Friday December 10th sees not only the possibility of more snow across London but also legendary Drum & Bass label Ram Records return to Fabric for their Christmas party. Room 1 hosts a star studded line up of label boss Andy C, wonderboys Sub Focus, High Contrast and Spor while MJ Cole, Mistajam and many more bring all kids of bass to Room 2.
However, last but certainly not least Critical are back in full force in Room 3 with the likes of label don Kasra supported by rising stars Rockwell, Ulterior Motive and FD as well as new boys on Critical Modulations Krakota & Judda. Expect the latest and freshest experimental sounds. Alongside this razor-edged lineup is rising star Lenzman. We’ve caught him in the run up to the event to catch up with what’s he’s been up to as well as get a taste of what he’ll be bringing to the decks for what is shaping up to be another legendary night of all things drum & bass.
The promo mix you've done goes through many flavours of drum & bass. Would you say your sets on the whole are a good representation of this?
For the most part I would say so. Although I'm mainly known for making what could be labelled as 'soulful' drum & bass, I like a bit of everything as long as it's got an infectious groove to it. Now in general it's true that I might play a bit more in that style, but it all depends on the mood I'm in, the crowd I'm playing for or even on what tunes I like at that point in time! When I first got into drum & bass people used to play all kinds of stuff in their sets, that's part of why it appealed to me so much. The sheer diversity of it. And although drum and bass might seem a bit fragmented these days, that's still true for me now.
How did you get involved with Critical?
Kasra asked me to do something for him just over a year ago. As it turns out, the tunes I made for him became the first single for Critical's sister label: Modulations.
Do you find people’s reactions to your music differ between the UK and the rest of Europe?
That really depends on the night and also what country you go to. Some nights I play people are really clued up (generally that does tend to happen more in the UK), whereas other nights people aren't knowledgable about the music at all. That doesn't really bother me much though, it's not the reason I make music. I mean of course it's great that people appreciate your stuff - it's an amazing feeling to see/hear people sing along to 'Open Page' for instance - but I just love writing music period. I do appreciate all the support I've gotten though, so if you're reading this: thank you all very much!
I was curious to hear the Enei remix of 'More Than I Can Take' - how much input do you have when people remix your tunes?
There is some input, but at the end of the day you have to let the remixer go ahead and do his thing. Usually it starts as a dialogue between label and original artist, about which tune to remix for instance or who to ask to remix it. Once that's agreed, the remixer goes in and does what he does. And afterwards the label and original artist might have a chat about some of it. And if everyone's happy it comes out... Simple as that really.
There seem to be a lot of outside influences creeping into your newer productions. How much time do you spend listening to Drum & Bass versus other genres of music?
I'd like to think I've always had a lot of outside influences in my music, but perhaps they're more outspoken than they were before? When I'm chilling out at home or listening to music on the iPod I very, very rarely listen to drum and bass! I hear enough of it when making tunes or DJing, I think I would lose my mind if I did. I used to be a massive hip hop head in the 90s and I still love hip hop from that era to bits. I also love old soul, funk, jazz and blues because of it - which is the stuff I listen to most of the time. I also love deep house and Detroit techno, and in more recent years the stuff people like Martyn and Hotflush are doing.
Tokyo Prose might be a name unfamiliar to some... how much time do you spend on the prowl checking out up and coming producers?
When I have the time to do it, I spend quite a bit of time checking out music by up and coming producers. I get sent quite a lot of stuff (and I don't even run a label!) so it's hard to check everything properly, but I do try. I was there not very long ago so I totally know what it's like fighting to be heard, trying to get a decent label to notice your music. And it's great when you get sent a great tune by someone you might not expect if from.
Anything exciting you’re working on that we should know about?
Well, a few things are coming up very soon. First off my new single on Shogun Ltd ('Bittersweet Part' 2 feat. Riya / 'Take It Back') has just come out. Coming up early 2011 is my debut on Subtitles: 'Stellar' / 'Stuck.' And also a single on Metalheadz Platinum: 'Masquerade' plus a remix by Die, Interface and Cartwright. Further in the future will see my followup to 'Open Page' on Metalheadz as well as a bigger project for the same label and some new music for Critical.
Lenzman – Critical Sound x FABRICLIVE Mix
01.CALIBRE – BROKEN (SIGNATURE)
02.EVESON – MAKE LUV 2 NIGHT (DUB)
03.D-BRIDGE – MY YEARS (REINFORCED)
04.LENZMAN – MORE THAN I CAN TAKE [ENEI REMIX] (CRITICAL MODULATIONS)
05.TOKYO PROSE – LPK SOUND (DUB)
06.SIREN – BROKEN SILENCE (SIREN)
07.A-SIDES – ONE DJ VIP (CLEAR SKYZ)
08.LENZMAN FEAT. RIYA – BITTERSWEET PART 2 (SGN:LTD)
09.TOTAL SCIENCE & SPY FEAT. KEVIN KING – PAST LIVES (DUB)
10.VICIOUS CICLE & JUBEI – CLOAK & DAGGER (CRITICAL)
11.LOXY & RESOUND – VERTIGO (EXIT)
12.ENEI – DANGER DANCE (CRITICAL)
13.ROCKWELL – LIVE FOR THE MOMENT (CRITICAL)
14.LENZMAN – MASQUERADE [DIE, INTERFACE & CARTWRIGHT REMIX] (METALHEADZ PLATINUM)