The Clamps Bringing The Hardcore Back into Drum & Bass


If your a fan of tech Drum & Bass then at some point you had to have come across The Clamps. Hailing from France, Julien Carbou is a seriously versatile Drum & Bass producer that is no stranger to meshing the sounds of Hardcore and DnB to create his own unique take on both sides of the spectrum. I caught up with him for a few words.

For those new to your work and style, please introduce yourself.

Hello my name is Julien, Producer and dj making mainly DNB and Hardcore under The Clamps, living in Toulouse, France.

Where did the name come from?
It was a joke with my friends about my real name, not very understandable, but it switched into something about having mechanical clamps instead of hands.
So it’s a kind of Mecha Crab robot making music 😉

How would you describe your style?
Something between feelings and energy. About DNB, I’m more into the dark stuff, neurofunk, techstep, trying to transcribe my feelings and pushing the energy into something positive. For the Hard stuff, I’m more into Industrial Hardcore, crispy and noisy sounds with a lot of saturation. Even if it’s hard, I still push the postive vibes in the front.

What got you started in music?
When I was child, I had the luck to have a dad who listened a lot of music, essentially rock and psychedelic, so I grew with Crosby, Still, Nash and young, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Frank Zappa. It gave me the interest into the music, and then when I was a teen I discovered Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Death, Punk hardcore, Fusion with the music of Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Death, Bad Brains, Downset, Raised Fist, Sepultura, Body Count, Incubus (SCIENCE) to name a few. So I wanted to learn how to play Guitar and started to play in a small band. Then I discovered the Free Parties in South of France (illegal raves) and I fallen in love with this kind of electronic music and all the diy all around. Learning how to dj, how to make live set with hardware stuff, how to plug a sound system and how to manage and enjoy the life with my friends, all together.

What inspired your journey into the world of Drum & Bass?
I’ve had good friends (Agro Twins) who started to play Drum and Bass in the late 90’s. It was cool, but I still prefered more 4 to the floor stuff like Techno / Hardtechno. Then in 2005, I remember another good friend came in our skate spot and told me to listen to something… it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was The Tide from Noisia. It gave me a new vision of music.

What’s influenced your career?
Mostly my friends and most of my musical influences. Love the DIY and independent way of life.

Do you write any other styles and tempos?
Beside the DNB and Hardcore stuff, I have a Techno project with my friend Kim called Animals In Cage. I don’t have lot of time to work on it now, but still take some days to share good times with him in studio. I do some others downtempo/electronica stuff, but I keep it in my room for the moment. I did a few things for games sound design and soundscape. I hope I could have more time to restart playing guitar and why not, playing in a Punk/Hardcore/Fusion band.

What’s been your biggest source of inspiration lately?
The World, sadly it can be so much negative, but I still feel the love all around, so I try to see the positive side in the mankind (even if in my music I show mostly the worst side)

For our readers that are into music production, whats your studio setup and what is your sequencer/program of choice?
I have a computer, good monitors (EVE Audio), few controllers and a bit of hardware stuff. But to be honest I’m clearly into the “all in the box” compositing. I loved so much the freedom I had when I switched from Hardware stuff to Ableton Live in the early 2000’s. But I’m still trying to save money for having a Manley Massive Passive.

What’s your workflow like? how do you collaborate?
Mainly, I work on the beat and bass, trying to find a good groove and then create soundscape all around. But it happened to start with only pad synth and to build something growing from the start to the end. For collaboration, it depends. Sometimes I just share stems with the guys with who I’m doing the collab, giving the freedom to do all what they want and vice versa. And sometimes we’ve studio sessions together, like with TR Tactics in their home in Austria, or having Nickbee or Impak at home.

Any tips for upcoming producers out there?
Do whatever you want, just don’t fail!!! jk
Just go where you want to go and have fun making music. Learn from the others and spread the knowledge. And share good times with friends in making music!!!

Anything your working on at the moment, upcoming releases or something to look forward to?
I have a long format in progress (kind of 10/12 tracks) coming on my family label Kosenprod. I’m preparing my next Trendkill release too, I have some collabs finished and in progress with guys like Nickbee, Merikan, Akov, TR Tactics, Impak, Nuklear MC, Snotrocket, and I have some remixes for Forbidden Society and Tambour Battant. Most of these will be release for the end of the year.

Is there someone you’d like to collaborate with in particular?
I already collaborate with most of the people that I love, but still in waiting to do something with my friends Signs (we take our time cause both of us have lot of work and we know we have the life to do something together) and I really would love to do something with Prolix and The Upbeats.

Which artist would you say is your biggest inspiration?
I could say FKY cause he was my first mentor in electronic music and he was such a nice guy, and Noisia for their hard work. But to be honest there are so much artists, bands or people who inspire me, in term of creativity, independence, authenticity and humanism. So yeah the biggest inspiration is the world all around.

Shout outs?
To all the ETG crew, Kosen, Karnage, Trendkill and Heresy Fam, my lovely friends, NFG/ Darkstep Warriors / Dnb Portal for the constant support, all the people I met all around the world, promoters, artists, staff. Big up to the Drum and bass wear for the huge clothings, and a MASSIVE SHOUT OUT to all the people who make the musical scene even better each day!!!

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