Forming from smouldering embers of deep dubstep act Requake in 2011, Belgian trio Bredren have spent the last seven years in pure stealth mode, casually dropping lean, heavy and spatial 170 workouts then disappearing from the scene of the crime, back into the shadows without so much of a word of warning.
Delivered by the likes of Demand, Proximity, Fokuz, Dispatch, Diffrent, Flexout and Blendits, supported by the likes of Noisia, Skeptical, Alix Perez and S.P.Y; these casual strikes are getting more significant and louder with every delivery.
Following their debut Dispatch EP earlier this year came another powerful minimal excursion on Demand that’s been so successful there are no shadows left to return to: the thundering stepper Backlash and the swampy halftime gloop of The Sewers have been such pivotal tracks for the trio earlier this month they hit number two spot in the Beatport chart… Second only to Noisia’s remix of Pendulum.
The heat continues with at least two more major EPs to drop in the coming months and their own series of Bredren Invites events in their hometown Brussels, all of which have all been reported to be roadblocks so far.
We caught up with them to find out more.
Trio eh? A lot of creative input… How do you manage this?
Dieter: We try to come together once in two weeks and all tunes must start with all of us together. Sebastian is the technical guy, he’s the one behind the buttons
Sebastien: They’re like ‘yeah add a snare, add a hi hat, do this, try that’
Adrien: We come with the vibe and the ideas and most the time we play the sets live, too. Sebastian doesn’t play live so much.
Not a DJ, Sebastien?
Sebastien: I do prefer being the studio. When we started this project I had another project going on so was already DJing with that. I do enjoy playing a set. It’s nice. But it’s easy that I’m only the producer. If we were all producers we’d be too technical and constantly trying to do new things. We have a better flow this way.
Adrien: Dieter and I wanted to make drum & bass and had lots of ideas so we asked Sebastien, who I was already in Requake with, to get involved because we knew he was so good on the buttons. We just joined forces. That created how we are now and how we work.
Let’s go back to Requake for a minute. You can still hear that deep bass signature in Bredren too, especially on tracks like The Sewers.
Sebastien: Yeah we had a lot of fun with that. I think that’s what a lot of original fans have been attracted to. They knew we came from Requake and they can hear those deep dark wobbly basses and some of the fans really like that sound in drum & bass. We do go back to the roots in that way.
Adrien: That original sound and mood that we had with Requake has never been lost in that way. It’s an aesthetic and vibe that can work in both tempos.
Tell me about the vibe of Belgium. Drum & bass-wise Belgium’s probably best known for its jump up right now!
Dieter: There’s a few nice concerts here. Not a huge amount but the ones that exist are really good. Obviously you have Rampage inviting 15,000 people here which is amazing for the scene in general. Meanwhile Star Warz is super respected on the more underground side.
Adrien: I guess there is a big jump up thing happening here but we’re so into our own sound and thing we haven’t followed it all.
Yeah you’re pretty busy. It’s been a strong year already. First your debut EP on Dispatch and now back on Demand. Demand have been consistent in your discog almost from day one.
Adrien: Demand have been amazing and given us a lot of support and confident. They do a lot to get their music out there and really believe in the releases. We’ve never had such high chart positions with a release before. Total respect to them and everyone who’s bought the new EP.
Total respect to Proximity too, right?
Dieter: Yeah totally! Basher was the first man to sign us. Six years ago now. It was cool because Pulsar was actually the first tune we ever made and it got released right away. That was a great way to start.
Adrien: I think we booked Basher for our own event. That’s the way we got in touch with him. He came and played and we gave him our demo. He said ‘I want to sign this immediately’
Sebastien: He wasn’t drunk when he said that by the way!
So you’ve been running nights for your whole career then? I thought that was a new thing with your Bredren Invites events…
Adrien: Yeah for quite a while. Dieter has been doing parties with another friend. They were just throwing nights in and around Brussels but we’ve started to develop much more of a brand around Bredren Invites now.
Dieter: We have a great deal with one of the best clubs in Brussels and it’s a really cool way to push our sound and work with the people we really admire and respect.
What have been the highlights of your Bredren Invites nights so far?
Adrien: We’ve had the vibe right every night so far. First we had Lenzman, a liquid night with a lot of soulful vibes. Then we had Alix Perez, that was crazy and a real wicked night, jam packed and a lot of positive reactions. But the best was S.P.Y and Arkaik. That sold out. There wasn’t enough room!
Sebastien: That was my favourite night too. The night before we were in the studio with him and made a track and he played it. I was just in the crowd and the reaction was nice. He rewound it, too. That was really nice.
Dieter: It was mental. Nights can be a lot of stress with a lot of running around but this was emotional. To get so many people together in one room and to have that vibe was very special.
And with Arkaik, too. You go way back… He remixed Red Powder didn’t he? I’m guessing you all crossed paths on Flexout?
Dieter: I’ve done a little tour with him in China because he lives there now and we got to know each other. We send each other a lot of tunes and give feedback and play it out. We have a good connection. He’s one of the first to get any of our tunes
Including this current Demand EP?
Dieter: Actually, yes he was. He’s always fond of these tracks that are a bit harder. Stabby ones like Mechanica and now Backlash. His favourite was Red Powder which he got to remix. It’s funny he’s known for the minimal sound but he loves those harder ones.
Adrien: We’re very much on the same page with him. We understand each other musically.
Who else is on that level with you?
Adrien: Definitely M-Zine and Scepticz. We have the most contact with them. They hear things that we don’t and always have great technical feedback and a lot of support. We love those guys.
Dieter: Also fellow Belgian Phase and 187 who is the man behind Star Warz. He’s been deep in the scene for 20 years now and his feedback is always on point. We also send tunes to guys like Alix and Skeptical and appreciate their feedback and support. We’ve had a lot of amazing support and it’s always incredible when someone you look up to is playing your music.
So what’s up next?
Dieter: We have some releases coming up…. Two EPs are done so far, one is with Philth and one is a solo EP… But we can’t say anything more about that right now. It’s very exciting.
Nice! Finish this interview by revealing your weirdest studio habits please.
Dieter: When I go out and have a cigarette I listen to the tune we’re making and I have dance on my own. Then come back and tell the guys about it.
Adrien: Does our beer collection count?
Erm… Yeah go on then.
Adrien: When we used to start doing sessions we had a lot of Duvels. Strong Belgian beers to get us in the mood. We ended up with a collection of the bottles in the window. They’re still there now. But we’ve recently switched to water. We’re too busy to drink. We’re finally becoming serious guys now!