2017 was an immense year for Dub Elements. After crafting and grafting away in their Seville HQ for almost a decade, their hard work is beginning to pay off… Last year saw the duo comprising Selu and Antonio release beats on Viper, Shogun, Prspct, Bassrush and Let It Roll. They played massive shows such as us playing b2b with Neonlight to 20,000 people at Dreambeach and their own Dub Elements & Friends festival with the likes of Noisia, Black Sun Emperor and Alix Perez. They also received than three nominations in the Drum&BassArena Awards, and scooped up second place in the Best Newcomer category.
“To be in the Drum&BassArena Awards was special,” smiles Antonio. “I still remember when I started to visit the site looking for music and news and DJs like 12 years ago! To be invited by them is some really amazing. So yes, 2017 was a huge year for us. But we believe the best is yet to come….”
Their level-raising initiative starts today with the launch of their own label DEM Recordings. A heavyweight two-tracker kicks off the action and reminds us just why Dub Elements have reached the exciting position they have and has already enjoyed support from the likes of Noisia, Black Sun Empire, State of Mind, Optiv, Malux, Mindscape Mob Tactics, Chris Su and many more. Imagination shows their all-out hands-up peaktime feels while Dope is a gully groove tailored for heads down roll-outs. It goes a bit like this…
As they prepare to host their next Dub Elements & Friends festival this Febuary 2-3 (with the likes of Camo & Krooked, SASASAS, DJ Hype, A.M.C & Turno and Calyx & Teebee), we tore them away from their crafting and grafting to find out more about the label…
New year / new label! Tell us everything…
We’re just looking for more freedom! We want to make the music we feel and get it out without having to wait for too long. It helps our creative process, I don’t feel we have to respect a specific format or vibe, sometimes we just need to write music in this way. These were the main reason why we decided to create our own label.
How long has this been in the making?
We got the idea of having a label pretty much since we started our musical career many years ago. Last year it finally took shape. Some colleagues told us they were happy working with Cygnus Music so we asked them in autumn and They helped us in whole the process from the beginning. By the end of year everything was ready to go and the first release is out this week. Much faster and easier than we thought!
Give us the DEM vibe…
If there is something we are totally convinced about it’s this: we are totally openminded. We love all drum & bass, no matter the vibe. So we just plan to release the music we feel without being under any kind of format or cliché. Neuro, deep, liquid, jump up … Even other styles of electronic music, who knows? We’ve been wondering about what image or concept best represents the label and after a few days we concluded that dogs are the perfect fit. We are both true animals lovers. Drum & bass is likes dogs… All the subgenres and styles are like the many breeds. So that’s why you can find two different dogs on the cover of the first release (one of them is my little pug Pika) and you can expect more in this way in the future releases.
You cover a lot of ground across the two tracks of the launch release and showcase how broad the Dub Elements sound can be. Tell us all about the tracks…
I think every single producer just write the music he feels. That’s what we do! I cannot imagine sitting down in the studio and making music you don’t feel. Our music just reflects our changing moods and that’s why you can find so different vibes in our tracks. It just depends of how we feel when we sit into the studio.
We’ve chatted with colleagues about what is best as an artist and how to develop a signature sound. I concluded I just prefer to let it flow. Some people could think it’s better that listeners recognize your sound instantly. That can be dangerous in my opinion, because you can fall into something repetitive and we absolutely don’t want that.
Imagination is dancefloor-inspired, with an epic intro and a powerful drop. I enjoy this kind of intro and the melodies and harmonies. It’s a true challenge for me as musician. Dope is more for mixing. We went deeper, which we’re really enjoying lately… Sometimes D&B can be very stressing to produce as it’s a really fast and energetic music, but when we go deeper and minimal I don’t feel stressed. Especially if I’m working by night or headphones.
You’ve released with a lot of big labels such as Eatbrain, Viper and Prspct. What have you learnt from working with them?
They are really experienced and professional labels that have helped us a lot, of course we’ve learned about how run the things. So many time working with them we just took note about how they work and their philosophy as labels. It would be great to bring DEM to that level with the years, building a big family where everyone who’s joined feels a part of it and want to help to make it become even bigger.
What’s coming up next?
You can expect a lot of music by us in so different vibes for sure. And of course videos and merch. Also we’re already working on a Dub Elements & Friends EP (or maybe album?) with music by the artists who join our festival. With big names already confirmed and a big label event in summer, we’re working really hard on it!
Anything else to add?
We’re looking forward to meeting new people, going to new places, making new music and never stopping working. I want to thank you, too! We’re really UKF fans since it’s beginnings and it’s a pleasure to chat with you.