Given our combined outlets and borderline obsessive staff, its safe to say we fill our time with a lot of music over here at our Farringdon HQ. We like to listen. So when someone talks themselves up and then backs it up with amazing music or incredibly deft selection we have to give it up. The drum & bass duo of Fracture & Neptune are kind of a case in point and their strong 10 year heritage in music is backed up gloriously by their selection in this exclusive mix they put together for the fabric Blog.
Get to know them a little better with the following pop quiz.
So for those that don’t know, can you briefly introduce yourself?
Right, we are Fracture & Neptune (aka Charlie Fieber & Nelson Bayomy) and we run a London based drum and bass label called Astrophonica. We have been releasing D&B for the last 10 years on various labels and had our first release on Droppin' Science in 2000 (thanks Danny!). Since then we have worked with many labels and crafted our sound along the way. We started Astrophonica a year ago and it continues to grow every day.
What kind of background do you come from musically and how did it progress to the music you are making and playing now?
We both come from very different and varied musical backgrounds.
Fracture: My Dad is a guitarist and a big music buyer and listener so my earliest memories are of his blues and rock records. Becoming a musician myself was never really a decision; it was just what I wanted to do. At primary school I played drums and steel pans and then at secondary school I played guitar, went to loads of rock gigs and wanted to be in a rock band (I still do). At the same time at school, the whole pirate radio and jungle thing was blowing up and I was instantly hooked on that and started to go raving at places like Labyrinth and Paradise Club. The early and mid 90s were such a great time for music I was literally spoiled, but it's only now I realise.
Neptune: I started playing the trumpet when I was 8 at primary school. That got my musically juices flowing to start with. I remember, when I was about 10, listening to stuff like Soul II Soul and James Brown and absolutely loving it, especially the breakdowns. I really loved Breakdance the movie and I think all those things meant the same thing – a love for breaks. I used to attempt to mix on my mum’s hi-fi by switching between radio and CD source before I even knew what mixing was! A big moment for me was in the second year of secondary school when some kid had etched pirate radio station names and their frequencies into the maths table. I started listening to those as everyone was talking about ‘Hardcore Junglist’ music. I was hooked then (about (1993) and have been ever since. I met up with Fracture at college and could instantly see the similarities in tastes and that was that.
When you did you pick up production and what impelled you to do so?
We met at college in 1996 and it was just jungle, jungle, jungle back then. It was what everyone talked about at lunch time, it was what we spent our money on, it was how we dressed, it was literally everything. So before long we got talking and started buying and mixing records together and then bought a sampler. The rest is history.
Do you think that there is anything inherent to all the music that you make that ties it all together?
We try to keep a cosmic vibe in all our productions. Whether it's a dancefloor banger or one for the headphones, we always keep that vibe. It’s also about classic production techniques. We still use mainly hardware samplers and outboard dynamics so our music has a very classic sound in terms of production.
We are also very keen sample and breaks diggers. Whether it's from old crusty vinyl or a DVD from 2010 we always spend time sourcing our samples. There is a real art to digging for samples which is sadly getting less and less apparent in modern day sample based music.
Who else in d&b is doing it for you right now?
Code 3 are absolutely killing us right now; definitely our faves at the moment. They're old skoolers like us so they totally share the same love for the classic tunes and techniques. Those guys have a lot of funk too, which is paramount. You must never ever forget the funk. Funk first, science second. We always have to mention System. He is a top quality engineer with the ability to roll out the simplest of grooves to devastating effect.
In terms of newer producers, Synrko is killing it right now; there a very clean and emotional vibe to his music. Absolutely love it.
What other projects have you got in the pipeline?
We are currently putting together a 'Fracture & Neptune Retrospective' which will be a digital format album of our music from the last decade. It will feature a lot of our classic music previously only available on vinyl as well as previously unreleased and unheard music from our vaults.
We also recently collaborated with an artist called Emilski. We did 10 hand painted test presses of our current release ‘The Limit’ / ‘Get Lost’ on Astrophonica. They sold out instantly and were a great success so we will be doing lots more colabs with Emilksi, including animations and more ltd vinyls. There are also quite a few musical collaborations in the pipeline too. Some have already been completed and some have been penciled in the diary. Can't say too much more right now but we are very much looking forward to them!!
The current release on Astrophonica is Fracture & Neptune – ‘The Limit’ / ‘Get Lost’ which people will know from Zero T's amazing FABRICLIVE 52 CD. It's a certified killer and is available from all good shops on vinyl and digital from 1st Nov.
Fracture & Neptune - fabric Blog Mix (Oct 2010)
1. Sub – So Finster Die Nacht [Fracture’s Astrophonica Remix] – Pinecone Moonshine
2. ASC – Starkwood – Autonomic / NonPlus
3. Ulterior Motive & FD – All That We Are – Metalheadz
4. Fracture & Neptune – The Limit – Astrophonica
5. Fortran – Place To Be – Metro
6. Code 3 – What Are You Saying? – Critical
7. Fracture & Neptune – Timing Problems – Dub
8. Skitty – 3eakanomics – Dub
9. System – Pick Up Targets – Dub
10. Digital – Logged On – Dub
11. Fracture – Play That Record – Dub
12. Decoder & Substance – Dimension – 31 Records
13. Blu Mar Ten – Overwhelm [Seba Remix] – Blu Mar Ten
14. Eleven Tigers – Stableface [Macc Remix] – Dub
15. Synkro – Dwelling – Dub