There’s been a number of new young faces pushing through in 2012. Drawing inspiration from peers such as Biome, Sleeper & District and Thelem & Killawatt, these young guns have been endlessly cutting, carving and maturing their own interpretation of the minimal 140 sound. Taking a back bench approach to observe all this new activity across all the major networking platforms has been an enlightening and educational experience. In all honesty, it’s satisfying to see a growing community reaching a younger audience who feel inspired and motivated to have a stab at music production regardless of the end product. I view this as a positive result. However, if there’s one quable I have to address, it would be the superior approach of a particularly highly-experienced duo act who have in-directly, produced an offspring who feel compelled to, or maybe I should say, have attempted to, clone their sound in order to gain some form of recognition. Like I said, I admire their effort of having a stab at music production, regardless the end result. After hearing Biak’s Retribution EP on Loveless Records (formally known as Dubporn Records), I knew I had found a gem amongst the blur of new talent sweeping through. With attention to space, bass control, originality and meditative soundscapes, I felt Biak deserved greater exposure than he was already receiving. Moreover, I had come across one of the younger producers who shared the same sentiment on repetition; switching the dynamics of a track after the breakdown isn’t entirely a bad idea. I caught up with Biak to discuss his music and his exciting new project.
TRUSIK: Firstly, so our readers are familiar, what is your name and where are you from?
BIAK: Rory Salter, I’m from Oxford, England originally but I’m living and working in London at the moment which is rad.
TRUSIK: The term “dubstep” is often questioned by producers who don’t wish to label their music. How do you describe your sound?
BIAK: The sound I’ve been pushing for a while is something I’m sort of moving away from at the moment. Before I was taking a long of influence from Appleblim, Scuba, Pinch, Commodo and trying to add in influence from things on the very dark side of music, a lot of techno stuff like Kevin Gorman, Sigha influences me. More recently, I’ve still been taking those influences but instead of doing it the way I have been, which has become a bit stale, I’ve been taking a lot more influence from grime and older Benga and D1 material. I’m always guna have influences from other styles in there but those are the main ones, and I’d say they help sculpt my sound. A lot of dark sounds and lot of tribal percussion, but I think its always got to have rhythm and be system music. Even since when I started producing a couple years back, you can ask Reamz and Scalade, I’ve always used far too many kick drums than I’ve needed, but I think all that speed and rhythm is important to my sound.
TRUSIK: You’ve had two releases under Dub Porn Records. How did they come about?
BIAK: I think the first release came about from me sending over some demos. I’d been producing for nearly a year and I was getting a bit ahead of myself and really wanted a release. The guys said they saw something in the tunes and asked me to do an E.P. for them, which was great. I really enjoyed making those tunes and I think ‘Song For She’ is one of my favourite tunes I’ve made.
TRUSIK: DP012 is underrated in my opinion. Retribution & Song for She are superb tracks yet embody contrasting styles of production. How do you approach building a beat?
BIAK: Thanks man. It’s always nice to hear when people liked that release because it was so cool doing my first release. I normally have an idea for a track before I make it and I’ll walk around humming it for an hour of so and figure its time to sit down and make it ahah. I start with drums because I find they are probably the most important part of my tracks, I lay them out and add a few changes and then work on intros and melodies based around those. I find that works best for me and means I can get the main parts of the track solid. Then I leave it for a while and come back to it and scrap anything I hate in it ahah.
TRUSIK: So, tell us about Vulcan Audio…
BIAK: Vulcan came about from an idea Medik had really. We both started talking a while back when we were doing remix’s for each other and one say just asked about running a label. I’d wanted to for a while but never gone through with it and just saw a opportunity in that situation. Medik is the godfather of Vulcan really, he owns the most part of it, I’m more like his annoying wife who tells him what to do haha. It’s a really good laugh running a label and it’s great to put out music you respect. That’s the main aim for us, we just wanna release artists we respect and who’s music we love the way they wanna release it. The key to it all is to take it seriously, we don’t wanna be just another forgotten label. We already have the next few releases ready and I’m so excited for them. Got to shout out our man Mesck too, he’s joined the label recently and handles all our artwork and merch and stuff and also has a say in what we do, he’s an big part of the label. Watch out for the next release, a good mate of mine and one of my favourite producers in the small scene with a sick remix on it too.
TRUSIK: You mentioned you’ve relocated from Oxford. What are your plans for London?
BIAK: I wanna start playing out in London more, so any promoters… you know where to find me! But yeah, gunna keep working on my tunes and playing out. I find that’s the most enjoyable part of it all, hearing tunes through a system. I’d like to start doing vinyl on Vulcan and get some Dub plates pressed soon but gotta get tunes right and get the money all sorted.
TRUSIK: How did the mix that you made for us come together?
BIAK: To be honest, it’s a bit different to the stuff I’d normally play. Normally there is a lot more grime to be heard and some weird old selections but I kinda wanted to focus a bit more on my roots, tunes I love from the dubstep scene and have a large influence on me. There’s a bitta vinyl and a bit of CD in there. Ideally I’ll get to a stage where I can play all vinyl because I just personally find mixing on it feels more natural to me, but there ain’t nothing wrong with a bit of CD!
TRUSIK: What is to be expected from Biak, are there any interesting projects / forthcoming material in the pipeline?
BIAK: Got a couple of new EP’s to come out and I’m excited about those. Not big labels but I just wana be able to push my new sounds and I’m fully excited for that! Just need to get my Mac to London so I can produce again. I’m also going to be starting to do some collab bits and bobs, which I’m excited about. Hopefully, mine and Kbeatz new alias Lo Trixx will be up and running soon and I’ve got some bits with Boofy to do and me and my man Existence will defo be making some tunes in the near future. Not forgetting Reamz, there will be more collabs from me and him, that will defo happen. I still wana persuade my mate Batu to do something with me but I don’t think that’s guna happen, but you should defiantly watch out for him.
- Lefty – Iree (ioqe Remix) [dub]
- D-Operation Drop – Poison VIP [Forthcoming Nomad Records]
- Konvex ft. Beezy – Into the Background
- Deafblind + Baitface – Penta [dub]
- V.I.V.E.K. – Talking Shadows [Soul Jazz Records]
- Mesck + Deco – Clear Depth [Forthcoming Sub Pressure]
- Skream – Rutten [Tempa]
- Pure Filth Sound – Turn Up The Fire (Mesck Remix) [dub]
- Sparxy + Fused Forces – Laviathon [Forthcoming Bacon Dubs]
- Dark Tantrums ft. Trim – Notice Now (FREE)
- Boofy – 50hz [dub]
- Roska ft. Mz Brattz – Go [Rinse]
- Slaven – The Hornet [dub]
- Reamz – Code [dub]
- Kryptic Minds – The Fifth [Black Box]
- Juss B – Symbols [Forthcoming Vulcan Audio]
- Truth ft. Dutty Ranks – Birds [Black Box]
- Lurka + Commodo – Gassin [Black Box]
- Biak – 045 [dub]
- Coki – Ransom [Soul Jazz Records]
- Skream – Blue Eyes [Tempa]
- Mala – Dont Let Me Go [Soul Jazz Records]
- TMSV – Myth [Black Box]
- Biak – Consequence [Forthcoming Dubsludge]
- Goth Trad – Babylon Fall [Deep Medi Musik]