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Interview: Loko (UK)

We catch up with Loko (UK) after signing his brand new release to Viper Recordings. Here what he has to say here!

Today we catch up with an up and coming artist within the Drum & Bass scene: ‘Programs‘ very own, Loko (UK).

After having his tracks signed to the likes of Viper Recordings as well as RAM Records sub label, Program, Loko (UK) is now establishing his name, quickly becoming one to watch on the Drum & Bass scene.

Having signed his latest tracks ‘Rage‘ and ‘Failure to Communicate‘ to Viper Recordings, we find out a little bit more about the man himself.

You can check out more from Loko (UK) here.

HTF: What got you in to Drum & Bass and why?

My best mate got me into Drum and Bass really, I wasn’t really aware of it of it at the time though. We used to go to his house at lunch time from school and he would mix, and I wasn’t really taking it all in at this point to be honest. I wasn’t aware of the effect Drum and Bass was having on me, I mean, I have always been into electronic music, even from a really young age. My mum used to listen to Fatboy Slim and Daftpunk, and another one of my mates was big on Moby, so I must have been about 8/9/10 when I started to get the taste for electronic music. I used to sit in the bath with a battery powered CD player like ‘wow’ while listening to ‘Discovery’ by Daftpunk but I was probably 12/13 when I started to get into Drum and Bass and I do remember the exact point when I was like ‘I want to be involved in this’.

It was listening to Fabio and Grooverider on Radio 1 live from the Millenium dome new years eve 2001 into 2002. I was 13. I remember being blown away by the tunes and the vibe of the party, and you could hear the crowd reaction to the tunes and it was amazing. I remember turning it on and the first tune being ‘Return Of Forever‘ by High Contrast… That was it. Done. The addiction had fully taken over.

HTF: And what got you into the producing? Did you produce any other genre, other than Drum & Bass?

Well, I started off by buying a beltdrive Numark TT-1650’s and honestly I’m surprised I ever learnt to mix on them, but it wasn’t enough for me. I was listening to peoples tunes and thinking to myself ‘that part should be different’ or ‘I wish I could loop that section’. The same mate that introduced me to Drum and Bass had started producing on Logic, so I started going round his house and making tunes with him, but, again that wasn’t enough. So I downloaded a copy of Logic on my mums computer and used to literally sit awake for days making tunes. I would stay awake all night, then go to school in the morning (with no sleep), get into my classes and fall asleep on the table for 20 minutes until my teachers would shout at me. I would then go home and carry on making tunes.

I’ve always made other genres of music even from the very start of producing. I used to make breakbeat tunes as well as drum and bass, but nothing that I would ever release or show anyone. I think it really helps to produce multiple genres of music though cos you always end up learning new techniques, and its nice to be out of your comfort zone sometimes.

HTF: Last year saw you sign a tune to RAM records sub-label Program. This year you release another on Viper Recordings. What plans do you have for future signings? 

I mean I’m really enjoying writing again. There was a spell after ‘Bassline Secret’, which was released on Program, where I had really bad writers block. I mean for months and months I couldn’t write anything. I think the whole situation overwhelmed me, and I spent too much time worrying about what other people and what they would think of what I was writing, rather than me just making the tunes for myself. This had happened before, when I had my EP out on Screwloose in June, but that was stuff I had written around the same time as ‘Bassline Secret’. Until I started ‘Only One‘ with A.M.C in the summer I hadn’t really made anything for about 6 or 8 months, then that came out in December. Last year was really tough, which is why my output was minimal.

The release on Viper however, all happened really fast! It was just before Christmas when Futurebound hit me up about doing the release, and I had only really just finished the first rough draft of the tunes. Now its out already and has been doing really well, which is always nice. I have to say a massive thanks to everyone who has bought and supported the release. I sometimes don’t think people realise how much it means to artists to have people actually paying for their music!

2014 has already started well and I have got some things in the pipeline that will hopefully happen towards the start of the summer. I have just done a remix for one of my favourite artists, so with any luck that will be around in the near future. I’m just really trying to branch out a bit though. I love making dark and dirty Drum and Bass, but I also love making dance floor stuff and chilled out stuff. People shouldn’t expect to hear the same kind of styles from me in the future.

HTF: Are there any artists within the Drum & Bass scene that you would like to work with? 

Ha, sooooooo many! I’m always up for a collab to be honest. I love working with other people, and I really think it’s the best way to learn new tricks. I also find both producers bring their best strengths to the table, and that normally results in a really good final product. I’m working with a couple of artists at the moment that I have worked with before and artists I haven’t, but in terms of artists I would love to work with, its an endless list! There are very few artists in the scene, or music in general I wouldn’t want to collab with. I know this isn’t exactly the answer you are probably looking for, but it really is too hard to pick and I could start naming names, but we would be here for weeks!

HTF: When it comes to mixing, who would you say is your idol?

Andy C… It’s not even worth explaining why. Its so blatantly obvious if you have ever seen him DJ. On the off chance if you haven’t seen him mixing, when ever the first available opportunity arises, go… Then you will understand.

HTF: And production? 

Again this is almost an impossible question, I draw influences from all artists across all genres, so to pick one, or a couple of artists who I idolise is too hard. I love RAM and Program, its no secret! I don’t remember the last time I was disappointed by a release from the camp. All the guys on both labels are killing it, and they are all idols to me. But equally, anyone in the scene making Drum and Bass is an idol, and all the artists and labels are really smashing it over the last few years, and it feels like the scene is stronger than its ever been. This makes me want to be where everyone else is and push harder for it, so I look up to everyone within the scene.

HTF: You’ve played at events in Bristol’s Motion & London’s Fabric nightclubs. Which events stands out above all others? 

They are all such fun! I love DJing! It’s my first passion really. You get that instant reaction to something you’re doing, and it’s a feeling unlike any other when you look up and a crowd are going nuts to a mix you’ve just done. There are a couple of stand out events that I have played at over the last year. Nozstock festival with the RAM lot was amazing, and was rammed from front to back all night, and the crowd were having it to every tune I played. I also love playing in Bristol, as its like my second home now. Motion is always full of my mates, so it’s a double win when I get to play there, as well as being terrifying because all my mates are there! But it keeps you on your toes!

Both main room sets at RAM, and UKF at Motion are up there for me. Another sick night that I have to mention was Hard Club in Porto. That night was just crazy from start to finish, and the Portuguese ravers started late and ended late, but don’t stop raving from the moment they get there! Realistically, all the times I have played out I they have stood out in some way. I don’t think I have ever played a night anywhere, and left thinking ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’.

HTF: Being an up and coming producer within the Drum & Bass scene, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

It’s a really hard question. As long as I am still involved in the scene, and playing out, and releasing in 5 years, that would be enough for me. I mean with the way Wilkinson and Matrix & Futurebound have smashed the charts recently. The scene is growing, and getting more and more competitive, which is not a bad thing at all, but it means everyone has to be on top of their game all the time.

Still being around in 5 years would be an achievement in itself in my opinion. I could talk about the prospect of albums and stuff, but for me right now, I wouldn’t want to take on an album project, as when I finally do start to think about it, I want it to be in position where I can create something special.

You can check out ‘Rage‘ and ‘Failure To Communicate‘ below, which is available via Beatport and Viper Shop

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