Mounting up a reputable release portfolio across the board of drum & bass labels such RAM, MTA, Playaz, Trendkill and more in the last few years, the Cheltenham based duo, Mob Tactics, are already renowned for the power house tech funk sound. Luke Budgen and Mark Sims’ studio collaboration has already yielded a brace of high energy, progressive dancefloor belters such as their latest ‘Frenzy’ and ‘Wolf Trap VIP’, which were both released on the inimitable Ram Records as part of their recent RAMLife and Ram Miami compilations respectively.
In lieu of their upcoming appearance at FABRICLIVE for Viper Live in Room Two on Friday 5th June, we caught up with Luke and Mark to discuss their music, the scene, their forthcoming set to better introduce them and frame the exclusive promotional mix that they’ve just this minute delivered to us…
Easy guys! What has been going on of late in the Mob Tactics world? Is there anything forthcoming in the pipeline from you two?
Mob Tactics: Hello there! Yeah, we have lots on the go at the minute which is just how we like it. We've just signed our next single to Viper which we literally couldn't be any happier about. The lead track is called 'Neon God' and features a singer called Joell Fender who just has the most amazingly soulful voice - we're both really pleased with how it came out. The other track is a techy little stepper titled ‘Return of the Snitch’ that's been getting really good reactions in the clubs - which is always reassuring!
We've also got another track called 'Zodiac' - which we've included in the mix - coming on the Viper Summer Slammers 2015 album which also happens to feature a 60 minute mix from us. There's also a few remixes that are pretty much tied up including one for Renegade Hardware that we're pretty excited about too.
As followers of your music may have come to realise, you’re capable of switching up the style quite noticeably. Is this down to a natural convergence of both of your influences or a conscious decision not to be pigeon-holed into one sub-genre of drum & bass?
A bit of both I guess. We're both heavily in to lots of other styles of music and tend to listen a lot of metal, hip hop, house, classical -anything with a hook or melody really - and that can often bring out the more musical side of us in the studio which invariably manifests itself in one of our more anthemic, not so in-your-face tracks. I think we'd probably get a little bit bored of just writing the same stuff over and over again; variety is the spice of life as they say!
How do you like to execute your sets? Do you mould your sets around the vibe of the line-up you’re playing or just go with what feels right on the night?
We put a lot of time in to finding nice mixes and putting sections together for gigs and we'll flit between different groups of tunes depending on the crowd and how things are going down. We'll always look at the style of the night but generally speaking we tend to just play what we're feeling at the time and what we're predominantly known for, which is a mixture of techy and vocal stuff, and we'll always try to draw for a few classics here and there!
Who else is doing it for you guys in drum & bass at the moment?
People like Audio, Prolix, InsideInfo, June Miller, Mefjus and Emperor are constantly bending our tiny little minds with their production skills. Those guys just know how to inject vibe and attitude into a track. Huge fans of Ed Rush & Optical too, it's always an exciting moment when you get your mits on one of their new tunes!
As a successful collaborative duo, do you have any pointers or words of wisdom for up and coming would-be production duos?
I think the most important thing is to try and have fun. If you don’t get on with the person you're stuck in a studio with for hours on end it's unlikely you'll ever get anything done. It's also very important to be respectful of your partners ideas or thoughts about the direction of where a track might be going - it's all too easy to be dismissive of their input if you already have a predetermined idea set in your own mind about how you want things to progress. But we can’t stress enough just how many times one of us had an idea that the other hated that turned out to be the very thing that made the track in the end!
Viper Live at FABRICLIVE is set to be a smasher! You must be excited… As a raver, what’s been your most memorable fabric moment to date?
We’re so, so excited to finally be playing at fabric! It seems like we've been waiting forever to get booked to play there so we were absolutely stoked when our agent told us Viper wanted to book us.
Our most memorable fabric experience to date?
Luke: In the late '90s/early '00sI was working for Massive Records in Oxford and the entirety of the staff were in to either progressive house or drum & bass and we used to make regular pilgrimages to fabric for a night out. One particular night we saw Sasha play and it was literally incredible - like really, really incredible! The vibe was just electric, Sasha smashed it – like he always does - and the crowd were just completely in tune with him. A night I'll never forget. A close second would be a Virus night I attended around the same time; ridiculously massive lineup where I heard more dubs played than I thought humanly possible in one night. Good times!
Mark: My most memorable fabric experience stems back to 2005-ish. Pendulum were playing and me and some mates had arranged to go, it was set to be our first time there. We got there around 11pm and the queue was like nothing I'd ever seen, it literally looked like some sort of march was taking place! Anyway, we were obviously well too late to the party, we queued for hours but it was one in/one out and we never actually made as far as 20 metres from the door [laughs]! So this is actually set to be my first time inside the club. I can’t wait…