Interview: Pure DNB catches up with drum and bass master engineer Chris Octane – Exclusive

Last week we reported on the solo project of the infamous Chris Octane of Octane & DLR and the launch of his new label CO:RE set to debut May 6. This week we caught up with Chris for an inside look at the project and what’s in store for the future. We’re extremely excited about the direction he’s taking CO:RE and his personal focus on sound design and experimentation. Read on!

CORE001 is set to release May 6, marking the launch of your new label CO:RE (CO Recordings) and your debut in solo production following the huge success of Octane & DLR – Method in the Madness. This is a big pivot for you and hugely anticipated. What’s this like for you right now?

Its a crazy time. Octane & DLR ended on a high with the album and it’s a great achievement to look back on. Now I’m stuck in with the solo project and the label. A big change indeed but everything’s interesting and fresh. Who knows what next!

As for being a solo artist, I’m enjoying it. Having full creative freedom is a lot more of a challenge but I’m exploiting that as inspiration. I’m also taking the opportunity to work with some other great artists!

“Synthetics” is the deep bass dancefloor tune while “Gaia’s Dub” delivers an eclectic experimental piece rich with originality in sound design. Your engineering on these tracks are amazing and a move away from samples. Can you describe your new approach in production and the driving force behind this change?

You hit the nail on the head there. Synthetics is straight up dancefloor. Aimed right at the D&B fans.

I’m glad you noticed the depth in Gaia’s Dub. D&B has held strong for 20+ years now due to a hugely eclectic influence and with this track I’m trying to push a bit deeper with Influence and sound that aren’t heard that often. I think there will be a lot of listeners who ‘don’t get it’ but I’m prepared for that. I want CO:RE to be an escape for me as an individual. Somewhere I can experiment, test the water and enjoy what I’m doing. CO:RE is about my sound, my way.

I’ve always been very open in my approach to writing and I don’t think I’ve changed. I guess the new sound is just how I sound – Post Octane & DLR.

We’re really excited about the state of Drum and Bass right now and the future for the genre. There are so many great artists engineering fresh and unique sounds and you’ve just put the name Chris Octane into a prominent spot on that roster. Who are some of the producers that really stand out for you right now and what do you aspire for yourself?

DLR is on some awesome new music with his solo project. I have to give credit there firstly.

Also Hybris is killing me with his technical ability. Ulterior Motive for being as raw as ever with such consistency, CERN’s epic control of sound and Raiden’s killer mixdown and sound design.. Then there’s Lynx who always brings originality and inspires.

The list goes on… We’re blessed with amazing, hard earned talent!

As for me, I dont really aspire to be anything other than the artist I am. I guess I’d like to think the work I put in shows and that my music is identifiable. Outside that, what else could I want from art?

CO:RE looks set to be the new buy-on-sight label for 2013. We’re very interested in what’s next for this brand new imprint. Can you tell us a bit about your goals and vision for the label and the types of projects you have on board?

Well, there’s a few collabs in the works that I’m really excited about. Working with artists I really admire and will definitely learn from and be inspired by. The label is about me and my journey. What I’ve learned and what I believe. At this stage I have no idea what direction it will take but that’s exactly how I like it.

I want to push myself to explore sound musically and technically and reach outside the typical scope. CO:RE is the natural progression of the work I did on Method in the Madness. Not just about dance music but about sound and its effect on the listener. I have musicians, vocalists and sound designers of all flavours on board and some very interesting concepts.

If I can create interest both in and out of the clubs then I’m on the right track for myself.

There are many aspiring producers in the Drum and Bass scene always looking for a production tip. Can you drop some knowledge or advice on us before we wrap up?

Read books, go deeper and understand what it is you’re doing when you tweak the buttons. I’m hearing a lot of music that sounds like Youtube tutorials and sample packs cut and pasted. It would be really nice to hear more original sound.

One thing I do get asked about a lot is overcoming writers block. Everyone gets “stuck”. Find inspiration by listening to something different. Music, a movie or game – or take a recorder to a derelict warehouse and bash some stuff!

…and final tip: Sitting at a computer is not much fun (IMO). Get creative with recording and enjoy it!

Chris, thank you for taking the time to chat with us and congrats on the new release!

Cheers guys, its really appreciated!

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