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Raiden [Offkey, UK]
 Raiden [Offkey, UK]

interview [ua]

Nu:Tone [Hospital, UK]
Interview for dnb.in.ua
after 24.02.2007 | Nu:Tone @ CDQ | Warsaw, Poland
by backpacker & Qsto

Describe yourself as a person in a few words.

Hmmmmm, I guess Im just someone who loves music completely.

How significant were changes in your life after your child was born? (Congratulations on that)

Thank you – the changes were very significant – all your priorities change when you become a parent – most of them for the better in my experience. Life takes on more significance in general.

Funk/jazz past: What bands were you playing in? Were they successful/well-known at that time? Do you play in some kind of similar band nowadays?

Just a couple of school bands – we never really got that far. I was also involved in a band with a few friends called The Universals – I engineered their demo for them and helped out in other ways, but things never really took off unfortunately. Two of the guys from that band work with me now in a piano trio I play in called The Don Schwartz Trio. We havent played any gigs in a while now though.

Under what aliases do you make music other than d&b?

I produce house under the names Liquid People and Danism.

Are you exclusively signed to Hospital? As far as Im concerned only when they dont want to put out the tune, you are free to release it on other labels but not under Nu:Tone alias, is that so? What about remixes?

Youve got it right – Im under an exclusive contract with Hospital, though I can remix for other labels.

Do you support Hospitals policy ”its bad to play from CDs if you can afford not to”? Whats your opinion on vinyl vs CD/MP3 controversy?

Completely – I dont have a problem with CDs themselves, but I would much rather play a piece of well mastered vinyl any day.

Your reflections on how Hospitals proprietary sound is changing over time? IMHO especially it shows in 100+ releases.

I think Drum+Bass has always been about progression – if you stand still, you get left behind. Hospital have embraced that ethic and constantly developed the music they release. Also, when you remember that the majority of music released on Hospital is by just a handful of their signed artists, its inevitable that the sound will change as we develop as artists.

Whats the balance between time you spend on production, touring, running a label and other activities?

During the week I work in the studio, hunt down music and spend time with my family. At the weekend Im always away DJing. Sometimes Ill be abroad for longer periods on tours, but I try to keep my trips shorter now that I have a family.

What was the most memorable/impressive gig you played at?

Probably playing in the main room at Hospitality at Heaven in London. Its a great crowd, and being part of the Hospital label, playing at our own party in the heart of London, its a very special experience. Heaven was also the first big club I ever went out to in London back in 1996 at Metalheadz Christmas In Heaven.

Please share some funny stories or curiosities that happened during touring and playing at the parties.

There is a famous saying – what goes on tour, stays on tour.

Your current studio setup?

I use a custom built PC, M Audio firewire soundcard, and Mackie HR824 speakers. I can do everything I need to with those three bits of kit.

Favourite piece of hardware and software?

Hardware would probably be my 1210s, and for software, it would be Reason.

Favourite break?

Very tricky question! Probably the scorpio break by Dennis Coffey. Its a well known classic, but I honestly think its unbeatable in terms of how distinct it is.

How does the musicmaking process look like in your particular case? Do you foster the idea in your head for quite some time or just sit down in the studio and unleash experimentation? Is it different while collaborating with other producers?

I go into my studio every morning with a cup of coffee and see what comes out! I often start an idea and then leave it for a while, coming back to it later on. I tend to find that if the tune doesnt come immediately, its worth waiting a bit, and returning to the idea again.

When working on the track how often do you keep in mind that it must be for some particular label?

Never – I think its very important to just make the music you want to make. As soon as you try to make it for a particular market, you are in trouble.

How long does it usually take you to finish a song? On what does it depend? AFAIK ”Spread Love” initially took something like an hour or so, true?

It totally varies – some things (like Spread Love) will come together very quickly. Other things Ill have to go through different versions. With almost every track Ill return to it after a few days and tweak the mixdown or add an extra element or two. Its very rare that I write a tune and walk away that day with it complete.

Working with vocalists: which collab was the most memorable and why?

Definitely working with Natalie Williams – shes a really lovely person, and we clicked in the studio. It can be hard work with vocalists sometimes. The way you connect can be more important than the song sometimes.

Your thoughts about current state of d&b, honestly.

I think things are looking good – people are always complaining about how it was better in the old days but as I said before, D+B is about progression. What was good then was good then. Times have changed.

D&B accessibility on the Internet issues, implications for the scene – your reflections on that.

The internet definitely opens things up for a lot of people. Ravers can hear tunes earlier than ever before, producers can send music to their favourite DJs, it all helps the scene in my opinion.

What particular producers and labels are you really feeling at the moment? Who would you highlight among new names that appeared in 2005-2006?

Last year was a good year for newer artists, a lot of them people who have been around for a while, but are now really breaking through – Break, Alix Perez, Lynx.

What is the current status of your label Brand Nu? Whats in the pipeline?

Im in the process of signing some new music at the moment. Watch this space!

Does it happen that some of your tunes dont get signed and just rest somewhere? How do you feel about this if so?

Yeah occasionally, although I dont tend to work on tunes if I think they dont have a chance of getting released.

Your favourite/most visited Website?


Do you make for a living solely by musicmaking and DJing?

Yeah – I have done for 5 years now.

Aspirations in life apart from music.

To live a long and happy life.

Which of the above questions was the most interesting? The most boring/stupid one?

Interesting – favourite break. Stupid – this one!

Shouts or anything youd like to mention to wrap up the interview.

Big shout out to the Ukrainian D+B scene, my Cambridge crew – Logistics & Commix, and everyone else at Hospital.

Questions by backpacker
- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 21st August 2019 - 21:15
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