Perverse exploded onto the global stage in the wake of 2012 following crucial airplay from the legendary Youngsta, and J:Kenzo’s Artikal seal of approval. As one of the most prolific new-comers, the duo didn’t hold back in fully committing themselves to the sound. Every spare moment was consumed in the studio, grafting ideas into sonic frameworks of emotive rhythms and intelligent grooves meticulously fused by sub-bass design. With a warmly received formula it wasn’t long before they found themselves signed to an array of respectable labels, firmly cementing their presence. Perhaps it is of no surprise then, why Boka – a label which has been operating since the foundation of the DMZ revolution – has extended a family arm to the promising pair. Joining a roster of industry pioneers such as Distance, Truth, DJ Madd and Matt U, the duo continue to raise the bar and push the sonic envelope of underground bass music. BOKA043 marks their seventh signing, this time unleashing a VIVEK favourite, ‘Tribute’ backed with a tribalised collaboration, ‘Seismic’, featuring bass music’s rising prodigy, Gantz. In the lead up to the release, I made contact with the Kiwi natives to see how they’re handling their newly found fame.
TRUSIK: Bassweight Recordings, Artikal Music, Mindstep Music, Innamind, M.U.D, New Moon, plus four free volumes via FatKidOnFire in the space of twelve months. 2012 really was the launchpad for Perverse. Looking back, did you ever expect to be where you are now given the short period of time? What factors do you believe contributed to this swiftly found success?
Perverse: We never expected to get to where we are at now, I believe that our success can be credited to hard work, a bit of luck and some hype. We are the first to admit that we are not the most talented producers in terms of skill but we put in the hours, sometimes 50 hours or more a week. We’re 100% committed to music, this has enabled us to churn out a large amount of tunes that we are still sitting on today!
T: What has been the biggest change in your lives since your collaborative music project took off? What are your favourite perks of the job, and what are the down turns of it all, if any?
P: Getting paid to travel and meeting awesome people, the joy and pride of having your music in a physical form and of course the creativity! You can definitely get wrapped up in what you’re doing and lose focus in other areas of life. I think we are both ‘all or nothing’ people so other areas of life become neglected for a while, also dealing with dodgy users who couldn’t care less about you or what you do.
T: Of the several releases you have put out so far, which record has been the most sought-after? Can you account for its demand?
P: We think that ARTKL002 is our most sought after record featuring ‘The Iceman’ and ‘Submerge’, reaching upwards of £60 on discogs. Probably because it sold out so quickly and was when we were relatively new to the “market” and there was a decent amount of hype around us. Definitely our breakthrough tunes!
T: You gave away fifteen free tracks + four remixes under your ‘Progression’ series with FatKidOnFire. Since building ‘Mizrahi’, your first track as Perverse, how have you progressed in your approach to music production? How much of this has contributed to the development of your own sound?
P: Yeah, we probably over saturated ourselves last year by giving away so many average quality tunes, some of them were good obviously but a decent amount shouldn’t have seen the light of day. I think we were happy to share tracks so that people could see how we had progressed, nothing is worse than sitting on tracks that you will never really play, we thought why not give people the option to play them rather than them sitting on a hard drive. We are much less clinical now than we used to be, we let the vibe dictate itself, more open to trying things and being diverse, although this has been a very slow year for us as we have had so much going on in other areas of life.
T: On a similar note, which track have you had the most fun building, and why? And which track do you believe truly echoes the sound of Perverse?
P: Tough question, we really struggle to choose a tune to sum us up as we like to make lots of styles of music, a lot of satisfaction gained from other genres. We had that special feeling about tunes such as Submerge, Cross Examination, Tribute, Bolontiku, Timelapse and Semblance. Cross Examination and The Iceman always go off, but we have some fresh ones that go down well also.
T: Unlike some producers whose music is signed exclusively to one or two labels, your productions have found a home under several. Will you continue to release records under the same imprints, or are you open to working with other labels if the opportunity arises? Which label would you most like to release a record with, and why?
P: I think at the start, we had a bit of hype around us and had all of these options coming at us, we jumped on them with our inexperience. Although we don’t regret any decisions we will be focussing more closely on just a couple of labels that we feel we work best with and pushing vinyl, but if the right opportunity comes up we won’t say no. We would never sign exclusively as we believe as the creators of our music we have the right to decide, and it has its limitations. Obviously we like to make a diverse range of styles so some sounds don’t suit certain labels.
T: Speaking of labels, your next release is on Boka and features Tribute / Seismic (feat. Gantz). How did the collaboration with Gantz come about? What is it about this individual that makes him one of the most talked about producers in the underground scene?
P: We absolutely love Gantz and his fresh approach from the first time we heard him. We sort of came up through the ranks around the same time, although he has leap frogged us now. We consider him a good friend even though we’ve never met in person. We had talked about the idea for a while, finally he sent us a start to work on and we just made it work. He is groundbreaking and his tunes have an instant signature that tells you they are his, they also have a pulsing groove and great energy. We’re used to working with each other but can at times struggle to find another producer that we work well with, as we’re both quite stubborn in our way of doing things. Gantz somehow put up with us, we are still amazed at that haha
T: Favourite Gantz track?
P: Hard one! It’s a tie between Catalyst & U Won’t Mind, although the tune he did with Stiver really strikes a chord.
T: Bill Dolan (General Manager of Hyperdub) describes vinyl as the “bread-and-butter format” for underground music. The majority of your releases have been distributed on vinyl. How important is this for you? What are your thoughts on the future of vinyl as we enter a complex period of digital streaming?
P: It is of huge importance that our tunes come out on vinyl, otherwise they just get lost and forgotten about, physically holding your own music is an amazing feeling, its definitely a huge privellage and honour. We couldn’t answer how long it will stick around, because you never know. People supporting vinyl within the scene keep it going thanks to their passion for the medium and commitment to the music, they are keeping it alive. Luckily for us in the darker side of dubstep the passion for vinyl is just as strong as it ever has been with records selling out all the time. When it comes to the digital streaming we dont really have anything against it.
T: Outside of production, what other interests or hobbies do you dabble in? Do any of these activities inspire you creatively when returning to the studio?
P: The mistake we made last year was we fully emersed ourselves in music, you really do need balance to live a happy and healthy life style. Friends and family keep the passion strong, a lot of influence from nature, stamp collecting, long walks on the beach, movies, food etc.
T: What else can we expect from Perverse in 2013, is there any forthcoming material or other interesting projects you can spill the beans on?
P: We have one more exciting release coming up this year, it has been a slow year for us in terms of making new tunes but a few more creative projects and collaberations for sure.
T: Take us through the mix you put together for us.
P: We hit up our boy David Guetta for some mixing tips, pirated Virtual DJ and came up with this! We wanted to showcase some of our favorite tunes at the moment, and some of our new ones. We usually don’t stick to a setlist but wanted to play the right selection of tunes, these just seemed to work together. We made a small slip up near the end due to getting distracted by something shiny, we decided to leave it in anyway as we ran out of time to re-record. We hope you enjoy the mix as much as we enjoyed putting it together!
T: Finally, your five favourite tracks at the moment…?
P: Loving the new vibe of musicality coming through, but in terms of bangers…
Ipman – Sensory Deprivation
Gantz – Stayer
TMSV – Haze
Kaiju – Wrong Turn
Genetix – Paleolithic