If you’re of the mindset that dark times call for dark music, then you’ve probably rinsed your entire Forbidden Society collection many times over the last few corona months.
Now into 10+ weeks of heavy restrictions and social distancing, things have got so hard you may well have even dusted off his hardest, most uncompromising crossbreed and hardcore from his earliest years in the hope of releasing some of this tension and frustration. Or his latest album for that matter.
Released last month, his fourth LP Liminal Point contains some of his most tension releasing designs to date. Not in the same visceral, brutal way his earliest hardcore-inspired work did, but in a much darker and explorative way that covers a much broader terrain from completely beatless ambient material to bulldozer 170BPM 4×4 skin-melting techno… And all kinds of moods in between.
Last spotted on this site on the eve of Let It Roll. At the time he was between two substantial releases and was really finding his groove in the deeper minimal side of drum & bass and wanted to see how far he could push himself. Liminal Point is the result. And it couldn’t have landed at a better time…
How’s your lockdown experience been?
The first month was okay. I worked as usual on music, on the label stuff, on the new clothing line for my brand. The second month was a bit tougher, but I still handled it by biking every day. But now this third month? I need to be honest, it is too long now. But I’ve found walking in the nature helps a lot. I bike in the morning and the evening and that’s helping me survive. But still I think I eat a lot and that’s really a danger!
We’re all getting fat right now for sure. What’s the first thing you’ll do when lockdown is lifted?
Definitely go to a pub and get few beers with my friends in Prague and my hometown. I miss them.
Have there been any silver linings or benefits to this? Have you written lots more music?
Yeah for the first part. Honestly for me it was not that really drastic. I practice social distancing on a daily basis, I am an introvert, even if I might be seen online as the opposite. But even for me it started to be too much. You need inspiration. Like if you go travelling, go to gig and things. If nothing really happens it becomes difficult to sit down in the studio and produce, so I can’t see a benefits for this really. There is so much music online now, as all of us are locked. But that just my point of view, producers need to show people like ‘hey I am here still! Even if this whole thing is happening!’ You know what I mean…
I do man. Especially from someone as prolific as you. Last time we spoke, less than a year ago, you’d released an album and two massive EPs…. Is it possible for you to write even quicker?
Haha, well not really. If I have the right inspiration and mood I can be really quick, yes. If it’s there, I can finish the track in a week. Sometimes more, but I’m not sitting on tunes for months. If I have a bunch of tunes, I just put them out on my label, that’s the nice freedom I have.
You said you working on this album when we last spoke. Take us back to its earliest points.
It began a year and a half back. I wanted to write an album that was not really a straight-to-the-dancefloor thing or just full of DJ-friendly tunes. It was more like a complex thing. I focused this time a bit more on halftime tracks and even some 140. There is of course drum & bass, but the main idea was to get more range of BPM on this album. It is a bit darker, I would say, then the previous one Fog Walk and maybe even harder and more experimental. Like an album which you should hear from first to last track to make sense, like a story to tell.
I like that. This literally has every sonic side to you, right?
Yes I would say so. I’ve never had such a range of BPM before. I think it’s a case of complete freedom. It felt very refreshing and exciting to explore. There is also an ambient tune in there, some 4/4 tek D&B… So yeah, I guess complete freedom of styles is what makes it ‘honest’ as you say
The liminal point is the threshold where something is so strong it creates a physiological or psychological reaction… Run us through this title and concept.
Yes that is correct, it is also a point of crossing where you feel right / comfortable and the exact opposite. The idea is meant more that you can find a balance of not really happy but melancholic / nice stuff and then the exact opposite, darker and doomier stuff. Like in real life sometimes… You feel good sometimes, you feel bad sometimes. I wrote in all those moods on the tracks.
Which track gets the strongest reaction out of you?
I would say the track Liminal Point still makes me goosebump. Try to listen to it while walking in a woods on not in grim weather or on a foggy night. That was what I have done and the feeling was kind of intense.
Swamp Rave is the most physical point for me. Just pure free party techno. That’s a nice reference to your older sound and hardcore roots but done in a new way, right?
Ah yes, well this track… I watched the movie about Czech Tek. If you know, you know! I have lots of friends in the free-tek scene, I respect them for what they are up to still over the years. I was also playing for years back at squats and free raves so my memories at that time are still strong.
After watching this movie, it was an inspiration again. The idea was to write a track that is not really hardcore, but fast tek at 170 BPM and I totally loved it. I definitely want to produce more of that kind of stuff. Even my old friends wrote to me and said it’s cool. They won’t play it as it is too fast for them probably, but I was happy to read that they liked it. Another thing is I haven’t heard much stuff like this. Like full-on 170 techno, you know? Maybe except some things Buunshin played on his mix for Neosignal. So yeah, shitty weather, swamp and rave, that’s all about this one!
Which track was the hardest for you to complete?
Definitely No Boundaries man. To get those claps to fit in the overall tune and mix was a pure nightmare. I was so close to saying ‘fuck this!’ Then after two weeks of leaving it alone, it somehow worked.
Which track came together so easily it was almost like the song was in control of you?
Ah I love this feeling. It was the track Bottom Check. Just like you said… Sometimes you put a few things together and everything you try just works so nice that was this one!
Where do you go from here? You’ve been a real musical trip in the last few years, exploring deeper sounds and re-developing your signature… Are you still as inspired as you were this time last year?
I’m definitely inspired by this sound, but I might go a bit more experimental and try more halftime. I will get probably some hardware just to try to come up with something different. For this album I had a Novation Peak for a few weeks and that was very interesting. I thought it would be cool to not use any software plug-ins and VSTs so borrowed my friend’s hardware. That was a great experience so I’ll probably explore that. The main thing is to not repeat myself.
So we’re probably not going to hear another album from you so quickly next time?
I do not think so. I should probably leave the people to take their time to check my music and then I might release something again. But things can change so you never know. This should have been my best year ever with gigs and with music but now it’s breaking point. We got no gigs, nowhere to play our music, expect live streams, so there is no hurry to release anything.
But I bet you are working on things!
Well I have an EP to be released on my dream label that I was looking for all my life… That is the big thing for me and I am really excited about that, trust me. This will happen in the next month or so.
Then other things, I’ve done four tracks with a friend of mine who you will know in the D&B scene and I’m very happy with them. I’ve also done one other collab with another well-known name. So that’s all great. Then there is also a 3RDKND remix album coming really soon on my label, with really heavy remixes on. I might also do a solo EP later this year, but let’s see. I need to say my clothing line Forbidden Wear is doing also really heathy. I need to thank the fans and people who are supporting me with this in these hard times. So thank you. And I hope you are all saying safe but going out and enjoying nature as much as possible. Do not watch so much news, it is all of negative shit that can fuck up your mind easily. Stay positive on things, we’ll get through this. Sooner or later….