Loxy’s a name that’s been synonymous with d&b for quite some time now, holding down residencies and releasing tunes for labels such as Renegade Hardware, Metalheadz and Exit alongside running two of his own labels (X-Tinction Agenda and Cylon Recordings). With a slightly reggae tinge effortlessly juxtaposed by the techy breaks Hardware artists have become so renowned for, he’s crafted his own style both on the decks and in the studio. Having released an album alongside Resound, Burning Shadows, on Exit Records to critical acclaim in late 2011, Monika caught up with him to see what’s next for this stalwart of d&b.
Hi Loxy. Let’s start at the beginning, what made you decide to start writing tunes in the first place?
I started DJ-ing in 1990. A couple of years later people were saying to me that by writing tunes I’d get booked more and I wanted new exclusive stuff to play; so I decided to write my own tunes. That’s basically why: to play my own music and to get more press out there.
Have you got a traditional musical education or do you play any instruments?
I haven’t got anything mastered; I can play a little bit of piano and stuff like that but nothing major. Just stuff you learn in school. Besides that I went to university for sound engineering so I learnt how to make music there.
When you produce music do you follow some kind of structure or do you totally improvise?
I make music randomly, otherwise it gets boring and it gets too easy. I’m a bit of a film addict. I like to watch films and I get a lot of inspiration from there. I don’t sample any more though. In my older stuff I used to sample a lot of films but now I try to do my own original stuff. I like to watch movies in between making music so it takes me a little time; I stop, write a tune, do a little bit of work, watch a film and go back to it. That’s kinda how I work.
You’ve been into drum & bass for quite a long time now; how would you describe the way it’s changed?
I’ve been doing it since the early nineties. The raves back then were a lot bigger; people would say that they were a lot more fun. That changed a lot, obviously because of the laws and there not being many venues. Musically it just evolved, people say it was better back then but I would say it’s just different. Like everything when you’re younger: you wear certain clothes, when you get older you change your style, because you evolve. I think this is what’s happened with the music, It’s just a natural thing, everything is going to change, it’s never gonna stay the same.
What are your thoughts on dubstep? Do you like it at all?
I like certain dubstep, I like the real dubstep… well I can’t say real dubstep but the original style I guess. I’m not really into the noisy stuff I like the deeper, meditation style of dubstep. I like Mala… who else? Scuba, Fluxion, Breakage, Kryptic Minds, yeah I like a few people out there!
Which artists do you think are the ones to watch out for in 2012?
Clarity, Untouchables, hmm, I don’t want to forget anybody… and Resound. These three. There’s a lot more people but those three are definitely people who are coming through.
Do you have any dream collaborations?
No. Oh no wait! Like not drum & bass, like anybody?
Cool. So, well… there’s too many people. I like all types of music so I’d like to work with all different types of people. From British singers I’ll say one for now; I’ve always really rated her since the beginning,- Adele. I love Adele. Her vocals are amazing so I’d love her to feature on a tune.
Let’s stick to UK for now cause if we gonna talk about the rest of the world the list is going to get too long! (laughs)
What artists have been your inspiration in the past?
Obviously like I said before I like different types of music so I get inspiration from a lot of different areas; like I said film, people like King Tubby, Bob Marley even people like The Doors, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses etc. D&B wise I’d say my main influences was LTJ Bukem and Doc Scott. Doc Scott for the darker side and LTJ Bukem for the light side because I like to play both together. That’s my main influence. When people hear me play and then read an interview like this it will make sense to them cause they will be like: “Ok, I get why he likes to go in and out of the dark to light, like on a little journey”.
Are there any tunes that have changed your life?
Doc Scott- Here Come the Drums
LTJ Bukem- pretty much anything he did.
Bob Marley- War
There’s just so many, like Jimi Hendrix, King Tubby, it’s an endless list!
I like Jennifer Hudson, she’s a great vocalist, she does some amazing tunes that hurt me. Jasmin Sullivan, if we’re talking about new artists. Yeah, a lot of things. Every day if I hear something good and I think it’s fresh it inspires me and changes my life in some sort of small way. There’s just too much to mention.
What was a turning point for you in your career?
Meeting Kemistry and Storm I think. Kemistry and Storm were playing on the same radio station and they liked how I played so we used to hang out, smoke and stuff. They introduced me to Goldie. Then when it first opened, on the first night it was Scott who was meant to play but he was late. I came from Reggae station so I had my records, I played and since then I’ve been a part of the Metalheadz crew. Then obviously Kemistry died, I miss her a lot… I’d say that was the turning point, them recognising I was good.
What’s in the pipeline at the minute?
Me and Resound just recently had an album released on Exit Records so we’ve got a follow up album that we’re working on. There’s no set date, we’re just taking our time with it. Got a 12” coming out on Metalheadz, a tune on a new Metalheadz Platinum Breakz album, a track on Samurai Compilation album and that’s about it for now.
That’s quite a list!
Yeah it’s a few things, I’m keeping busy!
Have you done any interesting remixes recently?
At the moment? We have got a few remixes we were supposed to be doing. Its just… there’s so many things going on, it’s hard do get anything done. We are supposed to be doing a remix for Universal Project of Haunted Dreams, remix for Triad and remix of old Bounty Killer track, they are producers from like mid-, early nineties; they were really big back then. But just like I said, we are just taking our time; we got to do our stuff first before we start doing the remixes.
I read somewhere that back in the day you guys were producing tunes just for Renegade Hardware nights?
Oh yeah, that’s the thing we used to do at The End club because we all were kind of competitive. Everybody before they came to Hardware nights, they all would be in the studio like weeks before making something special for the night.
I still do it, when it was at the old venue I’d make VIP’s of certain tunes I have done just to play so I have got something different and so the crowd would be like: “I recognize that but it’s not the same” kind of thing. Just to keep people surprised.
I don’t do it only for Hardware; I do it when I play in general if it’s one of those special occasions.
Are you working on any non- drum & bass projects?
I wouldn’t say projects but on the new album there is going to be stuff with different tempos. I’m not one of these people who like to put names on everything, my thing about it is just good music. The album is just going to have different tempos, I wont start saying it’s a dubstep tune or house tune; whatever the listener wants to make of it they can give it their own title. But yeah, we’re working on different things, because the last album was all D&B and we want to break it up and show some different styles.
What advice would you give me if I told you that I want to start producing music?
Best advice is to try and be original, find your own sound. A lot of people tend to emulate too much… I know its kind of a natural thing when you into drum and bass, you have your favourite producer and you start making music you want to try emulate what they are doing, but it doesn’t get you anywhere really. In the long run just try to acquire your own sound, try to be original. And just practice! Like with anything, practice makes perfect. You’ve gotta develop your sound over time; it’s not gonna be something that happens quickly. Also, know your equipment.
Cheers for the time Loxy! Any shouts?
To all the Metalheadz crew, all the Hardware crew, all the Exit Records crew, big up! Oh and Samurai since I have got a thing on their label too.