Despite being a new name, Falling Skies have quickly found themselves among names like Calibre, Dub Phizix & Skeptical, Loxy & Resound, The Upbeats, Trei, Nymfo, Stray and Homemade Weapons with their recent release on Samurai Music. We had a chance to chat with the Los Angeles based production duo about their influences, their set up and upcoming projects.
For those new to Falling Skies, please introduce and tell us a little bit about yourselves.
We formed Falling Skies towards the end of 2010. Since then we’ve released on various electronic and drum & bass labels including Metalblade Records, Metropolis Records, Death Watch Asia, Vendetta Music, Ammunition, Section 8 and Samurai Music.
We’ve always been into the darker more moody sounds. A huge inspiration for our sound is sci-fi films. We try and not stick to a particular genre or style, It’s really all about how we feel we can express ourselves and put the message out there. Sometimes it’ll be based off of a breakbeat, other times it’ll be driven by a 4/4 dance beat. We’d like to think we’re not so easy to define, but if we had to describe it with two words “dark & tech”.
Roger: I was always into music. It all started with Metal! Bands like Korn, Slipknot, Coal Chamber, Nine Inch Nails and Metallica. Eventually one band led me into another which eventually got me into electronic music.
I used to dj at house parties for friends and family, around middle school is when I picked up guitar and really started to fiddle around with it. It wasn’t until high school that I started to dabble around in production. Around 2004-2005 is when I started to really take it seriously, unfortunately no one I knew at the time was doing it so I didn’t really have any one else to learn from. when I started I was really into making Rhythmic Noise and Harsh Ebm, I later on got into Breakbeat and Breakcore stuff which led me into producing Drum & Bass. I eventually started making Darkstep demo’s under the alias ‘’Viral Infektion’’ and would release a roller in 2008 titled ‘’Her Master’’ on Foulplay records.
Jordan: I started out playing guitar when I was 13. My taste was pretty mixed up, on one side I was really into what bands like Deftones and Korn were doing but I was also really into The Cure and more experimental bands like Skinny Puppy. At about the age of 20 I grabbed a copy of Fruity Loops and the rest is history.
How did you get turned on to Jungle/Dnb?
Roger: It wasn’t till I was already into darker electronic genres that I discovered drum & bass. Around 2003 I got heavily into industrial/ebm listening to bands like Suicide Commando, Hocico and Velvet acid Christ. I remember listening to one of the Nine Inch Nails remix Ep’s and hearing lots of breakbeat/Dnb inspired tunes and always being into the sounds. I just never connected it to a genre.
It wasn’t until I started constantly hearing it in video games and through remixes that I truly started becoming acquainted with it. Eventually I stumbled upon Dieselboy’s “6th session” and DJ Dara’s “Breakbeat Science” compilations, which would change my life and the way I felt about Drum & Bass music forever.
Jordan: The first time I ever really paid attention to anything breakbeat, I was in 8th grade and a buddy of mine had bought “Fat of the Land” by The Prodigy. At the time it was the only thing I had ever heard like that, I never forgot how different I thought it sounded. Some years later I was introduced to a producer called End.user. The breakcore/idm breaks were way more experimental and I was immediately inspired to incorporate breaks into my own tracks. Fast forward to age 25, I was driving in a car with Roger and he played me Hidious by Black Sun Empire and Noisia and I was instantly hooked. It was so forward thinking, I never looked back.
Who are some of your favorite producers?
As far as Drum & Bass goes;
- Tech Itch
- Black Sun Empire
- Current Value
- Calyx & Teebee
- Evol Intent
- DJ Hidden
- The Upbeats
- Kryptic Minds & Leon Switch
- Dom & Roland
As far as other genres go
- The Prodigy
- Trent Reznor
- Telefon Tel Aviv
- Massive Attack
- The Cure
- Flying lotus
- J Dilla
For our readers that are into music production, please describe your studio set up and your production routine.
- Adam A7’s
- KRK Rockit 5’s
- Alesis M1’s
- Cerwin Vega XD8
- M-Audio Axiom Air 61
- Novation Xiosynth
- Korg Microkontrol
- Simmons SDMP1
- Akai mpd5
- Akai Apc 40
- MacBook Pro
- Mac Pro
Our workflow is very catered to the type of track we’re making. Every time is different and the way we approach each one is specific to the vibe. Overall we can both say that for us the beginning of a track is always about the foundation of the rhythm and so we usually start out with drums or a break and build our way up.
As for working together we both find it best to bounce projects back and forth. Occasionally when time permits we’ll actually see a project through on one system. At the end of the day though we both do a final mix session together to make sure tracks are to our standards.
While we are on the topic of production… What are you currently working on?
At the moment we’re both keeping pretty busy in the studio.
We’ve definitely been bouncing lots of moody tunes back and forth. So expect to hear more of that atmospheric sound we’ve immersed ourselves in recently 😉
We’ve also been going back to our Darkstep roots and have been shopping around some new tunes to a couple of reputable labels within that vain.
We have two recent releases which are receiving a lot of support especially from producers on the minimal tip of the spectrum, including Ruffhouse, John B, Loxy, Bredren, Presha and Clarity among others.
We just released our split single on Samurai Recordings
Earlier this month we also put out our “Our Future” with Shikhee of the industrial band Android lust through Groupees as part of a bundle. The purpose of the bundle was to have 20% of the proceeds go towards the Red Cross and the Earthquake Relief Fund in Nepal https://groupees.com/shikhee
The bundle is now over so we’ve uploaded the “Our Future” Ep to our Bandcamp label Future Street. you can purchase it directly from us here: https://futurestreet.bandcamp.com/
“Our Future” features selected previous work that pretty much defined the “early” Falling Skies sound.
We’ve also just uploaded our first mix in our series titled “Disintegration Sessions”, you can listen to it via Mixcloud here:
Any parting shouts?
Shouts to all the producers pushing the boundaries and not jumping on the bass wagon as well as the labels and people that are constantly supporting what we do.
To name a few:
- Samurai Music
- Section 8
- Vash & Solaris
- Carved Souls
- Alpha dk
- Frank H Bomb
- Respect LA
- Signal Flow