Malux: the neurofunk newcomer who just unleashed the sub-terrorising Turbine – a tune that has the production clout of someone who’s been making music far longer than his ‘newcomer’ tag suggests…
And that’s because Malux isn’t technically a newcomer. Instead, it’s the second alias of London-based Alex Chambers, a producer who has been knocking bangers together under the name of Skope for the best part of five years.
If you’ve followed Skope’s music whatsoever over those five or so years, you’ll be well aware of the glitch-infused dubstep cuts he’s been churning out and you’ll no doubt be excited to hear what the man behind the name can conjure up under his new alias.
We’re certainly expecting big things from this new project, especially if Turbine is a sign of what’s to come… We caught up with Alex to talk about that release, what he’s got in store for Malux and what this all means for Skope…
Hi Alex, firstly… why the change in alias?
I wouldn’t say I’m changing aliases, I’m going to have two! I just felt like I needed a secondary output because I want to make as much music as possible and don’t want people to be flooded with different styles of music coming from one name. This way I can put more focus on each alias being a particular sound rather than all sorts.
Please can you give a brief background on your musical journey?
After listening to hip hop for years at school, D&B was the genre I first really fell in love with in electronic music. But shortly after that I found dubstep which had developed a strong local scene in Reading where I was based at the time. This was when I first started messing around with production. Since then I’ve enjoyed working with lots of different sounds and tempos over the years with my production, and now I’m coming full circle back to D&B.
Do you have any apprehensions about releasing music from two monikers?
The simple answer is to that is no… I may even work on some more projects! The two aliases are going to go their own paths and have clear goals in terms of what I want them to be. I’m already working on different styles each day of the week so now I can just put all the tracks in different pots to be released. After the initial period of getting the Malux name out there I’m not really going to cross-promote. I don’t want people to automatically say that’s Skope on the Malux stuff and vice versa, although I’m sure they inevitably will!
And has anyone been a bit surprised by the decision?
I’ve had a few people asking why I’m ‘creating’ Malux when I’ve already got Skope, but it’s just a way for me to release more music. I’m not changing, it’s just a way to separate my output so I can keep it more organised. With Malux I can make dance-floor music that I enjoy making and with Skope I can do things I can’t do in D&B, for example incorporating different melodies and samples. My plan is to make Skope more musical and weird, basically…
Who is responsible for getting you into D&B in the first place?
Pendulum’s stuff was the first D&B I heard and they’re the ones who got me into the genre with the Hold Your Colour album – I’m sure that’s the same for countless other producers! Then I quickly moved onto the darker stuff like Noisia, Spor, Counterstrike, Tech Itch and Evol Intent.
What’s your studio set-up?
Having switched DAW a few times, Ableton is my current sequencer. I work at various different studios in London and Kent at the moment as my home studio is not fully functioning. I work with either Adam or Neumann speakers, both of which are really great! At one of the studios, we’ve experimented by putting all of our analogue stuff together and started to do a lot of analogue sound design; compressions, reverbs and some other more interesting things… We’ve been coming up with all kinds of crazy stuff! Getting hands-on with equipment is my favourite way to make sounds at the moment, it’s more fun that just moving a mouse around.
Turbine is a bit of a banger! Talk us through it…
Thanks man! It’s the first release as Malux and I wanted to make it a strong dancefloor track. The whole thing was just focused around that relentless triplet stab thing which is its defining sound I think. It was played on Noisia Radio which I was a massive honour! They heard some of my music through Disprove who played a few of my tunes in one of his sets in Groningen when Noisia were there, so they got in touch with me and asked if they could play my tune on their show… of course I said yes! And all the responses since then have been great. I’m really looking forward to the vinyl release now. That is a first for me!
How did you fall into the attention of Bad Taste?
I was speaking to the guys at the label when I was thinking of making more D&B as Skope but asked them to hold off for a while. Then, when I started up Malux, they were ready to go which was wicked. They’ve been really great at sending my music out to the right people and generally helping launch the new alias for which I can’t thank them enough!
Would you say dubstep is a healthy genre right now?
I think it has morphed a lot over the years and people are very quick to move it on to new things. It would be good to see a revival of some of the older dubstep to be honest. I’d like to see it building the solid structure of sub genres that D&B has. I still love playing old dubstep tunes from my crates at home – ones that I listened to when I first got into the genre. There are some people still making the ‘original sound’ but not many. I miss the genre in its simplicity, to be honest, it’s a sound that is quite far removed from what I do now but still an important part of how I got here.
And the same for drum & bass…
Last year was a great year for D&B and that’s another reason for me to get the new alias in gear and start releasing some of the tunes I’ve been writing. There are lots of new people coming through and new sounds always being brought into the mix which is good to see. I want the sound design boundaries to keep on getting pushed by everyone this year, including myself…
What can we expect to hear from you in 2016?
Lots more music! I have a good pile of finished tracks ready to go and will be releasing lots of singles as well as collaborations. I started working on a new project for bad taste too. I’m going to be in Australia for a while in April/May for some shows which will be great. I’ve got an EP coming as Skope with Inspected in the next few months and I’m working on an audio/visual project with some other producers at the moment too which I’m really excited about, but I can’t say too much about that just yet…
Follow Malux: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud
Buy Turbine / Fonk on Beatport: https://pro.beatport.com/release/turbine-fonk/1684513