Drum & bass is very much a global thing. As much as we’re obsessed with our particular corner of EC1 here, we respect the worldwide hankering for 170bpm music. We’ve met people from all around the globe who have as much grounding and passion for the types of music we’ve been lucky enough to grow a couple of decades older with and it’s a testament to the open ended culture that the early artists built that you can fly for a day to the other side of the planet and find somewhere that people pay to come and hear those early records along tracks they partly inspired.
San Diegan producer, Calculon, is one of those guys who caught the d&b bug early, having been involved in electronic music for over ten years now. Triumphing with a release signed to LTJ Bukem’s lauded Goodlooking imprint, he’s also making the journey from his native California to play Bukem In Session’s Room Two residency for the first time on 28th September, so we figured this the perfect time to grab a mixtape from him and let him introduce himself in his own words…
For those who may not be acquainted with your sound, can you introduce yourself?
I make music and DJ under the name Calculon. I'm from San Diego, California and have been involved in electronic music for quite some time now, since the mid-90s. A few years back I took over the running of Rubik Records from Kubiks, and that's been keeping me busy, but with help from my friend Methodus things are going well!
What have you been working on recently?
Lots of collaborations and a few solo things. Making music with friends brings me a lot of enjoyment. What's been keeping me the busiest lately is my EP for Chrissy Murderbot's label, Loose Squares. Recently I've made a few things that he decided to sign, and I've been trying to get the last tune or two to finish the EP. It's my first release that's not a single or for a compilation so I'm really excited about it.
How did you get involved with d&b?
San Diego used to have a very healthy d&b scene, and it was very easy to meet a lot of people interested in the same kind of music once I started going to the local nights. The first night I started DJing and promoting with my friend Austin Speed, and it quickly went from something to do to an obsession! We put on a series of shows and ended up bringing a lot of DJs to town. Looking back things were quite good. My friend FSTZ encouraged me to make music, he's the one that got me my first laptop and taught me how to get going on Cubase. Eventually I linked up with Kubiks and Lomax through promoting nights, and they helped immensely with production and were very encouraging.
How would you describe the music you make?
Recently I've been heading more and more into a variety of styles of electronic music. I still make music at a d&b tempo but I've been slowing down the tempo just a little bit and incorporating influences like juke and classic jungle. I've been inspired again to make music after a bit of a break! I'd say I have been known in the past for a melodic mellow style of d&b but lately I'm hooked on 808 drums and rave sounds. I'm definitely redefining my style.
Can you tell us more about upcoming music from you?
I'm very excited to say I signed a tune I made with Dave Owen and Christina Tamayo to Good Looking! Other forthcoming releases include a tune with Andy Sim on Nookie's label Phuzion, a single on Rubik, the EP on Loose Squares, a single on LA's Smog with Pawn and Christina Tamayo, and a solo tune on Influenza LTD. I plan on working more with people like Steo, Austin Speed, Sinistarr, ATP, Pawn, Quadrant and Homemade Weapons for the rest of the year.
Ahead of your set here at the end of the month, when you'll be joining Bukem in Room 2, what can we expect from the night?
I've heard there are some great DJs lined up like Dave Owen and Amaning, so I'm certain the night will be great music from start to finish! I've never been to fabric before so I'm overjoyed at the chance to play some music and enjoy the night.
Calculon – FABRICLIVE x Bukem In Session Mix
1) Submorphics - Organ Grinder - Rubik
2) Om Unit - Dark Sunrise - Civil Music
3) Calculon and Sinistarr - Rubenesque - Dub
4) Quadrant, Calculon, Homemade Weapons, and Iris - Covalent - Dub
5) Fracture - Bad Habit (Om Unit VIP) - Astrophonica VIP
6) Pawn - Your Words - Dub
7) Interface and Minus - Hardwork - Gutterfunk
8) Calculon and Austin Speed - BTFU - Loose Squares
9) Calculon and Austin Speed - Get Murked - Dub
10) Capleton - Slew Dem (Sinistarr Remix) - Dub
11) Calculon - Need You - Loose Squares
12) Calculon and Pawn - Crush - Loose Squares
13) Om Unit - Vibrations (Machinedrum Remix) - Civil Music
14) Heavy1 - Bleep Step - Dub
15) 813 - Erotica (Om Unit Remix) - 92 Points
16) Commix - Be True - Metalheadz
17) Planas - Breathtaking (dBridge Remix) - Exceptional Records
18) Mutt and Calculon feat Kevin King - Rubik
19) Calculon - Where I'm From – Dub
Catch Calculon at Bukem In Session in Room Two on Friday 28th September.