Signal & Abis Join the Team!
:: Announcement 5/6: We have a very special pairing who will be working together on the team for Season 7 in the form of the massively talented Abis and Signal, both based in the Netherlands.
While we enthusiastically welcome back Jon (Signal) for a second run on Sample Genie, this will be Mark’s first time to the project – though he is no newcomer to the scene. Before forming his new moniker in recent years, Mark was one half of the formidable duo June Miller. Writing ground breaking and technically impressive tracks such ‘Autumn to Ashes’ and ‘Empathy’, ‘Saus’ and ‘Robots and Romans’ all on Ram Records – with Andy C once describing their sound as one of ‘lazer guided precision’.
Before being album-signed to Ram, their music featured on a number of highly regarded labels such Horizons, DSM, and Sonorous. Now working under the new, exciting and fresh handle of ABIS, Mark is back with a brand new level of sound. Clinical production aesthetics on musically rounded tracks which tear up the dance-floor, 2019 style is what ABIS is all about…
Equally, Signal’s sound is one people the world over are now enthralled by. Charting a rapid and distinct rise to fame, he has released myriad music on Invisible, Critical, Lifestyle, Shogun, NЁU and of course, DIVIDID (you can read our 2016 article on him HERE). Jon is without doubt a true prodigy of electronic music, and while still at a young age has achieved so much…with MUCH more to come…
As a label, DIVIDID was formed together with Mark and is now home to several of their collaborations as well as solo music from each of them as individuals. They are a creative force to be reckoned with and having both minds working as one on our forthcoming season is sure to educate, inspire and equip our members with the tools and techniques necessary for writing modern Drum & Bass, at the bleeding edge….
We caught up with Mark & Jon for some pre-season questions:
Mark, you’ve been involved in Drum & Bass for a while now, from back in the day as June Miller, that outfit was originally quite a deep with some fairly liquid vibes in places how did the progression into the all-out magnificent technical onslaught happen? And where do you see your sound heading in the future?
MARK: I remember the first time I really took the time to listen to Drum & Bass and my immediate thought was “wow I want to try and make this”. As I had been in bands previously, I didn’t have much experience producing, so naturally, I wasn’t very good haha. My personal goal was always to try and do something technical as that was always the most thrilling part about Drum & Bass for me, but at that time the more technical tunes I was trying to make actually weren’t that technical at all, so all the attempts I made, I was never satisfied with the results, and in turn, were never sent out to labels. I also loved the whole deeper movement at the time, when Breakage released his ‘This Too Shall Pass‘ album, which shed a totally new light on drum and bass for me at the time. This really gave us the inspiration to try and put our own spin on what was happening at the time. As I got more familiar with the technical aspects of production, it then opened up more possibilities which excited me incredibly. It still does, and really I believe I haven’t at all reached my full potential yet, so this is still my goal, realistic or not, it’s what keeps me willing to learn and progress.
Jon, so awesome to have you back on the team! When you last worked with us you were on the edge of the explosion… a few years later now, what if anything has changed with regards your view of D&B and your vision for your sound moving forwards?
Thanks for having me again! My view on drum and bass isn’t radically different compared to before. I’m less excited by hard stuff nowadays, and my forthcoming music has got way more “music” in it. Quite excited for it all!
What are your current studio set-ups?
JON: I still work in my bedroom so there’s not much to show :V
MARK: My set up is very simple. I still run my Adam’s P22’s and have a Mac and PC. The most important studio equipment that I own (if you can call it that) is my room acoustic treatment. I have a ‘room in a room’ set up with 10cm floating walls and 6x 40cm bass traps. And somewhere in the future, I am planning to add a series of tuned diaphragmatic absorber panels to address low-end management.
What about collaboration excites you?
MARK: I do find it fascinating to see how others work or approach things. Technical music production is basically physics, so there are no exceptions to the rule, but writing music and how you achieve it has no rules as long as it appeals to people. With so many unique approaches I find it really interesting how others’ think.
JON: Collaboration often leads to crazy ideas because there’s two minds in one room. It can be frustrating though when you disagree on something you’re very passionate about! I’ve always admired Mark’s drum design and his skill with using real instruments like piano, guitar and double bass in a techy setting.
DIVIDID has a really distinct sound already, it’s always tricky to do, but how would you try to describe it in a sentence?
JON: I think I can describe it in one word, even: “Tech”.
How did the concept of DIVIDID come to be, and is there a story behind its name
MARK: Jon & I both came up with the name as we felt it gave a mysterious feel of us dividing out to try new things. We also loved the spelling aesthetic.
No doubt our members will be excited to be learning from you guys over the coming year… what can we look forward to in terms of tutorials – what areas of knowledge do you think you might zoom in on?
MARK: I like to try and make 99% of every element myself, from synthesis, recording live instruments or spending a ton of time processing a drum kit. So I’m going to be giving a very detailed insight into how I go about making certain elements and as always, So we’ll try and reveal as much information as we can.
With regards the Samples you’ll be making for your members, what’s going to be your approach to doing your part of the DIVIDID sample contribution, and how will it vary from the last one?
JON: I think I’ve progressed loads since the last pack! My drum synthesis has improved loads and the other sounds like leads and the arp’s I’ve got for it right now are way different in my opinion 😀
SO YOU HEARD IT FIRST! SAMPLE GENIE SEASON No.7 KICKS OF FROM 2 -7-19
One more BIG announcement coming soon!!