95Bones is next to feature on our Global Mix series as we ask find out more about the emerging artist in our exclusive interview.
Up and coming UK DJ and Producer, 95Bones is the newest artist to feature on our Global Mix series. Achieving originality in his productions and sets, 95Bones mixes break beat, rave, electro and house into one neatly finished package, creating some of the hardest hitting tracks. Along with his Global Mix, we had a chat with 95Bones himself to find out about his approach to music and his opinions on the Social Media age.
You seem to zone in on a unique blend of break beat, rave, electro and house. Do you take inspiration from various places to create your current style, if so where are these inspirations taken from?
I’d say my earliest inspirations came from the music my mum used to listen to. She ran a catering company out of our kitchen and was always playing loud and heavy tunes to keep her going through the long shifts! There was always an emphasis on UK rave and jungle, artists like The Prodigy and Goldie, but equally there was a lot of US house being played like Robin S and Josh Wink, which allowed me to hear a wide variety of styles at a young age.
When I first got into DJing I was all about DnB and dubstep. Over time I started to branch out – getting into Swamp 81 was a real turning point for me. If I had to pick some labels to shout out as my biggest influences, I’d say UTTU, Ilian Tape, Hessle Audio, and Soma Quality Recordings. Some older ones would be Bush, Production House, Hard Hands, and a really cool little-known label called Shining Path Recordings.
My time at uni was an incredibly formative experience in terms of my style. Being involved with the student club night Presha was especially pivotal. There were so many different people involved with varied tastes, from classic Chicago house to freaky new wave and electro, to hard edged breaks and stomping techno, there was a real melting pot of musical styles at play. Being one of only a few promoters in Guildford focused on dance music allowed us to branch off into a different style each night: you could easily see Gatto Fritto headlining one week and Lamont headlining the next.
There was also a feeling of friendly competition. Everyone wanted to be the one to play the best tunes that no one else had, and that helped to drive my style and tastes in new directions. My mates were definitely key in my progression as an artist, and still continue to inspire me and push me forward!
What led you to your current path with music, have you always wanted to pursue a career in music or was it always a hobby you were passionate about?
It’s always been a bit of both. I try to keep my focus on making music as a hobby, and just be grateful for any success that comes of it! I’d hate to get into a position where making music was a chore, and luckily it’s still something that comes quite naturally to me and brings me a lot of joy. My hope is that this comes through in the vibe of the tunes.
Making music without keeping commercial success in mind allows me to go in whatever direction I want, without worrying about how creative decisions will be received in the context of the scene at the time. So far it seems to have worked out quite nicely, so fingers crossed it keeps heading in that direction.
Dance music is one of a few scenes in which experimentalism is actively desired, so producers don’t have to be concerned about commercial viability in the way that a pop artist might. I think that experimentalism is becoming more normalised in music as a whole – the massive mainstream success of artists like JPEGMafia, Billie Eilish and Slowthai is proof of that, and I hope to see the trend continue.
You have clean sounding productions that show quite a lot of experience, how did you further your knowledge in production, are you self-taught or did you study music production in any sort?
I appreciate you saying that! When it comes to production, I’m mostly self-taught. I did study music both in high school and at university, but I focused on the more theoretical and sociological aspects of music. I’ve been lucky enough to have many friends who are highly talented in both music writing and production, so although I never had any formal training, I’ve learnt so much from the people around me.
One of my best teachers has been my friend Adam Stokes, who is one of the most gifted producers I know. I spent a year living with him, just watching his process was incredibly enlightening. He makes music under the alias Sleepertrain, and has an EP coming out October 25th on Hush Hush Records – definitely check that out.
Other people in my life who have inspired me include; ex Presha head honcho Pete Carr aka Drum Thing, my good friends Sean and Martin who make music as the amazing Private Agenda, and one of my oldest friends and one of the best songwriters I know, Vez Maxwell aka Arji.
We’re in the age of social media, its importance in the electronic dance scene has helped many artists grow dramatically in popularity along with providing a platform for them to promote their music. What is your opinion on the impact of social media in the modern day electronic dance world? Has it helped you?
I’ve definitely tried to up my social media game in recent years, it’s a necessity for any artist working in 2019. I try to only post when I have something worthwhile to talk about, as I don’t want to get caught in the trap of placing quantity over quality.
Outside of social media, I’d say the internet DJ community as a whole has been instrumental to my success so far. A turning point for me was getting in touch with and getting to know people like Ian DPM and Moskalus. They were key in helping to push my old label Presha Records, and after connecting with Ian I ended up releasing on his label Scuffed Recordings, which was a huge boost for me and led to my other releases this year.
I think in some ways the internet has democratised the route to success in music, especially dance music, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without it. Having said that, I hate Twitter. Fuck Twitter.
What’s your preferred setup for making music; hardware or software?
I started making music on Garageband and for a while I stuck with software, but a few years ago I started getting into hardware, and now I find a combination of the two works really well. I like the tactile quality and unexpected musical ideas that can come out of hardware, but find using software to arrange and mix gives you more freedom and control over a track’s final sound.
My current hardware setup consists of:
- Three old school Electribes- the EA1 mkii, ES1 mkii and ER1 mkii. (These are wicked, would highly recommend!)
- Korg Minilogue (Quality poly, good starter synth, can always get good noises out of this)
- Arturia Microbrute (Mean’n’nasty lil bass boy)
- Korg Volca FM (Beautiful synth with a lot of depth for the price)
- Line 6 DL.4 delay pedal (Crazy box of tricks, can do a lot more than just delay)
- Soundcraft Signature MTK12 to run it all into logic (A 12 channel mixer AND audio interface all in one box for 300 quid, can’t go wrong!)
I prefer to use instruments that are more immediate and performance focused. I think this suits my production style. I’m not much of a deep diving tweaker!
Is there an origin story of the name 95Bones, how did it come about?
I’ve only got 95 bones… 😉
What’s next for 95Bones?
I’ve got some more music set for release with an awesome French label called Sample Delivery. I’m currently in the final stages of getting the EP sorted, so am looking forward to that dropping soon. It’s quite crunchy and lo-fi, in line with the sound of the label, so it was fun to work on something a bit more raucous and messy than usual.
I’ve also got my debut live set coming up at the Signature Brew Taproom & Venue in Haggerston , London. It’s part of a night called Final Final, run by Dan Alani of Reprezent Radio, and I’m grateful to him for inviting me down. It’s a little nerve-wracking as it’ll be the first time I’ve done something like this, but I’m hoping it goes down well!