In Point Blank’s most recent masterclass, they were joined by UK drum and bass boss Kove to find out how he made his haunting dnb track, ‘Echoes’.
It’s fair to say that Oliva changed the face of her local scene, and she’s now making her mark around Europe. The Kraków native came up at a time when drum & bass was the predominant sound of the city, but years of her own hard work as a DJ and promoter mean it is now about so much more. Olivia first went to legendary local club Kanty with her older brother and “had to bribe bodyguards” and “sneak in through the fence”.
In his own life, Cédric Steinmyller plays two roles. There’s the quiet, observant young man, whose crystal blue eyes peer downward as he speaks. And then there is Klingande, the sensational commercial house icon who dominates the decks with the same confident ferocity that’s made him one to watch since 2012. When we connect with him during Miami Music Week, we meet both personas. Though seemingly shy upon introduction, Steinmyller possesses a friendly and relaxed demeanor. “It’s very easy to connect with people here,” he tells DJ Mag.
Point Blank are back with a brand new Deconstruction from their Head of Curriculum and master of Deconstructions, Ski Oakenfull. This time, Ski pulls back the curtain on American singer-songwriter Halsey’s mega-hit, ‘Without Me’, exploring each of the track’s elements.
Coco Bryce may be a relatively new name to most in the UK, however he’s been plying his trade for around two decades. Hailing from Breda in the south of the Netherlands, it was back in the ‘90s when he first became enamoured with the sounds of breakbeat hardcore and gabber — the latter, he feels perhaps inevitable for a Dutch kid, despite it being at odds with the skater culture he was also a part of.“The raw energy just grabbed me,” he says.
Last year Point Blank Music School announced their partnership with the Chinese company NetEase FEVER to launch a new Far East school, Point Blank China. The new campus, which is due to wrap construction in the next few months, is located in the Zhejiang National Music Industry Base, Xiaoshan at Hangzhou’s International Expo Center and is now open for enrolment.
There has been a huge shift in the way DJs and producers have been making music over the last few years. Hardware, and especially analogue equipment, is the order of the day, with the re-emergence of dedicated studios providing tools to facilitate this style of working.
Your studio also offers residential facilities, how does this work?
“Yes, it sleeps four people. It’s designed as a loft-styled space with bedrooms, wet room, full diner and bar.”
What sort of artists does Devon Analogue attract?
Which are you favourite bits of kit?
Crazy P were originally called Crazy Penis when they formed in Nottingham two decades ago, but they lopped off the ‘enis’ after a few years of mischief-making due to a desire to be taken more seriously (to get away from the knob gags, basically). Originally signed to Manchester deep house label Paper Recordings for their first two albums, they switched to Shiva Recordings for the breakthrough ’24-Hour Psychedelic Freakout’ and ‘A Night On Earth’ albums, before switching to Ralph Lawson’s 2020 Vision for their subsequent two long-players.
02. Jan Hammer Group ‘Don’t You Know’
“From the album ‘Melodies’, from back in the Jan Hammer Group days — it’s a real stand-out track from this album. The sound palette is awesome, blending a lush analogue arpeggio bassline, synth strings with more organic textures of Rhodes and live drums. The chord progression has some nice jazzy modulations but the track remains groovy and soulful nonetheless.”
03. Tornado Wallace ‘Voices’
“Taken from the superb ‘Lonely Planet’ album from 2018. This track shares some of the textures on our new album, the lush airy pads, marimba percussion, shimmering chorus-drenched guitars, reminiscent of Talk Talk’s ‘East Of Eden’ and Roxy Music’s ‘Avalon’. It’s a sublime track conjuring up beautiful ’80s tropical landscapes.”
04. Connan Mockasin ‘Charlotte’s Thong’
“Maybe not a direct influence but this has been on repeat for me ever since it came out. It’s beautiful, simple reputation brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. Connan’s such an interesting, unique artist, on every level — the production, guitar playing, the vocals, the writing... as a guitarist I find him fascinating, such a great loose style. Love him!”
05. Alan Braxe & Fred Falke ‘Most Wanted’
“There’s a fair bit of arpeggio and general analogue business going on in the new album, and this is another example of lush analogue textures but with the dancefloor firmly in mind. Taking the main riff and some of the beats from K.I.D’s ‘Don’t Stop’, and laying a beautiful pad chord progression over the top, it’s simple but oh-so effective!”
Danielle Moore’s picks:
06. Cameo ‘Just Be Yourself’
07. A Certain Ratio ‘Won’t Stop Loving You’
“A Certain Ratio have always been an inspiration as they manage to melt indie into disco and create something unique and continue to make it relevant today. It’s punky edged and driving, and this next song for me is the perfect indie-pop song. I’ve seen them live regularly recently and they create such a wonderful energy together that it’s hard not to come away with positivity. Musically, they are incredibly versatile and talented!”
08. Grace Jones ‘Nipple To The Bottle’
09. Tom Tom Club ‘Genius Of Love’
“Tom Tom Club achieve this wonderful song with a simple layered vocal with harmonies... it’s wonderfully conversational, soulful and subtle and the bassline is a perfect rhythmic drive. It’s so hooky and memorable. Definitely would have tried to emulate this sound vocally at some point. Performance-wise, I love the fact they all look like they’re having a bloody good time. Not taking themselves too seriously whilst retaining ultimate professionalism.”
10. Prince ‘Hot Thing’
“I love a tracky banger as much as the next person, but the older I get, the more I feel that music has to have some heart in it,” Jabru says, explaining the soulful energy behind his debut album for Purple City Soufflé, ‘Ill Conceived’. The DJ/producer from Exeter (who prefers to keep his real name under wraps) has been making beats for many years, with dub-inflected releases for JD Twitch’s Bucky Skank label and Tom Middleton’s Sound Of The Cosmos, and broken beat tracks for Today, Tomorrow Records.
Jabru’s eclectic productions are the result of the many musical influences he was exposed to growing up in the south-west of England. A hip-hop head first, free parties and outdoor raves thrown by soundsystems such as Lazy House and DIY got him hooked on four-four rhythms, and he produced dubstep for a spell, too. “I’ve always listened to all sorts,” Jabru says. “Aphex Twin, Global Communication and Skitz were big influences from down this way. If I wasn’t putting on a UK hip-hop night, I’d be out raving in a field somewhere.”