we interview Duskky / Mothers Against Noise
For our first interview at Darkfloor we talk to Bristolian Sandy Finlayson ahead of his guest session on Mantis Radio.
Hello Sandy. So who are you and what do you do?
I’m Duskky, and I’ve been making various kinds of ‘bass music’ for the last four years or so. I started off having a bit of a dabble with dubstep and it just kinda moved on from there, incorporating extra sounds as I gained an interest in them.
These days I guess there’s elements of dubstep, dub, uk funky & house, techno, jungle / drum ‘n’ bass, breakbeat hardcore and a smattering of psychedelic trance, spanning a tempo range of 100bpm to 160-ish, which are the bookends for my DJ sets too.
Recently I joined the Wonk#ay Records clan and have been playing quite a few gigs with them, they’ve been really supportive of the more experimental angle I take with tunes. Look out for a Duskky EP coming out with them in the next few months.
Sounds a diverse and rewarding approach. Where you aren’t limited to one specific sound or style, it’s at the core of what we aim at Darkfloor and on Mantis Radio. What’s your production process like?
When I sit down to make a tune I tend to have a few ideas I want to try out – maybe a certain kind of atmosphere, a particular sound or speed – but I usually don’t have a clear picture of the end result.
My approach for a long time now has been not to dwell on things for too long. I see people spending months working on a tune and I just can’t hack that. I have to get a tune out in a couple of weeks maximum otherwise I lose that initial spark that made it really interesting to me.
I find making the tracks quite quickly allows me to try out more weird and wonderful ideas because I know if it comes across badly then I’ll be working on a new one soon anyway, but at least I’ve experimented as much as possible.
I try to keep it fresh for myself too, deliberately setting myself rules and challenges if I think I’m falling into familiar patterns in successive tunes. It’s all about keeping it fresh and interesting for myself really, and hopefully it is for other people too!
Yea, I think that comes across from listening to your music. The first time I heard your work was from the Acroplane released album Illeism. Great work that.
We’ve been big fans of Acroplane Recordings at Mantis Radio for years; how did you hook up with the Belfast digital imprint?
Thanks! Yeah I’m really glad that album’s out there. We (Mothers Against Noise) had just decided that we were sick of calling referring to our music as dubstep, because every time we played at parties people would always come up to us and be like “when are you gonna play some dubstep” so it seemed to make sense to call it something else.
Dubfunk felt like a good one ‘cos it touched on dubstep, dub and drumfunk drum‘n’bass which were the key influences at the time.
We’ve just carried on giving pretty much all our output to that label since then and carried on developing the sound, but at the point where Illeism was released we were doing it in a pretty purist way – rolling breakbeats, sub bass and a little bit of texture.
Are you planning any other work with Acroplane this year?
There’s not been any discussion of a follow up, but it would be great to do something with Acroplane again.
You mention Mothers Against Noise, who or what is it?
Mothers Against Noise is a collective of Producers and DJs that came together two, or maybe three years ago. We were originally all based out of London but recently some of us moved to Bristol so it’s become split between those two cities.
We’ve done a few events, about 4 podcasts and a compilation but the primary aim is to kinda join forces and help promote each others music through association, sharing fan bases and the like.
As a collective it’s been a bit dormant for a little while (even though the individual members have been very busy), but we’ve got a new website and a few other treats in the pipeline so expect to hear more from us in 2012.
The current lineup:
Duskky, Hurtdeer, Second Line, Myr, Macka, Tufrs, [Insert Gore], wAgAwAgA, Krest
Influence wise, who ticks your boxes?
To be honest the people that I’ve been enjoying most are fellow Mothers Against Noise people and associated producers from other labels I’m part of. In terms of who’s been really killing it for me recently I’d have to say: Hurtdeer, Second Line, Cogidubnus, Kursa and Macka.
wAgAwAgA has some interesting stuff in the pipeline so expect more from him this year. Apart from those more close to home connections I’ve been rinsing Scorn’s album Refuse: Start Fires – dunno why it took me so long to get hold of that, Stealth was excellent and his performance at the last BangFace Weekender sent me into space. Andy Stott’s last few releases have really been doing it for me as well.
Gigwise, what would we hear on your dancefloor?
I’d say it’s about 60% Duskky 40% other people. I was playing just my own tunes for a little while but it became a bit restrictive. Plus there’s so much great stuff coming out that doesn’t really get played by other DJs because it’s of too ambiguous a style; it’s great to be able to give it a platform.
What can we expect from your showcase session this week?
Well it’s going to be a mixture of speeds and style, mostly from members of Mothers Against Noise and Broken Bubble (the netlabel run by Cogidubnus that’s released a few of my more recent EPs).
Plenty of unreleased stuff generally giving a flavour of what I play on soundsystems plus some more weirdy beardy numbers that I can’t normally get away with! Expect wonky textures and plenty of bass.
Nice one Sandy, thanks for speaking to us at Darkfloor.
10/02 – Duskky – Tokyo Dub (In:Motion – Bristol)
11/02 – Duskky b2b Hurtdeer – This City Is Ours (Centro – Manchester)
17/03 – Krest – Jungle Syndicate Birthday (The Black Swan – Bristol)
13/04 – Duskky – Jungle Syndicate (The Rhythm Factory – London)
He’s also working on an EP for Wonk#ay Records, due for release some time in March.