JDNB Interview: Epicentre
Following on from the Kumarachi interview we thought it would be good to have a catch up and get to know with Epicentre who also featured on the 'Riddim EP' which is out now on the Liondub International sub-label Uproar Audio.
Hi, thanks for chatting with us here at JDNB. How have you been coping with the Covid-19 Pandemic and what have you been doing to fill your time?
No problem! Thanks for having me.
The lack of gigs and live music really took its toll on my production inspiration early on. I didn't realise before just how much I fed the energy from my DJ shows into my productions so things have been quite slow for me personally. On the positive side of that I have started my own business: Epicentre Audio Research, where I offer analogue mixing and mastering as well as hand built hardware and music equipment repairs.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come from?
I'm from a small town called Hyde on the outskirts of Greater Manchester in the UK. Being based here gave me access to the rich music scene and wicked record shops in Manchester and the surrounding area. I started DJing when I was 13/14 years old and quickly discovered my love for jungle/drum and bass. Production didn't come until I was around 19 and I didn't seriously get into that until I was around 25 (i'm 37 now)
What's the jungle, drum and bass scene like where you live?
At the moment it's thriving but the scene around the north west has had its fair share of troubles over the years. It took a very long time for the city to recover from the 'gunchester' era. Those days are long gone now though and the scene in the North West of the UK is stronger than ever.
In your own words ‘what is jungle / drum and bass’?
To me jungle/dnb has always been an all encompassing format, a vibe, an attitude, a way of life. Anyone is free to take the sound and reform it into anything they wish and I feel that now more than ever. From liquid to amen jungle, there is something for everyone!
What musical influences did you have growing up?
I had a lot of influences growing up. Mainly hip hop from the likes of Cypress Hill, Biggie, Nas, Das Efx and loads more. As I got a little older I became aware of the electronic music scene from hardcore to trance and of course, jungle.
What first got you into jungle drum and bass, was there a specific track or producer that made you think “yeah this is the genre for me”?
My earliest memory of jungle/dnb was from a DJ Hype tape I got my hands on around 97/98 Brown Paper Bag was the intro tune and those breaks left a lasting impression that I will never forget.
What would you say has been your 3 biggest achievements so far within the drum and bass scene?
This is a tough one!
My most recent achievement would have to be the fact I've managed to stay semi relevant without playing the social media game or being part of a crew or brand. Strange achievement I know, but in a world where online visibility is king it's hard to keep yourself humble and just get on with it without falling out of favor with the scene.
Having a special relationship with Deep in the Jungle has to be another one, big up Alex (Dj Hybrid) for believing in my sound for all these years and giving me the freedom to release anything I want. That's something you just don't get from other labels so I hold that very close to my heart.
The release with Kumarachi that triggered this interview made it to number 1 in the Juno chart. That was my first number one release and the fact it's on a label under the Liondub umbrella makes it even sweeter.
What does your studio consist of, and what’s your fav plug-in or piece of kit to use?
How long have you got? haha
My studio has far too much stuff in it.
For production I have the following:
Nord Lead A1
Modular synth rig
808 drum machine clone
Vintage Sonay tape machine
And a stack of stuff in the corner that never gets used!
For mastering I use:
DDA mixing console circa 1990
SSL bus compressor recreation
My 'desert island' hardware piece would have to be the MPC One because it does everything in one unit
My favourite plug-in right now is a toss up between the Cable Guys Shaper Box 2 and the Newfangled audio mastering bundle.
Heard you're a dab hand at mastering tracks too?
Thanks! I've been running a mixing and mastering service for around a year and it's going really well. Lots of positive feedback and returning customers so I must be doing something right!
I've always been heavily interested in the aesthetic of sound and how it works on a technical level so the mastering is really just a natural progression of that interest
So, how do you make the perfect snare, haha?
When I find out I will let you know!!!!
Who are your top 3 dnb producers right now and why?
Dub Phizix - One of the most unique artists in the DnB spectrum and an all round boss and total audio nerd like myself not as current as the other 2 but deserves the mention for spending two weeks tuning a drum kit!
Dj Hybrid - I like to think he's the king of the underground at the moment
Sully - Undisputed king fo the original jungle sound right now
Your ‘Riddim EP’ alongside Kumarachi is out now on Liondub International imprint Uproar Audio. How does it feel to get this EP out there finally?
It's always a great feeling when music finally hits the streets and is well received. Give me a release that is in every DJ's box over fame and fortune any day of the week!
Where do you get your inspiration from when making tracks?
I like to dig for samples and get a lot of inspiration from that. 99% of my tunes start with a sample which will set the mood for the track. As I mentioned earlier I also draw a lot of inspiration from my DJ gigs and try to put that feeling and energy back into my music.
If you could remix one track from Uproar Audio, which one would it be?
Sikka - Don't Be Afraid - Gully tune!
Name your top 3 Liondub International tracks?
What are your goals for the next year?
My main aim is to keep building my business and get more music products on to the market. Play more shows and make more tunes!
What would you say you like most about the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
The spotlight it puts on artists new and old. I love reading interviews!
Thanks for your time. Lastly, any thanks or shoutouts?
Shout out to Kumarachi for getting me involved in this EP. All the team at Liondub International. Dj Hybrid. Nikki Euphonqiue for giving me my first ever release. Speaker Louis for his great music theory lessons, My Mrs Emma for putting up with me constantly being in the studio, My dog Barry! And lastly anyone who listens to my music, BIG UP!
'Riddim EP' by Kumarachi and Epicentre is out now on Uproar Audio: Download / Stream Here
Liondub International / Uproar Audio Socials:
Interviewed And Edited By: Chilla