A confirmed lover of the old school, Matt Wilkins has a multitude of aliases, including Teksteppa, D.R.O.P.S., and Triple Sickz. From his first release on Freestyle Recordings as Morphesis a decade ago, Matt has skyrocketed in the drum ‘n bass scene, now with releases on Cymbalism Recordings, Abducted LTD, Scientia, and a release as Triple Sickz (alongside Onyx ) on Danger Chamber Digital that recently hit the number two spot (big up guys!). A longtime resident of Therapy Sessions, Teksteppa is headed back a(as Triple Sickz) to rock the crowd once more. Be sure to check out his mastering service, Tekmastering – high quality masters for quality prices.
Matt, Tell me about your origins in drum & bass. Who influences you?
I think my first ever exposure to Jungle/Drum & Bass was back in 1994 when my dad bought me and my younger brother Jungle Mania 94 on cassette tape. Before that I was mainly into happy hardcore and rave stuff that was around in the early to mid 90’s. I remember listening to the Jungle stuff and not really being into it at the time. But as the years went on and my music taste matured, I got more and more into the broken beats and heavy subs which the Jungle tracks were constructed of. Then around 1998, I bought Dom & Roland’s ‘Industry’ LP on vinyl and that really introduced me to the darker and more industrial side of Drum and Bass. That album led me to discover labels such as Renegade Hardware, Metalheadz, No-U-Turn and Virus. It was those tech-step sounds of the late 90’s that really got me influenced and I just wanted to know how they made this stuff. It wasn’t until around the year 2000 I started dabbling with music software. After a few good years working out basic music production, I had my first drum and bass release in 2006 under the producer name ‘Morphesis’ on Freestyle Recordings. This gave me the confidence to push my music production further and really try and develop a sound.
Many of your tracks have luscious soundscapes that seem to take on a more cinematic approach. What do you feel makes a great tune stand out from the rest?
See, those soundscapes come from listening to and being influenced by Dom & Roland, Ed Rush & Optical and the likes of. I feel their music has a more futuristic and organic feel and I try to incorporate this into my productions. When I’m listening to Drum and Bass I want to be mentally visualizing things and have a sense of escapism, this is what I feel makes a great tune stand out from the rest (and of course awesome drums, bass, and a really good mix down!)
You run with Cymbalism Recordings. Abducted LTD and many more. What labels do you currently have releases on or upcoming?
The ‘Teksteppa – Memory Capsule EP – Cymbalism Recordings’ is my latest release and has been well received, Thomas who runs Cymbalism has been a great guy to work with and always gives my music a chance, Then there’s Abducted LTD, another great label to work with who are always pushing new artists and also releasing some amazing tunes by already established artists.
There’s the D.R.O.P.S releases on AutomAte which have been rocking dance floors all over and getting support from the likes of MethLab, Fathom Audio. We also just released a collab EP on Scientia Music, with Skulpture and LoneWolf. Definitely worth a look!
We have also done a Triple Sickz collab EP with Australian Filth monger DrainBamage, Pete makes some real ‘Death Metal’ sounding DnB which is cool and both our sounds come together to create some pretty interesting hard and dark drum and bass. Watch out for that one dropping on Mindocracy Recordings soon.
At this current moment in time I’m busy working hard on the Triple Sickz side of things, we had an EP release on Danger Chamber Digital which hit no.2 best selling drum and bass on digital-tunes.net and we also just had a 6 track remix EP of our track ‘Stomper’ on Russian hard D&B label, Harder & Louder.
I’m also working behind the scenes, collaborating with a producer from Greece called ‘Skru’, he is a great guy to work with and we are definitely on the same ‘vibe’….Our first complete collab is getting a lot of love and even got ‘Dub of the week’ on DJ Vapour’s Kool FM radio show! So keep an eye out for the Triple Sickz and Skru stuff which will be around soon.
Big attention has been brought to your alias, Triple Sickz. What’s going on there?
Triple Sickz all started around about 2003, when my mates Marc ‘Onyx’ , Mark ‘Doc Sirius’ and I were playing a weekly drum and bass radio show called DarkWaxRadio (nowadays is called DirtLabAudio and you will find us playing a show on there occasionally)….We wanted a collaboration name for the show and one night after the radio show we were having a beer and came up with the name Triple Sickz.
Over the years the Triple Sickz stuff has mainly been targeted at the hard D&B scene, but to be fair we like to push a few different kind of vibes with the Triple Sickz productions. For example our FutureType EP on Danger Chamber Digital is a nod to the old school sound of D&B/tech-step….with heavy reece bass-lines, amens, rolling drums, that kind of thing. We don’t really conform to any style and just make what we think is good and will work on the dance floor But in all fairness the Triple Sickz sound has always had a ‘harder’ element to it.
Therapy Sessions has played a big part in our name expanding and getting more noticed, since working with Adam ‘Fortitude’ and Robyn Chaos we have come on leaps and bounds and our sound is being well received by the masses. Last year we released our first independent album via Bandcamp entitled ‘In Hell Right Now’ and its helped with promoting our name and gained us lots of new fans! On the album you will find remixes from Fortitude, DrainBamage, Revolution Rising and Nemonic
You also produce as D.R.O.P.S. alongside two others. What does D.R.O.P.S. stand for? Does each alias house a different vibe?
Working with other producers is a really healthy thing to do as a music producer because you learn different ways of working and bounce ideas of each other.
We’ve been asked quite a few times what D.R.O.P.S. stands for and the truth is, you have to guess…..here are a couple of my favorites – Drunk Raccoons On Peoples Sofas, Dutty Riddims Oscillating People’s Speakers!!!
Tell us about your digital mastering service.
Tekmastering is a small mastering business, which I’ve been running since around 2009, we’ve mastered music for a few record labels and lots of new producers and some established artists. A lot of the music I release is mastered by myself, and if there’s any producers out there looking for quality, yet affordable mastering solutions I would recommend checking us out.
You also have an immense love for old school, yea?
That is very true, old school is where it all began for me, at high school listening to rave tapes of my favourite DJ’s from back in the day such as Slipmatt, Sy, Seduction, Grooverider and all those Helter Skelter, Dreamscape tape packs…..I take a lot of influence from the old school and I think that shows in some of my music, it also makes me feel young again listening to those classic rave tunes, all the tunes back then made on analogue equipment sound so rich and warm, something that can be missing in this ‘digital age’ of music production. I think this is why all the old music gear is being dusted off and used again, because it sounds so good! I own a Roland Juno Alpha Synthesizer keyboard, its the first synth that had a ‘hoover’ sound and apparently where The Prodigy got the hoover sound for their massive hit ‘Charly’.
I see that you are also headed to London to play for Therapy Sessions. Excited?
Excited is an understatement! We’ve been UK Resident DJ’s for Therapy Sessions for a few years now and must admit its always the best crowd to play to. If you’ve never been to a Therapy Sessions event I would highly recommend it! Pure and awesome atmosphere every time!
What else do you have to add that we haven’t covered?
I think that is all really, but I would like to say a huge thanks to Best Drum & Bass for this interview opportunity, and a huge thanks to all the Labels, Promoters and producers I work with.