Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Featured Artist: Altered Natives

Podcast 3 saw us play Rass Out by Altered Natives, probably his most well known tune but one that highlights only a fragment of his production output.

Playing alongside Joy Orbison, Julio Bashmore, Darkstar, and Mount Kimbie this Friday at The Big Chill House, we got on the blower to Danny Native to chat about his forward-thinking sound, his vast experience in the business, the excitement of current music scene, and his home-town of London.

So how would you describe your sound?

I've lived in London all my life, having grown up in Hackney, I've never lived out of the city though I've lived all over different parts of London. I love my city. I love the fact that it's so diverse and we've got so many different cultures and races all melted together; that is my sound really, it's a diverse mish-mash of every culture. It contains every element of every culture there is.

I've never been a person to stick in one kind of scene. I'm sure if I'd just stayed in house music for a couple of years I'd be a better known name but I like to be diverse and free with my writing.

I've never sat down and been more of a square peg in a square hole if you know what I mean.

Your songs are generally very percussive/rhythm based, do you play any instruments yourself?

No, not really. I got my first real taste of messing with beats was when I was a kid. I used to make tapes and tapes of loops using a double deck tape recorder, and loop in bits of my favourite tracks and that was the start of it.

I'd actually chop up beats by pausing and starting, trying to make my own beat out of a beat, they all sounded shit but that's where I started. But no, I've never had a drum lesson in my life, but I know how a drum kit works, I'm fully aware of how a drummer plays them; I can write beats in a way that it sounds live and it would be playable by a drummer.

I love drums, I've always been a fan of drum samples and sampling. I guess that's kind of a hip hop thing really, the love of drum samples.

Since the release of the Rass Out EP early last year, probably your best known record, which featured in Martyn's Fabric mix at the beginning of this year, how has your musical life changed?

Rass Out was written over three years ago. I remember the first time I played it, it was in a broken beat club.

When I play, I kind of play production sets, although I do play bits of other people's music too but because I make so much music I'm at liberty to play three or four hours of purely my own production. I remember playing Rass Out and people were like 'what the fuck'. It became a bit of a broken beat anthem before the US house guys and the UK house guys started playing it and then it ended up a bit of a UK funky anthem.

It was mad to actually have created something that was appreciated by dubstep heads and UK funky fans as well as house DJs. Last year was a bad year for me personally so I didn't entirely celebrate the success of it.

It raised awareness of what I'm doing though. People will now hit me up and ask me about my last album and old stuff that was released in the past and they're appreciating it, it's nice.

I've got quite a lot of stuff coming out this year off the back of it so this year should be a good year.

Are you sick of Rass Out?

No I wouldn't say I'm sick of it because it's probably the biggest achievement I've ever made.

In terms of a song that has crossed over and been appreciated on more than one platform, I don't think many people have actually really done that. You'd never get a house tune that's appreciated so much by a dubstep crowd, so it's mental.

Everyone can appreciate the energy and the drums on it, everyone can get with that groove, you can't not nod your head to it. We've just entered the greatest time in dance music, everyone's openned up a bit, everyone's diversifying their sound. You've got DJs like Martyn and Kode9 who're playing fucking everything, and people are kind of following that and diversifying what they put in their music.

Are there any artists who particularly influenced you as you started out or have you always tried to pave your own path?

I've never been overly influenced by music. All my influences come from life experiences really. People who have come to know me, sometimes when they listen to my music they'll ask what the hell was wrong with me that day and stuff like that.

You can tell if I'm in a good mood or bad mood through my music, it's kind of like a diary for me because I write on a daily basis. I get pissed off if I don't write. If I go away on holiday, I get tetchy, I know I'm supposed to be relaxing but I relax better when I'm writing. I don't intend to stop or ever want to stop. I'm happy and blessed that people are starting to enjoy what I'm doing because it doesn't begin or end anywhere for me, it's just constantly flowing.

I just want to keep it like that and enjoy the rest of my life doing something I love doing. With the music industry it's all to easy to accept what's played to you, not many people will dig and dig, it's all too easy to be led.

Especially DJs as well, it's easy to be a top DJ and buy all the same tunes as all the others.

Do you have any favourite producers at the moment or any people you've played with who've stood out?

There are a lot of younger producers who are coming through that I'll support.

I found when I was coming through writing music, no one wanted to help me or give me their support. The music industry is very selfish in the way that people will try and grab every opportunity but keep it for themselves.

No one helped me to get to where I am or do what I do.

When I was younger I only had a couple of people who believed in what I did and really pushed my sound. Phil Asher was a big UK house producer and DJ, mates with Masters at Work and all that lot; he really pushed my name and played every track I've ever done from the very first one I ever did as Altered Natives. That really helped, and inspired me, gave me a bit of strength. It's nice to know that you've got someone who believes in what you're doing because there's a million fuckers out there trying to do what I'm doing. But I mean, there's a bunch of young UK producers who are coming up and making names for themselves now.

I kind of see myself as their big brother and try to give them my advice and support whenever it's needed.

Are you a fan of Julio Bashmore and Mount Kimbie, and other acts playing with you this Friday?

Julio, Joy Orbison, all these guys coming through, they're changing up the face of what's going on.

Julio Bashmore's take on house is fresh, bringing new angles and perspectives. Bok Bok, and L-Vis 1990, they've got a nice sound coming on, as well as Beat Technology.

It makes me really proud to be involved with it.

Before, everything seemed so segregated, now everyone's sound seems to compliment each other, it's almost like someone's found all the jigsaw pieces and is now fitting them together.

This year's going to be a good year for a lot of people, I'm just excited to see how it all pans out. On a personal level, I can't say I ever envisaged myself on 3024 but I obviously am now. I guess it's just how it all falls into place.

Danny has his own show on DeJa Vu Fm called 'The Altered Natives Radio' show, going out every Thursday night from 8-10pm, playing broken beat, house, hip hop and dubstep as well as exclusive productions from the man himself...

Check the MYSPACE for more music and upcoming gigs.

Enjoy this track from the new album, and grab the one below available for download for a few more days...




Post a Comment

Template Created by : smadamr