If you haven’t heard of Prolix yet, then chances are you’re about to. He is one of the D&B scene’s staunchest underground producers having worked with the biggest labels in the genre, from Andy C’s Ram Records to DJ Hype’s Ganja and Goldie’s Metalheadz, as well as collaborating with producers like Noisia and Gridlok. Now, ready to transcend expectations with a brand new EP released on his own Trendkill Records label, Prolix has taken some time out to talk Beatport #1’s, running his own label and getting drunk in the studio with MTA Records’ Mob Tactics.
Hi Prolix! For those who haven’t heard of you before, can you describe yourself in ten words or less?
Purveyor of filthy beats and dirty bass at 174 bpm!
We see your new EP has been smashing it on Beatport reaching the #1 spot in the Top 100 Releases chart. Are you happy with the response to it?
Overwhelmed! The response has been amazing so far and getting to number 1 in the Beatport releases chart for all genres was more than we could have hoped for. Saying that, to some extent I’m not surprised as we had such talented artists involved!
You released the EP via your own label, Trendkill, but you have previously released with many of the D&B scene’s biggest imprints, including Andy C’s Ram Records and DJ Hype’s Ganja label. Do you enjoy the freedom of releasing your material via Trendkill?
Yes definitely, and for different reasons. Firstly there’s the aspect of having complete creative control over the output, from the writing of the tracks themselves, how they will be released (in terms of singles/EP’s etc), to how they will be packaged. The second aspect is the business side of things. Anything from organising release dates to mastering, to distribution, to PR, is all my decision and I enjoy doing it. I have been a recording artist and DJ for a while now so I have seen how things are done and can draw from that experience to put my own ideas into practice. Of course, releasing on larger established labels has a lot of benefits, with teams of people working on all aspects of the business, who have a wealth of different experience in doing so. But I like getting involved and want to have input into major decisions and that is easier when you run your own operation.
You’ve collaborated with five other artists on these tracks. Did you intentionally set out to work with these guys and did you learn any new techniques or ways of working during this process?
We had intended to work together at some point and it all just happened to come together at the right time. I have worked in the past with Mob Tactics & Coppa, but it was the first time I had worked with the other guys. I think this EP has seen a step up in my production and that really is down to working with other producers, picking up and consolidating new techniques. We all work slightly differently, on different DAW’s/setups, but there is generally a fair amount of common ground in our ways of working. It’s great when you find out a new way of doing something or a new technique. Also its good to have it reaffirmed that certain techniques work best for desired results.
Which one of them was your favorite to work on? And why?
It would be both hard and unfair to pick but let’s just say the Mob Tactics collab involved a lot of drinking! The studio was absolutely covered in beer bottles to the point where it was hard to move the mouse. It was well worth the hangover though!
We saw you dropped a new DJ mix which features a pretty impressive 24 tracks in 30 minutes! Is that a fair representation of what it’s like to see you play live? We’re imagining frantic beats and basslines in dark sweaty rooms!
I had a lot of great music to choose from plus I can mix pretty relentlessly it has to be said! Although I’m sure I’m not alone in terms of packing tunes into mixes – I think Dieselboy’s latest mix had about 90 tracks in an hour! It can be sensory overload at times but when it’s done right it can be great hearing ferociously blended mixing. Drum and bass is best heard in dark sweaty rooms… although large outdoor festivals can also be sick!
Does DJing influence how you make your music? Do you ever change things in a track that you think might put DJs off from playing it, or do you have particular formulas you work to which you know work in a club environment?
Yes, and in some senses it’s unfortunate that sometimes your creativity has to be slightly curbed to conform to a set of criteria to make it DJ friendly. The days of 2 minute intros seems to be long gone – for instance most track intros these days seem to be 32-49 bars long before the drop. But of course it depends on why you are writing the tracks in the first place. If your main intention is to make a tune for DJ’s to smash a club then certain formulas such as sticking to a regular tempo/time signature, regular track structure/length, having hats/percussion in the intro to help DJs mix, and keeping the key of the track to around F/G are all things worth considering.
We enjoyed the viral video for ‘Exploration’ with footage taken from the film ‘Dark City’ Are you into movies? Is there a movie you’d like to re-soundtrack and/or a director you’d like to collaborate with?
Good question. I’m not a huge movie buff but that film was one we had both seen and loved and so we used some little vocal samples in the track. We both agreed that it was fitting to have a bit of footage of it for the upload. I would love to get into doing soundtracks in the future, maybe Rido and I could re-soundtrack Dark City together!
If you weren’t involved with music what do you think you would be doing with your life instead?
It’s hard to imagine what else I would be doing other than music as it’s such a huge part of my life. I have a philosophy degree but it doesn’t directly equate to a job in the ‘real world’! If I had to choose, I probably would have gone into social work as I find that field really interesting and I like the idea, as with making music, of putting something back into the world.
You’ve just dropped a free VIP of ‘Set The Place On Fire’ which is a monster. How come you decided to give this track away for free?
I wasn’t sure when or if I would put it out and so I decided to use it as a way of thanking the people who have supported Trendkill Records and in particular this EP. We were amazed at how well the release went did and wanted to celebrate that by giving something back. It’s a track that I have been playing out and which has had a good reaction and I hope people enjoy listening and playing it.