S.P.Y: ‘Why can’t there be room for romance in drum and bass?’
S.P.Y, also known as Carlos Lima, is one of many fantastic drum and bass producers to come out of Brazil. He says this is ‘because Brazilian people in general are really passionate for music and art’. Following a string of well-received releases on Metalheadz and his current home Hospital Records, more evidence of Carlos Lima’s ability in the former field can be found on his new album, ‘What The Future Holds’ which was released earlier this month.
Does S.P.Y stand for anything or have you just always dreamed of one day becoming James Bond?
S.P.Y doesn’t stand for anything, my DJ name was SPYDER but a producer from America released an EP under the same name around the same time as I signed my first track for a compilation on Metalheadz. I had one week to come up with a new name, so the easiest option was to drop the DER and keep it just as S.P.Y. I have added the dots because I liked the way it looked.
What were your musical tastes growing up?
I grew up listening to my father’s soul, funk, jazz and classic music records. When I started to DJ and buy my own records I was really into hip hop. I used to spend all my weekends watching DMC DJ competitions and tried to copy all my favourite DJ’s tricks. Then, in the early 90s I heard hardcore and jungle and I just fell in love with it. I was always into underground music, so I used to go out a lot to hip hop and underground dance music nights.
How did you end up signed to Hospital?
It was something totally unexpected in the beginning. I’ve known the guys at Hospital Records for years as I had my first solo release on Med School back in 2006. I really like the way they work as a label, and so far working with them has been amazing, so it’s worked out well.
What was the most intense moment while making the album?
I think it was right at the end when the deadline was really close and I was waiting for singers to deliver the vocals. It was a tense moment but luckily everything went super smooth and I’m really pleased with the results.
What’s your favourite track on the LP?
Probably What The Future Holds and also Love Hurts – I think because both tracks were produced in a really difficult moment of my life.
Was Analogue Dream recorded using actual analogue equipment? If so, how did you enjoy that process compared to digital methods?
Yes, most of the sounds on this particular track were created using analogue synths and I really enjoy working with such equipment. It’s a completely different approach because you can never really predict how a piece of analogue equipment will behave, so the randomness of the process makes the music sound really organic.
Love Hurts is a bit of a melancholy track – do you think there’s room for romance in drum and bass?
Why not? I think there’s still a lot of room in drum and bass to be explored, and I don’t think drum and bass is just about producing club bangers.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
I will be mainly doing the album tour and at the end of the year I will be performing in Australia and New Zealand. In the spare time between all this I hope to be back in studio again to produce some new music.
The title track evokes memories of Lord of the Rings – are you a big Tolkien fan? What lead you to create that track?
I’m a big fan of film sound scores and soundtracks. Sometimes I find it hard to watch a film because I always get distracted by its music. When I started to work on the What The Future Holds track I was just having fun in the studio, experimenting and trying a different approach to drum and bass. I never really expected anyone to actually like the track but I had an amazing time producing it.
On your Facebook page, you’ve shared a lot of hip hop videos. If you could make beats for one rapper (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
If I could I would love to produce a track with Peter Rock and Cl Smooth, Common of Jay Dilla. They are a big influence in a lot of the soulful tracks I have produced.Brazil, Carlos Lima, Drum 'n' bass, Metalheadz, S.P.Y, What the future holds
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