Shiver spoke about his new release out 28th Jan on Protect Audio.
S: In this release, I feel that the two tracks cover completely different vibes that I enjoy within D&B. In ‘Xtrvrt’ I have taken influence from the deeper style D&B I play out in my sets, and I tried to make the drop have as much impact as possible with the sub bass breakdown just before. I wanted to make a track for a while that is hard-hitting on a system, with enough flow to dance to and this was the outcome.
With ‘Camo’ however, myself and Spraykat went for quite a different style. We tried to incorporate a more atmospheric vibe to the track which constantly changes throughout, to make it more of a musical piece than a regular track – no 16 bars are the same! – and were probably influenced more by jungle than anything else while making it – using the amen breaks and dub style bassline.
DB: You mention jungle and the use of breaks. For a layman who never knew how it was produced in the early days, except that it was largely done on gear with very little memory capacity, how do you view all that era?
S: It’s strange to think that when producers first decided to produce, they would have to spend large amounts of money on equipment or studio time – compared with today when anyone with a computer can start making beats.
DB: It’s true, can recall Fresh talking about pre-BC days where they’d hire studios for eg.
S: It’s because of the easy accessibility I think that the standard for new producers has been set higher and higher, as people get more technically-advanced in production. Also with the internet now being a key element in getting tunes out there, it is a lot easier than it would have been for producers like myself to make a name for themselves, so I can fully appreciate how hard it must have been back in the day to get a track played out and signed.
DB: You mention the dub style bassline too, it made me think: is D&B lacking a rootsy, dub element? I mean you have people like Serum and Amit and Calibre is always mindful of the influence but in general is such an element rare?
S: I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s lacking this element, just because D&B has naturally progressed from that sound to what it is today, and I personally think it is better than ever at this point! That’s not to say that I don’t have a massive appreciation for that rootsy sorta sound. If you listen back to old Zero T tracks for instance like ‘Rear View’, they have a certain warmth about them that I think is lost in modern production of D&B, because the sounds used to come from analog hardware that would not necessarily be producing perfectly clean noises every time.
Nowadays it is all about crisp-sounding production, which is great for different reasons as producers can really push boundaries and make a lot of impact on a sound system, but there are still the old tracks which have vibes that can’t really be imitated with digital production techniques.
DB: You mention your fave D&B in your sets, so tell us more.
S: I prefer the deeper, more techy side to drum & bass that you can hear in that mix (below), as I think that the innovation within the sub-genre is great, with producers both well-known and underground, always pushing boundaries with fresh sounds. Anything that sounds dark and has impact through a sound system is my sorta thing!
DB: So merging it all together, what was the exact moment that made you want to produce D&B?
S: To be specific it was mainly Noisia & High Contrast that made me want to get into production, I remember the first track I heard that inspired me to start off was ‘End Game’ by ‘Noisia’, as at this point I wasn’t familiar at all with the darker style of D&B, and this tune really did it for me! So I picked up FL Studio and made one very basic track, and I showed it to my friend who actually really liked it – which was pretty much the encouragement I needed to continue, so I went on to produce more.
DB: What are 5 tracks that you feel never get the credit that they deserve?
Photek ‘Knitevision': I think this track was way ahead of it’s time, it’s hard to believe it came out in 1998! Would still go off through a system.
DJ Fresh ‘The Immortal': This is my favourite tune he did a solo producer, takes me back listening to it! It’s a shame he doesn’t get more credit for stuff like this rather than his more current tunes..
Alix Perez & Zero T ‘Ladders': I don’t understand why this track never got released, it’s a banger!
Sublo ‘Questions': This is a track by two of my mates from Brighton, great track that slipped under the radar and definitely deserves more credit! I’d keep an ear out for these guys though..
Boycot ‘Fractured Nosebone': This is actually a tune I got sent through AIM a while back that is available as a free download now, sick track that definitely deserves more recognition.
MTWN – Moshpit [Proximity Dub]
Fracture – Tunnel Track [Warm Communications]
Outer Heaven – Second Sight [Proximity Dub]
??? – ??? [Dub]
Hyroglifics – Unfurled [Protect Audio]
Sublo – Questions [Dub]
Chroma – Acetate [Program]
Shiver – Xtrvrt [Protect Audio Dub]
Outer Heaven – Premonitions [Dub]
Boycot – Fractured Nosebone [Dub]
??? – ??? [Dub]
Overlook – Discord [Dub]
Shiver – Camo (ft. Spraykat) [Protect Audio Dub]
MTWN – Outcome [Proximity Dub]
??? – ??? [Dub]
Dubtek – Achromatic [Dub]
Mute & Mako – Cali Sleaze [Utopia Music]