Karen and Leigh Caplan A.K.A. Quadrant & Iris, have been slaying dancefloors for a combined count of two decades. With Leigh taking the helm in Quadrant and releasing on such labels as Renegade Hardware, Citrus, and Fokuz, Karen honed her skills behind the decks, taking on all genres — including drum & bass, UK hard house, techno, trance, and progressive. And just like all good things do, 2012 saw a big shift, as the Mayan calendar ended. (OMG ARMAGEDDON!) Just kidding – 2012 saw Quadrant & Iris’s first track together, Anthropocene appear on Goldie’s legendary Metalheadz imprint.
Following that release, Quadrant & Iris have released on such labels as Commercial Suicide, C.I.A., Dispatch, and Hospital, also gaining the support of the drum & bass scene’s longest running players – including Goldie, Total Science, Klute, A-Sides, Silent Witness, Survival, Ulterior Motive, and State of Mind.
Check out their exclusive mix for Best Drum & Bass below –
Quadrant and Iris! Thank you so much for taking the time out for this interview. I’ve gotta ask first, how’s it going in Seattle as far as bass music and drum & bass goes?
Q&I: Thanks so much for asking us! DnB in Seattle has always been fairly solid, but we feel like we’re especially on an upswing right now. We’ve got a lot of solid nights between DnB Tuesdays, Deep N Bass, Fraktured and the newest one, Cultivate which is several crews (Onset, DnB Tuesdays, Family Night) coming together to throw some amazing shows. Lots of people in the city making DnB and a lot more talented producers in our city than there have been lately!
You guys have had some prolific releases on some of the scene’s biggest labels as a duo, including Metalheadz, Dispatch, Commercial Suicide and C.I.A. What else is coming out up on your release schedule?
Q&I: We have a few things coming up! We have a collab we worked on with Ulterior Motive that will be coming out on Guidance next month, two for Dispatch — One of our own plus a collab we did with Philth that will be on his album, a remix we did of Jackie Edwards – So Jah Seh for the Hospital Records Jet Star project with our partner in crime, Kid Hops. We’re very close to finally finishing up an EP for Commercial Suicide we’ve been talking about for ages. A few more things in the works as well, feeling very productive right now!
Both of you have been producing for a lot longer than a decade, and obviously, bring different influences and techniques to the table. What does the flow look like when you collaborate on a tune?
Q&I: We generally try to work the same way on collabs as we do together in the studio. We always try right off to get a vibe down with some drums and a bassline then build out from there. We try not to get too caught up on small details during initial sessions which can really kill momentum. This is particularly true when we might have someone else in the studio with us, our time is limited so we really can’t spend hours EQing a snare.
Quadrant: For my part, I try to do sessions where I just do sound design, sort out drums, breaks, samples, etc so that when there’s more than one person in the studio, we can get on with the vibes. It really helps!
Of all of the radio shows and podcasts that you’ve done, which has been your favorite? Why? Any radio shows coming up?
Iris: I’m not sure about Leigh, but for me personally it was getting the opportunity to make a mix for René LaVice’s show on Radio 1. It meant a lot that he’d asked specifically me to do the mix, plus being able to put something together for Radio 1 is like a dream come true in itself, I’ve been following the station as long as I can remember.
Quadrant: I’d probably have to say getting to do the Metalheadz podcast was a great time and a huge honor. We made a special VIP just for that mix!
Q&I: Aside from this most recent mix we’ve done for you guys there aren’t any other radio shows or mixes coming up at the moment. We try to limit how many mixes we do because we spend so much time putting them together and try to make each one special.
What advice would you give to not-yet-established producers looking to make a name for themselves in the scene?
Q&I: Finish your tunes!!! Also don’t discount networking, if your favorite producers are coming to town use the opportunity to pick their brain and knowledge if you are able. There are so many nice and helpful people in this scene that really want up and coming talent to succeed. Everyone will have different advice for you and there’s a lot of great knowledge to be had. Not only that, but you’d be surprised how down to earth and chill most producers are if you just spend a bit of time hanging out with them.
Do you have any other collaborations (outside of Quadrant + Iris) going on? Who would be your dream collaboration(s)?
Q&I: We have a couple more tunes in progress that are collabs we’re working on. A couple we got going with Gerra and Stone when they came through, one with Phase we need to finish up and a few more we’re hoping to get started with others as well! We’re trying to collab more this year since we think it keeps us more productive and is really a lot of fun.
An obvious dream collab would be working with Break or maybe Kemal to really reach for the stars! That being said, we’ve already knocked some dream collabs off our lists (Total Science, Klute, DLR, and Ulterior Motive come to mind)… and of course, we can’t wait to make even more music with all of the above.
Are there any gigs coming up that the world can see you at?
Q&I: Not really a whole lot on the immediate horizon for gigs at the moment. We’re playing a local park party on June 29th called Parke Diem! That one will be great because its a rare opportunity for our family and son to see us play out, plus it’s just a really great party thrown by an awesome crew called Covert Ops.
In December we’re going to be in the EU for a short trip – Bristol, London, and Amsterdam – will hopefully pick up a few gigs there, so stay tuned!
Top 10 tracks at the moment?
Q&I: This one is always hard, particularly now because there’s SO much good stuff coming out at the moment!
Break feat. Celestine – Last Goodbye (Symmetry)
Ulterior Motive – Walnuts (Guidance)
SCAR – Stalker (Metalheadz)
SD – Iron Wall (Commercial Suicide)
Total Science – Nosher (The Sauce Remix) (CIA)
Kid Drama & Ryme Tyme – Switch (CNVX)
Wiley – Boasty (Quadrant & Iris bootleg)
Entita – Paycheck (Cyberfunk)
Quadrant + Iris + Ulterior Motive – Intuition (Guidance)
DLR – Banana Bread (31)
What else would you like to add that we haven’t mentioned?
Not a whole lot more to add other than thanks again for taking the time to listen to us ramble and big thanks to everyone who continues to buy, play and listen to our tunes! Its always appreciated and blows us away every time that people like what we make!