A few people might have heard me blowing my ‘good-ear’ trumpet recently as over the course of 2014 I watched/listened to a production duo go from atrociously unsung and unknown to landing releases on one of Drum & Bass’s most renowned labels. On first contact with the two lads, known as Nausika, I thought “Fucking hell man these boys will surely be a house-hold name within the year”… and here we are, nearly a year on and they’re well on their way.
Kick back this Wednesday and drift out of the festive blanket and immerse yourselves in our interview with one half of the latest Subtitles signing that is Nausika…
Yes Aron how we doing? Let’s go full frontal, from start to finish; how long have you and Ryan known each other? I heard some daft rumour that it’s only been a year… Surely not?
Yeah we met at Uni last year, so been producing together about 12 months now.
Fucking hell, that’s some pretty intense harmony for a 12 month relationship!? Was it love at first-sweaty-rave-sight, chatting breeze in the smokers’ area at Stealth or something?
Ha! Well surprisingly enough it was just through Uni really. We had initial lectures where people were getting to know each other and such and we just ended up on Soundcloud showing each other tunes. Turned out we both produced on Logic, so we started putting some stuff together and here we are now.
And if you hadn’t met do you think that you guys would still be producing at the same level that you are now?
It’s hard to say, but I would hazard a guess at no. Having someone else constantly giving you an honest, objective point of view on what you’re doing is refreshing, and it helps you push each other to the limits of your capabilities.
For sure. And the couplet, Nausika, is a sound that we adore wholeheartedly. And you’re ages 21 and 19 right?… Is there some older student stuff going on there or are you in separate year groups?
We’re in the same year group but I (Aron) went to a different Uni first before changing course.
And what were you guys studying?
You’re literally the first producers we’ve come across that actually studied music at Uni! How has your recent progress in the industry affected your future career prospects?
Well making music is the majority of what our future career prospects hopefully entail, so pretty well I guess?
And pre-uni, how long had you guys been producing?
Well I (Aron) started messing around with production stuff at about 15, putting together things on Fruity Loops etc, but didn’t really start taking it seriously until about 18, so about 3 years ago, when I first got Logic. Before then I was all about DJ’ing and doing lots of mashups and sampling on crappy computer software, trying to put together my own stuff without any knowledge of or access to DAW’s. As you can imagine it was pretty terrible (but I thought it was amazing at the time as you do ha). Ryan’s been doing it since he was about 13, again using the likes of Fruity Loops and Dance Ejay (remember those banging CD’s you got in the cereal boxes?) but again, only really taking it seriously about 2-3 years ago. Nausika has definitely helped us both up our game and take our previous experience and build up on it in as professional a manner as possible.
Given your backgrounds, what were your original attractions to Drum & Bass?
It’s got to be the raw energy more than anything else. Nothing makes a dancefloor move more than a proper dark roller. As well as that there’s also the intricacy of the production. You can do so much with a 170 beat and even though Amens will never get old, it’s really refreshing to see people constantly pushing the boundaries of drum and bass.
And what does Nausika actually mean?
Nausika’s the name of a Greek princess that I remember reading about as a kid in school . We just thought it was a cool name and stuck with it.
I’m sure she’d be pleased to know that she’s now being celebrated through heavy sub-frequencies and sweat-drenched ravers. Let’s talk about the first experience that I had with the Greek princess; ‘Dominion’. When this demon came lurching out of the musical dark it stuck with me for months, exploding out of any speaker I could jack my phone/laptop into and considering how massively low-key you guys were at the time, it felt like I had a secret special banger in my pocket that no one else knew about. And trust when I say that those exposed to the tune went fucking nuts for it. Did/do you feel similar love for the track / Know what you were on to at the time?
Well first of all thanks for the kind words and support, we do really like that track especially and it was at a point for us where we thought we had some stuff that we really wanted to get out there and heard. It should be coming on Blu Mar Ten Music at some point in early 2015 which we’re really proud about.
Woah hold the fucking phone mate!! Dominion’s getting a release on Blu Mar Ten Music!? When did this happen!?
We sent the track over to BMT quite a few months ago after sitting on it for a while, working out where it would best fit. Blu Mar Ten were the perfect choice, as they are such a renowned label with loads of great releases we really enjoy, and we really felt it could suit their style and sound. Thankfully they felt the same and after working on another bit for them we’ve arrived at a finished product
Is it daunting getting picked up so quickly by such large names in the 170 scene? A chance to release on BMTM is something special for sure…
It’s really exciting, and more so inspiring for us that we’ve had such great support so early on. Releasing on BMTM is a fantastic opportunity and we’re really looking forward to getting it out there
Ever since you lads dropped “Dominion” I’ve been wild excited for you guys to finally break through and get your recognition – it really hasn’t taken long at all for that time to come around – Subtitles Music. You’re under the guide of the Tee man now. How did it all come about?
We just sent them over tracks that we started to feel had a lot of potential, and thankfully we had a great response from Teebee and Chris Parkinson at Subtitles. We went back and forth with a couple more bits, taking as much advice as we could along the way and thankfully now we’ve ended up with a debut EP that we’re really proud of.
How does it feel to be on the same label that’s harboured the sound of some of the industries’ biggest, most complex and innovative producers with downright ridiculously tight production – including Noisia, Spor, Break, Phace and Ulterior Motive just to name a few?
Yeah it’s a real honour to have our name sit alongside the likes you’ve mentioned above, not only due to the fact we love their music, but also for the fact that they have all played a very prominent part in inspiring us to start producing in the first place.
And of course, the Pressure EP itself. Talk us through it – Have we tracks in there that TeeBee heard and signed you for or was it all constructed once you were signed?
It was a mixture of both really, we sent over the tracks bit by bit until we had a solid product that would work together.
I think it’s safe to say that the Drum & Bass community has welcomed the EP with wide open arms – have any of your heroes been dropping the tracks?
Yeah we’ve had an incredible response, especially from the promo mailing list, people seem to be really enjoying it which we’re incredibly pleased about. The brief list below is some of the guys that have left us great reviews and are supporting the tunes in DJ sets: Calyx & Teebee, Blu Mar Ten, Skeptical, Lynx, Culture Shock, TC, Nymfo, Reza, John B, DJ Patch, Krust, Reid Speed, Loz Contreras.
Fuck man, even Krust getting his two cents in. That’s sick. And what are your feelings towards the EP?
Really happy to see the release finally, and even though we’ve heard it about a million times, we still retain that aspect of enjoyment when we listen back from time to time, so that can only be a good thing right?
Of course, you should always have at least some measure of love for your own work. So if we, the people, wanted to see you guys play out, where should we be headed? I hear your both in Leeds now is that right?
Yeah that’s right. We’re supporting a Metalheadz night at Central Beatz in Leeds in March. Other than that the schedule is pretty free at the minute coming off the back of a long production period.
Leeds is a fair step away from both of your home towns, how did you guys end up there?
With the city having such a great nightlife, as well as the Uni having top notch facilities for music, it was always going to be up there on the list of choices.
On the location theme… if you could play out anywhere… the dream set… where would it be?
Moat, Outlook Festival.
Yes! Yes… the fucking moat. What about a dream collaboration? With anyone alive or dead?
And with dreams in mind what do you guys think the future holds for yourselves, musically speaking?
Well our aim is to continue to work on our production skills and keep putting out high quality releases. That and it’s also our dream to be lucky enough to travel the world with our music, but who wouldn’t say that?
Any tips for the aspiring producers/artists of the world?
Well, we’re still learning everyday, but in terms of what we’ve picked up so far, more than anything it would just be to follow your passion. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, especially yourself. Also particularly for drum and bass, get out and experience as much live music as you can, as this can give you so much inspiration and new ideas. Seeing and understanding what works on the dance floor first hand is pivotal.
Boys, it’s been a pleasure to not only speak to you guys but see that you’re climbing the ladder like you bloody well deserve. I had the faith and hopes that it would happen as I’m sure you both did and it’s wicked to see the hopes becoming a reality. We can only wish you all the best in the future and thanks once again for giving us your time for a chat!
No problem guys, thanks very much
Seriously 2015 heads of the DnB scene, keep your eyes peeled on these two.
If you were feeling the vibe and you’re an all round 170 obsessive then you can catch these boys smashing it out for that March show in Leeds, supporting a night dedicated to 20 years of Metalheadz with new rising talent and recent Mix the Belt maestro, PRTCL, in the same room, not to mention original Headz legends like Randal & crowned king, the Doct Scott, (who we were lucky enough to interview at the end of last year in conjunction with the release of the Future Beats Album on 31 Records) tearing it up in room 1. Find out more and get involved here.
Grab the Pressure EP on vinyl/digital here.