Brighton, the land of insane winds, salty sea air and, rather surprisingly, absolutely phenomenal drum and bass producers.
A few weeks ago we saw Klax’s debut release on Binary and now, just a few short weeks later we’ve been blessed with the “Fragmented EP” on Flexout Audio by, in my opinion, one of the most talented yet understated producers of the moment, Shiver.
After a number of hugely successful releases on labels such as Flexout Audio and Diffrent Music, Shiver has slowly carved out a reputation for being one of the most consistently strong and imaginative producers around. It’s no secret that we’ve been rinsing the Fragmented EP here at In-Reach HQ so we thought we’d take this opportunity to catch up with the man himself!
Yes Shiver, thank you so much for joining us, it’s a pleasure to have you here on In-Reach. If we can, let’s start by going back in time for a moment to when you just were a young Shiver. Would you say you always had an interest in making music or was drum and bass production your first opportunity to experiment?
Well, I picked up a guitar when I was around 12 and played in various bands for a good 5-6 years. I used to love playing gigs but none of the bands really went anywhere and I ended up writing a lot of the songs myself. While I was in college my mate introduced me to FL Studio, and, after a few months of agonising attempts to make a decent track, was hooked! I started off making some (relatively embarassing) dubstep, then as I got a bit better, got into making drum & bass, and it was onwards and upwards from there really!
With that in mind, can you tell us about your musical journey and how you stumbled upon drum and bass?
It’s hard to pin point when I first got introduced to drum & bass, back in the day I only used to listen to rock music, mostly metal but tended to not be too restrictive. I remember when I was around 17 my mate from school got me listening to stuff like Noisia, Black Sun Empire and Bad Company and after that I just grew to love it more and more.
That’s the thing I’ve always found interesting about drum and bass, the fact that it completely consumes you. It becomes so much more than a genre, in fact, if anything I’d say that for many people it’s more of a lifestyle choice. What do you think it is that gets everyone so hooked?
I’ve always found it interesting too, it tends to happen in a lot of genres, but drum & bass seems to stand out as the ‘all encompassing’ genre where most people who go along to the nights, mix, produce, or all three, tend to absolutely love it. I think part of the reason is probably that there are so many different aspects to the genre, that it seems impossible for anyone to not even remotely like a single track. Also because production is so easily accessible, there is constantly more and more fresh stuff being made, so it’s always progressing, keeping people hooked!
I think you’re right! The fact that it’s constantly evolving keeps it interesting! Looking back, which producers would you say inspired your own personal creativity?
I’d say it’s changed over the years, the first drum & bass tracks I made were heavily influenced by Noisia’s dark cinematic intros and breaks, although they certainly didn’t reflect the infuence whatsoever! I’d say in more recent years it’s been more the likes of Break, Enei, S.P.Y, Fracture, and loads more I can’t think of off hand. As with before though I wouldn’t say that the music I come out with necessarily sounds like any of them!
I don’t know, I can definitely hear Enei’s influence in there! Personally, I think I first came across your music towards the beginning of last year when Xtrvrt/Camo came out on Protect Audio. I remember thinking what an interesting style you had and was blown away when I heard Crossover on Flexout Audio a little while later. Can you tell us a bit about the production/thought process behind Crossover as the vocals are the most unusual yet catchy thing I’ve ever heard! (I don’t think I’ve ever been able to resist singing along to the shalalalala!)
Crossover was a weird one for me, it actually came together shockingly quickly. I think I spent in total about 2-3 hours til the track was finished! I hadn’t even intended on releasing it originally, just made it for mates to have, but ended up sending it to Tom (Flexout) and to be honest still to this day I can’t believe the response it got!
Speaking of Flexout Audio, you’ve obviously just dropped your first solo EP on the label which features Gran Calavera’s winning track from the Crossover remix competition held a few months ago. Can you tell us your thoughts on the competition and the most of all, the winning track?
The competition was great! Was really taken back by the amount of entries received, and the effort that so many producers had put into making their remixes. Granted there were a fair few that weren’t as good as others, but me and Tom managed to narrow it down to a couple entries before finally coming to the decision on Gran Calavera. I think personally it was the one that I could see myself playing out in sets the most, which was the key deciding factor really.
As we just mentioned, the Fragmented EP has just landed and personally I think it’s an incredible release! What would you say was your favourite tune to write and why?
Thanks! I think I had the most fun writing Clouds just purely because it’s totally different to what I normally make. Never really gone in a deeper sort of direction before with production, and was also the first one i’d worked on with vocals that aren’t sampled from a hip hop track which was interesting!
The EP also features a collaboration with Belgian production duo Mtwn, can you tell us how that came to be?
It’s a funny one, we actually made the track about 2 and a half years ago, and it basically just sat on our computers. We gave it to quite a few other producers who were all feeling it, but never ended up actually signing it, so I figured whilst getting tracks together for the EP that it would be cool to get it out there. Seemed like a good shout to feature one collab on there as well just to spice things up a bit.
And in terms of collaborations, if you could with any producer from any genre, who would it be and why?
Tough question! I reckon I would have to go with Break, as he seems to be, in my opinion, a producer who can do no wrong. I’m a massive fan of all his tracks, and his mix downs are always spot on. Could certainly learn a thing or two!
I couldn’t agree more! He seems to be one of the only producers that appeals to every corner of the drum and bass market!
So, what does the future have in store for you? Do you have any more releases lined up or is it back to the studio for you now?
I’ve got one track with Hyroglifics that’s lined up for release at some point, no information as of yet! Besides that i’ve got nothing, I haven’t got the fastest work rate when it comes to writing tunes, this EP took the best part of a year, so it’ll be back to the studio for me. I’d like to release a bit more frequently next year, but we’ll see, don’t want to try and rush things.
Good things come to those who wait! And lastly, in your opinion which producers should we be looking out for right now? Who’s smashing it for you!
Xanadu is certainly one to look out for, he sent over his album the other day which is forthcoming on Dom & Roland Productions and it’s brilliant, especially for his first release. Also got shown some of Arkaik’s stuff that is forthcoming next year, and it’s sick!
If you missed Shiver’s debut EP drop on Monday then fear not, you can pick up a copy from the Flexout Audio Bandcamp page now!