Variations interview

I caught up with Stevenage hellraisors Variations about the Thanks For Coming ep on Dub Police.

DB: Hi Variations, this is a strong look, your ep, full of variation and a totally fresh sound, so can you give me a background on when the ep was conceived?

V: Thanks a lot! The response we’ve had to our debut release has been fantastic so far so we’re over the moon! The EP came together over quite a long period of time. We’d got together with our pal Mojo to make ‘Circles’ and we were working on other material to go alongside it with an aim of an overall package. We’re chuffed that it ended up as a 5-track. We worked with Caspa to come to this final tracklisting, originally sending him a few different batches of potential tracks. He handpicked the ones he liked the most and Thanks For Coming was born. We love all forms of bass music including every different kind of Dubstep and we wanted to showcase that in our sound and justify our name. We feel the end result of this EP has done that well.

DB: Could you select a tune and talk us through it?

V: ‘Hands Up’ is one of our favourites, and it was actually made in two different countries over about a year. We started the idea of it at home with the massive build into the minimal drop. Then we continued working on it on our balcony in Ibiza while we were over there playing a couple of shows at Es Paradis and just generally having a holiday. That is where the second drop was born. Facing out to the sea with a few beers on the go. The second drop of that tune is a tip of the hat to the Progressive House sound that we love. We wanted to create a catchy tit-shaking 4/4 Dubstep tune but with the swagger and energy of a Balearic banger.

DB: !! I am there.

V: We’re really happy that tune was chosen for the EP as we feel it’s quite different to what Dub Police would perhaps normally release.

DB: What about you guys, Where do you play out?

V: We’ve had the honor of playing Dub Police at Fabric now that we’re part of the family. We also play an annual charity festival called ‘Wilkestock’ in which we have our own stage so we book DJs in. That just gets bigger and sillier by the year! We’re back there August 31st with a heap of new and old friends taking the stage with us.

DB: What keeps you in love with dubstep? N-Type recently said to me that as far as the mass media was concerned the hype period was over… which is great! Means that the music just gets more hardcore, what do you think to all that?

V: Yeah we agree that the initial mass hype has calmed down which has its pros and cons, but Dubstep has definitely done enough to earn its place in electronic music. The ‘fad’ element has gone away which is great. It’s an established genre much like D&B or House. I think what keeps us in love with Dubstep is how many different ways it can be made and portrayed by different artists and there’s still a lot of unexplored territory. The freedom within the genre is huge, for example just by calling out Doctor P, Distance and Subscape you’ve got massive variety. In our opinion as long as its kept to around 140BPM you can pretty much go anywhere with the genre and that excites us not only from a production point-of-view but from a raver’s point-of-view. As long as a Dubstep DJ has their head screwed on they can take you on such a journey through the sound.

I guess as well we have a lot of fond and fun memories with this genre of music. We were avid ravers of the scene for many years before we ventured further into it.

DB: You have a huge sound, so is production something you have worked at for a long time… maybe roadtesting tunes on the way?

V: Thanks! We started producing years ago during the band days, going through Cubase and Pro Tools and then when we decided to explore electronic we found Logic to be our weapon of choice. We’ve been producing electronic music behind the scenes for about 4 or 5 years in a home studio set up. Initially we started out making D&B but focused on the 140 and it’s definitely been more fun along the way. Roadtesting our own tunes is standard in all our sets as it does help massively in shaping the end sound.


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