DNB Vault

DJINN interview and Dark Reference EP – Foundation X review!

Djinn first came into my radar as I was scouring for mixes and came across her sets at Rupture and Dark Roller. 
I later came across her first Foundation X release ‘’Shadows’’ which was a nice minimal rolling liquid tune.
Eventually coming to learn she had a forthcoming release, I checked it out and was truly impressed.
Among the growing population of Drum & Bass producers and Dj’s out there, Few stand out and manage to properly pay homage to the original sound.
Fortunately for those that still have dark dystopian jungle running deep in their bloodstream there’s Djinn.
Coming at you with treacherous force, To simply call it ‘’Techstep” is an injustice.

Djinn packs some serious throwback vibes with her ‘’Dark Reference’’ Ep.

Foundation X
has been known for their modern classics that push the original sound into a darker timeline of alternate Drum & Bass reality where jungle still reigns supreme. If you crave technicality and diversity in your breaks than this is what you’ve been missing.
Djinn packs an impressive punch with her burst fire edits and menacing bass grooves. The atmosphere’s are just there, she gets it, i’m immediately charged and feeling every edit as the break progresses into an organized chaos.

”Nine Grounds”
This is probably the first track that I heard from Djinn that had me reach out.
The mysterious vibe the atmos evokes from the start is something to keep you immersed long enough for the ravaging breaks to come in and take you into the darkest unsettling reality. Programmed with fierce complexity these beats will leave you craving more of that rhythmic intelligence.

‘’Pressure”
As the name suggests, the breaks fall onto your skull with tremendous amounts of it. Disoriented murkiness comes to mind when I let myself fall into the atmospherics, taking you through a dark mystical setting. You quickly find yourself wanting to jump up and skank to what you can definitely consider a proper riddim. You can never get enough of the edits.

”Destructive Consequence”

Straight rolling rhythms, that immediately pull you to the darkest incarnation of jungle. The ”Destructive Consequences” become clear once you start moving through this twisting roller.

‘’Dark Reference’’

Closing with the title track. Drilling tense rhythms keep you tip toeing till the end, pure riddim madness. True breakbeat assault with deep atmospheric mentasms that take you back to the warehouse vibes.

Interview:

Congrats on the success of ”Dark Reference”, I see your vinyl’s already sold out and it’s been getting properly rinsed. What’s the reaction and the support been like for the tunes?

Thank you, the feedbacks been really good! I’m so glad people are feeling it! I wasn’t expecting the reaction it got at all to be honest. Being my debut EP, to see it reach number 1 on Redeye weekly d & b chart and number 3 for monthly sales is quite crazy.

It got some nice reviews in DJ Mag & Mixmag too, plus with the DJ support at nights, on mixes, Rinse FM etc. . . . I really couldn’t ask for more, I’m so grateful for all the support.

It was up for pre-order on Foundation X bandcamp first before the stores, it did sell out there. Still some copies on Redeye, Eastern Bloc, Unearthed, Horizons, Hardwarx, Juno etc. at the moment I think.

How would you describe the sound of ”Dark Reference”?
I would describe it as deep jungle, hopefully heavy, definitely oldskool influenced, dark but in a subtle way (hence the title & track name) . . .  The EPs kind of brash in parts, the subs super low, some of the breaks are quite aggressive with the edits; plus with the cinematic FX going on & a creepy, almost classical, vibe with the pads & strings contrasting  . . .

Dark Reference EP – being mastered by Simon @ The Exchange :

For those that are new to your work and style please introduce yourself.
First & foremost I’m a DJ, I’ve been playing for almost 14 years, from breaks to drum & bass to dubstep and back to representing drum & bass / jungle again. As a producer my first releases were dubstep, which came out on Subdepth Records in ‘09 and later on Mindstep Music in 2012. My jungle productions have been released on Foundation X & Repertoire. I’ve also been promoting a drum & bass / jungle night called Formless, representing the deeper side of 170 in Manchester, which is a more recent thing started in 2015. I have a bi-weekly radio show on Jungletrain every other Thursday too.

Where did the name come from?
The name is basically a demon/shapeshifter haha. It has given me so much grief over the years! When I was starting out I didn’t really think about the fact that is has a ‘DJ’ already in it so I has a fair few flyers with ‘DJ Inn’ before people actually started to get it, nobody realised it was a silent D!

What got you started in music?
I’ve always had a thing for music but no-one in my family was actually particularly musical in a sense of instruments etc. My older sister used to have some cool music though, I used to steal her CDs a lot when I was younger haha . . . I was listening to The Prodigy in primary school when everyone else was into boybands or the spice girls. I think that was the first point I fell in love with breakbeats before I got into Hip Hop and then breaks and later drum and bass fully, when I started going to nights & raves when I was 16/17.

What inspired your journey into the world of Jungle/Drum & Bass?
Drum & bass was a progression from breaks. Back in ’04 I was playing breakbeat, before I met a crew playing d&b, so I started buying a few drum & bass records & gradually moved over to that fully when breakbeat wasn’t doing it for me anymore.

What’s influenced your career?
I wouldn’t say anything specific has influenced my career as such, but I have a lot of respect for the artists that built the scene & have been there since the beginning; from hardcore through to drum & bass . . . to be honest I don’t really look at it as a career; as clichéd as it sounds, it’s really more a way of life.

It’s about vibes & being creative on an everyday basis. Plus with the club & rave scene . . .  I’ve been involved in the party circuit in some way since I was 17, be it attending, playing, producing or more recently promoting, so it’s really just a love for the music.

Do you write any other styles and tempos?
My first couple of releases were dubstep. I was supposed to finish a dubstep EP that was due for release but I kinda fell off & then got back into drum & bass before I fully completed the project.

Djinn – Something You Know (Mindstep Music 2012):

What’s been your biggest source of inspiration lately?
Not so much one source, but from a number of places … all of the music I have followed & loved over the years has inspired me in some way. Regarding projects & output, I find the drive & success of others around me very inspiring.
Also attending & having the opportunity to play at some incredible events . . . .  When the energy’s good & I come home it definitely makes me want to get in the studio.

For our readers that are into music production, what’s your studio setup and what is your sequencer/program of choice?
I’m using Ableton. My current studio set up consists of a small Yamaha analogue desk, a Roland TR-8, a KP2 that I use for MIDI & triggering, some old Tannoy monitors, a big ass old Evolution Midi Keyboard, I also have a Akai controller and another little Akai mini keyboard that I sometimes use alongside. I’d love an Akai S950 at some point!

What’s your workflow like? How do you collaborate?
My workflows kinda long! haha. I’m really quite annoyingly picky, I tend to pick holes in everything I do so I’m quite sporadic in finishing stuff. I prefer to take my time & really make sure I love what I’ve created. I’m not really into rushing & I wouldn’t want to churn out a bunch of throwaway tracks just for the sake of floating my name about.

I have been collabing with a few peeps through the web, sending stems backwards and forwards online. I’d prefer to sit down & be there in person but sometimes it’s just not possible. Some of those projects should start to surface soon.

Any tips for upcoming producers out there?
Quality over quantity, and vibes over engineering, every time. Mixdowns can be learnt & improved on as you progress. But an ultra-polished tune with no soul or character will always be dead.

Anything you’re working on at the moment, upcoming releases or something to look forward to?

I’m looking forward to working with Foundation X more, I also have a few projects I’m working on for a couple of other labels, but can’t say much more at the moment!  Also the upcoming Formless 2nd Birthday event in Manchester –  4th November with Digital, Source Direct, DJ Stretch, Overlook & SB81, myself & Bane, Simm and hosted by Blackeye MC. Plus I have some upcoming DJ dates in Berlin, Brussels, London etc. & a little overseas mini tour pretty soon . . .

Is there someone you’d like to collaborate with in particular?
I’d love to collaborate with anyone whose music I’m feeling, past and present . . .  Anyone on the same wavelength.
I’m actually working on some tracks with Mantra at the moment for a joint EP, which I’m really looking forward to finishing. We DJ together quite a lot so will be cool when we have some productions boxed off as well. She’s a heavy producer.

Which artist would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I couldn’t pin-point one particular artist tbh, there have been so many. I try not to allow myself to be too ‘inspired’ or influenced though. Obviously a lot of artists have and still do use breaks & amens in their work; but I don’t want to end up sounding like someone else, I’d like to work to have my own sound or stamp on it.  Label-wise I’d say my style is fundamentally inspired by a mixture of the original Headz / Reinforced sound, Bassbin, Cert 18, Science, Source Direct Recs, Photek Productions etc. etc., and some of the deeper dubstep I used to play, DMZ, Clubroot, Zhou etc. as well as the newer wave of heavy jungle. I’m also into the deeper minimal 170 stuff too. So you’ll prob hear some of my minimal drum & bass surfacing soon as well . . .

Shout outs?
S/O Skitty, Natty, X Nation, Nolige, Mantra, Double O, Stretch, Gremlinz, Ian, Rumbleton, Panka, Jesta, Sicknote, Blackeye, Theory, Threshold, Nucleus, Paradox, Equinox, Nebula, Dub One, Loxy, Ink, Artilect, Response, J:Kenzo, Om Unit, Homemade Weapons, Monita, Martianman, Trax, Dextrous, The Untouchables, Flatliners, Digital, Spirit, Mental Forces, Sonars Ghost, Ruffhouse, Overlook, Clarity, Seba, DJ Storm, Law & Ben @ Repertoire, BCJ crew, Jungletrain crew, Greenleaf, DAAT, Outer Heaven, DSP, Ilk, Sully, Due Dilligence, Demented Soul, Skutta crew, Distant Planet crew, Headgear, Ricky Force, Code, Mecca, 0=0, Acid Lab, Tim Reaper, Kid Lib, LXC, Jim Bane, Earl Grey, Chris Inperspective, Soul Intent, Antagonist, Phuture T, Jungle Ting crew, Verb, Apostroph, Skru, Mizeyesis, Voytek, Infest, Kyam, OSL . . . (sorry if I missed anyone!)

And of course big shout to anyone that’s supported me over the years !

Links and promo?

www.djdjinn.com

www.soundcloud.com/djinn

www.facebook.com/ukdjinn

www.formlessmcr.com