The Upbeats’ Snake & Wolf have just dropped a dope new hip-hop mix: Fangs

Their Re-Evolution remix album hasn’t been out for a month yet and already The Upbeats are back with fresh material. Donning their non D&B guises Snake & Wolf for the first time in several years, they’ve just dropped this spellbinding beat odyssey…

29 tunes in 31 minutes; Fangs is a collection of jams, sketches and ideas the New Zealand duo have been working on over the last four years in between album and production projects. Smoky, sleazy and just on the right side of cosmic; the collection takes off where their Society Of Numbers project with Armanni Reign and their free album Lost & Found left us and provides a unique insight into how the duo unwind after intense days producing drum & bass.

Dig deep, enjoy and look out; there are more off-piste experiments to follow soon, too. We called them up to find out more…

So this takes off where Society Of Numbers left us…

Snake: It does, yeah. We actually started on it during Primitive Technique and are always noodling away on the side lines writing instrumentals. It’s like a release for us when we’re not feeling as inspired making drum & bass. It’s good to have another outlet.

It helps to refresh the canvas and keep you inspired!

Wolf: Exactly. No pressure at all and a real flight of fancy. Around the same time we did Primitive Technique we were also working with Shapeshifter so we were working all day with them then maybe jam on a few little skits afterwards. Sometimes we could turn around a whole song in a couple of hours.

Snake: It was refreshing to have such a natural workflow. Making drum & bass is very technical and detailed. Hip-hop sketches are very different ways of working.

When does a cool jam turn into something more real? Or is there always an end product?

Snake: We just keep a full folder of sketches and ideas and sit on them until we have an idea or know what to do with them and have some type of inspiration.

Wolf: It’s just about jamming and occasionally you’ll stumble on a loop or some type of processing on something and think ‘oh that’s a little sweet spot’. That’s the point you decided to flesh it into a full tune and bring it to life.

Will this come out in a similar way to Lost & Found?

Wolf: It might do. If people are into it then we might release it as individual tracks. Who knows?

Snake: Some of the tracks are literally just what you hear in the mix – they’re not long or conventionally arranged songs.

Wolf: Half of them are no longer than two minutes.

Were they done together or individually in your own studios?

Snake: Pretty much all of them were done individually – either in our own studios or in airports or travelling. We did some bits with DJ Go from the Mixologists when we were both in London.

If you started writing this during primitive technique then I’m guessing you’ve got similarly crucial irons on the fire for the future?

Wolf: We’ve got a lot of bits and bobs floating around. You never know how things will get used – some things turn into drum & bass tracks, others will turn into other types of ideas. Everything ends up being adapted into some thing eventually.

Snake: With this we wanted to actually make something of the collection because we really like the music and the way the collection has developed. It felt like the right time because we’ve got a break in our release schedule. The Re-evolution album is out now and this will take us up to another Society Of Numbers release. This is a good way of us to get the ball rolling into this world of music.

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