INTERVIEW: DB DROPS
Xan Müller Yoyo Mr Drops !!
DB Drops How the devil are you, you fine specimen?
Xan Müller Hahaa I'm awesome man. We had a little preamble offline today, whereby I gathered you've had some kind of large night and/or morning... is that right?
DB Drops Haha you're not wrong mate, had a bit of a blowout because I definitely deserved it!
Xan Müller Work hard play hard. I'm gonna get straight into it, you managed to have a wardrobe malfunction earlier this year at Surveillance Party #2, do you think that's on the cards again? What circumstances would I have to have in place to generate it?
DB Drops To be honest Xan, I'm not specifically an exhibitionist, I just believe strongly in self expression that's just how I felt at the time. I haven't planned anything yet, but I go with th eebb and flow of things you never know.
Xan Müller Well, I like that response. Reacting to the music and good times, that does strike a chord with me. It's a big element of what we do at our parties. I do also remember another night where we had a chain of people pelvic thrusting and you were on the front of the chain playing tunes. So, people may not realise because they see you behind the decks, but you're a fully fledged producer, making some garage house sounds that I have to say are phenomenal. We were really privileged to have you on the label, can you please speak a little about your sound, how you derive it from the inspiration in your head, and maybe what you use technically to create it?
DB Drops I'm a simple guy. I'm purely about the people I love and enjoying myself. As long as I am doing both I am really happy!
My sound is derived from quite a diverse range of music, I'm a massive fan of Pink Floyd, I love Noisia more than anyone and I adore Morrisey and The Smiths. The main early influence for me was having older sisters that used to attend speed garage nights and bring back CD's. I fell in love with that sound. It was honest, honest as fuck. Gritty as a brillo pad yet retaining a bit of ghetto kind of class. That's always stuck with me from there on out. I'll never lose that, it's quite evident in my productions, especially the way I write my drum tracks, almost sloppy patterns that just sound so good when you shuffle them right! I go for raw analogue sound over digital sounding synths and I go for samples with soul, not just any old material.
One of my idea sources is work, I have a day job doing demolition and this is pretty much where I figure out all my music that I'm going to write. When I get home i tend to throw a kick, off hat and snare together and keep adding until I have a chunky beat and build melodies around the drum track. Jam in C minor blues with the good old M1 piano, and then the music kinda writes itself. I strictly use emulated hardware such as SSL channels and Waves have an amazing replica of the Neve 1073. This is basically what makes my music sound how it does.
Xan Müller We are so used now as listeners to assuming the music we hear is a composite of external material, originating from the ether. It's assuring to understand that, yes your music comes from a few places in inspiration and sound palette, but also that your own skill and talent weigh in with performed piano riffs and an end-of-working-day bash on the ol' drum machine. Very very nice stuff. As this point, maybe people will want to give a little listen. Here's a track we released on Surveillance Party earlier this year called "Rhythm 24" www.surveillanceparty.com/dbdrops ... So did you have any thoughts on the deep house phenomenon? I feel it's somewhat hijacked the headspace you're operating in, at least in the popular consciousness. Is this good or bad? Does it matter to you, or are you just out on your own direction?
DB Drops It's a controversial term is 'deep house'. Try to stay away from that. I'm house. I like house, it's grown up music. Although I am very particular and steer clear of anything that is subjectively generic to me. I find that can be soul crushing when you find yourself knee deep in music that really doesn't appeal to you. But I just adore so much of it. It's the passion for that small area of house that keeps me going. I just make my music without thinking, freestyle. It is what it is. And I hope people like it. I try to adhere to house 'guidelines' but I take a different approach to most having a very large garage background.
Xan Müller Very well said. Yeah I can basically hear that garage sound in your beats. That slightly lo fi and very punchy kick and snare sound, and a shuffle that is almost obnoxious. Speaking of which, I've noticed you're an outspoken gentleman if I may say. Do you think there is a tie in between seeking a "grown up" genre, trying to enact freedom of expression and speaking your mind? How do you find the music scene with receiving and digesting free thoughts? Is it any different in Australia to how it is in the UK? I always felt that dance music has origins in protest - the right to party. Is this for real or am I kidding myself?
DB Drops I'm not actively seeking to be like anything I don't think mate. I wouldn't say something is good purely because it's grown up. I just like integrity in music, I do think certain sounds can be almost 'immature' and they're usually the ones that die out pretty quickly. The music scene is the perfect place to express yourself, most people in the business are of sound mind and morals which is good, so as long as you're expressing views that aren't ignorant or bigoted (IE Ten Walls) people still will respect you and your music no matter what you have to say. I'd say the UK is a lot crazier, I'm from the north, we have a lot of 'immature' music there.Immature isn't a bad thing at all it's purely subjective to the crowd it pulls. But it never lasts long, which I find a lot of the UK scene to be like. We do have a solid scene otherwise though in Leeds, Manchester and there is lot of talent flying out the UK. In general its a lot more relaxed and long lived in the UK. You can go out Friday and creep in Monday morning without any kind of break from dancing. You're probably right mate.
Xan Müller Thanks Deebee, certainly refreshing to hear some down-to-earth and open mined thoughts on the whole thing. I really appreciate you taking the time to have a chat today. We'll be throwing the interview up on our Radar page on the Surveillance Party website soon too. Now, just to finishing off, you've got a release through another local record label, Refuge Recordings. These guys are doing some great stuff at the moment, and I see are also getting involved on Bondi Beach Radio as has our crew. Your track is called "The Wait", can you tell us about it?
DB Drops The Wait couldn't represent my style more perfectly. Rough and rugged beats with piano lines and electric piano stabs etc. Just a fun track to have worked on! Been getting some great support!
Xan Müller Aaaand here it is... DB Drops, thanks so much for the chat! We'll see you in November for Surveillance Party #3, Everyone grab your tickets now, we've just sold a bunch through the weekend, and yes they are running out, this is not a drill, grab yours right now! Also, to say thanks to all the Surveillance Party legends, we are holding a free party, where you'll catch DB Drops and myself spinning some chilled Sunday tunes. That's ThumbDay, 11th October at Ching-a-Lings ... smile emoticon Thanks all!