JDNB Interview - Lost City
Noah and Tom aka 'Lost City' is a collaboration between veteran producers Noah D and No Thing based out of Los Angeles. The aim of Lost City is to bring a unique, new twist on the jungle sound the two fell in love with over ten years ago. By combining new structures, tempos and styles with the traditional breaks, basslines and reggae influences found in early jungle the duo forges a new style they call, "JNGL". With their 'Maps Series' on Liondub International in full stealth mode and firing on all cylinders, we thought it was about time we got back in touch with them both, heres what they had to say:
How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Producing new material and sharpening studio production skills. But also listening to and playing non electronic styles of music, reggae, metal, cumbia, jazz, etc. for general mental health and inspiration.
Where did the name ‘Lost City’ come from?
In 2014 we both reconnected with that 90’s old-school jungle sound. We made a few decent beats together and needed a name. At that time in our lives and arguably in North America as a whole Jungle music was a ‘Lost’ sound. In a way we felt like we were explorers rediscovering a ‘Lost City’ of jungle.
Tell us a little bit more about where you're from and where you get your musical background from?
Tom - I immigrated from Russia to California as a kid. Grew up listening to mostly grunge metal like Deftones, Rage Against the Machine and hip hop like Digable Planets, De La Soul, etc. In the late 90’s at age 16 I discovered a release called “Toasted: Massive Ragga Jungle" and was hooked for life. Started going to jungle/dnb raves in San Francisco and making beats on a cheap drum machine. Influenced by the likes of Shy Fx, Photek, Dillinja.
Noah - I grew up in California and with a very diverse musical background. Everything from rock to hip hop, soul, r n b, folk, blues, reggae and pop. In high school I was mostly interested in hip hop and heavy alternative rock and was in a band playing that type of music. In those days I worked at a musical instrument shop and learned to play a lot of percussion and various "exotic" instruments.
What would you say first got you into jungle / drum and bass?
Tom - As a teen first partying at raves, the jungle/dnb stage had an unparalleled rowdy energy. The aggressive broken beat patterns, the nasty bouncy basslines, the rudeboy vocals blew any other rave music out of the water.
Noah - In the late 90's there was an 'electronica' music video show on MTV called AMP which started to introduce me to the likes of Autechre, Juno Reactor, The Prodigy, Tricky, Portishead, and probably most importantly, Photek. Photek blew my mind back in those days with the drum programming and moody atmospheres. At that time in my life I had no idea how to make beats or process breaks, etc. so the drums really mystified me. After that I started digging into a lot more dnb and jungle and fell in love.
Describe the style of jungle / drum and bass you produce?
Lost City is mostly focused on fusing vocals with jungle/dnb with the intention of making tunes that have a wider listening appeal than your typical straight forward dnb while still maintaining plenty of dancefloor appeal. And that's not to take anything away from standard dnb, we love most of the dnb spectrum but we just felt there was a lack of "songs" so we decided to focus on that. Most of the vocalists we work with are from the dancehall scene but we also like to work with pop/r n b singers and the occasional grime/hip hop artists. We also like to keep a balance so we make sure to put out some non vocal driven tunes and even make a lot of beats that are not dnb/jungle.
What does your studio/DJ setup consist of?
We keep it pretty simple. Ableton on a Mac, some old school Mackie Hr824 monitors, and a Pioneer XDJ controller.
How long have you been producing, and where do you get your inspiration from to make tunes?
We’ve been producing for around 20 years. Equally inspired by current Jungle/DnB releases and other non electronic music like reggae/dancehall, metal, latin american, hip hop.
Do you have any gigs coming up or live streams where people can hear you play?
Planning to do another guest live stream on Liondub's KOOL LONDON show in the near future. Check social media for dates.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far within the drum and bass scene?
Proud of ‘Sicko’ our collaboration with Ward 21 on Liondub International. It was amazing to work with both Kunley and Suku from Ward 21 as they've had many huge dancehall hits over their long career.
Describe the moment you received the phone call to say you will be releasing music on Liondub International?
Noah - I have been releasing music with Liondub for almost 10 years (originally as Noah D and more dubstep sound) so when Tom and I launched Lost City it just made perfect sense to work with Lion. He's been massively supportive of the project and we're very grateful!
Your track called ‘Dangerous’ feat Moia Bri was our ‘Track of the week’ when it came out. How did you hook up with Moia for this release?
Moia’s sister Michele Wylen (a vocalist we’ve worked with multiple times) introduced us to Moia. Definitely going to be putting out more songs with both of these talented sisters in the near future!
Anything else planned to come out on Liondub International?
Three more singles leading up to our full length album ‘MAPS’, with ‘Jungle Dance’ being the next one released on 16/10/2020 . Also a half dozen remixes of other Liondub International material.
Name your top 3 Liondub International tracks?
Out of our own songs:
Lost City, Ward 21 - Sicko
Lost City, Moia Bri - Dangerous
Turbulence, Nico D - Inna Me Draw (Lost City Remix)
Other Liondub International tunes:
Kumo, Liondub, Patexx - Caan Touch
Suku, Rumble - Siren
Navigator, Skarra Mucci, Bassface Sascha - Sound The Alarm
What do you like doing in your spare time away from music?
We both love getting out into nature. Noah plays the Congas and is a giant Mezcal nerd/collector. Tom is into independent filmmaking.
What would be your top 5 tunes at the moment?
What would you say you like most about the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
The website supports the scene by introducing fans to up and coming artists through in depth interviews. Thanks!
Thanks for your time. Lastly any thanks or shoutouts?
Lost City Socials:
Liondub International Socials:
Interview And Edited By: Chilla