Talking Drum And Bass With Serum And Listening To The “Strike Back” LP

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Highly anticipated and at the same rate, an entirely unexpected album. Serum and Voltage’s collaboration compilation released by Logan D‘s very own Low Down Deep which most recently topped our list at the number one spot for Jump Up Drum And Bass labels that should have your attention in 2018. This LP is the perfect example why the label and the artists are an asset to your rekordbox playlist. I actually had the privilege of sliding into the DM’s of the man that has been bringing the groove, soul and big basslines back to the various forms of the Drum And Bass spectrum. One-third the super group “Kings of The RollersSerum to try to get an alternate perspective on Drum And Bass music.

Okay so I suppose this wasn’t entirely unexpected but I have been following the footsteps of the likes of Voltage, Bladerunner and Serum alike very closely since the announcement of their super group K.O.T.R. Closely enough to know that the tunes featured in the Evil B & Logan D HBS Mix Series sixth installment featured some of the biggest Serum and Voltage singles and colabs I have ever heard. So when tunes like “Mission Control” and “Earth Rot” surfaced late last year I was under the impression that was it! It only took two years and some change to see the light, but I am extremely thankful for it.

The “Strike Back” long play holds some of the bits that are cemented in my current routine. Starting off the release is “Paradise”, an absolute dance floor destroyer and my personal favourite. One bit of weaponry that I had the blessings of playing on New Years Eve which was a complete surprise to myself and the dance floor was “Bubbling Up”. It got the rewind, MC Phillie B called it the dance screamed and we let it roll to the second drop. All while my first time even hearing the tune, having received the release days before the party. Void sound system really handled that tune with care as the bass completely engulfed the room, absolute smasher.

While “Gobstopper, Snakes Alive, Let Me Know and Do You Want To Die” definitely get the rinse, these tunes may overshadow the likes of “White Widdow, Don’t Know Why and Cricket Bat”. Very few albums get released where every single tune featured is good. I don’t care who produced it, its just not the case some times. Not every tune can be the banger, sometimes we need the filler. To get a better idea of Drum And Bass music we talked with Serum to get what we described earlier is this article as an alternate perspective on the subject.

dEEb:
If you could date yourself to a time before producing together, how did the Voltage and Serum relationship begin?

Serum:
I’d already been around for quite a while when I first heard of Voltage. He was working under the Cabin Fever name at the time. He sent me an insane amount of music and the quality kept getting better and better.

dEEb:
What do you think about the sounds of Jump-Up going back three, even five years ago to what we have on our plate currently today?

Serum:
I’ve always had to pick and choose from jump up but you can say that about anything. I prefer the tracks that have a groove and a bit of space.

dEEb:
Even as established producers in Drum & Bass, do you have moments where you feel nothing sounds right or it all just sounds like a bunch a noise or just simply uninspired? How do you help yourself get out of the rut and back to Drum & Bass business?

Serum:
There have been times when I haven’t liked the music that’s out there. Particularly around 2003-4. But that just makes me think about what sorts of sounds are missing and then what sounds I should make. If I get bored of my own music then I listen to other styles to get new directions. Nowadays I’m constantly thinking about what my next move should be.

dEEb:
American Drum & Bass, I know Voltage has been stateside a few times and I know you would like too. What’s your opinion on Americans and Drum & Bass this side of the pond?

Serum:
I haven’t seen enough to comment really. All I know is that the visa process is a total ball ache!

dEEb:
There are ways to define ourselves as artists to be unique in this niche market. How would you describe your sound and how you stand out as individuals in the scene?

Serum:
I hate giving a sub genre name to my music. I just make what I want to hear or what I feel is missing from the scene. The music should do the talking!

dEEb:
Knowing the information you do now about producing music. What’s a solid piece of advice you would want to share with anyone following in your footsteps?

Serum:
The most important thing is that you need to know what you want to do musically that’ll set you apart. You don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel but you need something that’s different to what other people are doing.

dEEb:
Is there anything you would like to say before we wrap things up?

Serum:
Please buy all my music. Thanks!

It was an absolute honor to talk to Serum being one of my favourite all-time Drum And Bass Jungle producer. It’s been a privilege playing both Voltage and Serum tunes for the last few years and I was entirely gassed writing this article up talking about some of the best in Drum And Bass music.

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I am a columnist here at American Drum And Bass internet magazine Best Drum And Bass. Here you can find my published articles relating to Drum And Bass Jungle music, mixes and events. Partnered with some of the best and major outlets in Drum And Bass music.

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