We speak with California producer Direct Feed about his upcoming release with Tonz of Drumz, his remix with Pish Posh and how to make it in American DNB.
Some may not know but you started off making tunes under the name Chaos In Motion during the heyday of N2O, but you also produce under quite a few other monikers as well. Can you tell us about those?
My other projects are: Fixation / Chaos in Motion / Mobb Creep / Gamebanger / .Com
I got my start in production as Chaos In Motion. At the time I was djing under the alias .Com. I was starting to write and have tunes cut to dubplate by the infamous Oscar Da Grouch at turnstyle records. He was very supportive and gave me all kinds of knowledge on what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right. Ultimately it was through him that N20 found me. I had been using .Com for a while and N20 wanted a fresh name. So I came up with Chaos In Motion. It was a name I used to throw events up until that point. Chaos In Motion only released on N20 and Good Fortune sound as I was signed exclusive at the time. Back then I was writing more material than N20 could put out so Direct Feed was born and I started approaching other labels.
Those two are the names I stuck with for jungle. I even wrote some dubstep under Direct Feed. After a while I felt the need to branch out more. My production style was all over the place and it didn’t all fit under jungle any more. I partnered up with Cixelsyd and we stared writing hard DNB as Fixation. After that I partnered up with Mainframe to do Gamebanger together, and then I partnered up with Mustache Riot and Notation to form Mobb Creep.
All those projects were experimental, we did everything from dubstep to trap to house to moombahton. I didn’t want all those experiments attached to Direct Feed so the names and projects came in very handy.
It is argued that you are one of the most underrated Drum & Bass / Jungle producers out there considering your talents. Does this keep you striving to push forward?
I don’t really consider myself underrated. I feel like I get a lot of attention when put releases out and people always tell me they love my sets. That’s really all I need. I never took it to the next level and really promoted myself, or got an agent or a manager. I was happy just finishing a song and starting up a new one. I was getting so much love from the record labels that I felt that is where i belonged. My place is in the music, I have never been in this for the fame or notoriety. I leave that to the people who enjoy that much attention. Like many other producers, I am in extreme introvert and I don’t really enjoy the promotion hustle. If I was putting my all into promoting myself, I can see how I might be considered underrated. But with me really only writing tunes and signing them, my name only spreading by word of mouth. I can only be happy with what I have accomplished.
You have a new release coming out on Tonz of Drumz this Monday. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I am REALLY proud of this new single. George (CRS?) approached me a few months back and asked if I had any songs with original piano in them. I had been sitting on this release for and when he called me up, it just clicked. When I wrote this release I had just stopped all the side projects of EDM and trap and nonsense. I was getting back to my roots. These are the first two jungle songs I wrote and I put all my new production knowledge into them. Clash forward is a junglist’s jungle tune. Its full of huge bass and choppy amens, sprinkled with soundclash samples. Beauty in Chaos is a tune that came out of a piano song I was writing. The piano was such a nice soft sound that I countered it with extremely abrasive amens and drum edits. Hence the name, beauty in chaos. I think this one is going to flip peoples wigs when they find out I actually played the piano on it. Curious to see how it does.
Word is you have quite a few upcoming projects set to release this year. What can we look out for?
I do, I have been back to work full time in the studio lately and I love it. Its like I didn’t miss a beat, it was just waiting for me. I have this release with Tonz of Drumz and we just did a free download a few weeks ago. Coming up later this month I have a release with Satin on Humdruma which is going to be a killer old school sounding single. It really encompasses the early jump up dnb sound and we updated it quite a bit. Besides that I am working on a vinyl release for a label that I can’t mention yet because the details aren’t finalized. In addition to that I got the opportunity this year to remix one of my favorite artists, Pish Posh. Details are still coming in on that but its going to be a freaking huge release. I put a lot of work into that one and I am extremely happy with how it came out.
If you could give one production tip to all of the aspiring producers out there what would it be?
Slow down. There is no race to the finish line in art. People have to remember that this is art. We aren’t supposed to be creating disposable songs that only fit in certain sets. I get sent a lot of songs from up and coming producers and there are so many songs that have a great idea or two in them but they seem rushed and under produced. I had that problem a lot when I started and I think it held me back. I have a lot of songs out there that I should have taken more time on. I learned my lesson the hard way. Now when I hear a dj drop one of those songs I cringe. lol
Where can the fans out there catch your next dj set?
March 27th in Gardena I am playing a GoneJahMen reunion set with Johnny and Jahwy. Its going to be an all ragga jungle night so bring your hoodies and your camo!!
Do you have any future projects that you’d like to discuss?
I have recently started writing an album to blur the line between acoustic and electronic while staying in the realm of dnb/ jungle and hip hop. I love the way a nice eerie guitar sounds over electronic drums. This has been on my mind for years. I recently bought a guitar and I have been learning how to play taking me one step closer to making this a reality. In addition to that I have linked back up with my East Coast crew, Tribalistix. We are going to be making some soundclash tunes this year with specials from all the big boys. Our goal is to get it to the Red Bull Soundclash. I am beyond excited for the potential of that project. Who knows how far we can take that.
Do you have any final thoughts that you’d like to share?
I would like to thank DNB Vault for reaching out to me. Its been a pleasure to share what I have going on with everyone. I am excited to be back in the production game and I urge you to keep an eye out for new material. I am going to be busy this year.