Gremlinz & Jesta Join the Team…
Announcement 4/6. We’ve wanted to work with Gremlinz for quite some time, and so to have not only him, but also his partner in crime, Jesta, on the new team for season 10 – it’s really very exciting indeed.
As a project, and a platform, we love and appreciate all styles of this music. How can you not? It surely has to be the most diverse genre of electronic music and this is to be celebrated. We have always loved the deeper, brooding side to D&B – the side that shares a main artery with Jungle, and hardcore; with vintage breaks run red; samplers and desks being used & abused; atmospheres that make your hairs stand on end. We wanted season 10 to contain & represent this special aesthetic: and we wanted the very finest to cover it. So we head to the awe inspiring Canada and get down amongst it….
These guys have so much history together: as friends and also as producers and artists. A chemistry and shared vision in the studio that can’t be synthesised, which is a big reason why we are so delighted to have them involved, as a well-oiled duo is a joy to behold.
Gabriel (Gremlinz) has a formidable back catalogue that stretches way-back. Outings on Renegade Hardware, Metalheadz, Samuari, 31, Paradox, Cylon: the list goes on. He’s a true underground soul and has garnered massive respect across the whole scene, for both his production prowess and powerful DJ sets. Jesta (as you will read in the interview) goes way back in this scene too and together with Gremlinz they have written a substantial number of tracks over the years. Never seeming to put a foot wrong, their sound is unwavering in quality and authenticity. With an album soon to drop on the mighty Headz, this is literally the perfect time to have these guys serving up content to inspire and arm you on your journey. We head into the deepness…….HYPE.
> We asked Gabriel & Jesse a few pre-season questions…
Welcome aboard guys! Great to have you with us for a season. What’s been going on for you recently? You have an LP dropping on Metalheadz soon, right?
G – Thanks for having us on board. We’ve mainly been working on a few remixes, a few releases on my own labels (UVB-76 Music & DROOGS) as well as our debut album on Metalheadz which should hopefully be out by the end of the year.
J – Very excited to be on board. Looking forward to our Metalheadz LP and a few other surprises on Metalheadz soon.
How long did the album take to write, and can you give an inkling of what it’s about?
G – About 2 years in the making. We wanted to kind of take people on a bit of a journey through different moods & vibes rather than have something that was more dance floor. We also wanted to show our listeners that our sound can translate over various, different spectrums.
J– We do have some dance floor bits on there, but we wanted to explore other styles and sounds that interest us. We both listen to a wide range of music and our album was an opportunity for us to dig a bit deeper and showcase various styles that inspire us. Each track can stand alone but the album is a deliberate experience when listened to from beginning to end.
So how did you two come to produce together and what are your backgrounds individually when it comes to music and production?
G – I met Jesse in my late teens. I was DJing and was always fascinated with how the music was made. Jesse had already been doing production for years and we were introduced through a mutual friend. Jesse was the first person to ever invite me to come work on music. Eventually I went on to work on my own & Jesse’s focus shifted from music to his business & family life. We always stayed in touch and years later he wanted to come back into music, and we basically continued from where we left off.
J – I got into raving and particularly Jungle / Hardcore at a very early age when I was introduced to the sound and culture from some friends that were a few years older than me. They been raving in Toronto from the very beginning and when I heard this music it was an epiphany for me. Like something I had been searching for but never found until that moment. I was intrigued and my curiosity drove me to discover how it was made.
I bought my first sampler in 1995 (an akai S950). I learned how to use it and began producing by myself and eventually with a couple friends as “Catchin Wreck” which was MC L Natural, DJ Lush and Myself. We released a couple records together, most notably a single on Trouble On Vinyl – Here Comes Trouble Vol. 10 in 2000 I believe. I decided to put my music career on the shelf around 2001 due to many reasons such as family and my business. In 2015 I found myself void of a creative outlet and decided to start producing again. It was only natural for me to reach out to one of my best friends (Gremlinz) as we have always been very close. He taught me how to use Logic as I was using strictly hardware in the early days. His knowledge was invaluable, and we very quickly picked up where we had left off so many years ago.
How do you find working as a duo? Gabriel, as someone who’s released a lot of solo material over the years how do you find the process when working with someone else?
G – Usually I find it hit or miss. More miss to be honest. With Jesse, it was always natural. It’s kind of like the equivalent of watching sports or playing video games with your friends, except we work on beats instead. I find when Jesse and I collab, we end up bring out the best of each other and feeding off each other’s energy and ideas quite well.
J – I couldn’t agree more with Gabriel. A good collaboration requires trust and a certain level of comfortability amongst collaborators. We always had that. We have a huge amount of space for each other and we don’t take things personal. We also have our own strong points and particular styles that, when combined, create a unique combination. Gabriel has also taught me so much about the back end of the business and how to navigate the industry from a DJ perspective as well as from a producer perspective. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without him.
What is your current studio set-up(s)? Do you have a shared studio or is it a case of tunes being written in different places on different DAW’s etc?
J – We started producing together at Gabriel’s home studio when I moved back to Toronto from Vancouver in 2016. In 2017 I rented a warehouse and office space for my business and we build a dedicated studio there. We primarily work in our shared studio now although we both have small home studios to do sketches and create ideas when we are inspired. We work on Logic Pro.
What are your fav tools? Do you still use analogue gear these days?
J – I would say we are mainly in the box, but we do have some outboard gear we use allot. Primarily our Roland System 8 and Arturia Minibrute. We have a Roland JV 1080, a Korg M3R and our newest baby is an Access Virus TI Polar. We are very much into sound design and processing, so we tend to use tons of plugins. Some of our favourites are Izotope, Sound toys, Native Instruments and FabFilter.
We’re excited to have some longform tutorial videos from you, it’s going to give space for you to really go deep into the production process. What areas do you think you are most keen to teach and where you have the most to talk about?
G – Areas I’d like to focus on, are the importance of having your own sound and aesthetic, subtleties that can add depth to your compositions & the fine art of knowing when less is more.
J – I am interested in teaching sample processing and drum programming techniques. Learning how to take a sound that may be familiar to many people and put your unique flavour on it is something that really interests me. The technology is so advanced now and I believe Jungle / Drum and Bass has always evolved due in part to the desire for producers to push the tech further than it was intended to be pushed.
We’re also very excited to have a chunk of samples made by you guys – what can you tell us about the feeling they are going to have and what can our members look forward to in terms of getting some nuggets of inspiration?
J – Both Gabriel and I are very excited for this project because we have always been keen on using our own sounds or, at the very least, manipulating familiar sounds to create new timbres and articulations. We will be creating a variety of breakbeats, pads, strings, synth bits (bleeps and stabs etc..), bass sounds, atmospheres and found sounds. We will also be providing some patches for some popular soft synths that we have created. Our offering will include sounds and that can be used in many different genres, but they will definitely have a distinct Gremlinz and Jesta flavour.
What does this year hold for you both, what are you looking forward to?
G – Just getting back in the. Groove of doing music again after a few months’ hiatus. We’ve got the album coming & a few other projects (both together and solo). It’s also nice to be playing shows again!
J – I’ve been doing some remix work and exploring breakbeat music in the 130-140 tempo. I’m also very happy to be playing shows again. We have also started 2 labels of our own with our good friend DJ Lush which is very exciting. We have our first two releases coming out very soon and lots of great music slated for 22/23.
lastly – we’re always interested to know… what are your hobbies and interests outside of music / D&B?
G – I’ve always been into Design & Art. I love fashion, food, kicks, Cars, Basketball, collecting figures/high end toys & of course, Call of Duty!
J – I own a vintage clothing business, so I am naturally interested in fashion and I collect Ralph Lauren clothing and vintage t-shirts. I’ve been avid snowboarder since I was 12 years old (and I’m 43 now lol). I enjoy traveling with my wife Julia and my two sons, Jordan and Jackson. I also love to cook (thx mom!).
Awesome stuff guys 🙂
The new season of Sample Genie begins on 1.7.22.
More announcements coming soon!Back to News