2015: Kahn

Kahn has been a loyal customer of Dubstudio since first cutting with us a few years ago. Over that time we have seen him rise from humble beginnings in the Bristol scene to one of the most in-demand DJ/producer/remixers on a worldwide circuit. His releases sell out within a matter of hours, whether they be on his own Bandulu imprint or the scene's hottest labels like Hotline and Deep Medi. It has been great watching his career go from strength to strength and seeing how vinyl and dubplates have played an integral role in that process. We spoke to him about why he still loves cutting dubs, and to pick his brains about the state of the scene and his future within it! - Interview by Lurka

Photo: Chris Colouryum

What initially drew you to dubstudio/dubplates? How did you find the studio?

Neek first introduced me to Dubstudio when he got some of the Sureskank Convention crew's early tunes cut to dubplate which must have been at least 5 or 6 years ago. It was something I knew I wanted to invest in once the time was right. I remember my first batch of dubs I got made after my first single on Punch Drunk came out and I started getting more gigs, I got 30 of my tunes cut in one go and never looked back...

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2014: Koehler

Daniel Koehler is one of the most exciting talents to hail from Bristol in recent years and although he is now based in Berlin we are still fortunate enough to be working on his dubs here at DubStudio. Since his debut on the stellar Skudge label, he has gone from strength to strength, with follow up releases on exciting labels like Berceuse Heroique and R-Zone. We spoke to him to find out how he has created his own brand of unclassifiable electronic music.

Your music seems to defy any particular genre. Is that a conscious process, perhaps drawing from a wide range of influences instead, or do you set out to make something totally unique, regardless of genre?

I must say I bloody hate the idea of genre! For me there is almost nothing worse than the idea of a "purist" form of house, techno, drum'n'bass, jazz or rock or whatever. What I truly love is when you hear a track come on, in a club or a shop or wherever, and it just absolutely rips your damn head off because you have never heard anything like it. And so that's what I aim for when I'm creating music. And I think it's very difficult to create a track that can have that effect on you if you are worried about whether certain sounds are "allowed" or "acceptable" as per whatever supposed genre you are working around. You just need to trust your instincts and "follow the sound" ! So for example if I lay some drums down and they are already producing a certain atmosphere or vibe, then the next sound I add, whether it's a melody or bassline or whatever will have to fit with that atmosphere and so on and so on.

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2014: Ossia

When it comes to unsung heroes of the Bristol music scene, Daniel Davies is high up on our list. And its not because he shuns the limelight - his regular Peng Sound nights at Take 5 are a Bristol institution, and joining the Young Echo crew is hardly the right move for a creative recluse - but in an age where self-promotion has become an art form, we often don’t see the whole picture, especially for someone so deeply involved in the day-to-day running of several record labels (Peng Sound, No Corner, Fuck Punk amongst others) and specialist online store RWDFWD. Not to mention the countless artistic collaborations, and the fact that he doesn’t always take the easiest route to get to his goals. Frankly, we were amazed he even had time to do this interview… but here it is.

Whilst your DJ sets span many disparate sounds, a consistent thread can be heard in what you play. What do you think these characteristics are and what do you look for in a record for DJing?

Ha! That's a tough one already... I guess they appeal to me for various reasons, but generally I seek out music that has something to say, there has to be a certain 'vibe' to it... that can be introvert and thought-provoking or just plain body-moving, it doesn't matter!

Read more: 2014: Ossia

2009: Danny Byrd

Danny Byrd promo photo - Danny looms over some buildings

Where are you from? Being near Bristol, do you think that has an influence on your production?

I'm from the city of Bath, its about 12 miles away from Bristol. I would never have said Bristol influenced my sound until recently. I've always appreciated the way the Full Cycle guys approached their production, and now the newer school of producers like Distorted Minds and TC. I've got sick of that generic D&B drum sound and it feels like the Bristol guys still have some flava in their drums, they sound more funky, more organic, so in this sense it has been influencing me. Also when I DJ I play a lot of Bristol-style rollers amongst my more uplifting euphoric sets which I guess I'm most known for.

What inspires you to produce?

For the last year it hasn't really been about being inspired, its having work to do. I've always had this remix to do or this VIP, or changing a version of an old tune. So it felt like I had stuff to complete/finish rather than feeling any creative urge to do it. I think you can read a lot into being "inspired" but truth is you just have to get your head down, even if your not inspired. I'm more inspired to watch TV all day and go and buy clothes! Hahah! So I know I just have to get my head down sometimes regardless of whether I'm in a creative zone or not.

So how does the VIP thing work? What's the motivation behind it?

Well the motivation is usually born out of DJing and having a big tune that goes down well, but you want your own exclusive version to play out. Luckily the VIPs I've done have actually got released, so I guess its more like doing your own remix, but you don't usually start them knowing your gonna get paid, they just start out as DJ tools.

What would you say the main reason for cutting dubs is from a producers point of view?

Read more: 2009: Danny Byrd

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