJ Madd, J:Kenzo, and the list could go on for days.  It’s no surprise that this is the case with the sound versatility that he brings to the table.  There are purely meditative tracks like ‘Myth’, hard-hitting rollers like his recent collaboration ‘Difference’, and dub influenced jams such as his latest remix of “Lay Down My Burden’ which is set to release sometime soon on the label Foundation Sound.  Whatever the style is, he seems to be able to hit the nail on the head.  Since 2010 he has earned himself a number of top-notch releases on labels like Tube10, although the majority of his signings are by Black Box/Box Clever.  Releasing music almost exclusively with Black Box/Box Clever, label owner Thinking has got to be a pretty happy man!  2012 proves to be a very successful year for Tomas as he gives us news of many upcoming collaborations and new sounds to be conquered, so be sure that you keep your ears on this guy!  So, without any further introduction, let’s see what this true badman has to say:

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BWS: Quickly, can you give the readers a little back round information about yourself?  

TMSV: My name is Tomas, 23 years old and I’m from the Netherlands. I’ve been making electronic music for a couple of years, mainly dubstep.

BWS: Where did the moniker TMSV originate?

TMSV: When I first started making music I was really into jungle. One night a friend and I were joking around and he called me Tomassive (or at least that’s what I remember), so I just started to use that as a production alias. After a while I thought it was a bit gimmicky, so I changed it to TMSV. I guess it doesn’t mean anything anymore, but I urge people to have fun imagining what the letters could possibly stand for.

BWS: In your interview with Kmag last year, you stated that you think very highly of Mala because of his carelessness towards the expectations of others and money.  It’s really great to hear things like that.  What do you take away from your own music?  By that I mean what sorts of fulfillment do you get from it, psychologically or spiritually?

TMSV: Well, I’m not a spiritual person, but I guess I am emotional. I tend to use music as an outlet. I always feel the need to make music to express myself in a way. I’m not sure if the tunes themselves describe my emotions directly, but the way I feel definitely determines the way my tunes sound.

What I take away from my own music is more of a psychological fulfillment, as you put it. The fact that I can make the music I want to make, and the fact that people really seem to like it, is fantastic.

It’s been a bit tricky for a while. The more people liked and played my tunes, the more I felt pressured to make tunes that sound a certain way. I’ve made some pretty generic tunes recently (that probably nobody has heard), but I’ve realised that I should just keep making my music. It’s supposed to be fun.

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BWS: Sadly, I have never had to chance to visit the Netherlands.  The pictures I’ve seen of the geography are really astounding, though.  The amount of green in the countryside is magical.  The architecture of the cities is something to marvel over as well.  How much inspiration, if any, do you gather from your surroundings?

TMSV: I really like this country. There aren’t many exotic or amazing things to see nature-wise, but it’s never ugly. I like the cities as well, old Dutch architecture can be really beautiful, and luckily there are lots of old buildings that are still standing.

I guess I gather inspiration from the relative serenity of the area where I live. One of the best things about this place is that you can almost always escape from the chaos of modern city life. I live in a quiet neighborhood as well, and it’s a 15 minutes’ walk to the centre of the city, so if I want to see friends and have a drink, I can choose to leave my quiet house and go to the slightly more busy city. I think the fact that going out doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re jumping into a city full of chaos and noise is calming in a way.

BWS: Furthering on influences and inspiration, how did the track ‘Myth’ come about?  Hands down one of the best tunes that was released last year.  I listen to the tune almost everyday when I get off work and every time it sounds fresh.  Seriously, big up for that production.

TMSV: Thank you very much! It’s actually very reliant on samples, as you can hear from the lead sound. After using the sample(s) I made a bassline and a beat, added some atmospheres and other sounds, and that’s all there was to it, really. I have to say that the tune was already at least 2 years old when it was released, so I can’t really remember too much about how I made it.

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BWS: Do you see yourself going in any specific direction with your productions in 2012?

TMSV: Definitely. As I said, I’m focusing on making music right now. I’m trying to avoid being boring and predictable, to a certain extent of course. At the moment I’m making more than just 140 BPM music: I’m working on dub, house, garage, hip-hop, downtempo, all kinds of stuff.

BWS: What are your feelings on the 140 jungle tunes that have been getting hype lately?

TMSV: There’s definitely some great 140 jungle around at the moment, in fact I just got some today that sounded sick.

It seems to be difficult (for me as well as for other producers) to really ‘get it right’ and not sounding like a parody of the typical jungle sound. Jungle was never about quantising and getting your samples to sound just right; it was about the groove of the breaks you used, the simple but effective basslines and the vibes of the blatantly sampled sounds that were scattered around the tune. Modern music production software makes it much easier to make a really well-produced tune than the old samplers the jungle guys used to have, and I think nowadays you actually have to put effort into balancing a nice mixdown with getting an ‘authentic’ sound.

BWS: You have been collaborating with some really sick artists recently, like DJ Madd and June Miller.  Can we expect a lot more collaborations to come?

TMSV: Yes, definitely. I’m working with loads of people right now, but I’m not going to tell you who they are, because you never know if a collab is going to work or not.

I’m also looking for vocalists to work with me. I’ve had some responses already, but I’m always open to singers and MCs who would like to work with me. Please don’t hesitate to send me a message through Soundcloud or Facebook.

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BWS: What are your views on the US dubstep scene, as a whole?  Do you see yourself making it out this way anytime soon?

TMSV: Hopefully, yes. I’ve only been to the US once, about 9 years ago. I’d really love to visit again at some point. You can count on me flooding Facebook with spam when someone books me to come play in the US.

I don’t know much about your dubstep scene, but I do know that the deeper sound has gained popularity recently, which is great. It’s a huge country and very musically diverse, so I can’t see why the dubstep scene couldn’t be great.

BWS: If you could collaborate with any US based producer, who would it be, and why?

TMSV: When it comes to dubstep (and related genres), DJG (Grenier) or Matty G. Their tunes are very musical and diverse and the production is always sick, so collaborating with either of them would be cool. I’m probably missing ten thousand other American producers in my head right now. Sorry, you know how it is.

There are so many US based producers of other styles, it would be impossible to choose one or even ten. I do think I should name Dr. Dre and RZA just in case they Google themselves while looking for Dutch producers to work with.

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Serious amount of respect out to TMSV for doing this feature for us, it was truly an honor.  All the heads reading this that are new to his sounds, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do!  Be sure to stop by his Soundcloud and Facebook page and show him some love and support if you’re feeling his vibes.  You can find links to both below.

TMSV Facebook Page

TMSV Soundcloud Page

Alright people, that’s it for today.  Now I’m off to Coachella with the homie Lowkey to check out some very diverse musicians/bands out in Indio, CA.  Really stoked to see Machinedrum and Sbtrkt, among many many others.  Pretty stoked to see Sub Focus’s new “live” set as well.  Anyways, hope everybody has a great weekend filled with good vibes, good people, and good music.  One love.

To the gods.

-Kinman