Andrew Wowk, Sydney - Australia - on 3/11/11
Silent Dust is the musical project of Dan Blishen and Andy Hobbs - also known as Zyon Base and Hobzee respectively. James Reynolds caught up with the UK based Drum and Bass production duo to talk about what brought them together, their new album and newly formed label.
Pulse: Tell us a little bit about the backgrounds you guys come from individually, and what you were doing before you met? Dan: We both come from quite similar musical backgrounds, we grew up listening to the same Hip Hop, the same Rock and most importantly the same Drum and Bass (some of which you can hear in our mix). Before we met we were both making music on our own under the names Hobzee and Zyon Base.
How did this collaboration come about? Andy: I think I heard one of Dan’s tracks called Nightingale, so I sent him a message on myspace (remember that?!) and we started swapping tunes. It took a couple of months before we started to talk collaboration though. I think Stolen Moments was our first tune (as Hobzee and Zyon Base that is). It never came out, although Dan’s brother has kindly put it up on youtube! Blue Lotus was the second track and that one actually got signed.
What do u each bring to the Silent Dust table? Andy: That’s quite a tough one to answer. we start the tunes on our own and then the other one will work on it. Sometimes one of us will add the drums or the bass then sometimes one of us will just add a sample that finishes the track off. We don’t have a set formula for how we work.
How would you describe the Silent Dust sound? Dan: Dusty
What is the idea behind your new album? Andy: It’s definitely one you can sit down and listen to from start to finish and not want to skip a track! That was the main aim when we started the album. We are both quite tired of albums in Drum and Bass that jump from style to style.
How do you approach the production? Andy: We tend to mixdown as we go, I know some producers will tidy everything up at the end and spend a lot of time doing that but for us we find the technical side of making music a little boring. I know a lot of people obsess over getting snare drums to sound really good or working on bass sounds but for us it’s more about the whole picture.
What made you decide to produce an LP before really having released many singles? Dan: We actually began the album as Hobzee and Zyon Base it was only when the album was due to come out on Soul: R that we began thinking that a change in name might fit the album better.
Tell us a bit about your label and future plans? Andy: It’s good to have it set up and releasing music now, we only really plan to use it as a platform for releasing our own material but that could change in the future! After the album and the samplers we have a remix EP coming out in November featuring remixes by TRIAD, Eveson, Brother and Kab Driver all people that we have known for years and supported the album early on.
What have been your stand out gigs this year? Andy: From starting the album to finishing it we decided we didn’t really want to carry on djing as Hobze or Zyon Base as we didn’t really feel the music that we were being sent and that was available really reflected the music we were making! The standout gig then would have to be when we played at Fabric as Silent Dust!
What else have you got coming up? Dan: We are just putting together a live show which will put a twist on the album and then we will probably start work on our next album although we will probably release an EP next year before then.
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