After almost 10 years of releases on some of the most reputable, influential labels in drum & bass – including Dispatch, Invisible, Bad Taste, Eatbrain and Horizons – Nickbee has launched his own imprint: Axon Records.
Named after the connective neurons that conduct electrical impulses around our body, Axon is Nick’s deepest connection to date: A stable to develop his own signature and champion the elements of drum & bass that inspire him the most.
“I’m hearing too much casual music,” explains NickBee, who we interviewed last year about being an electronic artist based in war-torn Ukraine.
“Sometimes a lack of soul and musicality. It’s just material. Something to DJ with. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot of very good drum & bass around but I want to explore the old school drum & bass ideology that inspired me to begin with. When there was power but also a strong melody and those beautiful long intros for example. I love it when drum & bass creates strong emotions and that’s the vibe I want to create with Axon.”
The launches with his own one-track single Alter Ego. A mystic, lead-boot swaggering halftime odyssey that’s dense in layers and drama and a breakdown to melt inside of, it’s a statement in itself; this is no ordinary NickBee neuro knees up – this is a deep, smoky trip that marks the entrance into his own personal music world where only freedom is encouraged… And one-track releases should be expected.
“I don’t want to spoil things,” he explains. “I’m going to release just one track per release for now. Less is more now. I notice with EPs and albums maybe one track goes well but the rest are lost. I think it’s important to just focus on one track at a time and make it very special. Just the best possible production and quality. It will not be set to just one direction, too. I don’t want to be limited to anything but good, emotional bass music.”
Axon – a label he runs with designer Matt PSD and fellow artist James HKay – won’t exclusively focus on Nickbee’s own productions; he’s already talking to peers who inspire him and have that sense of musicality and soul he’s looking to make the label’s signature. The next act we’re likely to see on the label will be Baltic trio Mean Teeth.
“If I really like a song and I can feel it’s real then I will release it,” he tells us. “It’s all about realness and supporting the people behind the realness. There’s no schedule or big plan. It’s a lot more natural than that. It’s not for business, it’s for my own personal love of music. I’ve been in music for 10 years now and I think it’s time I put my own signature on things. It’s not something I have felt confident to do until now. This is something you learn from working with other labels and something you develop as an artist – understanding what I want to hear and what I would like from a label. That time is now; I want to show the world how drum & bass has inspired me musically and emotionally.”
Promising more musicality and emotion in the coming months, Axon could potentially be conducting electrical impulses around our bodies for a long time to come.
Follow Axon: Soundcloud