One of most prolific and well known artists to come from DJ Hybrid’s Audio Addict and Deep In The Jungle labels, Kumarachi flexes an infamous status at the forefront of new-gen drum & bass producers.
Entrenched in the raw, break-heavy, rolling quarters of the jungle landscape and a master at cooking up filth bucket basslines, he’s armed with a penchant for classic rave references and heavy hitting textures that make you pull the nastiest bass faces, swear at the nearest inanimate object and look like a weirdo in front of your relatives. Put simply, there’s a reason Critical signed an EP of his for their Binary series last December.
Binary Vol 15 was the cherry on the top of a cake made of pure gully that had been baking for years on the likes of Hocus Pocus, Ghetto Dub, Sub-Liminal and, of course, DJ Hybrid’s aforementioned labels (on which he released his remarkable debut album Flashback in 2016)
Now back in the kitchen, he’s since cooked up more stinking treats including Still Here for Drum&BassArena and an insane collab EP with fellow new-gen darksmiths Section. With more releases set to drop this month on Deep In The Jungle and Skankandbass, his infamous status continues. Here’s where he’s at right now…
What type of tunes does a Kumarachi make on a hot summer’s day like this, then?
All sorts really. The last few days have been on a minimal jungle roller vibe but I don’t know if that’s to do with the weather. I usually get a few ideas on the go then see which one I’m feeling the most that day and take it from there. I can’t work on anything unless I’m really feeling it and think I can take it somewhere.
Amen. Feels like you’re feeling things at an even higher level this year. Since the Critical EP in December…
Yeah it’s been the busiest and most exciting time for sure. That EP really opened a lot of exposure. It was a gamechanger. More people hitting me up and checking back over my past stuff; it’s been great.
This has been business as usual for quite some now, though. Like four or five years…
I’ve been working on tunes for longer but yeah I’d say since DJ Hybrid started releasing my tunes on his Audio Addict and Deep In The Jungle labels and it progressed from there.
Big up DJ Hybrid!
He’s unbelievable mate. The amount of music he’s releasing on his labels and making himself in the studio is just nuts. I don’t know how he does it. He’s a machine.
He is. You’re one of the first acts to flip between his two labels.
Yeah my sound teeters on both sides, whatever the mood takes me, so he suggested I do things for both labels. It’s given me the chance to explore and represent a broader sound. There are other artists who work on both; Section, DJ Hybrid himself, Epicentre, RMS. They’re really good platforms to cover the scene and bring through a lot of new artists.
He’s bringing through a whole new generation of producers
Yeah and we all collaborate a lot and remix each other, the melting pot is constantly being stirred with new guys and established guys.
Is there a nice friendly competition? Keeping each other on your toes?
We’ve never spoken about it, but when you hear someone else’s tune and think ‘that’s a bit next’ you’re going to want to try and step up yourself. I saw Epicentre play the other day and he was playing some ridiculous tunes, proper next level shit, and they’re all his own dubs. I kept thinking ‘you git!’ when each new one dropped.
Ha! I need to tell you about a situation one of your tunes caused. Start A Fire with Section. When I first heard it I started giving my laptop screen serious middle fingers and my other half’s dad walked past the window and saw me do this. He hasn’t looked me in the eye since. I bet you get this all the time, right?
Ha! Not that specific situation. That’s one you’ll never talk about it isn’t it? But yeah when I’m on that type of vibe, like me and the Section boys were on with that tune, there’s a lot of that type of behaviour going on. Sorry if we’ve caused you any issues.
We’ll get over it. Some of the jungle vibes you’ve been cooking up feel to authentic for a man of your age…
Yeah I was bit young the first time round. But you’d hear bits on the radio and on TV and pick up on it. Like Roni Size and things like that. Then I was in bands before and not paying as much attention but what I started going to Detonate parties I really started getting into it.
What did you play? What were the bands like?
I play guitar, drums, keyboards. It was a rock and metal band called Sanzen. We played around the UK a lot and had an album out. Nothing massive but we took it really seriously at the time. I couldn’t face it now, though. Sitting in a rehearsal room with other people practicing for hours and hours.
Do you still listen to metal now?
Not all the time. I buy anything any of my mates’ releases because a few of the band are still doing that. To be honest I’m in the studio so much and playing shows I don’t find much time to dig deep into that musical world any more.
Yeah I see you’re playing a lot at he moment. Especially in the north of the UK
Totally man. Manchester is particularly big. I’ve played up there at least six or seven times this year and it does seem very popular in the north west. But to be honest these smaller jungle nights are popping off around the country.
You mentioned Detonate, have you played there?
I did recently at a Critical night. That was special, to do that at the night that pretty much inspired me was a great feeling. But to be honest until this year I didn’t play that many shows because I was totally focused on production. Just getting more and more tunes out. When I was in bands we would pester people like ‘give me a show give me a show give me a show’ but I don’t want to do that. I want the shows to develop a bit more naturally. If I make enough music and it’s getting appreciated and played then promoters will start paying interest and booking you won’t they? So I’ve kinda worked like that. A lot of gigs have come through the Critical EP and DJ Hybrid is now running more Deep In The Jungle nights so I’ve played at a lot of them. Even with all the labels, he still finds time to run nights as well!
He put out your album a few years back too. That was early on in your release history. Thinking of doing another album?
I’d be up for it but at the moment everyone seems to want EPs and singles that they do albums and I’m enjoying writing releases like that and just getting as much music done as a I possibly can.
What’s coming up soon?
There are some things on Deep In The Jungle and Skankandbass coming up this month then a few things that aren’t quite ready but will be very soon. There’s always plenty happening, I just need to wrap them up and send them where they need to go. I have to say a few big thanks as well… Obviously Alex DJ Hybrid and also Kasra and Badger at Critical and James at Detonate.
Nice. Let’s conclude this discussion with a random fact about yourself…
I can’t bend my one of my big toes
That’s pretty random. You must have broken it?
Yeah in football. It doesn’t bend at all now.
Toes are pretty important. Have you got a pimp limp as a result?
Nah I haven’t! But it did take a while to get used to.