When life gives you lemons, well. You turn it around and doing something positive!
That's exactly what Jimmy, aka Beat Assassins has done. The former breakbeat duo enjoyed global success, but after the rise of dubstep and in 2010, their genre dropped out a lot. A lose of love for breakbeat meant the Beat Assassins came to a close, but that didn't stop either of them. Beat Assassins may have been quiet for a while but Jimmy has brought it back from the grave, with a new energy and killer sound. Drum & Bass is the new style we should expect to hear from Beat Assassins; quirky, party centred drum & bass and it's bloody brilliant.
The Raid dropped last week, his debut work as a solo, drum & bass Beat Assassins. So we thought it was only right that we have a chat with him and find out a little more about him and his style.
Hey, how are you?
I'm very well thanks!
Doing much today?
I'm actually in the studio today, getting on with some new music.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I use to produce with a guy called Joe (under the Beat Assassins name) making breakbeat. In 2010 the music scene changed quite dramatically, so along came genres like dubstep, and fidget house and breakbeat just dropped off really. We found ourselves going from hero to zero. Which is understandable, music changes that's the way it is. I did trap for a while as Koshii, but then I really wanted to do some drum & bass. It's an old passion.
How long did your breaks project go on for?
It started in 2006 and we were prolific until about 2010.
And the other member, Joe is he the same Joe from Sigma?
Yeah he's from Sigma. When we were doing Beat Assassins, Sigma had already started and was doing quite well actually. That's another reason for our split, when breaks was dropped I said to Joe, you need to concentrate on your drum & bass because that's going really well and obviously that was the right decision for him as they're a big sensation now.
Massively, they've crossed over really nicely from the underground to the mainstream.
Yeah, Joe's a little genius.
So you've done trap as well?
Yeah as Koshii. I was doing it with another guy called DJ Sai, together we had a night called It's Trap in Camden. It went really well for a while, we supported various large US artists who came over; UZ, Flosstradamus, Baauer.
I liked it, because of hip hop. Along came Trap, it's kind of dance music/hip hop and was really fun to do for a while but I dunno. It was like a one trick pony for me, once you got past the 808 bass, hip hoppy pitched down lyrics and the squeaky lead I got bored of it. It wasn't me. So I thought I'd make some drum & bass because I love it and think it's great!
And that's when Beat Assassin's came back?
So I picked up and made a whole load of drum & bass tracks, but I didn't know what name to put it out under. Everyone was just saying to just do Beat Assassins again, you know breaks to drum & bass is hardly a dramatic jump, it's not like going from country and western to heavy metal. It's a great name so I got a whole re-brand and this year I plan to release something a month, so I'm very excited about it!
Check out Beat Assassins top 5 favourite drum & bass tracks
So Beat Assassins is a drum & bass name now, but you've had history with breaks, could we be expecting material that isn't drum & bass or are you sticking with it?
Drum & Bass for now definitely. I did think about doing a couple of breaks tracks to give a nod to the old days as it were.
Could do a breaks VIP?
Yeah, that could be a good idea. I have tried doing a few breaks beat, but they won't come in naturally like they use to, but what is coming naturally to me at the moment is drum & bass.
In your music, you say it's coming to you quite naturally, do you find you're just fitting into certain vibes when making your music?
Yeah. The time to make a new tune is when you find something that sparks an idea. I generally wait till that happens, but it happens a lot!
The music you're putting out, is it geared more towards the dancefloors?
Yeah definitely, the drum & bass I'm making. If you've heard, The Raid, the new one I've done. That's got quite a bouncy style and I'm trying to stick with going with that, and keeping a cheeky vibe about the music as the old Beat Assassins stuff was a little bit cheeky. I don't see myself going down a serious route, it will always be bouncy, cheeky, party music!
Yes! Well after listening to The Raid, and Space Yardy, they just sound really fun and that's something, not just in drum & bass, that's is being lost.
I think there's a real lack of fun. Reading some reactions to the tunes people are saying, nice to hear some fun music again. They're asking, where's the fun gone? Drum & Bass is a big scene, I think you have to carve a niche for yourself and if I can do that by being a bit of a quirky drum & bass artist and sort of say, this is me and I'm just having some fun here.
Was there a party that you've been to that's changed your life?
Probably plenty! One of them would be the Big Beach Boutique that Norman Cook use to do.
Another one that's definitely life changing would be Metalheadz at the Blue Note in Hoxton. It was every Sunday night and they never announced the line up, so you just had to go down there and it was great. I loved that! Kemistry, Storm, Doc Scott use to play, Goldie of course. All in the 90s when drum & bass was very new.
Also Tribal Gathering festival, I use to go every year and they were life changing experiences. That was where I first encountered big bands, every year someone like The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy or Underworld would play. I remember one year Kraftwerk headlined which was incredible. It had dance music on every level, from the softest UK garage to the darkest drum & bass, through to trance, to house. You could hear dance music on every level.
Also got to give a shout to Glade festival.
What are you most in love with right now?
I should say my girlfriend shouldn't I!? But that's a bit obvious, I tell you probably my studio. I've got a wicked studio, I just love being in it, it's a proper bunker.
Like an underground bunker?
Yeah, it's literally underground. When I shut the door it's fully sound proof. It's weird experience, because when I come out of the studio anything could have happened outside.
If you had a superhero power what would it be?
I'd wanna be The Seasoner. Right, I'd have this belt with all these different herbs and spices and could turn any food into the most gorgeous tasting lovely delicacy. So when you're in a restaurant and you get a really shit dinner, and you're like, oh this burger's really shit I wish I hadn't ordered this, The Seasoner would say don't you worry and you're burger will turn into this amazing beautiful food.
Anything else we should know about?
Look out for Space Yardi and Drop It Hard. There's a remix by 1000dayswasted, he's a proper upcoming artists and he's done a proper basher remix, one for the heads!
Awesome, well we'll look forward to that, and a lot more coming from this new reformed Beat Assassins!
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