KOAN Sound have linked up with the Inspected imprint to bring you The Max Out EP. The Bristol outfit have produced an original and refreshing sound sitting somewhere between dubstep and hip hop which has already gained worldwide hype. Kmag catches up with the lads to find out more...
How did KOAN Sound come together?
KOAN Sound was the result of a four piece band from our early teens, playing things such as Dr. Dre covers to dub versions of various Pokémon themes. We discovered the world of EDM in around 2005 and have immersed ourselves in electronic music ever since.
Describe your introduction to the sound of dubstep
We probably first heard dubstep around 2007; there was a dubstep / grime compilation CD floating around at that time with tunes like Joker's Stuck In The System and Pinch's War Dub on it, alongside some of the more breakstep oriented tracks such as Elemental's Tribute.
Where do your musical influences reside?
We come predominantly from a drum & bass background, mainly influenced by the techier side of the scene (Noisia, Spor, Phace, Calyx et al). Asides from this we're pretty heavily influenced by artists such as Amon Tobin, Eskmo, Hudson Mohawke and Reso to name a few. It's almost a cliché to say that we listen to a huge variety of music, but hopefully this keeps things interesting.
What is distinctive about a KOAN Sound production?
Without wanting to blow our own trumpets, hopefully most of our productions tend to differ from one another and explore new ideas and sounds, spanning different styles and tempos. We try to put a variety of material out there so check our SoundCloud!
How have you guys developed your sound since your first release?
Since our first digital release in late 2008 we've probably become more experimental with our music; our tastes have changed through the years which definitely affected our tunes. Melody and harmony is a big part of our productions now which wasn't something we focused on back then. Technically we've improved since that release too, a lot of time has been spent learning the software we use (Reason and Cubase) and we are still finding new ways to use them.
You are about to drop The Max Out EP on Inspected, tell us about the release and what we can expect...
The release is really a snapshot of where we are in terms of production at the moment; it's a four track EP with two 140bpm bits and two 100bpm (ish) bits. We've been devoting quite a bit of our sets to a hip hop sort of tempo, so hopefully this is a good representation of the kind of material we're playing out currently, and also an indicator of where we're planning to take things in the future. We've already been lucky enough to have had support from people like Zane Lowe, so hopefully the EP will reach plenty of fresh ears.
This is the second release on Inspector Dubplate & Gemini's Inspected label. How did this connection come about?
We first hooked up with Tom [Gemini] on NYE in Brussels, just before his Blue EP was about to drop on Inspected. Ryan [Inspector Dubplate] had been playing Max Out in his sets for a while and approached us with the offer of doing an EP after the massive success of the first release. They've got big plans for the label so it's definitely one to watch this year.
You have massive support from artists all over the world. Any producers you would love to collaborate with?
Dubstep has been creeping its way into the charts so even if slightly unrealistic it would be cool to do a collab with a really good singer like Béyonce or Adele. Also we've been saying it for a while but hopefully with Culprate soon.
What does the future hold for KOAN Sound?
Hopefully more releases and shows! We've done a remix for Ed Sheeran that's going to be released on his new single for Asylum Records on June 12th. There's also a few other remixes in the pipeline which should start to emerge soon.
Where can we grab your Max Out EP?
The EP is out now and is available from all the usual places such as iTunes, Beatport, etc. There should also be a very limited run of vinyl at some point after the digital release, so keep 'em peeled.
Buy all of KOAN Sound's trackshere
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