JDNB Interview - Speaker Louis
Speaker Louis is a french producer. After years of experimenting with live bass music performances, he moved to London and, inspired by UK club culture, focused his production on drum & bass. His sound is equally influenced by old school jungle, reggae-inspired dnb and modern rollers. As a DJ, he is part of the long-standing french band La Phaze, which blends the junglist sound with energetic punk rock vibes. His most recent tunes have been released on Deep in The Jungle Records, Hyperactivity Music, Jungle Cakes and most recently an EP on the legendary Liondub International Street Series and supported on Radio1 and 1Xtra. We had a chat to find out more about the release:
Thanks for talking to us. How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Thanks for having me! I’ve been quite busy this year, between my own musical projects and working with La Phaze, as well as giving music lessons on Skype. It’s not always easy to be inspired when there’s no shows to play or to attend but I still managed to produce a fair amount of tunes so I’m happy.
Tell us a little bit about where you're from, and where you get your musical background from?
I’m from the south of France but I’ve moved around a lot. I’ve spent some time in Lyon, a city with a flourishing sound system culture. I was very into reggae and dub at the time. During my years there I’ve played in a few bands from punk rock to hip-hop, as a singer, guitar player or bass player and I started experimenting with electronic music production.
What would you say first got you into drum and bass and was there a standout tune that got you hooked?
I became obsessed with drum and bass shortly after I moved to Lyon, and luckily there were a lot of shows at the time. I attended most of them and saw people like Andy C, A.M.C, Shy FX… It was all very inspiring! I started buying records and digging online. One of the first tunes that I couldn’t stop playing was Break - Let it Happen on Shogun Audio, a beautiful roller with reggae vibes and a catchy bassline.
Tell us a little bit about your projects with La Phaze?
La Phaze has been present in the scene for about 20 years, Arnaud and Damny were part of the first wave of french junglists back in the days. I joined the band in 2017, we toured for a while then produced the new album ‘Visible(s)’ which we released in October 2020. The album is doing quite well but because of Covid all our shows have been cancelled this year, so we’re just hoping that we can get back on the road as soon as possible! Our music is meant to be played live more than anything.
What is the French drum and bass scene like compared to the UK scene?
I’d say it’s quite small sadly...But there’s a lot of talented producers and dedicated ravers. I’ve worked with people like Vici and Veak in 2020, two very creative musicians. The issue in France is that most people don’t even know what drum and bass is, it’s a music genre for specialists! Luckily there’s a lot of hard-working people in the scene, for instance my friend BRK who’s spreading the dnb vibes in Marseille with his label Hyperactivity Music, he’s smashing it and he’s well connected with the UK scene.
Describe the style of drum and bass you produce?
I try to make solid drum and bass tunes with a big musical vibe: catchy vocals, hooks… I come from a sound system background so I’m very keen on reggae vibes! My goal is to make tunes that would be between modern rollers, dubwise from the Digital Soundboy era and oldschool jungle. In the world of dnb, my biggest influences are Shy FX, Break, Serum...
Which came first, DJing or producing?
Producing came first. I started messing around with Cubase as a teenager and tried many genres before drum & bass. I definitely see myself as a producer more than a DJ, it’s what I find the most exciting.
What does your studio/DJ setup consist of?
My studio is my happy place! I use mainly Ableton on a Mac, with loads of plugins and a few controllers. I also have a few guitars and basses, which I love using when I produce - you can’t beat the organic sounds! For DJing I practice on Traktor at home but I play on CDJs as often as possible.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement so far within the drum and bass scene?
Probably to have my tracks being played on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra this year. Rene LaVice supported my release on Hyperactivity Music. Even if it’s a small achievement compared to other producers, it’s very encouraging and it motivates me to make more tunes!
If you could remix one track from Liondub International, which one would it be?
Probably Night Fall Dub by Bladerunner and Johnny Osbourne! It’s such an amazing jungle roller. But it would be hard to beat Bladerunner’s production...
Your latest release on the legendary Liondub Street Series is on my playlist constantly at the moment, so many great tracks on there. How did the link up with Liondub International come about?
Thank you so much, it means a lot that you rate the tunes! Basically I made a few of them in the summer 2019 and got in touch with Liondub. I was already a big fan of the label, but then I saw him play at a festival with Blackout JA and I thought, yeah this is exactly my kind of sound, I should send him tunes! He offered me the opportunity to do a Street Series EP, it took a while to get all the tunes together because we were both picky about the quality. Liondub has helped me a lot to get my sound better and I’m so grateful to have his support!
Anything else planned to come out on Liondub International?
Yeah, I’ve been involved in Parly B’s new drum and bass project, the first LP got released in October and there’s still lots to come in the future. I was so happy to work with Parly B, I’ve been a big fan of his music for ages. And Liondub International is the perfect label for a raggamuffin junglist project like this one !
Name your top 5 Liondub International tracks?
Parly B, Dirt Monkey & Liondub - Hot Like Fire
Numa Crew ft Robert Dallas & Petah Sunday - Impossible (Brian Brainstorm remix)
Rumble, Mr Lexx, Suku Ward - Gyalis (L-Side Remix)
Aries & Kelvin 373 ft. Navigator - Dubplate Massive
Dungeon Kru - Pushing
What do you like doing in your spare time away from music?
Well, music takes about half of my time but the other half is focused on science. I’ve finished a PhD in computer science this year and I also do some teaching and scientific research.
What would you say you like most about the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
I’d say probably the interviews - in general I love the fact that it features the most recent releases and some info about them, I’m always happy to read more about my favourite artists!
Thanks for your time. Lastly any thanks or shoutouts?
Thanks a lot for supporting my music. I want to shoutout Oliver at Original Key Records who’s done a sick job on my recent release and on exciting plans for the future. Also shoutout to a few producers I’m working with at the moment: Brian Brainstorm, Grimesy and Epicentre. And of course big up Erik Liondub for his support - the man is a legend and I’m so happy to work with him!
Liondub Presents Street Series Vol54: Foundation by Speaker Louis is out now on all streaming and download platforms: Stream / Download Here
Speaker Louis Socials:
Liondub International Socials:
Interview And Edited By: Chilla