I was a bit late to the show when a new label, Egyptian Avenue Records, dropped a collaboration between two then largely unheard of producers, Wen and Epoch. When I finally dropped some scrilla on their release Hydraulics what I heard was an unsettling, urgent mix of grime and dubstep, a tune with little repetition throughout, something that just screamed "different". Naturally, I took notice from then on, delving a little deeper into what I could find of Epoch. What I found was good.
Now that the music world is about to find out a little bit more about the two through their involvement with Keysound, I figured I should get Epoch in for a chat and a guest mix...
The mix is a selection of darker sounds around the 130-140 range, containing a healthy selection of dubs and forthcoming from the likes of Rabit, Wen, E.M.M.A, Skream and Epoch himself. Check it out...
NT: First off, for those that don't know yet, introduce yourself...
E: I'm Scott, I live in Christchurch, NZ and I produce under the name Epoch.
NT: While a lot of producers seem to be moving towards more rigid drum structures, producers like yourself seem to be edging away from them. Is the latter a reaction to the former, or part of a more natural process? Some of your tunes seem to stick to a regular drum pattern for only a few bars...
E:Maybe a bit of both! I'm influenced by producers from the likes of Burial to Jakes to Current Value, so it's a pretty broad range of vibes I enjoy when it comes to drums.. I tend to mix it up within the tune, it just keeps things interesting really. And it's great when people are getting down to a UK Funky sort of rhythm and then BOOM it switches up to some dutty halfstep. I love that shit, It's like a DJ set within a tune.
NT: You're part of a group of producers that are being pushed pretty heavily by the likes of Dusk & Blackdown at the moment. Whilst I can see similarities between your productions and those of the likes of Beneath, Wen, etc. I noticed that yours seem to feature vocals more regularly, which is pretty rare for the darker tunes of this nature. Where does this come from?
E: Man I've been wanting to work with vocalists for a long time (especially MC's). I grew up listening to hip hop so I've always liked that combination of vocals and programmed beats.
It's more of a challenge working with an actual vocal instead of just sampling here and there, it turns into actual song writing instead of just building a beat.
NT: I'm always interested to hear how people a world away got into making the music they do. Your tunes are pretty heavily indebted to 8-bar grime, dubstep, and maybe a little bassline at times. What are your musical interests like, and how did you first get into such UK-centric music?
E: Oh well I first got into DnB as a teenager like a lot of other people. I had a couple of mates that listened to it but wasn't feeling much until I heard Dillinja's Cybotron album, that was incredible, I used to rock that on my ipod every day. But even then I didn't find a lot of other dnb around that time very interesting, and I missed the whole jungle and garage thing earlier on.
First got into dubstep when Mala played here in Christchurch back in 07.. I must have been barely 18 at the time. I had never experienced anything like it; dark room, nostril tickling bass, hoods up, gunfingers out. It was pretty amazing. One thing led to another really, dubstep started turning to shit for me around the same time I discovered Hyperdub around 2009 and my taste in beats took a pretty dramatic left turn haha.
Got into grime a bit the last couple of years, didn't really grow up listening to it - it's pretty unheard of around these parts.
"I had never experienced anything like it; dark room, nostril tickling bass, hoods up, gunfingers out."
NT: You've mentioned before that your label, Egyptian Avenue Records was initially created because you were finding it hard to get your tunes signed. Now that interest in you is heating up, are we going to see less of your productions on EAR?
E: Good question!
Short answer - no.
Long answer - kind of. Only because I've been signing a few other producers who I think were in the same boat I was in last year and deserve a bit of attention. So my music is taking a bit of a back seat. EGPTVN003 is by me though, just got the masters back today. I plan to keep releasing on EAR until I die or go deaf or broke.
NT: Following on from that, what's in store for Egyptian Avenue? I see you've picked up on Filter Dread for a release...
E: Yes! Gordon Threnody put me onto Leo's tunes, I was instantly blown away by the sheer grittyness of them. They sound like the Blade Runner soundtrack gone wrong!
EGPTVN002 is coming out on the 8th of March, it's a two tracker by Filter Dread himself, Underground/Troubled. Underground is going to cause injuries in the dance this year, trust me!
003 is a two tracker from myself like I said. We've got something with Rabit in the pipeline, and we'll hopefully be putting out the first 12" this year... it's going to be a real doozy.
NT: Finally, if you had to pick your three favourite "Night Tracks", what would they be?
E: RZA - Flying Birds
The Cure - A Forest
Burial - Lambeth
Honourable mention: Home Brew - Fungi
NT: Big up yourself! Thanks for your time and the large guest mix, always welcome at Night Tracks!