The names Konichi and Decimal Bass carry some weighty connotations. Two guys from Cheltenham, as individuals they produce enough sonic power to power a small hospital. But put them together as Annix and you have a duo of such seismic, visceral and full-bodied proportions you could power the entire NHS.
Based in the jump up trenches but hitting hard in all sonic shapes and sizes, if you’ve never seen Annix live then you’re seriously missing out; their sets and their discography seamlessly blend all drum & bass styles whilst staying rooted in that familiar Annix grittiness that has the distinctive Playaz stamp and signature foundation OG Hype has spent his career fine-tuning.
“He’s definitely a good guy to work with,” they say about the man who they’ve called boss since signing to the label in 2012. “He tells you how it is and doesn’t beat around the bush, which is nice when you want to improve. You don’t want someone who’s constantly telling you everything is amazing…”
Ironically a huge deal of Annix’s body of work so far can genuinely be described as amazing. Last year’s album Forever (their second LP on Playaz) galvanised the duo’s widest possible vision and ensured their reputation was known across the entire drum & bass spectrum. And they same can be said for their newest creation – The Dog Knows. A six-track dispatch that packs a big bark and an even bigger bite, it features collaborations with the mighty Turno plus individual contributions from both members. We caught up with them and discovered some unknown facts about this already infamous D&B machine.
They got into music together while at school and did a Metallica cover concert
“We’ve been mates since we were 11, went all through school together and started making music in our second year, so year eight, just messing about really. At the time, it was a very weird music to be interested in, a couple of our mates liked it but it wasn’t how it is now, where you see loads of younger people into it. Maybe it was just where we were, (Cheltenham) and there is some stuff going on now but not at all back then.
“We played in bands as well, at that stage we weren’t drum n bass producers, it was more just messing around and we were doing whatever we felt like – we weren’t trying to be drum n bass producers at all. We actually did a Metallica gig when we were about twelve, in the school to a bunch of parents – that was quite interesting. They were sat there thinking what the fuck is this?”
They produce jump up and deeper music differently
“In terms of preference, we make a lot more jump up so that would be our favourite style to produce, but some days we’re just in that mood where you want to try out something different.
“We nail the vibe quicker with jump up, whereas with more musical tracks we might spend longer messing with various chord patterns or melodies. I guess on the jump up stuff we get into doing some sound design and the whole vibe comes together quite quickly, we have certain techniques for that. It’s a more entrenched process, whereas lighter or deeper music is more random, it can take longer.”
There’s no deeper meaning behind the name of their new EP: The Dog Knows
“The name came from a sample in one of the tunes, which sounded cool, plus I had a dog. That’s where the whole dog concept came from, then we had that cool photo and in one of the tunes it says “the dog knows”, so we just went with that. It wasn’t anything that meaningful [laughs]. We thought it sounded weird and quirky, so why not?
“The track selection was fairly spontaneous as well. We’ve got loads more that we’re working on, but The Dog Knows is more a bunch of tracks just made for the dancefloor. We did the album last year where we put a lot of thought into which tracks we wanted to use and why, whereas with this EP it was just six tracks that were going down really well live.
“It’s part of the reason we got Turno involved really, to get that pure dancefloor sound. He came to stay for a couple of days, we know each other really well and so it was a pretty natural collaboration. He works in a similar way to us, we all have corresponding tastes and so it all came together fairly quickly. We’re going to start another soon as well, so watch out for that.”
They’re not sure why jump up gets so much hate
“It does seem to get a lot more hate than other subgenres, which is weird. Maybe because when it’s not made well, due to the types of sounds being used, it can come off a bit comical. Whereas other genres of music, even if it’s not made well the production value is a bit higher, maybe? It doesn’t mean one is better than the other, of course. I think also, its having quite a good wave at the moment and some people don’t like that. We’re not fully sure why it gets so much hate, we just try to stay out of all that.”
They saw a guy get stabbed in the head with stilettos at one of their first raves
“There was this one rave, ages ago, where we were too young to even be in a club and so it was all quite mad. The first thing we saw was a girl kicking some guy in the head with her stilettos, and this dudes head was all cut up and stuff [laughs]. You never see any fights these days.”
They have some serious remix heat coming our way very soon…
“Following the EP and we’ve got three remixes coming out. One for Noisia & Phace, another for Neonlight and I don’t think I’m allowed to say the last one. The Noisia one was fun, it’s cool to be able to mess around with their mad basses so playing about with them was pretty fun for us.”
Annix – The Dog Knows is out July 31 on Playaz: Support
Photo: Chelone Wolf