Podcast #072 – Bad Syntax & Mean Teeth (Mix + Interview)

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Thanks for joining us guys, tell us a little bit about yourself and your history prior to Drum and Bass.

Mean Teeth is a duo made up of Voice and Ophzet, from the Baltic states (Estonia and Lithuania). Since we‘re not in the same country 99% of the time, we decided to answer these questions individually:

Voice: Hey guys. Well my dnb history goes way back. I started out as a listener back in 2003. I was a full time break-dancer then and one of my training mates had a pc and internet at home, so he wrote lot of music onto discs for listening in the car. Which was where I heard Aphrodite & Micky Finn – Bad Ass as my first dnb tune and I was hooked for life. I even got a tattoo on my hand saying “A heavy bassline is my kind of silence”. I continued with Desimal and then on to Noisia and Spor. My friend started playing around with writing tunes on a videogame console and I kinda followed him after some time. So from 2003, til the first time I worked with Vidual it was just a random hobby for me. Listening and producing. Now I’m fully dedicated to devastating the scene with Mark (Ophzet) and our alias Mean Teeth .

Ophzet: My musical background goes way back to kindergarden where I first started singing in choirs. I did that, along with learning basic music theory, throughout my school years and cemented my descision that music is the ultimate path for me after I discovered the joys (and hardships) of drum and bass production back in 2011. I now study sound engineering, work in a recording studio and spend all my personal free time focusing on drum and bass.

What made you fall in love with Drum and Bass?

Voice: The first answer kind of answers it all. But to be specific – it was Desimal. He was a master of his time. Rest in peace.

Ophzet: I was never a fan of electronic music before discovering drum and bass. I was a total metalhead and just never understood the appeal of dance music. One day, a friend showed me Fourward‘s tune ”Sliver”. Something clicked right then and there. It was so alien to me, but so energetic and powerful that my entire musical world changed forever. It truly was love at first listen.

Where did the name “Mean Teeth” come from?

Mean Teeth: We were originally a trio and the name came from a third guy who unfortunately left before we even made any tracks… The name itself is from Izotope‘s Trash 2 Preset. So it‘s basically a type of distortion name. We thought this would introduce us pretty well.

Tell us a bit about your local Drum and Bass scene.

Voice: In Estonia I like to think its pretty big actually. We have big names coming over all the time. For example, the latest were: The Upbeats, Ed rush, Rene La Vice, Phace, Noisia, DLR etc.. I could continue all day. We have lot of estonian producers here as well. The most famous and known are probably Raiden and Indivision. Today, however, there’s Insect, Planeet, Micron, Cosmistic, Vidual etc.

Ophzet: I‘m always envious of Marius (Voice), since the Estonian drum and bass scene is just so strong, both from an event and from a producer standpoint. I heard his and a few other Estonian producers’ tunes on Neurofunkgrid before I even had my first release! The scene here in Lithuania is a bit weird. Techno seems to be reigning supreme when it comes to electronic music and the niche for heavier drum and bass is quite small. There are a few producers I’m keeping a close eye on and I think they will do very well in the near future, but we still have a looooong way to go before we even come close to the state drum and bass is in Estonia.

We know a little bit about the drama with your tune being stolen by another producer and trying to pass it off as theirs on to American label Santoku, what was that experience like?

Voice: The owner of You So Fat sent me a tune to check out. It was Solaris, but with a different name and he knew the guy who stole it was notorious for this kind of behavior. My jaw dropped. I instantly wrote to Santoku, who were planning to release it and got in chat with Thomas aka Logam. We dealt with the problem reallly quietly. And from then on have been pretty close with Santoku. Thomas is a real pro and it’s a pleasure to work with him all the way. Big ups to Edgar for exposing the phoney as well! As for the guy who stole the track – he is a total fraud and considering how public everything is these days, that was end of this dudes game. He didn’t steal only one track by the way – there were many tunes apparently.

Who are your current favorite drum and bass producers in 2016?

Voice: I’m a really huge fan of the whole Russian scene. Gydra are one to watch, they just have such a fat and huge sound. Of course, Codex aswell, the rythms he is creating are just so catchy and tasty. Then Dubhead – really badass sound, so much texture in his creations. Then Diggerz & Opsen, their productions are just so good, so deep and fantastic. And ofcourse HYQXYZ – keep that name in mind !

Ophzet: Signal has been making huge waves and he already has a recognizable style. HYQXYZ is another one to look out for, we did a collab with him and he is absolutely brutal. DLR is one of my favourite producers at the moment and I hear he’s working on yet another album already! Abstract Elements are really out there, but in a good way. I love their style.

Tell us about a crazy and/or embarassing moment you had while playing a show / being in the studio

Voice: I once had a chance to gig with Vidual in one of the many estonian dnb parties. Once his set was over it was time for some dubstep dj to step in. Unfortunatly we blew the sub amp. So the dude had to play a 1 hour dubstep set without a sub! That was hilarious. No impact at all.

Ophzet: When I was visiting Marius in the studio last summer, we started a tune which we both thought was mind blowingly good. We must have worked on it too much, since the minute we left the studio, got some fresh air and checked the tune in the car, we realised it was absolute crap. We kind of agreed right then and there to start over and not mention the tune again, haha!

Whats next for you as far as releases go?

Mean Teeth: We have a track on Santoku coming at the end of March, being released along with Gridlok himself, on the 28th. Also two tracks on a new Estonian dnb label. You will hear those soon. We have been in touch with Safire from Plasma, as well as Xtrah to release on Cyberfunk. And we have talked with Santoku about a 4 track solo EP. Right now we are trying to finish as many tracks as we can and then we’ll send them out to whoever we want. We can definitely say that we wont go anywhere and scene can expect to hear more from Mean Teeth for sure.

Where do you see drum and bass heading in the next few years?

Mean Teeth: For better or worse – we believe it’s heading more and more into the mainstream. Even the heavier styles. Our only fear is that we don’t get another craze like we did with dubstep, except this time with drum and bass… On the bright side, the boundaries of sound design are being pushed every month it seems. Distortion in drum and bass is a very interesting concept it seems, as the listeners are tolerating more and more of it, even the often touted digital clipping is becoming acceptable and welcome. We‘re really curious to see how far this will be pushed in the coming years.

What is one quick production tip to share with the world

Voice: My work flow is always very basic and I try to keep things as simple as I can. So whenever you work on a track, I sugest you be there for yourself and know what you are doing. I think one good tip to give is that when you have a rush of inspiration, it’s not a good time to go all technical and start woking on details. You will kill your inspiration and, most of the time, end up with an 8 bar loop which leads to nowhere. You can always work on quality, EQ’ing, compression , reverbs and etc. later, but you cant never push inspiration.

Ophzet: Learn your reverb types. Some reverbs, like spring reverb, are two-dimentional, while others, such as hall, have 3 dimensions. This is useful to keep in mind when applying reverb, as each type has it’s own character and pros/cons. 3-dimentional reverbs tend to be the most dense, while 2-dimentional ones are often less dense and don’t crowd your mix as much. If your mix is packed, yet you still want some depth sepatation, try delay with a few very short taps – it sounds similar to a spring reverb, but is in fact very “light” when it comes to density and will leave you more room in the mix. Oh, and listen to lots of 60s-70s funk! That’s where the magic is!

Any shoutouts?

Mean Teeth: Big ups to Thomas from Santoku Recordings, Adam from Concussion Recordings, DLR, Safire, Paul from Studio 808, James Overtech, the crew over at Neurofunkgrid and all the Estonian and Lithuanian promoters and producers making the amazing music we call drum and bass!

Best Drum and Bass Podcast Info

Subscribe on iTunes: http://bit.ly/bestdnb

Bad Syntax Tracklist:

  1. 4mulate – Grey Sight [Abducted LTD]
  2. Dose – In My Mind [Citrus]
  3. Borderline – Creature of Habit [C4C]
  4. Neonlight – Bad Omen [Blackout]
  5. Segment & Concept Vision – Vintage [Eatbrain]
  6. Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Cobra [Playaz]
  7. RA:SKL – United [Abducted LTD]
  8. Coppa & Virtue ft Damian Yonge – Rhythms of Life (Benny L RMX) [Comanche]
  9. Segment & Concept Vision – Heist [Eatbrain]
  10. Spectrem – Shaolin [Technique]
  11. Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Testify [Playaz]
  12. Neonlight – Triple B [Blackout]
  13. Segment & Concept Vision – Mammoth [Eatbrain]
  14. Temulent vs SignalFista – Blood of Innocents [Abducted LTD]
  15. Mindscape – Buzzkill [Eatbrain]
  16. Optiv & BTK – Over the Edge (Agressor Bunx RMX) [Dutty Audio]
  17. Dose & Victim – Time Creeper [Citrus]
  18. Pish Posh – Execution Notification [Dub]
  19. Machine Code – Planet 9 [Eatbrain]
  20. Neonlight – Microbots [Blackout]
  21. Ophlot – Timelash [Abducted LTD]
  22. Optiv & BTK – Get Dark (Signs RMX) [Dutty Audio]
  23. Full Kontakt – Mind Overload [Formation]
  24. Evol Intent ft Gridlok – We Are Not Alone [Evol Intent]
  25. Cause 4 Concern – Eurotrash (Borderline RMX) [C4C]
  26. Northern Lights – Want Some More [Digital Terror]
  27. Pish Posh – Mindspeak [Abducted LTD]
  28. Kolectiv & Jam Theives – Accidental Side Effects [Nurtured Beatz]
  29. Full Kontakt – The Creeper [Formation]
  30. Ophlot – Pixel Juice [Abducted LTD]
  31. PRTCL & Sweetpea – Afterthought [Terabyte]
  32. Kolectiv & Retraflex – General Dub [Nurtured Beatz]
  33. Modify Perspective – Hills Upon the Rise [Dub]
  34. Mindless – Gone [Delta 9]
  35. Glitch – Era [Abducted LTD]

Mean Teeth Tracklist:

  1. Planeet – Alone in the dark – Unsigned
  2. Cosmistic – Mystery Box – Ammunition
  3. Safire & DLR – Hurdles – Dispatch
  4. ID – ID
  5. ID – ID
  6. Gridoptic & Sesterce – Speedkilla – Paperfunk
  7. Mean Teeth – Transfixed – Santoku
  8. Vidual – Jokers ( feat MC Nuclear ) – Unsigned
  9. Vidual & Voice – Royal Flush – NFG Free
  10. Mizo – Money Spend – Overtech
  11. Xtrah & DLR – Direct Approach – Dispatch
  12. ID – ID
  13. Vidual – Sleeping Powder – Unsigned

Follow Mean Teeth
Email : meanteethofficial@hotmail.com
FB : https://www.facebook.com/meanteethdnb
SC : https://soundcloud.com/meanteeth
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/meanteethofficial/

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Facebook: facebook.com/badsyntaxdnb

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About Author

I have been promoting / involving myself with Drum and Bass in some way shape or form since about 1999. I recently started a solo project for production / DJing called Bad Syntax. I am the H.N.I.C. of Abducted LTD. I threw one of the longest running Drum and Bass weeklies in Florida called Protocol in the early/mid 2000's and really have never stopped pushing artists and sounds in the dnb community.

I live, breathe, eat and sleep Drum & Bass. I hope we can help expose the world to some amazing music through this awesome new site! Make sure to check out my weekly podcast on itunes: by Clicking Here

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