Deadboy: ‘The album is a lost art form and dance albums, in particular, are very difficult’
But before then the producer was creating an array of music, from grime and garage to house and techno.
“I was making music all over the place really,” Deadboy says, “Around the time of ‘U Cheated’ I was starting to find my own sound rather than producing a bunch of different things that had nothing in common,” he adds. The early support received from the tracks was a big boost to his career.
“It was great because for the first time I’d be listening to Rinse or at FWD and be hearing one of my tunes among all these other good tunes.”
But the breakthrough moment came in April 2010 with the release of If U Want Me. The EP saw Deadboy fuse UK garage and early Detroit techno to acclaim. The vinyl sold out of distribution in one day and the track received strong radio airplay across BBC Radio 1’s specialist DJs.
“When I made it, it didn’t strike me as anything special but the amount of places I heard that tune – grime DJs were playing it, it was played at techno nights in Berlin, it was everywhere,” he says.
“I remember seeing Katy B sing over it a couple of times and thinking ‘ wow’. It’s amazing to see something you’ve made move off and have this life of its own.”
Bass-orientated music is enjoying one of its most successful periods to date, especially in the mainstream, but Deadboy says the same cannot be said for the genesis of bass music: the underground.
“It still seems to be waiting for something to happen, like there was a surge forwards but now a lot of people have gone into making more traditional house and techno sounds,” he says.
“There is a lot of pretty bland stuff around that is hard to get excited about but at the same time there are occasional records that are great,” he adds.
‘U Cheated’, and EPs since have featured samples prominently, something Deadboy openly embraces.
“They are a big part of my music through necessity really – I hate the sound of sample pack drums, these dry flat lifeless drums, so I sampled most of my drums from vinyl, then I needed vocals so I sampled those too,” he says. “If someone’s already made a good sound, I have no shame in stealing it as long as it sounds nothing like the track I’m stealing it from.”
Deadboy has worked with the Numbers label for his most recent EP last year and when I spoke to Jackmaster, one of the label’s bosses, in June he spoke optimistically about an album from the artist. Nine months later, there is a new development.
“I’ve abandoned it for now,” he says, “I had intended to do something different and I didn’t want it to just be a compilation of dancefloor tracks but then after I said that everything I was making was five-to-six minute, 130 bpm club tracks.”
For the album, the producer will aspire to create a cohesive but varied collection of music. “The album is a lost artform and dance albums, in particular, are very difficult,” he says, “I can only probably think of a few which I like – I want to do something with shorter tracks, varying tempos, something fluid and with a lot of sounds, something people can sit down and listen to, more like a hip hop mixtape sort of vibe,” he adds.
“I will do an album eventually but it will be something that will happen naturally.”
Deadboy plays at FOUND presents Trix tonight. Click here to view the event details on Facebook.Tagged in: bass, dance, Deadboy, FOUND, If U Want Me, Trix, U Cheated
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