UE.15: Silent Dust
Silent Dust are an act we’ve had tabs on ever since they first burst onto the scene with their unique brand of spacey, ambient electronica back in late 2010. Having first made a name for themselves as adept liquid producers under the guise of Hobzee & Zyon Base, the duo drifted from the conventional realms of breakbeat d&b into an otherwise wholly different space, making music aimed more at the lounge than the dancefloor.
Their self-titled debut album made serious waves in progressing the 170bpm sound, and they’ve consistently defied tradition (both of their peers and themselves) ever since, especially since establishing their own label, none60. Recently their productions have exhibited a definitive US hip hop and trap influence as they’ve taken to remixing such acts as Nicki Minaj, Nina Sky and Lil B, a bold move that’s solidified their position as genuinely creative and pioneering forces amongst their contemporaries.
So after having had a chat with the boys late last year, it’s an absolute pleasure to finally get them on board with a mix for our series. And considering their consistent change of direction, we felt we needed another catch up too.
Never ones to sit still, both the latest release from Sinistarr on your label and your own productions have taken yet another new direction. What’s caused this switch in sound?
We try not to make deliberate and calculated decisions when it comes to style and direction but experimenting with a different sound is the best motivation for us, our whole album was born from exactly that so why would we sit still?
When we started the label we certainly didn’t think we would be releasing music by other artists but when Sinistarr sent the tracks they really suited none60 and as he (at the time) was one of the few people making music around the 160 mark it made sense for us to get him on board with the label.
It’s clear hip hop imports from the States have had a big influence on the new stuff. How did you come into contact with guys like Zilla Rocca and SelfSays?
We were put onto Zilla through Jeff Weiss who writes for various music publications (as well as recently putting out a book about Biggie & Tupac!), he really enjoyed our album and heard something in it that he thought would suit Zilla, so a few emails and tweets later and we had ourselves a resident MC!
SelfSays had worked with Submorphics on a great track called Step in the spot a few years back and as we have known Subporphics for a while it was quite easy to hook up a collaboration with SelfSays and the track is probably one of our faves on the label so far! Many thanks to Gregg for that!
We really enjoy working with vocalists and it’s also really refreshing to work with artist that arent established within the Drum & Bass scene and also arent that familiar with Drum & Bass itself so you are instantly bringing something else to the table. Having said that we also really enjoy working with DRS and are currently working on a few things with him….
As much as we love the spaciousness in your tracks, it’s nice to hear you return to some good old breakbeats in the mix. Do you still listen to and play out conventional d&b as in the days of Hobzee & Zyon Base?
Only recently really, around the time we put out our album we were quite secluded and (wrongly maybe?) only wanted to push our own sound and that of a few others, I think with so many sub genres around at the moment in D’n’B it’s vital to mix it up and get the balances right. That’s something we really wanted to achieve with the mix and its certainly not an easy thing to include different styles but it’s all about finding the tracks that cross over and taking it from there. I recently played my first gig in a while in Lithuania and played right across the board and it went down really well!
Production wise we’ve been working on a few remixes and that’s always a good opportunity to experiment or take a chance so that’s where you will hear more of us bringing the breaks back….
What’s next on the schedule for the label and yourselves?
We recently released Machina as a freebie on our soundcloud, the track was going to be on none60 but unfortunately Cloudeater split a few weeks back so putting it out for free made perfect sense. The track itself was something we had started towards the end of finishing our album but it didnt really fit that project so it was put on hold for a while until we stumbled upon a chance tweet by Cloudeater who were into our album and were open to collaborating, throw in Zilla & Castro and a few hundred hours of obsessive tweaking on our part (I wish I was joking!) and you have Machina!
We haven’t got anything 100% for the label just yet but we’ve a Sinistarr Remix of Love Sundered (NSY005) and also a Hip Hop version of A Million Words featuring Zilla Rocca ready to go it’s just a matter of working out how and when.
Look out for forthcoming Silent Dust remixes of Sam KDC (Eternia Music), Nuage (Translation) & Sina (Channel 82).
UE.15: Silent Dust by Urban Essence on Mixcloud
01.Silent Dust ft SelfSays – Population, Me
02.Om Unit & Sam Binga – Squares
03.Psycho Mantis – Mind Control Music
04.Loxy & Skeptical – Cylon Theme
05.Daat – 1999
06.ASC, Blocks & Escher – Heliocentric
07.The Harmonist – The Way
08.Eveson – Dystopian Romance
09.Calibre – Think On
10.Brother – Cold Shoulder
11.TRIAD – The Symbol
12.Ed Rush & Optical – Punchbag
13.Need For Mirrors – Broken Britain
14.Atmospherix & S-VB – Modular Revenge
15.Sam KDC – The Iron Gate (Silent Dust Remix)
16.Sinistarr, Calculon & Austin Speed – Cucaracha
17.Die & Jenna G – 1000 Soul Songs (Addison Groove Remix)
18.Calculon – Crush
19.Sinistarr – Gaiden
20.Psycho Mantis – Escalation of Chaos
21.Eveson – The Sweetness
22.Verb – Ghetto Blaster (Nitri Remix)
23.Notion – Bereft
24.Altair & Silent Dust – Sakharov
25.Psycho Mantis – Take You There
26.Vybz Kartel – My Crew (Tim Reaper Remix)
27.Cybotron ft Dillinja – Revelations