With an EP dropping immanently on Innamind Recordings, and a track forthcoming on the next Uprise Audio release, Quantum Soul pushes on with a solid momentum into the 2013 calendar year. His dubwise, organic approach to production has been able to reach many facets within the 140bpm sound. From his ‘Self Knowledge EP’ on Tribe12 music released in Octoboer of 2012, to his collaborative works with drum & bass producer Linden back in November of 2012; it’s evident his reach as an artist is limitless. Guy’s adept sense of intellect and depth backing his sound, offers a thought provoking and refreshing listening experience. TRUSIK was keen to get in touch with Guy and dive deep into discussion regarding his musical journey, recent releases and the entire creative process.
TRUSIK: For those readers who aren’t familiar with your music, who are you and how would you describe your sound?
Quantum Soul: Easy Brett / TRUSIK. My name is Guy Chambers, and I’m a producer and DJ from the UK. The “Quantum Soul” sound is difficult to pin down precisely as every track tends to have a life and sound of it’s own, yet paradoxically they all sit really well together. I mostly make dubstep as it’s the bpm and the progression of dub / soundsystem aesthetics which drew me in the first place that I’m still passionate about: weighty, organic and textured sonic slabs which take the listener on a journey, as well as provide something to skank out to in the dance. There is a deep dub influence running through all my music, with rhythmic flights or variations, which push boundaries from time to time, as well as maintain certain rules. There is a hefty amount of ‘vibe’ which I describe as ‘ineffable’ – it’s not really about words but how it makes you feel.
TRUSIK: Is there a specific train of thought stemming from the creation of the moniker ‘Quantum Soul’?
QS: I came up with the name about 10 years ago as I was just getting into the writings and ideas of quantum physicists, and my intuition at the time was basically ‘if there is a soul, it has to be quantum’. It reflects my polar interests in the fundamentals of physics and spirituality.
TRUSIK: How long have you been involved with the electronic music community, in terms of producing and DJing?
QS: I’ve been producing music electronically since 2002, had my first release in 2007 and started to DJ around 2009. I acquired a set of 1210s in my late teens, and have built up a solid collection of dub, rare groove and drum and bass over the years but my main focus has always been production. It wasn’t until I had enough of my own material to mix with that I really began to enjoy DJing as it added further dimensions to the production process.
TRUSIK: Were there specific styles of music, or particular artists who influenced you growing up? [Were your parents musically involved throughout your upbringing?]
QS: My early influences, in terms of what made me want to create music, are funk, hip-hop and metal. Different styles took precedence later on, such as dub, jazz, drum and bass, classical, and world. Artists that influenced me most are largely in the later category: Leftfield, Amon Tobin, DJ Shadow, King Tubby, Adrian Sherwood, Jah Wobble. [Neither of my parents played instruments but they did encourage me once I started teaching myself about music; they bought me my first (and only) guitar].
TRUSIK: Throughout your career as a music producer, what collaborations/remixes have been the most noteworthy of experiences?
QS: Each collaborative session and resulting tunes teaches me something new about music, and different approaches to it. With that in mind, my collaborations with Ruckspin, Octane and DLR as part of Cymatic have to be up there as most note-worthy because we were exploring different pathways using familiar and unfamiliar approaches, with no fixed agenda other than to try something new. The way I see it, the impact of tunes such as ‘Electric Church’, ‘Glue’ or ‘Breakthrough’ may be hard to quantify at present, but if they influenced anyone or showed people that different modes of thought are possible, then that would be an achievement in itself.
TRUSIK: Speaking of ‘Cymatic’, when did that collaboration first take flight, and are there any future tunes to surface from you four?
QS: Cymatic came about by chance really: Dom Ruckspin and Jay DLR and myself spent a couple of weeks in the studio experimenting with different instruments and spent a lot of time digging for samples on Youtube. We ended up with some tunes that we thought deserved a name attaching to them. I had been researching cymatics, the science of exploring the visual aspect of sound, and thought the name ‘Cymatic’ would be perfect, Dom and Jay agreed and it stuck. As for the future, we are all busy on our respective paths at the moment, but I’m sure that when they cross again, we will put together some more tunes. There are a few unreleased bits but no releases planned, so we will see what happens.
TRUSIK: You have forthcoming tracks on both Innamind Recordings and Uprise Audio. When did you first link up with Innamind Records? & with Seven of Uprise Audio?
QS: I was put in touch with Jeremy (the boss of Innamind Recordings) about a year ago after some long discussions with the Perverse guys in New Zealand. They asked me if I’d heard of Innamind, which I had, and they put me in touch with Jeremy, who has since moved to the UK. Jeremy and I got on really well from the start and he was keen to put out a release. We both wanted to find the right tunes to represent a shared vision – and that’s where ‘Strong Root’ (IMRV004) comes in. My release with Uprise Audio (UA004) is very much a different experience: it was a tune I wrote in a very short space of time – called ‘Underworld’ – and upon completion, I figured that Youngsta would be the best recipient. To my amazement he played it in his next ‘Rinse’ show, and not long after I got contacted by Seven (whom I’d already sent some tunes to) saying it would be a perfect fit for his upcoming EP on Uprise, and would I be willing to sign it. There was a bit of competition for that tune, but I like to think it went to the right home. I’m really happy to be part of two such strong families of artists, and to be able to work alongside some well-established as well as up-and-coming artists.
TRUSIK: You mentioned the highly anticipated ‘Strong Root’. Where did your inspiration stem from? Was Lamb supportive of the project?
QS: I have been a huge fan of Lamb for many years, and it has long been a dream of mine to remix or otherwise work with Lou’s vocals. Having said that, the inspiration for ‘Strong Root’ was the acappella itself, which blew me away when I stumbled upon it, and it turned out to be so inspirational that the tune wrote itself. The original is a beautiful song, both lyrically and melodically, really catchy yet subtle, complex and metaphysical. I wanted to write a tune which matched the organic weightiness of the theme of ‘strong the root, underneath’ as it resonated with me on many levels: from soundsystem music being foundational or ‘underground’ and ‘roots’, to ‘sub’ frequencies and ‘root’ notes being at the basis of melodic structures, to energy underpinning matter and so on. It’s an endlessly recurring motif that I – and hopefully others – can identify with, and I couldn’t have asked for more inspirational lyrics. In terms of support, Lamb have been very helpful with the release: they heard, liked and approved the tune in a short space of time, and have been happy for us to promote it as we see fit.
TRUSIK: Only over the past 4-5 years has dubstep begun to reach as an infectious grasp on the North American community as it has. More imprints are beginning to pop up, pushing regional & international producers alike, & more producers are touring the US and Canada than ever before. With this has been both positive and negative repercussions, what are your feelings surrounding the directions that dubstep producers & labels are taking? [And regarding the response/feeling specifically speaking to the more ‘Rooted’ and forward thinking sounds?]
QS: I think producers and labels will always do what they think is best, and try to balance their own tastes with those of the listener. It’s my understanding that the initial wave of dubstep in the US was of the mid-range variety, as that must have appealed to the tastes of the average American more than say, the deeper side which was initially cultivated in the UK. Now it seems that the lifespan of that sound which surged to the fore has expired and people are seeking out the labels and producers which are continuing to push the original deeper and darker sounds of dubstep. I think it’s great that more producers and labels are springing up in the US, it’s indicative of a healthy scene – as long as they are pushing diverse sounds, and taking risks, then I see no problem. There is a fine line between giving the audience exactly what they want in order to make money – as this risks stagnation of a scene – and releasing what the producers and labels themselves want to put out which is often ahead of the curve, and may potentially alienate some of the audience.
TRUSIK: For the mix you assembled for TRUSIK, was there any specific sound, or message you were going for?
QS: The mix is a showcase representing some of the deeper sounds I am at currently working on; it features the releases mentioned earlier (IMRV004 and UA004), some older tunes interspersed with a few newer bits, including collabs with Medison and Congi, at an intensity that is both chilled and heavy skanking at the same time. I hope TRUSIK readers enjoy it!
TRUSIK: Is there anything else on the horizon you can inform the readers about?
QS: I’m doing a podcast for N-Type’s Rinse show, at the end of April. There is a free remix of Marger’s ‘Space’ about to be released via Pressed Records (Medison’s label), as well as a track by myself ‘Clear As Dub’ later in the year. Plus I have some new material and collabs I hope to get signed, so watch this space. Finally, I have a gig at Brighton Volks on the 27th of April alongside Youngsta and Seven, which should be a lot of fun! But after that, my diary is clear – I’m always keen to play more gigs, especially internationally, so if any promoters are reading this, please get in touch!
TRUSIK: Five favorite tracks of 2013 so far (released OR unreleased):
Gantz – Stayer
Vivek – Out of Reach
Kaiju (feat. Flowdan) – Hunter
Killawatt – Press On
Geode – Aliased Fever
TRUSIK: Any special shout outs Guy?
QS: Jeremy, Youngsta, Ed Seven, Verity, Brett and Alex Perverse, Beau, Jack Robinson, Dom Ruckspin, Dan Medison, Jack Sparrow, BunZer0, Syte, Joe Nice, N-Type, Thelem, Gantz, Gaz and Alex Congi, my family and everyone who supports what I do. Bless.