Friday, 27 August 2010
INTERVIEW: Icicle [Shogun Audio]
With a healthy heritage and background in drum & bass, Icicle's music at the slower dubstep tempo retains alot of the hallmarks he's become reliable for: interesting atmospherics, tough drums and mammoth bass lines that work soundsystems properly and with vigour. After releasing his debut brooding dubstep 12" on Friction's Shogun Audio imprint we got wind of his inclusion on Tempa's forthcoming Dubstep Allstars 6 EP - where he appears alongside luminaries like SBTRKT and FaltyDL alongside people like Benga and Skream - and after a quick investigation it was obvious that his newer productions showed more than a hell of a lot of promise, sitting effortlessly in the midst of such established company.
So... in an attempt to shed light on what we felt was some of the weightiest and spacious, ominously moody dubstep to hit SR HQ's speakers in a while, we caught up with the London based Dutchman, who in turn provides the wider internet with our 53rd Sonic Router Mix.
Sonic Router: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?
My name is Jeroen Snik aka Icicle. I’m from Eindhoven in Holland but moved to London 2 years ago because of music. I’m predominantly known for making and DJing drum & bass and am signed to DJ Friction’s Shogun Audio label. I’ve been making techno and dubstep for a long time also and have just started putting that out there more.
Outside of music who are you? What do you do on the daily?
Outside of music there isn’t a lot going on right now. I’ve studied mechanical engineering but put that on hold when the music took off for me a few years ago. I moved to London and decided to put all my time to the music and give myself a couple of years to just follow it and do it right.
How did you first get into making music? What was it that infected you to do so?
I started playing piano at a really young age and a bit later the drums as well. When I was about nine or ten or something I remember getting this massive old Casio keyboard from my grand parents with built in drum tracks and loads of different voices and I started recording myself jamming with a little tape player. Then when I found out you could use computers to program music I was hooked and never looked back.
What’s your production set up like? What’s your favourite bit of kit in the studio?
I’ve got a mac based studio running Logic and I rewire Reason into it for certain elements of my tunes. I’ve got a motu feeding the industry standard Mackie hr824’s, 2 valve compressors to beef up beats and a Mackie desk. A Roland sh-101 because it’s just too much fun, not because it’s actually essential to my sound. But my favourite thing has got to be my SSL Duende, the channel EQ’s from it are so brilliantly transparent and precise, you can make everything sound crisp.
Icicle - Minimal Dub [Shogun Audio]
You’ve recently started making dubstep stuff after along time doing d&b… How did you get into this current flux of dubstep?
Well, it’s more like I’ve (relatively) recently decided to send some of my stuff to some people in dubstep, I have been listening to it and making it for years. I just found solely putting out d&b wouldn’t keep me happy in the long run, after all there are so many great styles of music why limit yourself to just one. Drum & bass will always be special to me and the backbone of my sound, but ultimately I would love to just be known as a producer of good electronic music and get out of the pigeonhole.
How would you describe your sound? You just had a 12” out on Shogun Audio that shows the new direction… it seems like you’re heavily vibed out on DMZ/Kryptic Minds kind of slow brooding stuff… would that be right to presume?
I am definitely into the DMZ/Kryptic/Headhunter etc. sound and I guess my stuff that’s floating around now draws from that a lot; in a way though it’s just a slowed down version of my 170 sound. I am also very influenced by techno and want to explore the dub techno side of it all a bit more in the future also.
Do you think the energy of 170 bpm music translates into what you’re doing now or is it something completely different?
I personally look at it as very similar music but the fundamental difference is that, with d&b, you have the intense energy and with dubstep you trade that for sonic space. In other words, drum & bass Is the more hyped, and dubstep is the more spacious and detailed side of essentially the same dark deep and sub driven sound palette.
Where do you take inspiration from when making music?
Other great music, new pieces of kit, collaborations and deadlines… I always find it so pretentious when people that make lyric-less music say life etc haha. I wouldn’t know how to turn making a piece of toast in the morning into a hi-hat pattern.
You’ve got a cut, ‘Anything,’ featured on the next Tempa Allstars release. Tell us about that… and how does it feel to be in such esteemed company – Skream, FaltyDL, SBTRKT etc…?
It’s great to see it finally come out; Tempa signed that tune about a year ago now. The whole EP is very much to my liking, its great to be a part of it. And to be on the flip side of what in my opinion is Skream’s baddest tune in a while; ‘Rolling Kicks’ is icing on the cake!
What other projects have you got in the pipeline? What’s happening with you in the rest of 2010? Gigs, releases, personal growth etc?
The big project right now is my debut album forthcoming on Shogun Audio. I’m really close to finishing it and it features d&b, dubstep and techno. Gigs wise, its business as usual. I’m playing dubstep next at Outlook festival the first week of September. When my album is finished I’m going to take a little break from the studio routine make weird music and de-stress for a while.
Tell us a little bit about the mix you turned in for us… What made it so? Are there mad exclusives on there? Etc etc…
Hmm... maybe I was just happy on angel dust. I enjoy doing non-drum & bass mixes though because it’s something I don’t do as much. There are some bits in there definitely. A couple of new and unfinished things by myself some collaboration’s I’ve done and some forthcoming bits by guys like Addison Groove, Untold, Cyrus, Joker D etc.
Any words of wisdom, for our readers?
Stay in school.
DOWNLOAD: Icicle - Sonic Router Mix #53
1. Cyrus – The Calling
2. Icicle – Xylophobia
3. Icicle & Youngsta – Momentum
4. Icicle – Ferrofunk
5. Joker D – You!
6. Cyrus – Manhattan Blues
7. Untold – Come Follow We
8. Addison Groove – Work It
9. Icicle – Organic Step
10. Icicle – Anything
11. Icicle – Minimal Dub
12. Distance – Malice
13. Kryptic Minds – The Fifth
14. Icicle & Joker D – Foreseen
15. SP & Joker D – Down