In the last couple of years, the eyes of the UK bass music community have quietly turned to the rising city of Leeds. Producing everything between house, bass, techno and drum & bass, Leeds has come to be regarded as an influential, genre-defying hub, with artists such as Submerse, Pangaea, Midland and Pearson Sound emerging from the LS post code. This October 14th, nestled deep in our brick arches, you’ll find Leeds-based duo Octane & DLR heating up our Room Two booth for the latest RAM records takeover. The pair emerged from the Leeds underground over a decade ago and have since been bringing their experimental forward-thinking beats to the forefront of the drum & bass scene.
We caught up with the duo for a quick chat about their current base, their debut album and Octane’s birthday ahead of RAM; and then they went dropped a heavyweight mix in anticipation.
Let's start at the very beginning, for those who may not be in the know of all things Octane & DLR, can you introduce yourselves please?
Hello, We're Chris Octane & James DLR... founders of Scientology and actual space aliens from the planet Zorg. If you'd like to donate to our religious charity that we just made up, please see details below, no transfers under £100, we also do competitive rates on space travel!
You hooked up in Leeds, moving in similar circles with the likes of Pearson Sound, Midland and Ruckspin, together your effects in shaking up the UK underground dance music scene in recent years, has been pretty darn huge - how does it feel to have been a part of this?
Leeds has been great to us. As you mentioned, there's such a huge pool of talent hitting hard from the north and we're glad to be a part of it. The City is so small we've managed to hook up with most of the music scene here. We're all quite close nit and appreciate each other's work... We've all learned and grown here and there's plenty of new breed on the horizon.
2011 has been a very busy year for you guys in terms of releases and gigging, what have been your highlights so far?
This is easy... we toured Australia and New Zealand through July and August. The crowds were incredible and here's a huge shout to Christchurch who, despite all they've endured, raised the roof of the only club left in the city! Then Outlook Festival was unreal, Ant TC1's Dispatch Recordings, and Momentum hosted a boat party and a night on one of the stages which was in a moat, the boat party won hands down for vibes! We were also lucky to play on the Hardware boat party also, Loxy and Ink absolutely killed it - amazing set; setting standards from the 1st record they played.
You're also close to finishing your debut album, but have kept all details very closely under wraps, can you divulge even just a teeny bit of info please?
We have an album coming on undisclosed label. It's a little crazy, different to what we're used to but we needed to release material that was more diverse as well as the usual. We thrive on creativity and most of the album is experimental. From recording me hitting everything in sight to J running down the street and breathing into a portable recorder with the fitness level of Jabba the Hut…
In terms of labels, when the album is finally complete we will be approaching a few labels with our concept and see where it fits in. We still have plenty of things forthcoming, a track on the Dispatch ‘50 EP’ with Safire, which was something we wrote whilst on tour as he is based in Melbourne. Theres a 12" coming on Critical, one of the tracks, called 'Giddy Kipper' is a massive collab with Linden and Quantum soul, totally crazy as you'd expect, we can't wait for it to drop. The highlight will be 'Back in the Grind' Cern and Dabs remix, which is going off across the world, it’s gotten so much support its unreal!
You're no strangers to a Ram line-up, having been on the bill a couple of times before, what can we expect from your set on the 14th October?
Absolute double clang-out.. We're hoping to be placed amongst like minded DJs so we can flow the event appropriately but the fabric crowd usually want to brock out hard so we'll have to see at the time. We love to take things as they come; it’s exciting to read the crowd and play a set which moves building a vibe throughout. It’s the best excuse in the world as basically we won't have practiced or have seen each other in a few weeks so we'll be buzzing to get back together and have a beer and a mix! Call us old fashioned but that sounds like a lot of hearty fun!
A little birdy told us that Octane's birthday falls on that same weekend - what have you got in store celebration-wise?
Octane will be 21 on the 16th... He wants a Playstation 3, a holiday to Filey, suntan lotion, Zig & Zag dolls and a pint of Chimay Blue!
Catch Octane & DLR in Room Two this Friday.
1 Break - Hot Love - Ram
2 Upbeats & Dose - Raiders - ?
3 Xtrah - Contortion - Subtitles
4 Dabs - Subsidiary - Dispatch
5 J Robinson - The Tribal Effect - ?
6 Arclight - Judas - Hardware
7 Paimon - Baphomet - Dutty Audio
8 Skeptical & Fokus - Fluctuate - ?
9 NFM - Shackles - ?
10 Eastcolors - Things Inside - ?
11 OD - Stick and Move ft Fokus
12 OD & Cern - The Rawness - ?
13 Total Science - Trespass - CIA
14 Alix Perez, Rockwell & Spectrasoul - Montpellier - Shogun
15 OD ft Marion - Let Me Go
16 Judda - G Force
Interview by Veronica Fazzolari.
All photo's courtesy of Christian Hoyle unless stated on the filename, all use must be credited to Christian Hoyle.