dRamatic & dbAudio have been producing deep drum & bass together since 2008 to considerable success. With their Indian Summer EP out now on Flexout Audio, the Verified EP forthcoming on Liquid V respectively and a gig for Flexout Audio at Brixton Jamm on July 21st we decided to have a word.
For those that don't already know what dRamatic & dbAudio are all about, please can you introduce yourselves…
We are Julian dRamatic and James dbAudio from Nottingham, England. We are drum & bass producers and have had the opportunity to release lots of our music on many of the great labels within the scene.
We've been in the scene since the early 90's and seen how it's progressed, it's great to see how DnB has grown from its roots and matured into a rich scene of diverse sounds. We take a lot of influence from this and hope that when people listen to our music they can hear this come through.
So the Flexout Audio crew are celebrating their first birthday next week and you're pencilled in to play @ Brixton Jamm, excited? What can we expect from your set and Flexout Audio in the future?
Yeah, very excited about this event, it's great to see the Flexout crew doing events in London. Our set will be our mixture of our own music, an opportunity for us to road test some our freshest tracks and also play some of the music we love from other producers at the moment. We move across different styles but when DJing we like to keep the energy in the set high.
You're billed alongside the likes of Break and Need for Mirrors, do your sets vary depending on who else is on the line up or where you are playing?
Our sets won't vary based on the line-up but might vary depending on where we are playing. Our music has a degree of diversity and therefore it's important to understand what the promoter expects and what sort of crowd is to show up.
We have done gigs where the promoters and punters are on an absolute Good Looking vibe and they book us based on our music that falls into that style. So, of course, we will adapt our set to meet their expectations, it just makes sense to us and doesn't at all mean we have to break our musical integrity.
So there may be subtle difference in our sets from a V recordings event to a Flexout Audio event but the sound will always be on a dRamatic & dbAudio vibe because our sets contains large parts of our own music.
So your latest release on Flexout Audio showcased the full spectrum of drum & bass, was this a deliberate attempt to make a varied EP or did it just happen?
Although the tracks were made in isolation without the EP as a concept how we then chose the tracks was very deliberate. It was a great opportunity to try and showcase our different styles and also some of the tracks we felt worked better on an EP. It was also interesting to see feedback coming in where people were favouriting different tracks right across the EP.
What is your favourite track from the EP and why?
We love Break My Heart. It got a wicked disco vibe but it's heavy and rolling with a killer second breakdown. We heard Bukem play it at a Planet V night and so have good memories of hearing it on a good system and everybody going mental. Can't fault a bit of disco drum & bass!
Moving onto your forthcoming release on Liquid V, the Verified EP, has this been in the works for a long time? What is the longest amount of time you have spent on a single track?
Yes, it's great to have our second EP on Liquid V drop. We have followed V Recordings since day one and so it's a real honour to have our music released with Bryan. After all the years in the game this guy just loves his music and the excitement and passion he brings across when talking to us about music is inspiring. It just helps to make it all worthwhile. We worked on that EP for quite a while and already have the next Liquid V EP almost complete.
Every idea we make gets saved even if it doesn't develop into a full released track. It's fair to say that our success rate is better now than it was, however, those ideas that didn't work could well resurface and turn into something great. So, to answer your question it could be years!
You've recently worked with Grimm on some tracks out on Mars Recordings, do you think you will be doing any more collaborations with vocalists like that in the future?
I think we will continue to do things with Grimm going forward. He is a good guy, great producer and a great vocalist. We have a good working process. His vocals also features on the Verified EP on Liquid V on the track My Soul.
We have just completed something for David Boomah for his LP forthcoming on V recordings which was a real pleasure. Again an ultimate professional with great vocals. We love working with vocalists but to be honest it's difficult to find them. We were hoping that there would be more less established vocalists contacting us but it's been quiet on that front.
If you could collaborate with any artist alive or dead who would it be?
Since he came around within DnB it's always been on our wish list to work with Calibre, just to be able to sit in the studio with him to see how he works would be an honour. It would also have been amazing to work with some of the great vocalists such as Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Lyn Collins, Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield. As well as their amazing vocals we bet they could have told a story or two about their lives.
What other artists in and out of the scene are you really feeling right now?
Within the scene it's Random Movement, Mr Joseph, Spectrasoul, DJ Chap, Technicolour, Level 2, Calibre, Phat Playaz, Lenzman, Arp-1, Savage Rehab, Total Science and Riya. Outside the scene it's Julio Bashmore, Gregory Porter, Quiet Village, Isolee and Charlene Soraia.
DJ Marky has given loads of support to your tracks, rumours have it there might be a collaboration between you guys coming out, is there any truth in this?
Yeah, Marky's been supporting our tunes for quite a while now. When we met him about two years ago now we talked about getting do a collaboration with him and when he got back to São Paulo he fired over some projects he'd been working on.
One of the projects he sent us ended up turning out really nice it's called You & I; we feel it captures Marky's and our sound just right. We've not talked with Marky about it coming out, but we're sure at some point it'll be made available.
Have you got anything else big in the pipeline remix wise, releases or gigs you want to mention?
Yeah, we've got some really exciting releases coming up. After the Verified EP, will see our first release on a new label called Black Reflections Records. These guys really have a great out look to their label; our first release will feature one of our tracks called The Pretender which has had support from LTJ Bukem & Fabio on Radio 1.
After that is our third release on Mars Recordings. This third instalment features one of our tracks called Days Running Out and a big remix by Total Science of our track we did with Grimm called Far Away. TS have really done a sublime job on the remix, even though we're biased we feel it's a classic TS remix.
October will see our third release on Ingredients Records. This release sees us building on the vibe that we captured on our first release Life Console. Both tracks are inspired by the deep and dark sounds that were coming out in the mid-90s. Massive respect goes out to DJ Psylence (aka Clive bossman at Mars recordings & Ingredients records) for supporting our music so much and making the TS remix happen.
Near the end of the year will see our second release on Black Reflections Records. This release sees the first of our collaborations with Arp-1, the track is called Storm Trooper and has got a wicked rolling cinematic vibe to it; it sounds big on the dancefloor so watch out for that one.
On the gigs front, of course we're playing at Flexout Audio's night @ Brixton Jam on the 21st July 2012. We also recently hooked with the guys from Liquid Sessions in Birmingham; they approached us about being residents at their events along with others such as Mr Joseph and Jordan V. We did one in April this year which was a great event; we're now going back for round two on August 24th. This gig's going to be exciting for us as Grimm is being flown over from Canada to play at the event, this will be our first chance to meet Jeff and we're planning something special for the night.
Finally, MASSIVE thanks goes out to you guys at Kmag for once again asking us to do an interview and supporting us within the scene. Also, a MASSIVE shout goes out to all the labels we're on and all the crew involved in getting our music out there.
Last, but not least a HUGE shout to all the people supporting our music; whether that is buy buying our releases, turning up to gigs and going mental on the dance floor or leaving comments on our Facebook or Soundcloud pages. Big up.
Words: Josh Nevett
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