(Pic Source:DJ C)

This week I had a little chat with two of my absolute favourite producers from the UK.


1. How long has KOAN Sound been together? And how did you meet each other?

We met back in 2003 when we started secondary school, and formed a band a couple of years later; writing and playing all sorts of music. Gradually as our musical tastes gravitated more towards electronic music we began to explore producing music, and have been together as 'KOAN Sound' for roughly three years now.

2. Has it always been heavy Bass music for you guys or is this fairly new?

We've been into electronic dance music since around '05 when we first discovered Drum & Bass, and in particular artists such as Noisia and Spor. Fast forward a couple of years and a lot of people in Bristol were getting into Dubstep; our local record shop at the time was really involved in the scene so it was quite a natural progression to make.

3. Tell us about your experience as producers, how did you get to where you are now?

When we were around 13 or 14 we got hold of a copy of Reason and for the next few years we had a lot of fun messing around with it making all sorts of weird stuff but nothing too serious. It was when we were offered our first release (Blessed b/w Clowny) that we started making a real effort to improve production and expand our sound. After that we had a series of releases with small but really supportive labels including Screwloose Records who played a big part in shaping our sound. Over time we've built up trust with labels by doing our best to improve with every release and things have gone steadily up hill. We're at a great point where we have the freedom to really experiment on EPs so we can push our more experimental tunes and 100bpm tunes, which have been really fun to make. Now we’re being offered some really exciting things such as remixing big artists, so look out for more remixes in the near future.

4. What programs and plug-ins are you guys using?

Reason 4 is the main program. Bass, synths, percussion and anything melodic runs through reason but we rewire it to Cubase where kicks, snares and long recorded parts are arranged and processed. There's a few plug-ins we use to beef up the drums. The 'Classic Compressor' is a really simple but powerful compressor which is also a free download. We use the Oxford Limiter because again it’s quite simple but does the job well. Also the Transient Shaper plug-in can be a useful tool to make drums really punchy. In Reason 90% of the sounds are done with the Maelstrom and bass is resampled with the NN-19. All the strings and guitar sounds are done with the NN-XT sampler which has loads of really nice sounds.

5. How does the British scene compare with other places you've played?

We’ve yet to play in a wide range of cities outside the UK so it’s hard to generalise, but from our experience the British club scene is probably the most diverse compared to any other country we've played; you will often see artists from lots of different genres billed together and some of the biggest events tend to be fairly eclectic.

6. Tell us about your craziest experience while behind the decks...

Probably at a gig in Falmouth a while back; we played on a boat party and afterwards ended up going back to a Redbull-sponsored house party where they'd set up decks in someone's front room, filled with far too many bodies. Ourselves and a few of the other artists went back to back and drew for some UK Garage classics; needless to say it went off.

7. You guys seem to mess around with different bpms throughout your tunes. What drives you to make a song at a different speed to regular Dubstep?

In all honesty it's not a conscious decision; it seems natural to want to make music at different tempos and not be tied down to a specific BPM. We've found that lower speeds such as 100bpm can work really well in a live setting as a switch from 140bpm; there’s a lot of room to experiment with different groove patterns at another tempo.

8. What artist/band/musician, dead or alive, would you give anything to see live?

Jim: There’s far too many to mention, however Amon Tobin is someone who I’d love to see but haven't managed to get around to as of yet. Also lots of artists such as The Prodigy/Led Zeppelin who would have been incredible to see live during their heyday.
Will: The band would be Incubus. The producers/DJs would have to be Phace.

9. Top 5 tracks to play at the moment...

Ed Sheeran - The A Team (Culprate Remix)
KOAN Sound - Funk Blaster
Zanetic - Destiny
Culprate – Ono
Jayglo – Rope Closer

10. And finally, what's next for KOAN Sound?

We've got another EP coming out in early November on Skrillex's new label 'OWSLA'. There's probably going to be around 5 tracks on there, building upon some of the ideas in our most recent release, the 'Max Out EP'. Asides from that we have a Kasabian remix which should be released in the coming weeks, and more remix work in the pipeline. We have a whole load of dates up until the end of the year too so make sure to come and see us live!

Max Out EP by KOAN Sound Funk Blaster EP by KOAN Sound The Adventures of Mr Fox by KOAN Sound


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