It’s time for some simple drum & bass mathematics…
Wilkinson + bassline filth = WIN
Let’s put aside the melodic majesty and shiny emotion of tracks like Afterglow and Half Light for just one second and remind ourselves of tracks like this:
As proved by the unanimous darkside reload Redemption last year, we’re talking about Wilkinson in his rawest, most undiluted dancefloor form. It’s where he came from. Check him live and you’ll know he’s never strayed too far away from that vibe. Talk to him and you’ll learn he’s set to return to these roots very soon.
But first, Half Light. Released this week, there’s a strong chance it could hit the UK top 10. Fingers crossed it will beat the success of Afterglow (the highest charting D&B tune of 2013) Chart position regardless, it’s a beauty. And it comes with a cool story… The final song to be penned for last year’s massive album Lazers Not Included, it was a juicy cherry atop of an already tasty electronic cake.
“I’d been writing the album for several years and really wanted something fresh,” he says. “There was a lot of self-imposed pressure. I was sitting there thinking ‘what am I doing’ and coming back with nothing. Then I sat down with Tom (Cane the singer) and Brad Ellis, we lay down some chords, Tom sang this top line and it worked. It just had that awesome emotive feeling. I went back to my studio. Two days on lock down, making and mixing it and finally it worked out. Tom smashed it.”
I just love making tunes. Even Andy C is like ‘what the fuck are you doing mate?’
The sixth smash single from one body of work, Lazers Not Included just keeps on giving. But wait, there’s more… There’s a whole new album reboot! Following Half Light will be Lazers Not Included 2.0 which is set to feature five brand new tracks!
“I’ve been writing nonstop since the album,” says Wilkinson, first name Mark. “I didn’t want to wait to release another album so we’re re-releasing the original one and putting all of these tracks on it as a bonus. No one’s heard it yet, it’s all brand new!”
It all stems from writing the big musically-based vocal pieces. I’ve learnt so much doing those tunes so now I’m itching to make some absolute filthy basslines again! I want to get really geeky and just smash out something dirty
A single entitled Dirty Love will follow Half Light, then the 2.0 album around late summer. Wilkinson reveals that the new album tracks will include big dancefloor moments along the lines of Need To Know and Take You Higher. There’ll also be a hip-hop track with Wretch 32, some old school sounds, some 90s vibes and an emotional number laced with big strings and piano.
“I just love making tunes,” grins Wilkinson. “Even Andy C is like ‘what the fuck are you doing mate?’ In the last three weeks I’ve been in the studio from 9am to midnight Monday to Friday. Then I’m gigging in the weekend and back in the studio 9am on Monday. It’s mental and I love it. I just want everything to sound perfect.”
And while most men under that workload (self imposed or not) would worry about burn-out, Wilkinson is more concerned about burn-ups… Yup, here’s where we reach the crux of this particular D&B bulletin: his return to the filth.
“After the album’s done I’ve got some TV projects and production projects for other artists, then I’m going to write some filthy tunes after that. Just because I can!” he laughs. “There’s already a tune done and pretty much ready to roll that I’ve done with Cyantific. And there’s some more I’ve got in mind, too. It all stems from writing the big musically-based vocal pieces. I’ve learnt so much doing those tunes so now I’m itching to make some absolute filthy basslines again! I want to get really geeky and just smash out something dirty. Plus I’ve just had some gear from Novation which I want to get to know… The best way to get to grips with that new kit is to make something really nasty sounding and get it out there!”
Two words Wilkinson: bring it!