We here at Best Drum and Bass are big fans of large basslines and crispy drum patterns. That being said, we were blessed to have a chat with one of the baddest badmen in the game, DJ Hybrid, hot on the heels of his gigantic ‘In Too Deep EP’, available NOW via Serial Killaz! Peep the tunes while we dig a little deeper into what makes this badboy’s clock tick.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to chat with us. First off, the ‘In Too Deep EP’ is a straight stomper! How did you go about linking up with Serial Killaz for the release on their label?
I have known Tobie for a while as I used to work at a record shop back in 2010 and we used to order vinyl through Nu-Urban Music where Tobie used to work. I also started my label Audio Addict around that time and Tobie helped me set up distribution through Nu-Urban. Over the years I had always sent him music that I was working on and last year I sent him a couple of tunes and he got in contact with me to ask if I would like to work on an EP for the label.
This EP flexes your skills with various sounds of Jungle and Drum and Bass. Who or what is the driving force behind your production style?
I’m a bit of a Jungle Drum & Bass geek to be honest! I became obsessed with this music about 12 years ago and have never looked back. Id say that when it comes to my production style I take influence from the history of this music as much as the present, I listen to a lot of tape packs, soundclashes and watch a lot of documentaries and this influences me a lot in my own productions. Overall I’ve got so much adoration for this music I feel like I want to pay my respects to all of it and that’s sort of where the idea for ‘Big Respect’ came from by incorporating the theme of an old Reggae soundclash.
Personally, we can’t get enough of ‘Big Respect’. What is your favorite tune, or which one did you enjoy making the most?
I think my favourite tune off the EP is ‘Give You More’ which we actually made well over a year ago now and it was the first track to be confirmed for the EP. It was something I was working on for a while by myself and I just wasn’t feeling the bassline so I bounced all the stems down and sent them over to James (Section) to see if he could get any ideas down and the bassline he came up with just worked really well with the vibe of the track and it just felt like it came together. Im currently working on more colabs at the moment with Section as I think our styles complement each other’s well and we both have a similar idea of what styles of D&B we like and what styles we don’t.
Taking home awards for best Newcomer DJ at the Jungle Awards last year, your sets clearly get the floor moving. Who are some of the artists you’re rinsing out?
I’d say at the moment I’m rinsing out music from people like T<I, Brian Brainstorm, Leaf, Benny L, Margaman, Serum, Voltage, Bladerunner, Epicentre, Section, Scartip, Hungry T, RMS, DJ Cautious, Audiomission & Pull Up Collective. Also just like give a special mention to a producer who in my opinion is the best kept secret in Drum & Bass ‘Kumarachi’ this guy has been going from strength to strength the past couple of years and has just finished his debut album which will be coming out in October so I would strongly advise anyone who hasn’t heard of him to check out his music immediately!
If you could collab with any artist, regardless of style or genre, who would it be and why?
Before I was a Drum & Bass head I was a massive fan of Hip Hop, when I first bought a pair of decks originally it was to be a turntablist and scratch DJ it wasn’t till after that I started buying Drum & Bass vinyl and mixing. Because of my roots in Hip Hop if I could colab with any artist I would have to pick someone like Nas, De La Soul or Jurassic 5 as I feel like they represent the foundation of my love for music.
You’ve done some gigantic remixes in the past, my personal favorite being your remix of Callide’s ‘Inferno’. If you could remix one tune, what would it be?
You know I would have to go with something very predictable like Aphrodite – Stalker or King of the Beats. These are just the tunes that I grew up listening to on a cd on repeat in my bedroom when I was a teenager. I think stalker was officially the first Drum & Bass vinyl I bought too so there’s a lot of sentimental attachment to that tune for me.
The landscape of Jungle / Drum and Bass seems to be evolving more rapidly every year. Where do you see the sounds and stylings headed in the future?
I think sub genres of Drum & Bass are growing into their own scenes altogether so you have festivals like Let It Roll which showcases all D&B but predominantly is Neurofunk. In Belgium you have loads of big nights and festivals which are predominantly Jump Up and you have people who may not be big names in the D&B scene overall but in their own sub genre to the right crowd or country they are already big names. This is obviously a good thing because the dynamic or hierarchy of the scene has changed where 10 years ago the pecking order would be quite predictable and you would have the same 10 biggest names of the scene headlining all the events, now there is much more opportunity for up and comers to make a name for themselves and headline events. It’s a similar situation with the sales market you now have smaller labels and new artists storming the charts and sometimes even out selling the latest Ram Records release. I think the sound will forever be evolving but with always one foot in the past for example although the sound of Drum & Bass has evolved a lot over the years and sounds sort of futuristic I have noticed people going back to the original breaks again and sampling in their own productions. I think in the future we will see even more of a rise in Jungle music at different bpm’s we have already seen people like Sully making a name for himself around the 150-160bpm mark and other producers like My Selecta who incorporate the original Jungle elements but around 130bpm. I think this is really inspiring and great to see producers who may not even have a D&B background being influenced by all the old breaks again, its something that you need an open mind for as some people will say it has be 175bpm to be D&B etc but I’ve always had a very eclectic taste in music so I’m very open minded and anything that incorporates the sounds that I love whatever the tempo is something that I’m going to take interest in and I think everyone else should embrace it too.
Before we wrap things up, do you have any pieces of advice for aspiring producers?
I think one of the most helpful pieces of advice for aspiring producers is master your craft and don’t rush into anything especially when it comes to releasing your music. It’s so easy to get your music out there nowadays but that is not necessarily a good thing, you want to make sure you are happy with your sound before you start releasing on x amount of labels otherwise you will look back in a few years and not be happy with your output. One of the best decisions I ever made was to hold back for years until I started putting stuff out there and yeah there’s a few bits out there by myself that I wish I hadn’t of released many years ago but at least there’s not hundreds as you would most likely just end up changing your name and starting over. So yeah take your time, master your craft and hold out for the right labels too, there are so many labels out there nowadays but find one that represents your sound and will promote you properly as an artist.
Thanks again for taking the time to drop some jewels for the Best Drum and Bass crowd! We can’t wait to hear what you have cooked up for the future. If you want more of Hybrid’s sounds, be sure to follow these links: