On March 20th, the UK Government ordered all U.K clubs to shut their doors. With that, we've all had to say goodbye to our beloved Drum and Bass raves for the foreseeable future. For a scene that relies so heavily on the hype of its music being blasted through club sound systems, it really isn't an ideal situation.
However, it's not all doom and gloom. We have countless talented producers in our scene and three months locked inside a studio is guaranteed to provide a ridiculous amount of good music. We caught up with Amoss, Cesco, Sota, Hexa and Used to see how they're staying motivated through the lockdown.
From the POV of someone who makes their music from home, how's the lockdown affecting your workflow?
Amoss - "This lockdown has actually helped speed up current projects and my workflow. I work a 9-5 which has been postponed until further notice, so I’m now putting all efforts into finishing current projects ready to move onto new ventures.”
Cesco – “I've been blocked up creatively over the past few months and haven't been as productive as I would have liked, but this lockdown has given me some space and time to reflect and re-discover what I enjoy the most about making music.”
Sota - "For sure! I'm able to stay in the zone far easier as there's nothing to take me out of it - I'm making music every day. I've been making quite a lot of liquid and started a few riddim projects. I think keeping it varied is key in situations like this.”
Hexa - "Workflow for me has always been a priority. I'm used to working 9-10-hour days and then coming home and producing for as long as I physically can. At this current time the freedom I've got is amazing for me."
Have you been trying out any new production techniques so far?
Amoss - "My main efforts over the past week or so has been to set up my Patreon page, but before that I managed to get 2 new tracks and a remix finished. I hope to continue this pace and come out the other side with a few more releases scheduled in the diary."
Sota - "It's been easy for me to stay in a routine as I have deadlines to be completed. Once they're out of the way I'm going to try a different genre every day."
Hexa - "I’ve tried to at least get one track a day down/sketched out. This is so when the creativity comes to a block or a standstill, I have numerous amounts of work to do in tracks that are already there for me".
Used – “There’s two things I’ve been trying. The first one is working on a track from the beginning all the way to the end. I’m making the full intro, then the build-up and so on. Secondly, I’m doing little production live streams on Discord for my non producer friends. Having people with no musical knowledge react to what you are making is a great way of knowing what works and what doesn’t.”
Does knowing your new songs won’t be played out at raves for the foreseeable future affect your motivation? Or does it add to the motivation knowing you'll have arsenal of tunes after the lockdown ends?
Amoss - "It’s quite weird to have started and finished ‘The Antidote’ for Flexout Audio and have it released during the lockdown knowing nobody has ever played this tune out. There is still a wide audience who appreciate this music who do not go to every rave searching for the latest dubs. I haven’t lost any motivation over this either as I would still be writing music if the internet went down haha, it’s all I know to do and would be lost without it."
Hexa - "I’m quite a held back producer as it is. I like to have my own tracks for my own use for a while before I release/send about. I still really enjoy doing guest mixes and mixing in general so any new weapons in my arsenal is always a bonus for me!”
Used – “This is what I’m excited about. Only a few of them (songs) will see a release but I will 100% play all my new stuff in sets when this situation has been dealt with. Every set will be filled with unreleased bangers”.
Will we see you explore any new sub genres of D&B? Or an entirely new genre all together?
Cesco – “I always love working at 120-130bpm, there's so much space and time to play with rhythm in a very different way to the frantic energy of D&B. I'm also really enjoying making and listening to 140 stuff at the moment. I think this lockdown provides a fantastic opportunity for experimentation, so be on the lookout for some different stuff from me as well as from producers in general”.
Hexa - "It’s literally a case of whatever the vibe is on the day is. This period of lock down, I’m looking to maybe explore in some ambient genres and another I really want to venture into is dawless music. I’ve got quite a lot of hardware so I’ve always wanted to see if I can do it".
Used – “Even though I love all bpm’s, writing for ‘Used’ doesn’t allow me to step out of my genre. However, now I’m making 140, future bass, riddim and even some melodic techno.
These are dark times and most people will find it difficult to stay positive throughout the coming months. But just think about that first event back after months of being confined to listening to D&B in your bedroom.
Dub after dub, excruciatingly loud speakers and being back raving alongside your friends again. All this social distancing and staying at home will be worth it.
Stay up to date with all the producers at these links
Amoss - https://www.instagram.com/amoss___/
Hexa - https://www.instagram.com/hexadnb/
Used - https://www.instagram.com/usedmusicbe/
Sota – https://www.instagram.com/sotauk/
Cesco - https://www.instagram.com/cescomusicuk
Amoss - https://www.facebook.com/AmossMusic/
Hexa - https://www.facebook.com/HexaDnb/
Cesco - https://www.facebook.com/cescomusicuk/
Used - https://www.facebook.com/USEDDNB/
Sota – https://www.facebook.com/sotauk/
Written by Charlie Cummings for BYTHEPRODUCER.com