Meet Brian and Russ AKA No Concept, a brand-new act signed exclusively to Drumsound & Bassline Smith’s label Technique.
You may already know them… They’ve spent the last two years building up a hench body of tech-heavy work on A.M.C’s Titan imprint. You may also know Brian as old school UKF regular Dubba Jonny and if you’ve spent any time partying on the UK south coast you will also know Russ as Russla, one of the promoters behind Bournemouth’s erstwhile bass hub Subsoil.
Now operating as No Concept, they’ve catapulted themselves into the dance with a debut Technique EP entitled Soundcheck. A heady blend of styles and vibes ranging from the vibrant euphoria and bone-shaking bassline of Nowhere To Hide to the outright bangs and grizzles of 4 Dayz, it’s a bold opening statement that complements Technique perfectly. Here’s where they’re at right now…
First you were Glass Cobra, no you’re No Concept. What’s the story?
Brian: Yeah we’re really happy with how the Glass Cobra project went but after a few releases we took stock of things, thought about what we were doing and wanted to develop it even more. Around the time we were talking to Simon [Bassline Smith] and things all ramped up from there.
It’s good to see you’re not denying your musical aliases!
Brian: Yeah you’re right. No mysteries here. No secrets!
How did you two hook up then? Are you both Bournemouth-based?
Brian: We know each other from the Bournemouth scene but I’d moved to London. Russ has been killing it as an established DJ in the area and we met at a booking I think.
Russ: Yeah that’s right. I ran a night called Subsoil with my mate Dave (DJ DRTY). He handled the dubstep line-ups while I booked the D&B line-ups, Dave booked Brian and that’s how we met.
Russ you’ve come from a classic path: DJing, then production.
Russ: Yeah I was addicted to mixing from the moment I learnt to beatmatch. Six or seven hours a day until I had it polished then hustled for bookings. It’s the usual path, though, isn’t it? Start DJing, start your own night, meet artists, get inspired and start producing yourself and playing bigger shows.
When did you both sit down and write a track together?
Brian: Russ was just getting into production and I said I’d talk him through things and help him learn the ropes. So a little bit of that and a lot of us just being mates and hanging out and it kinda happened. We were writing things for years before we put a name to them or thought about putting them out.
Russ: The first track of ours released was actually on Brian’s Dubba Jonny album Fire. Then we went down the dancefloor route, Brian moved into my place and things ramped up a lot. That’s when we did our first release Up.
Was it always going to be drum & bass?
Brian: We did dabble with 140 things back in the day, we tried some glitch hop…
Russ: A bit of trap!
Brian: Cheeky bit of trap. But we settled on drum & bass – that’s where we felt our sound sat the most naturally.
Breaking through on Titan in 2016 was a strong look. That was a premium year for the heavier style
Russ: Yeah we became really obsessed with sound design and coming up with something new and exploring the technical side of our production. Titan were perfect to develop with and those releases were a great way of developing.
Developing into No Concept. I guess the clue is in the title… Expect the unexpected?
Brian: Definitely. We’ve got all kinds of styles and things ready. Dancefloor bits, deeper bits, things with MCs. We’re trying to have an open mind and not limit ourselves.
So the Soundcheck EP is the biggest thing you’ve done. How long has this new stage been in the making?
Brian: It’s been a while. At one point it started as a demo when we were sending it to Technique so that was way back last Sept. One of those tracks – 4 Dayz – is from that initial batch but has been heavily tweaked since then. But Nowhere To Hide is a lot newer. We started that in December, did an edit earlier this year and it came together.
So finally please big each other up. What are you both good for in this operation?
Brian: Russ is the big bollocks DJ. He smashes it way more than I can. Proper four deck mixing, tune-a-minute madness, I can’t keep up.
Russ: I suppose from my side it’s got to be Brain’s song writing. He’s helped me hone my music theory which is something you don’t think about much as a DJ. So I’ve got that insight from him and really developed my understanding about music in that way. I think we’ve got a good balance between us and help each other really well.