Axxon: dubstep, breakcore, drum and bass and a whole lot of fun!

Monday 15 February 2010, 17:36

Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn

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How long have you been writing your own music?

I've been sat in a dark room staring at a computer for about six years now.

How many genres have you experimented with (ie did you start with drum and bass/punk before discovering dubstep)?

I started off making 200bpm broken beat IDM, I wanted to be Aphex Twin, but I also made (rubbish) jungle and drum and bass. I really liked mental constantly evolving rhythms. At Uni I got in to building plugins that constantly vary drum beats, but keep it musical. You can get mad patterns that go on forever. It all got a bit complicated, introverted, nerdy and eventually hurts your brain, plus you can't get down to that in da club. Then dubstep came along. I'm always playing with new things though, pianos and sound fx at the moment, but I'm also producing an acoustic guitar and violin singer songwriter meets dubstep thing. Its all good fun.

Who are the artists that have inspired your music in the early days/ who inspires you today?

Aphex Twin, Autechre and Boards Of Canada were big inspirations, but also Radiohead, Flying Lotus and Four Tet. My brothers introduced me to a lot of odd music at a pretty early age. My brother is a DJ and used to send me drum and bass mix tapes that gradually got harder and harder and gabba-er.

There's a night in Bristol called Laptop Battle run by the 1 Man Army Label. Basically musicians compete against each other in two-minute battles making some insane breakage noise and the winner goes though to the next round. Computer music gone nuts, awesome. Now it's artists like Skream, Rusko, N-Type, Coki, Plastician, MRK1 and The Bug etc, but I'm always listening and I get inspired by everything. I don't just listen to dubstep.

What is it about dubstep?

It just stripped everything down to what it needed to be. The slower pace and minimal drums leaves all this room for enormous noises. Snares and bass, that's all it needs. Benga had it right when he said it's 'now music'. Its not future music it's right here right now. Drum and bass had got a bit weak, garage was over and IDM was no fun. Dubstep just put the fun and the chest rattling bass back into dance music.

You're based in London now. What clubs/DJs are really doing something special there?

FWD>> is the place to be on a Sunday night. You find yourself standing next to Flying Lotus or talking to Skream. It's got pretty big now, used to just be about three of us in a completely dark room. Sound system is huge. There are loads of other little places as well as all the super raves at Matter, Scala etc.

What equipment do you use to make the remixes?

I've got a MacBook, some half decent monitors and a few boxes with knobs on. Nothing that special, I'm totally a bedroom producer. I only have a few plugins, I got rid of the rest. I think its much better to understand two soft-synths inside out than to have 300 cracked plugins your mate gave you and you don't know how to use. Also its all about a balance; there's no point having £2000 speakers if you're listening to them in a bad room.

You've got a great Master Shortie remix that we've played on the show a few times. What makes a good track to remix/ how do you choose something?

I got to know the MS management quite well and I did the "Bringing it back" remix for them from ADHD. They liked it so much they got me to remix the whole album: "ADHDubstep"! Its awesome, should be dropping soon. I think complex tracks are good to remix for dubstep anyway, because you can strip it down and just give it a totally new vibe.

It's all about the vibe. Skream probably did the La Roux remix in a couple of hours, its full of mistakes, but that tune's got a serious vibe. You never really know how its gonna turn out until you start. I did a remix of a sweet pretty mellow acoustic track by Aviv Geffen called It's Alright, and turned it in to this monster. Somehow it just works. The moment you start playing with the track, you know if its gonna be a killer. And it's nice if they pay you too.

What's in the mix this week?

Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Finally, are there any links for any peers making music that we should listen to?

soundcloud.com/deepveintom
soundcloud.com/dirty-hz
soundcloud.com/stylimusic
myspace.com/makingtunes
myspace.com/lukemusic

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For the next three days you can listen to the mix online at bbc.co.uk/radio1/bethanelfyn or head to Axxon's myspace at myspace.com/axxondubstep

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