With a magnitude of high caliber producers making their mark on the dubstep sound, it can be a challenge to stand out from the pack. Uprise Audio, the brainchild of veteran DJ/Producer Seven, aims to signify the innovative, cutting edge sounds of dubstep. The label released the first 12” last month by Dubtek, and the second release from Asylum is now available. It is evident that Uprise Audio has a unique & well directed selection of music to be released in the coming months. Although “Asylum” is not a household name yet, you may be familiar with the music of Vicious Circle. When looking at Drum & Bass labels like Critical Sound and Renegade Hardware, it is effortless to hear the caliber of production set forth by Vicious Circle. Branching off from the sounds of Vicious Circle and on to create his own solo mark in the dubstep community, Andrew, under his new moniker Asylum, will be bringing some hefty productions to the table. Earlier this year he released an EP on Crunch Recordings still under the alias Vicious Circle. The two productions featured on that record, “Hibernation” and “Not Afraid” together symbolize his dedication to quality sound and unique style. That release saw support from some pinnacle names in the global dubstep community, such as Vivek and Youngsta. Asylum’s debut release on Uprise Audio dropped last week, so we decided to get in touch and see what he had to say.
TRUSIK: First things first, what is your name, occupation and location?
ASYLUM: My name is Andrew. I write music and I’m currently located on the top of a hill.
TRUSIK: You have been producing music as a part of the alias “Vicious Circle” since 2003. What would you say has driven your growth and evolution as a producer over the years?
ASYLUM: The main factor has always been my peers. I’ve been surrounded by some incredibly talented people the last ten years whose creativity and output has been a constant motivation. Performing and always having new material to play and surprise people with has always big motivation to keep writing new stuff.
TRUSIK: What has pushed you towards creating your own representation of dubstep music?
ASYLUM: Mainly a personal need to try something different. I love D&B but didn’t want to be restricted to one tempo.
TRUSIK: When sampling for a new project, do you have any directed intent on picking audio bits, or does that just surface coincidentally? (i.e. Blindfold)
ASYLUM: Sometimes I’ll have an idea for something that might fit the vibe of what I’m making, and I’ll go off and try to find whatever it is. Other times I have heard a bit of dialogue or whatever and thought – that will sound good in a tune. Then I’ve worked around the sample. For Blindfold I wanted something druggy, so I specifically looked for a Timothy Leary sample.
TRUSIK: Of the names in the dubstep community right now, who would be your top of the pile picks, and what criteria do you have when compiling tunes for a mix?
ASYLUM: Ben Verse’s album is sounding huge – he has a whole heap of things no one’s heard that are gonna blow people away. All Youngsta’s new stuff is brilliant – he’s obviously really coming into his own as a producer at the moment, expect big things from him next year.
TRUSIK: Having produced a plethora of drum & bass, and having shifted your focus to dubstep, do you plan on continually producing both? Does that challenge you creatively?
ASYLUM: Yes I will continue to work on both. Simon and I have plans to work on some VC stuff together soon. He’s got some amazing solo stuff that he’s doing at the moment so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’ve got a vocal D&B thing that I’m in the process of finishing also. I enjoy working at both tempos – the whole point of doing 140 stuff as well was to expand creatively; I don’t want to be restricted to one or the other.
TRUSIK: When you hit the studio to make a beat, what drives the initial construct of a new production?
ASYLUM: It varies, sometimes I’ll just sit down and start putting some drums together, play around with different grooves until I start hearing something interesting that I can focus the next element around, which is often the bass or some sort of midrange jiggerypokery. Other times I’ll have an idea for something specific in mind or a sample or sound I want to use, and the session will be more focused; I often get better results this way to be honest.
TRUSIK: How did you come about getting affiliated with Uprise Audio?
ASYLUM: I first met Eddy touring for the same promoter in Australia in 2009. We became friends quickly and remained in touch – he was somebody who urged me to try my hand at the slower tempo early on. I love what they (he and label partner Verity) are trying to do with UA. The output is already looking strong and the launch party in East London was an absolute roadblock. We’re back there doing it all again in the new year.
TRUSIK: There are audio clips/mix cuts floating about of your collaboration with Ben Verse “Blue Dream”. Will we be fortunate enough to see more released from you on his imprint, Crunch Recordings?
ASYLUM: I’ve got an EP with “Blue Dream” and 3 new tracks for Crunch that will be out in the New Year. We’ve also got something for his album we’re working on. Ben’s just moved into a very serious studio so we’re gonna be getting busy.
TRUSIK: With “Blindfold / Salvage” now out in stores, what else can listeners expect from you in the coming year, project / release wise?
ASYLUM: Expect the unexpected. I’m gonna try and keep every tune different from the last and even experiment a bit more other tempos, 4/4 and deep housey stuff. I’ve been playing a lot of guitar recently and it’s making me want to do more melodic stuff also. I want to keep changing it up as I get bored quickly, so always expect the next batch to sound nothing like the last batch.