Sometimes a piece of music can transcend the simple notion of a genre, whether it incorporates traditional ‘poppy’ elements or not. Sabre, Stray, Halogenix and Frank Carter III’s ‘Oblique’, released on Kasra’s Critical Recordings, is very much one of those pieces of music. It works amazingly well on a dancefloor, resettling a crowd and bringing the gaze back down from a flurried peak to a very personal level and it works gorgeously in transit, through headphones. History dictates that songs with vocals tend to stick out more in memory and whilst ‘Oblique’ does contain a live vocal line whose power lies in the angst and the rawness of the delivery, the textural swamp below it and those thick frequencies that frame the chords at the breakdown stage are just as much integral to the collective’s pensivity.
North London based producer Halogenix, aka Laurence Reading, was one third of the hive mind behind that record and its B side ’St Clair’, but he’s been making moves of a similar devastation, releasing tracks on Horizons working alongside Hydro, for a while now. His tracks balance a weight and intensity, often leading the head off to one side with his toplines of wandering saxophone sustains or righteous pads.
His tracks and his DJ sets have rightfully caught the ear of the FABRICLIVE team, whose enthusiasm for Reading to helm a promo mix has been proven completely founded with this carefully measured introductory 35 minute instalment...
Can you introduce yourself for those people who maybe haven’t heard of you or your music before?
My name is Laurence Reading, I go by the name of Halogenix, I live in North London with my girlfriend and my cat and I make music and films.
What got you interested in making music in the first place?
My Dad’s involvement in music inspired me to do what I’m doing. He’s a classically trained French horn player and he played all over the world in various different orchestras. I loved going to watch him and I used to pull sickies from school all the time so I could go with him to his rehearsals. I remember having the whole of the Royal Albert Hall to myself once, which was pretty cool. From the age of 7 my Dad got me playing the cello and from there I just got more involved with music, I played the piano, the drums, guitar… it wasn’t until I was 15 when I got my first laptop that I started messing with music software and have been doing so ever since.
What got you hooked on drum & bass?
My first forays into drum & bass were as a result of my brother buying a CD called ‘Pure Drum & Bass’ which was a 2CD mix from Grooverider and Fabio back when I was 10. I rinsed that hard! I used to sit listening to it imagining of one day being a drum & bass producer by the name of Drum-Baron Colours. I think I was the only kid at school listening to d&b at the time, so I probably thought I was either really cool, or just weird. I then got another CD called ‘Dangerous Drums’ which was on the Underfire Imprint, which pretty much did it for me, I had those 2 CD’s which I rinsed on rotation until I was about 15 when I started to buy records and DJ.
You’ve released on Horzions and you also had a hand in the epic ‘Oblique’ on Kasra’s Critical alongside Stray and Sabre... What we’re those sessions like? I mean did you know when you were working on it that it would be something special?
I remember getting to Sabre’s yard that day, the sun was out and had my shorts on, so it was only right that we worked on something liquid-esque. We all came to the consensus that we wanted to work on something more chilled (this was after we’d just made ‘Askari’ on Invisible) and we spent about 2/3 hours auditioning samples before we came across the main one. We all turned to each other and grimaced, which is always a good sign.
I don’t think we really knew when we were making it that it would be received so well. I think once we’d discovered Frank Carter and put his vocals on top, we knew were going in the right direction, and then once we sent it to Kasra, his eyes lit up and he did an amazing job of promoting it. Although the tune obviously speaks for itself, it’s amazing what having a good label behind a tune can do for it.
Obviously a tune like that can give you a platform to jump off from; what else have you got in the pipeline?
I’m currently working on quite a lot of things, both solo and collaboratively. Solo-wise, I have 2 tunes forthcoming on Dispatch, one called ‘Laika’ which is backed with Sabre’s ‘Halo Danger’ and another tune ‘Raya’ which is out on Dispatch LTD backed with a Skeptical/Dub Phizix collab which is out in May. There’s also a tune called ‘Tender Chain’ which will feature on Horizon’s 50th EP. Collaboratively, I’ve a 12" on Horizons with Hydro which is in the shops now, a track with Stray called ‘Poison’ which is coming on Warm Communications, and Sabre, Stray and myself are working on some more stuff.
Can you tell us a bit about the mix you put together for us?
I tried to put a lot of thought into this mix; I wanted it to be coherent but also quite eclectic. I get bored listening to an hour of the same style of drum & bass so I tried to vary it up quite a lot. You’ll find some real experimental stuff in there from myself, and the likes of Ena. And then some straight dance floor killers.
Halogenix – FABRICLIVE Promo Mix
Halogenix & Mitchell Aldrich – The Passage
Reza & Ena – Untitled
Vinnie Paz - Drag You To Hell (Digital Goon Remix)
Clarity – Fractured
Xtrah - Here I Go Again
Halogenix – Laika
Breakage - Rebel Creations
Sabre, Stray & Halogenix ft. Frank Carter III - Oblique VIP
Mefjus - Far Too Close
Halogenix – Raya
Line Of Sight - Suspension (Sunchase Remix)
M-Zine & Skepticz - A!on3
Halogenix - Post 
Catch Halogenix go back to back with Stray in Room Two on the 20th April.