Point Of Origin: The sound of Shogun Audio celebrating the new generation of drum & bass producers

There should be some type of law that requires every record label to release an annual V/A album that exclusively celebrates the new generation. An album that strictly puts the freshest of freshmen under the spotlight.

Not only do these types of albums explore ideas of where the genre is heading sonically, but they also act as a future echo of what line-ups might look like in five to ten years time. Perhaps most importantly, they’re a clear message to all aspiring producers that the doors are open, there are opportunities and the pursuit of the insanely high benchmarked task of drum & bass production.

Shogun Audio’s Point Of Origin album series is the perfect example. Previous editions of the series featured the likes of Ed.It, Posij, Voltage, GLXY, QZB, Satl, Was A Be, Ill Truth, Mitekiss and many more names who have rapidly eked closer to household name status. The third edition, released late last month, is no exception. If anything, it digs even deeper into the future.

Featuring the likes of Monrroe, Aperio, Rizzle, Revaux, Macca & Loz Contreras, Data 3, Koherent, Javano, Monika, Sustance and many more, once again it’s another brisk blast of future and a reminder of how deep and dynamic the Shogun sound has always been. Now in its third year, we called up Peter van Dongen. Not only is he the album’s main A&Rs who works closely with Friction making sure they’ve excavated the pearliest of future gems for the album, but he’s one half of Deadline. As a rising act themselves, if anyone understands the importance of a concept and opportunity of albums such as Point Of Origin, it’s him. Find out more…

Point Of Origin Vol 3: a simple case of picking up where you left off with the second edition last year?

For sure, Ed (Friction) and I bonded over this project and working with emerging talent. Now it’s very much become a staple focus in our calendar year and an important part of the label’s annual releases.

You’re the best man on the label to work on such a project, being an emerging artist yourself, right?

Ed A&Ring your own tracks is daunting! But the appeal of doing a project like this is having that guidance.  Having someone like Ed giving you tips and tricks when you’re finding your sound and open to ideas is priceless.

I think every label should do this by law. It shows that opportunities are there for new generations!

Yeah, it’s to encourage new producers. I can imagine it’s more difficult now to make it as an artist than it was 10 years ago. It’s a saturated market and there is a sense that labels aren’t lending a hand to new artists as much as they maybe should. Concepts like these encourage new artists to get involved. Like I remember listening to Break tunes and thinking ‘I’ll never get to that level’. I’m still not, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Absolutely. It’s proof that demos get listened to as well…

100 percent. If great music comes through and we’re in a position to sign it and get it to the right people then we want to help them.

When did you start working on this new Point Of Origin album and looking for new music to sign?

As soon as the last one went out the door! Ed and I sit down and regularly go through all the new stuff we’ve been sent. Either to the label or direct to Ed as a lot of people send him music on a daily basis for his sets. Even though Ed has moved on with his own music, he’s heavily involved in terms of Shogun and development of new artists. He’s always sending me things from new producers. On this album we were like ‘damn, we need to get this on the album!’… Even down the very last minute. But that’s the shared spirit across the whole team at Shogun; we’re all into it, we’re all D&B fans, we’re at the shows, we’re hearing what people are playing, we read the articles likes ones on your site and we’re constantly on the look out for new sounds, new artists and new dubs.

Things go right to the wire then?

Absolutely. The Monika track, Intentions, came in right at the last moment via the demo inbox. The minute I heard it I was like ‘shit, we need to get this on there!’ The music was just too good not to include.

Any more demo inbox additions like that?

Yeah a few. Javano is brand new and he came in through the demo inbox. Such a talented producer, you can hear in his music that he’s got an exciting future ahead of him. He’s kinda got this Marcus Intalex vibe but with his own spin on it. Reflektor’s Hold On Me was another one, too. When I first heard the track I was just blown away by the beautiful pads and such a killer vocal. I sat back and thought ‘I’ve haven’t heard drum & bass like this before, this is unique’

That’s quite a hard experience when you’re making D&B, DJing it and working on a label

Yeah exactly. It’s a humbling reminder that you should always listen to everything you’ve been sent and have an open mind.

That’s what the Point Of Origin album is about essentially, right?

Definitely. That’s what drum & bass is about! And in terms of Shogun, it’s about how varied and deep our interests and passions for the music go. We’ve got the heavy hitters like Joe Ford and Document One, we’ve got the deep soulful guys like Pola & Bryson and Technimatic. In between all of those points is the Point Of Origin; that raw creativity from artists who are really hungry for the exposure and opportunity to rise to the challenge. It’s been one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve worked on in my career so far.

Point Of Origin Volume 3 is out now

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