Dropset has been busy this past week to say the least. The Pittsburgh native returned this week to Abducted LTD with his steller Replicate/Hive Mind single alongside fellow Pittsburgh native KPed. On top of that, Dropset also a stomper of a remix of Matrix & Futurebound’s Follow Me feat. Ayak. If that wasn’t enough, he was also apart of this week’s podcast, providing smashing cuts on the decks. With a series of releases and a handful of tasteful free downloads available on his SoundCloud, Dropset provides a powerful sound that can only be described as “neurovisceral”. I spoke a little bit with Dropset to talk with him about his busy week in the world of Drum and Bass and a little bit about himself.
First things first, where does the name “Dropset” come from?
So, a “dropset” is actually a type of weight lifting technique. Since I’m a personal trainer by day, it seemed appropriate.
What is your story as to how you got interested in and ultimately beginning to produce Drum and Bass?
I started going to raves back in 2000 and quickly got into DJ’ing. Most of my friends were into DnB so that’s what I gravitated towards, but was really just playing whatever style of records I could get my hands on. Then after catching a Dara show in 2002 I completely fell in love with DnB and didn’t look back. Eventually, I got into production, but I didn’t start to take it seriously until a few years ago.
This past week you released “Replicate” with KPed and “Hive Mind”, tell me a bit about these tunes and how you wrote them.
Replicate actually started with KPed sending me some jump up stems. I normally don’t make jump up, so I took what he sent me and neuro-ed (is that a word?) them out. Hive Mind is my half-baked attempt at a technical, Billain style tune. I had started it a while back and hit a wall with it so I shelved it for like six months. I came back to it and said to myself, “OK I think I can finish this now.” I’m pretty happy with how they both turned out.
You also released a smashing remix of Matrix & Futurebound’s “Follow Me” for free on SoundCloud this week as well. What sort of approach did you go about making this remix?
This track was totally outside of what I normally do. I was trying to do neurofunk, but I couldn’t get the vocal to fit, so I just went for straight dance floor vibes. I actually knocked this tune out in like five days since I decided to just keep it simple. Normally tracks take me much longer than five days.
What is your workflow like when you are in the studio?
I start with making my drum layer. I always feel that I need drums when I’m making my bass so I can feel how the bass will move over a drum layer if that makes sense. From there I move on to bass and then add some lead synths. Once I have a nice 16 bar loop I’ll start to do my arrangement. I tend to mix a lot as I write, so the mixdown process isn’t usually super intensive.
You also were apart of the Best Drum and Bass Podcast this week. How do you prepare for mixes and for DJ sets?
For me, preparing mixes is a lot of trial and error in terms of seeing which tracks mix well with each other. Even if I’m mixing in key, sometimes two tracks just don’t go well together. When I listen to mixes I want to hear tracks I’ve never heard before, so I try to include mostly new releases or dubs. I always make sure to include some original tunes in there as well as music from friends.
What has been your top 5 favorite tunes this year?
These Top 5’s are always so hard. DnB has been absolutely killing it. I feel like I need to a monthly Top 5 because there’s constant heat coming out. I’ll try my best, but these tunes are in no particular order.
ABIS and Volatile Cycle – Vobelord
Transforma – Detonate
Prolix – Lift Me Up (feat. Dee Freer)
Joe Ford – Urgency
State of Mind – Bypass (Mob Tactics Remix)
When you’re not in the studio, how do you relax in your day to day?
Netflix and chill. Haha no. Like I said, for my 9-5 job I’m a personal trainer, so I enjoy lifting weights and eating food. I’m really big on high-quality sushi and ice cream. Other than that, my life consists of taking care of my three crazy dogs while spending time with my lovely fiancé. I lead a simple life.
Dropset’s Replicate/Hive Mind is available now, follow him on SoundCloud to snag his remix of Matrix & Futurebound’s Follow Me feat. Ayak, and check out this weeks edition of the Best Drum and Bass Podcast to listen to him slick mixing skills. You do not want to miss out on this madman.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DropsetDNB/
Replicate/Hive Mind single: https://www.beatport.com/release/replicate-hive-mind/2691531
Matrix & Futurebound – Follow Me feat. Ayak (Dropset Remix): https://soundcloud.com/dropsetdnb/follow-me-dropset-remix