Leicester-based producer Bone Man is relatively new to the music scene, but is developing quite a stir, with a debut release out in May on On A Break Records. Kmag caught up with him to find out more.
Bone Man, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I've been producing for a few years now, but more regularly since I got my first track released on Warlord Dubplate nearly two years ago. I had messed around a bit for a couple of years before that, just making the odd shit track for jokes, but I first started using jungle sounds around that sort of time.
I first got really into music about 10 years ago when I started playing in punk bands, and I've been doing that ever since. I only discovered drum and bass and jungle years later, and I was drawn to the dark atmosphere and similar adrenaline rush that the music gave me. I was intrigued by it and started going raving loads and playing about with software and decks. I still consider myself a bit of a newcomer to this type of music, so I'm happy that people want to release my tracks. I'm also a Nottingham Forest fan and I'm addicted to playing Pro Evo.
Things are really picking up for you at the moment and you've got a couple of releases coming out soon. What can we expect from these?
They are both four-track EP releases. The first one is due on May 17 on On A Break Records and is the slower, more breakbeat side of my production. I first started playing around with this style because I wanted to sample a Twinkle Brothers record but the sample would have sounded ridiculous at jungle speed, so I made it at 132bpm instead. This was nearly two years ago and I didn't know much about the jungle and breaks scenes. I didn't know that there were a few producers using jungle sounds at a slower tempo, and what people are now calling future jungle. I can't really say that my stuff is that futuristic sounding so I don't label my music as that but who cares what it's called, its all breakbeat either way.
My tracks are influenced by early jungle and breakbeat, hardcore, acid house, jungle, techno, UK garage, old dub records and so on. Other people are twisting more modern sounds into it but I'm not so into the crazy synths – I love the spirit of 90s dance music so I try and recreate that vibe with these tracks.
The second EP will be on the JungleXpeditions label and all these tracks are over 175bpm. There are loads of early jungle sounds again, but I'm being influenced by a lot of the new faster jungle that is about as well. I don't have a release date for this yet as I'm just finishing up the mixdowns, but both will be available to buy from decent download stores soon.
How did the link up come about for the releases?
Pretty straightforward really, I sent a tune to JungleXpeditions' RCola many months ago and he asked me to do a four track EP, which was great. I had some of these breakbeat tunes knocking about so I sent them to a few breaks labels. I came across an interview with On A Break Records on Kmag.co.uk, so I checked them out and really liked the stuff they had done with Kid Chameleon. They were enthusiastic about doing an EP with me so we went from there.
How did you find recording your first EP?
Doing the EPs was a new challenge because I had only ever done releases with one or two tunes on before. This time I was making a tune and thinking about what the next two are going to sound like and trying to make sure it doesn't get repetitive. Having said that, I try not to take it all too seriously because then it takes the fun out of it! I try to approach tracks differently and try new ideas, rather than get stuck doing the same things constantly. I got some of my bass guitar playing on a dance track for the first time, which worked out alright.
What's your studio set up?
I make tunes in the spare bedroom of my house in Leicester, which my neighbours really love! I've got a simple setup running Logic 8 and pretty much use the standard plug-ins that it comes with, I find its more productive with fewer options. I got a really good eBay deal on some Yamaha HS80M's for monitoring, which do the job for now. I also have a MicroKorg synth, but use it mainly as a midi keyboard and I have a Focusrite soundcard, which can be used for recording instruments and vocals if I need to.
You've got quite a varied style. Who are the biggest influences for you?
I mostly find inspiration from legendary music scenes over the years and how they did things. Everything about the "golden age" of rave - the way they organised raves, ran pirate radio stations, hung out in record stores and traded dubs appeals to me. I also love all the Madchester stuff and reggae sound-system culture, and the DIY ethic of the 80s hardcore punk scene.
I could spend ages listing off a bunch of influential producers so I'll keep it simple. Krome & Time, Shut Up and Dance, Project One, The Prodigy, Remarc and Origin Unknown have had a big influence on my sound. In terms of the producers that I most enjoy checking out at the moment - Nickynutz, Tim Reaper, the DSC lads and Bay B Kane, but there are too many to mention!
I like organic beats, I enjoy heavy production but not just for the sake of it, I'm more into vibes and groove. I also love the production on dub and hip hop tunes and I like the sampling of old soul records. When I first started making these tunes I was just sampling reggae stuff, but now I am sampling from all sorts of places.
Apart from the releases, where else might people be able to catch your work?
People can check out my Soundcloud where I put up all my tunes and mixes. I've got some free downloads on there but the oldest ones on there aren't all that far off from being the first tunes I ever made! There are schoolboy errors but I don't mind as it shows progression. People can check out tunes from the forthcoming EPs on there and every now and then I'll be putting up free remixes. I also set up a Facebook page. I DJ at a few nights around Leicester purely for kicks and the hope of free beer (Break 'N' Enter, Beats In Progress and Soundproof) and I'm looking to get more active in that.
You've put together an exclusive mix for Kmag – what's the story behind that?
I enjoyed doing this as it was the first time I actually planned a mix out properly. The mix starts at 150 bpm and ends up at 180 and I tried to get a few different moods on there other than just dancefloor party vibes. There are some deeper, old skool classics and some modern dark jungle, but there is a happy ending. I don't usually play my own tracks that much because I buzz off playing other peoples tunes more, but I've started the mix with the four breakbeat tracks off my forthcoming Militia EP.
Anything else the people should know about you?
Yeah, if anyone wants to do some collaborations later this year, or remix swaps then get in touch through Soundcloud! Nice one to everyone who's given me a chance to release tunes so far, and everyone who has checked out my music and given feedback. Also, to those that have let me on the decks at their night, and a big thanks to you for sorting this feature out.
Words: Matt Jane
Download Boneman's Kmag guest mix here
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