Command Strange, who by some is considered to be one of DNBs most promising and versatile upcoming producers, steps into the DNB Vault to talk with us about growing up in Kazakhstan, developing relationships with big labels and his upcoming releases including Riots on the Chronic Rollers – Volume 02.
Where are you from and what is the scene like there?
I am from Kazakhstan. The scene there is very small and I only know a few artists who produce d&b. There are enough fans and the parties weren’t bad. We’ve had Mutated Forms, Nicky Blackmarket, Logan D, Jakes, Raiden and few other big names. 2 years ago I moved to St. Petersburg, Russia. The scene here is good and the events are great. Bigger producers, larger audiences and the energy level is much higher.
Considering that Kazakhstan has such a small scene, how did you discover DNB?
I was introduced to drum and bass when I was 7 years old, thanks to my big brother. He always bought tapes with rave music. I can say Drum and bass is in my blood. I used to listened to it every day, every hour. I can’t describe it but it was something amazing to me, something special. When I was young, I always wanted to be a part of the rave culture, but I didn’t know how, so I just started writing music. There were limitations, I could not just go to the store and buy vinyl. When we got high speed internet there was no problem accessing new music.
Well you definitely have a very eclectic style which hard to pin down… Is that on purpose? What are some of your influences both inside and outside of drum n bass?
I always try to do something inventive in my tracks and love every [style] of drum&bass. Each sub-genres of drum&bass has its own mood and technique. I try to take notes to [incorporate] in my work, but most of [my] influences [are from] Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Jungle.
You’ve been labeled as one of the most promising and versatile upcoming producers. You have over 100 released tracks on many labels including Fokuz, Metalheadz, V Records/Chronic, Innergrounds & Hospital. How did those relationships come about?
It was a long journey! It’s not easy to have good relationships with big labels. First you need to be see. Given the large number of producers [out there], it was difficult to deliver music [so it could] be heard. Thank you to all the producers who have helped me, and that [spread] the word about me to the big names and labels.
Now that you have been producing for 6 + Years, do you feel that your sound/style has changed or evolved?
At first, I only did soulful/liquidfunk D&B, but after [it changed and went into] many directions, mostly to the new school, techy rolling sound.
Tell us about your studio set up? What equipment or software do you use?
Nothing special: Mac Book Pro + Logic + Reason + Ableton + samples + VST (Reaktor, Massive, Z3ta, Kontakt) + KRK monitors.
Who are some of your favorite producers?
My favorite producers are Calibre, Marky, Makoto, SPY, Random Movement and NuTone. [As far as new talent, I like L-Side, Chap, Paul T & Edward Oberon and Rowpieces.
You have a tune “Riots” on the upcoming Chronic Rollers – Volume 02. Please tell us a little about that tune?
I love this banger. It [always does well] at parties. I did it a year ago before [my] Sun&Bass gig to test it. I am happy that it is finally coming out! Thanks to Bryan G [for] signing this one for that project.
Before we sign off do you have any future projects you could tells about?
Of course! In the pipeline I have an EP on Liquid V and V Recordings, an LP with Intelligent Manners on DJ Marky’s label Innerground and some tracks on Celsius. Cheers!