Podcast 145 – Bad Syntax & Inward, Hanzo & Randie [Mix + Interview]

by | Sep 1, 2017 | Interview, Mixes, Podcast

This week we have what I feel like is one of the next drum and bass super-group in the techstep arena stopping in for a mental guest mix, alongside an interview to discuss a little about themselves. Also discussing their latest album which has been getting weekly play for well over a month now on the podcast. Check out the interview below, and don’t forget to check out the mix as well, you are guaranteed to love it!

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1. Introduce yourself and tell us a bit of the history behind the formation of Inward, Hanzo & Randie.

HNZ: It’s funny that me and Randie met Inward a long time ago, in a studio we shared with some other friends/producers. We had just started approching music production while Inward had already some releases with his first alias. Then we totally loose contact for many years, but for a coincidence we met again, after we also had our first singles released and he already changed name in Inward, and so we decided to do a couple of collabs, just for fun. We found that we were perfect complementary, we signed them on RedLight and so we decided to go on with our collaboration. Soon we became a team.

RND: Hanzo and I started in 2009, at first in a four piece DJ act called Lust4Watt with our good friends Marco and Emanuele, then, me and Valerio (Hanzo) took this project more seriously and started the production process until we got our first release on Maztek’s (ex) label Subculture Music. A few years later we started to collaborate with Inward and now we are a trio.

2. What was your introduction to Drum and Bass like? Do you have any fond memories of your first experience(s) listening to it?

HNZ: The very first time was at a gig here in Rome with dj Die…and I thought “What?!? Is it for real? Could eletronic music be so funky and punk at the same time?!?”

RND: First DnB tune I’ve ever heard was “Ghetto Celebrity” by Roni Size featuring Method Man but the first record that got me into DnB was “Cruel and Unusual” by Black Sun Empire.

INW: I started to listen to the DnB during the high school. First productions i have heard was from Noisia, Phace, Cause4Concern…really impressed me.

3. What made you choose to stay with individual names rather than forming a group name? Do you feel that helps or hurts your identity as a group?

HNZ: Actually I think that it’s quite a pain in the ass for people and labels and distributors ahaha! Having a 18 letters name is not so handy, but you know, we started as different projects, so…we’re always thinking about changing our name in a single one, maybe just IHR, but it’s not the right moment yet. We’ve just started reaching a bigger public, cant’ really change it now.

RND: The trio is a new thing, we started as different entities, sure Inward, Hanzo & Randie is a long name but “IHR” sounds good to me.

4. How did you start working with the legendary Cause 4 Concern crew?

HNZ: The credit belongs to our buddy Matteo Maztek: he discovered us and signed our first to singles on his label. Ed listened to one of those tunes at a few gigs and then contacted us. We started doing stuff for his RedLight recs. first and then C4C. Now we can tell you that we didn’t just find a great label, but also a family for us. We’re so happy and motivated to work with Ed and Mark, and we deffo want to keep doing it longer.

RND: We got noticed by Optiv & BTK after our second release on Subculture Music (Donkey RMX / Shona) especially for the remix of “Donkey” by our friends and fellow producers Animal Defection, after that, we got our first release (Manila Groove / Tetra) on Optiv’s label Red Light, which is the first collab with Inward.

5. Your newest album just dropped on C4C and I heard that it took well over a year to create. Can you tell us about your process in creating this album. Where did the idea start and how did you carry it through to completion?

HNZ: It’s been very difficult, as we were not used to work with method and even for a single tune we always had long production times. At the beginning we had not a specifical idea of style or way to start with, so we just started with a bunch of unfinished clips. Working for this album, trying to respect deadlines, teached us how to become faster and methodical but without being entrapped or stuck on the same templates, same processes. When we open a new poject we always start from zero, and with trial and error we learn everytime a new way to reach the sound we want. At the end of this LP we can say that we’ve found our typical sound: something we were not aware before.

RND: Actually, most of the work for this LP was done by Hanzo & Inward, ’cause I was busy on writing music for my blackened hardcore band called Tibia (I’m a metalhead).

6. With multiple members in your group, do you produce primarily in person or online? What are the positives and negatives of that process for you?

HNZ: It’s quite impossible for us to work all together because we live in different places and we have different lifestyles. Bouncing and sending stems, is the normal routine. It can be less fun to work alone but more productive as if you’re tired of the tune you’re working on you can send it to another one, while you start working on a new beat or on something they gave you, and so on.

RND: We work in person (me and Hanzo as we both live in Rome) and then we share the ideas online.

7. What or who do you feel like is your biggest current inspiration in writing Drum and Bass?

HNZ: mmmmmmh, quite hard to say. Let’s say we always imagine a specific environment, scene or mood to transpose in sounds, and then at that point we look for inspirations in music, fx, films ost. For example for Dirt we imagined a kind of postapocalyptic western situation, just like Trigun (a famous anime), so we took little bits of inspirations from classical spaghetti westerns, videogames soundtracks, distorted bassguitars etc. to have that particular mood.

RND: Obviously there are inspirations but we’re trying to be as original as possible.

8. On that note, who do you feel like are your top 5 current Drum and Bass producers right now (and what is it you like about each of them)?

HNZ: Hard question, really. I think actually every producer is giving a lot to this music, everyone with his distinctiveness. That’s why D’n’B will never die.

INW: It’s really hard! Noisia for sure, they inspiring me from years, also BSE, Current Value, Cause4Concern, Gydra.

RND: Can’t tell, there are al lot of producers stepping up right now, if I have to say a name, my partners Inward and Hanzo, they’re super meticulous and their attention to details is inspiring.

9. You have had quite a few releases with C4C now, how has that impacted your gigs? Do you have any interesting stories you could share from past shows?

HNZ: Can’t tell you much, cause we just started playing around after the album release.

RND: Actually we got to play all three of us just one time, so the only thing I can remember is getting drunk together.

10. Do you have any specific hardware or software that you feel like is your “go to”, or something that you tend to use on most of your tunes?

HNZ: Camelphat all life long! If you learn how to use it, it can do everything, from distorsion to compression, filtering, ducking. It’s everywhere in our projects and make our sound so gritty and warm.

RND: Personally I prefer samples and smash them with distorsions, the other two are more sound designers.

INW: Not one in particular…i think Ableton Live plug-ins are awesome! I use a lot of free vst too!

11. For all the aspiring producers out there, what is one piece of advice that you can think of that had a big impact on your career that helped push you past the mark of average producers to the massive tunes you are making today?

HNZ: Time. The more time I spent on Cubase the more the tunes seemed to be better. I know it’s sounds obvious but it is not. Lots of people approach electronic music composition pretending to make the tune of the year in a blink, just tweaking a few presets and drag and drop a couple of loops in a project. Sometimes it takes an entire afternoon for us to find the right snare and make it sound properly. If you wanna go serious you have to spend the most of your time on this passion, even when it’s seems useless.

RND: Listen to every record you can get, I mean not only DnB, EVERY record and try to find why they sound so good, get an instrument and PLAY it and never be lazy, I’m a lazy person myself, so this is the best advice I can give.

INW: I watched a lot of music production video tutorials on internet and they helped me a lot for sure but i think practice and experimentation are the keys.

12. Any final words for our viewers/listeners?

IHR: Just thank you all for your support! It means everything for us.

Well thanks for stopping by guys, and again congrats on what I feel like is the strongest album to date of 2017. I am looking forward to what you have on the horizon!

Check out Aktive vs Bad Syntax ft Krime Fyter – Like this : 
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Bad Syntax Tracklist
1. 2Whales – Borcha [Abducted LTD]
2. Dub Elements – Invasion [Eatbrain]
3. Myselor – All The Same [Red Light]
4. Goh & Dezpot – Signals [Genome]
5. Motional – Flat Earth [Mainframe]
6. Tobax – Many Digital Faces [Abducted LTD]
7. Rido & Synergy – Response [Blackout]
8. Goh & Dezpot – The World to Come [Genome]
9. Body & Soul – Kill Em [Mainframe]
10. Aktive & Bad Syntax ft Krime Fyter – Like This [Viper]
11. Dub Elements & 20hz Audio – Get On [Eatbrain]
12. The Voss & NC-17 – Psycho [Viper]
13. 2Whales – Upcors [Abducted LTD]
14. Humanon & Instinkt – Veyron [Kill Tomorrow]
15. Gydra – Epoch [Ignescent]
16. Des McMahon & Not Sorry – Shadows [Viper]
17. Traced – Killer [Red Light]
18. My Nu Leng & Friction – Jigsaw [Shogun]
19. Mean Teeth – Dirty Deeds [Abducted LTD]
20. Myselor – Effulgence [Red Light]
21. Gydra – Tranquilizer [Ignescent]
22. Goh & Dezpot – Symbiont [Genome]
23. Theatrix ft Siege MC – Trojan [Viper]
24. ChaseR – Micro Conflict [Ignescent]
25. Insom – Purple Game [Abducted LTD]
26. Nakwan – Follow Your Rules [Mainframe]
27. Blacklab – Crowd Control [Viper]
28. Replicant – Upside Down Cross [Viper]
29. Black Barrel – Event Horizon [Lifestyle]
30. Black Opps – The Hollow Man [Addictive Bahiour]
31. Manikin – Berlin [Mainframe]
32. Insom – Vacuum [Abducted LTD]
33. Humanon – Loom [Kill Tomorrow]
34. Black Opps – Desires [Addictive Behaviour]
35. Rido – Sexy Thing [Blackout]
36. InsideInfo ft Jakes – Renegade [Viper]
37. Mean Teeth – Crawler [Abducted LTD]

Inward, Hanzo & Randie Tracklist

01. Inward, Hanzo & Randie vs Optiv & CZA – Knuckle Head [C4C Recordings]
02. Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Them! [C4C Recordings]
03. Optiv & BTK – Dark City (Ft Yves Paquet) [Blackout Music NL]
04. June Miller – Chain Of Strengh [RAM Records]
05. Disprove – FRQNCS [EATBRAIN]
06. Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Skorpio [C4C Recordings]
07. Maztek – Stompin’ (Mob Tactics Remix) [EATBRAIN]
08. L 33 – Scream [EATBRAIN]
09. Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Ceres [C4C Recordings]
10. I Am Legion – Dust Descends (Alix Perez Remix) [OWSLA]
11. Kursa – Dat Style [SLUG WIFE]
12. Maztek – From The Shadows (Ft Dope D.O.D.) [Renegade Hardware]
13. Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Tune X (Ft Synth Ethics) [C4C Recordings]
14. Audio – Now The Future [RAM Records]
15. Noisia & The Upbeats – Omnivore [VISION]
16. Inward & Hanzo – N-Talk [C4C Recordings]
17. Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Pierce [C4C Recordings]
18. Hanzo & Randie – Try [Avantgarde Recordings]

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Content Crafted by:

Bad Syntax

Bad Syntax. CEO of Abducted LTD and co-host of one of the most popular DNB podcasts in the world, the Best Drum and Bass Podcast. I have released music on some awesome labels like Eatbrain, Viper, Close 2 Death, Expedite, Formation & SLK. If you'd like to learn more, book or contact me directly you can check out my EPK at bestdnb.com/bad-syntax.