Usually our Who The Hell features introduce a new artist who may well be unknown or a mystery at an early but exciting stage of their career.
Not in the case of Diemantle: Bristol musical don DJ Die and Digital Soundboy’s fructuous troublemaker Dismantle are both well known vibe purveyors in bass music. Together, however, their sound is unlike anything you’d expect.
Buckets of breaks, dollops of disco, barrels of bass and fuck loads of funk are all thrown into the genre-snubbing pot which Die states is simple made “for the rave.”
What began as a one off beat jam Over The Edge, then a cheeky bootleg of James Brown this summer, has now upgraded into a full EP – The Way I Feel – out this week on Die’s Gutterfunk, it’s a strong sign of things to come.
Chinstrokers look elsewhere, the Diemantle story is one of two music lovers who have remembered why we love this music in the first place… To have fun.
Dismantle… How long you been a Bristol resident?
Die: A year ago. I kidnapped him, threw him in the back of my boot of my car and kept in the studio. He hasn’t left since!
Mantle: Ha! It made sense to move up here to be honest; I’d been working with Sam from Jus Now quite a bit and I’ve got family up here so I’ve been coming here since I was a kid anyway. Growing up in Brighton is great but there’s nowhere to move to besides London. I had a studio there for a bit but now I’m here.
You met at Glastonbury, right?
Die: Yeah. He needed somewhere to rest his wellies so he came to my caravan. It’s notoriously known as the Retardis.
Pretty baller to have a caravan at Glasto…
Die: We ball out man! I’ve been going there since I was two; it’s a spiritual home, it’s where it all began and where it all ends. I do a Gutterfunk takeover of the Stonebridge Bar in the Park area. We get the Sunday every year and it’s been going really well. We had GotSome, Gus Pirelli, Jus Now, Dismantle and Addison Groove this year. But yeah we’ve camped for too long now, so I negotiated a caravan, it makes the world of difference!
Didn’t know you’d come from such a hippy background…
Die: That was the time! The 70s were all about these little festivals and gatherings and encouraging creativity, I’m very lucky to have come from that, it’s inspired me with everything I’ve done over the last 20 years.
Are you from a similarly creative background Dismantle?
Mantle: Yeah my dad’s always played guitar. He got me Dance eJay when I was eight and my first decks when I was 13. So 10 years ago now. I started collecting drum & bass from then.
Die: When was that?
Die: Wow… I’ll go on the record now and say that he knows a lot about music. He knows so much about music and it roots, way more than I’d expect from anyone his age!
There are indeed a few years between you…
Die: In physical years, yes, but musically? No. I learn a lot from him. You never stop learning and bouncing off people is something I’ve always enjoyed. Whether it’s Krust or Redlight or Dismantle, it’s the buzz when two people share a similar idea and jump on it. You never know what’s going to come about.
Yeah. The best collaborations sound like neither one distinctive party but something in its own right. It’s unlike either of you, it lives on its own…
Die: What I love is that we actually made this happen. We met at Glastonbury and were like ‘yeah let’s make a tune yeah’ and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said that to someone and it hasn’t happened. Next thing I know Will is knocking on my door. He made the effort to drive down and make this happen!
Mantle: You had your 1210s set up and we were buzzing to some old records. The plan was to do some disco stuff but we ended up making Over The Edge.
Die: It was about getting to know each other’s musical tastes but realised we both understand it all as rave music. There are so many different sub genres and little niches but at the end of the day we rave to it. Let’s just get one big umbrella and call it rave music. And when it’s raining let’s all get under it! It doesn’t matter if its jungle, house, boogie, footwork – you dance to it.
Mantle: And you meet people to it. You make connections. That’s how me and Dan are here now.
Die: Vibes. It’s about having a good time. People take things too seriously. The only thing we take serious is having fun.
This is sounding solid. Like way more than a one-off cheeky collabo hook-up…
Mantle: I live round the corner, we hang out, we get on a beat and I can’t see that stopping any time soon
Die: you came up here to make music and that’s what we’re doing.
Mantle: Well I came up here to cut down on the partying!
And you moved to Bristol?!
Mantle: Haha, yeah. But what I’ve noticed here; whether I go out for a pint or I’m out all weekend, I’m always meeting really interesting like-minded people up here. There are so many really exciting creative artists in Bristol so when you do go out, you’re making new connections or setting up new collaborations and projects.
Die: I call it all research! But yeah, going back to your earlier question, there is loads of real shit to come. Right now me, Addison Groove and Dismantle have got a session coming up, I’ve got some new artists coming up on Gutterfunk, too. White Bully, for instance, who are like Dilla on Peyote in Russia.
Nice! Break’s band released a track on your label too didn’t they?
Die: Yeah, Degrees Of Freedom. Their single was killer; a proper steppers dub tune. I was so happy to release that. That’s the thing about the label; I just want to prove a point – music is a vibe, not a genre. That’s always been the philosophy in Bristol, going back to the Wild Bunch to Full Cycle.
Mantle: A lot of feedback we’ve seen on the EP has been about people never knowing what they’re going to get from Gutterfunk but it’s always worth checking and that’s how I want Diemantle to be perceived. Expect the unexpected.
But what can we expect in the future, though?
Die: He just told you! The unexpected!
Mantle: Seriously though, the Sex Machine bootleg is doing a bit of damage, The Way I Feel EP is doing very well with DJs and we’re just smashing ideas together and seeing what comes up next
Die: Our work rate is getting quicker and quicker now we know how each other works and how we want to do things. Back to this EP, we’ve had feedback from across the board – like Laurent Garnier and Maya Jane Coles and Rob Da Bank. That means a lot to us; these people know music. Garnier knows music! He might be known for techno but he drops everything. That’s who we’re making music for – not the chinstrokers or the genre police but the music lovers, the vibes and the rave.