An Interview With – Paradox

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Back once again with the ill behaviour.

We took to the net in search of one of DnB’s very best producers and owner of one of it’s most unique labels…

Paradox; a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.

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Hi Dev, hope you’re all good! You’ve just returned from a tour of the US, how did it go?

Hi there. Yeah the Usa tour was really cool, a lot of fun with good crowds and enthusiastic followers. I’m a bit of a tourist too so I like to see the states I visit and I was fortunate to do some pretty decent things. There were a few scrappy moments with airlines but when you perform live Pa’s and hardware there is always freight drama.

Was there a favourite show of the lot?

No favorite out of the tour really. It’s always a privilege to travel overseas as I’m being invited to perform my own stuff which is an honor in itself. All hosts are brave, what with the equipment riders for the live shows, plus I’m not a cheap date.

You’re a man with an incredible discography behind you. I’m talking serious numbers of releases. Largely so in the D&B area and more specifically the furious realms of Jungle. How did you discover this genre?

Many years ago myself and Dj Trax were making fast hip-hop with funk breaks at hardcore tempos and we submitted tracks to labels and were luckily enough to sign professional contracts with Moving Shadow. We were listening to labels like Reinforced, XL, Network and R&S at the time so we were being influenced by the fresh rave scene in the early days.

And were you heading out into the night in search of the sound on a weekend, rolling in at 8am with sweat still on your brow or were you more of a bedroom listener?

Being on a label that was the corner stone of jungle we were constantly going out to parties. It was unavoidable being on Moving Shadow to be honest. Weekends would start on a thursday and end on a monday.

And do you listen to a lot of D&B? Or do you make room for other genres in your listening time?

I do listen to DnB, mostly other artists I’m into but I listen to mixes from various dj’s so I get to hear stuff I wouldn’t generally come across too. Other genres of course is paramount so I listen to a wide range from 70’s Funk and Jazz to Deep House.

Any artists or songs in particular? A current favorite perhaps?

Artists wise in DnB I like pieces from Gremlinz, Synkro, Amit, Naibu, Lynx etc. I like artists with Identity.

Do you ever think you’ll ever stray away from D&B production? It seems pretty common amongst many producers today that they want to make everything and anything. Is that something you wish to embrace or want to decline?

You’ll never see me making dubstep or pop music. I’m a b-boy at heart so everything follows a funk breakbeat code. I’ve released over 45 slower tempo titles on vinyl so I get to release non-dnb and I need this also for myself, but I guess at the end of the day I’m just a professional drum programmer and that’s what I stick to regardless of the speed.

So you’re a furious Jungle renegade, bringing your own wild industrial flavour to the table. You’re hardly comparable to any other producer that I know of really. There’s something incredibly alive and rich in your music. Is that something you feel comes from within you or is it something else?

I’m quite militant and that comes from experience. There are other producers that transform that onto vinyl and you can clearly hear it on a club rig, and there are others that follow trends and create what’s big and happening at the time which isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just not my cup of tea.

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So when you produce a track are you pulling in things/emotions from past experiences? Or does your music just kind of happen? What’s the thought process?

Past emotions play a big part. Alaska compositions in particular reflect on sorrow and I try to put that down on vinyl. I love sadness alongside powerful drums. I sketch with pen and paper when I’m writing stuff and don’t turn on the studio without a clue what I want to do.

Did you always know that you were going to do something to do with music? Be a producer?

I’d spend hours reading Roland synth brochures without knowing what they really did as a kid and when I got my first sampling keyboard that changed everything.

When we released our first 12” and saw the record spinning and hearing a needle play what we had created in our bedrooms, deep down I knew this could be a job for life.

What’s it like to be a producer in an age where music sharing is so easy and software for production is so readily available? It must have its fair share of pros and cons?

A double-edged sword to be honest. As a record label owner it’s a headache and a growing concern and as a recording artist at times it’s a saviour. Maybe because I live abroad I need it more than ever as a professional musician, but I try to balance it out for my peace of mind.

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You’ve got an incredibly special release on the way. You could you tell us a little more about it?

Yes the 150th vinyl release is out on October 14th on Paradox Music entitled ‘Jupiter 89 / I Led You’ and to mark the occasion no expense has been spared for vinyl lovers. The 12” comes with Red & Gold vinyl housed in new die-cut logo jackets and pressed on to 180 gram heavyweight wax. Not only that, the 12” comes with a limited edition Paradox Music Mug, free mp3’s and to round it off the package is relatively cheap too.

There aren’t many musicians, bands, producers etc. that could say they’ve had over 100 releases, let alone 150. You must be proud of your achievements?

I was chatting to Paul Total Science about this on tour in America. Him and Quiff have also notched up over 100 12”s too – legends. There are four or five of us in DnB that have the ball & chain title I think. Proud? Never think about it really mate. Of course this 150th release is documented for press reasons but I’m not an accolade hunter and not the twitter love-letter type to gush about what I’ve done in my career.

If you could produce a track with any band/producer/singer etc. who would it be and why? What kind of track would it be?

A breakbeat rap track with Rakim with drums patterns fitting vocal syllables. Proper hip-hop.

Dream performance location for a Live PA?

A small club with black walls, low black ceiling and a sound system as that caters as my monitors.

What do you think the future holds for yourself and your music?

Difficult to say, but then again if someone told me ten years ago I’d go on to release my 150th vinyl I’d ask them what they were smoking.

Any tips for aspiring producers out there?

At first never send a Dj or label too much music. Send two or three of your strongest tracks and if they are interested they will be back for more.

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No applause, no glory, no fan chaser, no shit. This is a man that deserves every ounce of respect a musician/listener/raver/producer can give but demands none. A man about music.

BIG respect for a too-modest Legend.

Paradox, you’re a Hero.

Get your copy of the Jupiter 89 / I Led You 150th Special Edition release (12″) here

The Label – paradoxmusic.com
The Sound – soundcloud.com/paradox-music
The Visual – youtube.com/user/paradoxmusicuk

JOSH

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