Droptek has been a Monstercat staple since the label’s beginning.
Hailing from the UK, his contributions to the esteemed brand’s catalogue have been hugely successful, often leaning towards the darker, heavier side of bass music. His releases have been bold and distinctive, and include remixes for Pegboard Nerds and Krewella. ‘Fragments’, his most recent solo body of work, earned him features on stations such as Noisia Radio and BBC Radio 1. Droptek’s music can be heard in video games such as Ubisoft’s ‘Track Mania’ and VR remix game ‘Electronauts’, which features the recent collaborative effort with newcomer Vorso, ‘Smog’.
Since becoming an established producer known for his dubstep and electro-house pieces, Droptek has transitioned to the more fast-paced and frantic side of bass music and now mainly produces Drum & Bass, and is quickly building recognition with fans who favour their bass music above the 170bpm mark. Droptek’s creativity knows no bounds; his productions can be anything from melancholic, melodic vibes to tear out, dark, more aggressive flavours. Each track can take you by surprise and the scope of Droptek’s sound appears to be endless, even often dropping the pace to halftime feel to extend that range even further and providing a sound closer to beats/hip hop while retaining the dubstep influences from his earlier days.
Recently, Droptek signed with the newly formidable Dutch label Korsakov Music to release his debut album ‘Symbiosis’ – this masterful body of work serves as the ultimate definition of what Droptek is about. Coming in at a massive 18 tracks with over an hour total run time, it’s sure to solidify this already established producer as one of bass music’s finest.
We caught up with Droptek following the album’s release and he provided the influences behind his brand new LP, as well as the music which has helped shape his direction.
Film: Annihilation | The Alien
This track is one of those that upon hearing it I immediately experience the same feelings as when I first heard it. If you haven’t seen the film I urge you to watch it. This track plays during the conclusion and the thought of it gives me chills every time. The sound is so unsettling even without visuals but combined with the visuals creates an incredibly chilling experience. The way the sounds morph from deep distant rolling rumbles to in your face twisted midrange/distorted objects were a huge inspiration for the album’s intro and the title track Symbiosis.
Stephan Bodzin – Singularity
During writing the album I purchased my first analogue synthesiser. A Moog SUB37. It’s a very powerful mono synth for writing bass and lead lines. Hearing the way Stephan manipulates the instrument on ‘Singularity’ inspired me to dive deeper into its capabilities which lead toward the creation of ‘Extrapolate’. The track’s main feature/lead sound is the Moog with the second oscillator tuned up 7 semitones, combined with some filter and envelope movement made for a very interesting, thick, harmonic lead sound for the rest of the track to be built around.
Video Game: Cyberpunk | Hyper – Spoiler
Cyberpunk 2077 is a game I’ve been excited for a long time. During writing the album CD Projekt Red released new gameplay trailers. One of those featured the track ‘Spoiler’ The straight drums combined with the distorted saws inspired me to write ‘Revolver’. I wanted to apply this attitude to a halftime track that maintained a steady pulse with precise, aggressive, deep, bass riffs., while also added my own futuristic spin with arpeggiations and jump-out-of-the-speaker sound design.
Anomalie – Velours
For electronic music, Anomalie is one of the best for musicality. Growing up my dad would always listen to jazz funk when we were in the car so this music is like modern nostalgia for me. I wanted to try and bring just a hint of this approach to halftime track ‘Flow’ It has the steady drums and live kit feel with synth bass and some melodic keys to creating harmony on top. Creating melodies from chord voicings known as ‘voice leading’ was a key strategy in composition.
Film: Bladerunner 2049 | Flight to LAPD
While writing the album I saw Bladerunner 2049 at the cinema. I remember I had also just upgraded my monitoring setup by purchasing an 8 inch ‘Adam Sub 8’. Being able to really hear and feel the extended low frequencies changed how I wrote the rest of the album. Hans is a guy who knows how to write for those big cinema systems and make your chair shake and that’s something I took with me in my approach. It also led to a lot of the album being written in D to get those super low sub-bass frequencies.