Widely recognised as a vanguard of the scene since its inception in 2001, Commercial Suicide has provided the perfect environment for new and established artists to push the boundaries of the industry ever further. With over 60 of some of drum and bass' most enduring releases, now is the perfect time for (in Commercial Suicide's words) the "album to end all albums".
Celebrating the sheer scope and diversity that the contemporary scene has to offer, the Commercial Suicide Compilation plays across the whole spectrum of drum and bass; from the haunting vocals and rolling bass of 'Roxy' and 'Last Chance Saloon', right through to the devastating 808 subs of 'Settle The Floor', every element needed for dance floor dominance has been catered for. Featuring a mix of established artists such as Calibre, Break and of course Klute, alongside relative newcomers Dub Phizix, Cern, Dose and Teknik, the album offers the perfect snapshot of drum and bass in 2011 and beyond.
We were given some time with label owner Klute ahead of the compilation's release to discuss the project, the evolution of drum & bass and the future of Commercial Suicide.
What was your motive for the compilation? Why did you decide to release one now?
This compilation has been a long progression from an initial idea of releasing something to commemorate 10 years of service. I think at some point I decided not to dwell on the issue of 10 years and just get on with making a good collection of tunes from the here and now. It's one thing to sit back and reflect on the past, but for me drum & bass has always been about looking forward and that’s how I'll continue to operate. It’s a passion for me and I really enjoy sweating blood and tears to present music that I care about. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes it's wrong but it's the uncertainty that gives it the edge.
In your eyes, how has the scene changed since the conception of Commercial Suicide over 10 years ago? Have you had to adapt your approach to running the label?
Those are simple questions that requires a long winded answer. Firstly, there’s a lot more labels, a lot more producers, the tools to create are a lot easier to acquire and the growth of the internet has made it infinitely easier to obtain music and information - all of which has good and bad ramifications. It's quite chaotic out there, physical sales are down, digital sales are growing, but no one seems to know quite where things are definitely heading. It's like the wild west. Things are changing by the month and you can't take things for granted. Five to10 years ago, it was a lot easier to do this - now you need to keep on your toes and maintaining a label has become a lot more intensive.
The label now has over 60 of the most consistent releases in the industry, would you ever consider releasing a retrospective of it's most integral tracks?
Yes, I will. It'll be a hard task.
What are your plans for the future of the label? Will we be hearing more from your latest signings Dub Phizix, CERN, Dose, Teknik et al? And is there any new material from yourself?
I’ve already got the next few things lined up for release, but I’m going to let the compilation breathe for a bit before spoiling you with more new material. You'll have to wait and see what’s coming, but there’s DEFINITELY more Klute.
Widely respected for your A&R skills in industry, your choice of tracks for Commercial Suicide is always second to none. What key factors do you look for when signing artists / tracks to the label?
I go for music I like, by people I like - that makes sense to me.
Have you noticed any trends in production amongst the Commercial Suicide artists? What equipment is predominant in your setup at the moment?
That's a hard thing to speculate upon. Music is quite an esoteric art form, so something I think isn't necessarily, someone else will. I'm sure there is a common thread running through the Commercial Suicide releases, but I like to feel more freeform about things and just work along side like minded people I get on with, rather than people who have a similar sound or similar dress sense. Anyone on Suicide who wears glasses does so because they have bad eyesight and if they wear tight jeans its cos they’ve got bad dress sense.
Equipment? I’m using Cubase 5 on a Mac Pro along side a Yamaha O2R mixer. An Emu E-synth sampler, Eventide H3000 d/se, Fulltone tube tape echo, Yamaha, Fs1r, Se1x, Prophet 600, Juno 106, Microwave XT, Alpha Juno. Lots of stuff.
Any final words?
Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
Words: Niall Anderson
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