Gaining lots of traction as of late is a new single from a group of guys who are no strangers to cranking out massive hits. Matt Sharp and Rich Dawson of Genetix got their fame in 2010 when their tune Squid Attack released and caught instant play time from Sub Focus and Nero. Oslo (Brent Newitt), who may be better known as 1/3 of the production team Aquasky, got his start in the 90’s with hit after hit on the mighty Moving Shadow imprint. What happens when you get these three producers together is one massive single that’s climbing charts and moving dancefloors worldwide. We recently caught up with the guys about their newest single, Tyson Fury.
You guys really blew up in the dubstep scene, mainly with your tune “Squid Attack”, but you originally started out with DNB. Are you guys still making dubstep or are you focusing on your DNB roots mainly at this point? Genetix: We are still producing dubstep. Last year we made a lot of tracks and decided it would be best to release them gradually over the forthcoming months, so with that in mind we decided to focus on drum & bass for a while. Also working with Oslo has given us a new angle; his enthusiasm is very refreshing and makes us all keen to write drum and bass. I think Genetix will always remain 50/50 between the two genres but for moment the majority of our shows and tours are dubstep based. Although we’d love to play some drum & bass shows if the opportunity arises!
Some may not know this but while Oslo may be a new production name to the DNB fans out there, you however are far from being just some new guy on scene being 1/3rd of Auqasky. Can you give us some insight on your new production focus and how the Oslo name came about? Oslo: Aquasky slowed down a few years ago as the three of us had moved on from dance music production and were doing our own things. But I am constantly getting ideas into my head and they don’t leave! And it was getting pretty chocker up there tbh, so I had to find a way of getting rid of some of the madness that was brewing! Genetix had the fierceness in the studio when it came to their dubstep. Aquasky has the fierceness when it came to breakbeat. So joining forces would only bring one result… anarchy biz. I did things the wrong way round. Most people mellow with age but with Aquasky, we started mellow 20 years ago in 1995. Then we started to make heavier and heavier music… Its like therapy, it helps release any anger or stress when you make a heavy tune!
I always liked artist names or track names with cities. And over the past 20+ years I have travelled to nearly every country but never to Norway for some strange reason. So to balance out that I decided on Oslo. Plus it looks wicked when you write it inna graf styleeeee…
Is Aquasky coming back anytime soon? Oslo: Its our 20th year this year so we are doing a compilation of all our tracks and remixes from 95/96 but there are no plans to go back into the studio at this time.
You guys just dropped a killer new single on Passenger Records with Tyson Fury really hitting it hard and climbing the charts. Can you tell us more about this release? Oslo: Funny enough, I went to watch the Tyson Fury / Christian Hammer fight in a pub opposite the Genetix studio. We had already started that tune and when Tyson Fury walked out to his music I thought… damn, our new tune would be so sick for him to walk out to. You can picture someone being beaten to crap when listening to the beat and bass edits of that tune… smack smack smack! It stuck plus the name sounds DOPE!
How did the three of you come together on this project for Passenger Records? Oslo: We just seemed to work well together when we did the remix of Rico Tubbs & Ragga Twins. I cant stand sitting in a studio spending hours on tweaking sounds and drums. It can be such an anal thing to do when most kids these days listen to music on phones and computers. The Genetix boys have their sound locked and can get it crispy pretty quickly. So we can get in a studio at 9am and pretty much have a tune in shape by 5pm. We listen to it for a week, get back together, make the changes and mix it down. Chemistry!
Can we expect more Genetix & Oslo releases in the future? Oslo: We have finished another tune called ‘HiFi Killa’ and working on the flipside ‘Skullator’ right now. We also have the Ragga Twins recording the lyrics for their Bar Frenzy video they did recently which was done over our track ‘Shotgun’. The feedback on that was immense so it made sense to get it recorded and released ASAP.
Genetix: Absolutely yeah like Brent said we have lots more stuff cooking up at the moment.
Tyson Fury is just pure brilliant madness. What was the inspiration behind this tune?
Genetix: Well Brent came in the studio with the idea of a hard hitting reinforced style thing, so we laid down some metallic sounding breaks and tear out reeces and that’s what came out the other side. Myself and Rich wouldn’t usually go down that route which is why its great to have some fresh ears in the studio.
Oslo: Thanks dood. For me, it was the tracks released on Reinforced around 96. People like Arcon 2, Alpha Omega, 4Hero, Seiji, JML Productions… I have been around long enough now that I was there at Dollis Hill when lots of these tracks were being made at The R Studio. I was sat in with the likes of 4Hero and Arcon 2 aka Leon Marr. Its all about the chopped to shit classic breaks and 808 bass… the edits! And fuck me, sitting in Arcon 2’s studio back then when he cranked it up with all his analogue gear. You had to be pretty brave to withstand that! It was so creative and unlike anyone else in D&B at this time. I had a go back then on Reinforced under my Spacelink name when I did the ‘Timezone’ Remix. But as Aquasky we were on a more jazzy, ambient tip. So I never did get to trash some breaks like that again in D&B till 2015!
Are either of you planning to tour any time soon? Genetix: Yes, We are touring the U.S in July and Australia towards the end of the year. If any promoters out there wish to book us for either Dubstep or drum and bass sets then holla at us on: email@example.com
Oslo: As Aquasky has been slowing down for the past 3 years, the gigs have too. Its expected tbh as things move fast these days! And after playing nothing but breakbeat sets for the past 15 years pretty much, I am so juiced to be back in D&B. So I really hope that I can come back under the Oslo name and get booked out for some seriously heavy D&B sets. If interested email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s on deck for you guys in the next coming months? Any big projects you’re working on? Genetix: Well we’ve just had the third part of a 3 part series released on our sister label “Deep Tuna”. It was 3 EPs showcasing the more minimal Genetix sound. Now that’s out of the way we will be focusing on Drum & Bass. We have the collab’s with Oslo and a collab EP with a producer friend of ours called Habitat. That’s forthcoming on Ruffneck Ting.
Oslo: Genetix are at it daily but for me, its just the Oslo project I am doing in the studio. I still run Passenger and we have the Aquasky 20th Anniversary album. I am also doing the Ragga Twins 25th Anniversary album called ‘Who Inspired You?’ as I have been lucky enough to have been working with them for the past 15 years and have done tonnes of tunes together. And there are still singles getting released covering most bass mucic. But its defo all about making as much D&B as possible now.
Do you have any words to the DNB Vault readers and the fans out there? Oslo: I stopped following the D&B scene around 2003 so I missed out on the rise of the whole Pop N Bass sound. Its a side of D&B that does nothing for me I am afraid. So my influence is all the music I have been making since 2003 (Bassline Breaks and Bassline House) and D&B from 1999-2003, people like Tech Itch, Total Science, Ryme Tyme, Bassline Smith and Drumsound. I love the rawness of what we are making and I hope the younger lot reading this will enjoy this trip we are going on and the collective inspirations between myself and Genetix. Tyson Fury is only the beginning!
Genetix: Big up to all the dnb heads and keep an ear out for our Dnb productions and collabs!
Also, as an added bonus grab the latest DNB Vault Podcast courtesy of Oslo of Aquasky!
Mike is the Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of the DNB Vault who, notably, was a long time writer for the now defunct KMAG while covering music and events from Warp Tour, NOFX, Dirtyphonics and Benny Page.