Konichi and Decimal Bass are both well regarded producers in their own rights, however, it's together as Annix that they really have heads turning.
A staple of the Playaz family, they've been churning out the kind of jump up that has us going mad consistently for years now. They've captured the raw elements of the sound and mixed it up with a dark edge that's meant they not only smash it on the UK turf but also over in Europe.
They're one of the busiest in the game, clocking in gigs across Europe pretty much weekly! Though back in July the pair found the time to release their latest fire, the powerful The Dog Knows EP. Clocking up to 6 records it's packed with serious energy and will tear the floors apart. We managed to catch them for a quick chat to see what's happening in the twisted world of Annix.
You use a lot of vocal samples in your tunes, where do you get them from?
All kinds of places really. Some are our mates, people we know, movies, television, anything. Anything I hear, that could work there's loads. We don't have a set source really.
So it sounds like your brains just always thinking about what you could do?
Yeah if I hear something out and about I try to remember and get it down.
Nice, in your new EP we saw you've got three collabs, Turno, Prestige & Decimal Bass with Vaccum.
They're all good friends we've known them for a while and thought, let's make some stuff. We were gonna do a lot more. It was gonna originally be a collab EP but then we had some tracks of our own that we wanted to put out. We've done a couple more with some other guys that we'll put out next year probably.
Do you get in the studio with the guys or do you work individually?
Some of them. The Turno one he came up for a couple of days. We started a few things and it's the only one we've finished so far. The other's were just sending stems over the internet.
Must be difficult hooking up with each other?
Yeah, everyone lives all over the world now. Prestige lives in Brussels, that's not close!
It came out on Playaz, you've been with them for a long time now - how did you guys start out?
I was just sending stuff over for about a year I think and not getting much response and then one day he rung me up and wanted to work with us. That was the label we were aiming for when we wanted to do drum & bass. We've had other labels approach us but we're happy where we are. It all works quite nice and we get on with them so if it ain't broke don't fix it.
You've said that Playaz as a label is one that you're 100% happy with - what is it about them that you guys like?
Hype, he'll tell you how it is. He can spot a lot of things that we'd miss and I feel a lot of other labels may not notice the kinda things that he spots. We're quite like minded, we have the same tastes and we are into the same sounds so that helps.
So not just a label boss but a bit like a mentor as well then?
Yeah, definitely. Especially for the last few years even more so. We know each other pretty well now and we've got a pretty good relationship.
How do you approach a situation when something's not good?
I take their word for it really, he's been doing it for so long so he must know what he's talking about.
"He'll tell you how it is", DJ Hype's more than just a label boss.
You've had the EP come out, I was wondering though, how you even have time cos you seem to be going everywhere for shows all the time!
There's two of us which does help, so one might be away and the other still able to work on stuff. We work quite fast as well. We can make a tune in a day quite easily. We've still got maybe even hundreds of unfinished ideas, just getting that couple of hours to get back into and get it finished off. I take my laptop when I go away so if there's anything that needs doing urgently I can amend or change it about. So it never stops really!
How do you deal with the constant work load?
I couldn't do anything else, man. It's what I do and even if I weren't doing it for a job I'd still be doing it, it's what I do with my life.
It's festival season! What festivals so far have you done?
Done Dour festival in Belguim, that was pretty sick. Most of them have been in Europe, we haven't done a lot of UK. We're doing SW4 in a few weeks but most of the stuff we do is in Europe.
Any reason why do you think?
I think maybe we've gone down that darker euroesc sound which they like over there. It used to be the other way around but yeah, no complaints.
Do you enjoy playing abroad?
Yeah definitely, I love going away and seeing other places.
Have you got a favourite spot to go to?
Ahh loads, Prague probably. One of my favourites. Every where's different and better for different reasons.
You mentioned you're at SW4 - you're back to back with Turno for that one!
Yeah! We're gonna get in the studio together again beforehand. I imagine we will plan the set out to an extent but not too much cos you never know how it's gonna be on the day. You know, you plan a whole set and the stuff you anticipated is not actually working and it's other things that are.
Do you meet up with Turno a lot then?
We see him out and about quite a lot but he lives a couple of hours away so it's hard to get times when we're both free. We've done two sessions with him so far and we'll do another one in a couple of weeks.
On that stage, you'll be playing with Camo & Krooked, Friction, Congo Natty, Fabio Grooverider, Marky. You're up there with the big guns! Anyone on that stage that you're looking forward to?
Goldie's sets are always pretty sick, Hype and Hazard - all of them man!!
You gonna be there for the second day?
No, we're going somewhere else the following day. I think we're going to two other places on that day as well so don't think we will get a chance to check out any of them!
Turno is another heavyweight in the jump up scene, check his interview with us from earlier this year.
Ahh, the fun never stops! You're down at Fabric again in September as well, have you played there since it's reopened?
No, so looking forward to it man. That was definitely our favourite place to play. Be good to see what it's like now, busier than ever I imagine.
You guys are based in Cheltenham, does that make it difficult when you're heading to the shows?
Yeah, to an extent. But also it is quite central in England. No driving takes us more than four hours so if we were in London and we needed to go Newcastle, that's quite a lengthy drive. So that way it works, but sometimes it would be nice to be somewhere where there's a bit more of a community because there's not a lot happening here. In Bristol, there's quite a lot of artists about and working with each other happens quite a lot. But we've got the internet now, so you can do it all on that. That's probably why we're still here because we don't really need to be anywhere else.
When did you guys first meet?
We went to school with each other, been mates since we were about 11. We've known each other ages and always made music together, chilled together and all that. We're very on the same page and want the same things.
How do you decide who plays what gig?
We just take it in turns basically, who's available for what. I mean he doesn't really like doing the long haul stuff but I love doing more of that.
What else have you guys got planned for the year?
Yeah, we've got a couple of remixes coming out for Noisia and Phace. We've done a few for Neonlight on Blackout.
Talking of remixes, you guys remixed Sigma earlier on this year!?
Yeah, they just hit us up and asked if you wanted to do and we thought why not. Could be a good thing to be in and involved with.
What would Annix do to change the world?
Any in particular?
All of them.
Would you say that the war on drugs is failing?
Yeah definitely, because there's still drugs! In Portugal they've got quite a good system, it's not a criminal thing but they will help you because if you're on harder stuff you're effectively ill really. You're not right in the head if you're taking that, you shouldn't be in prison that'll only make things worst!
If you had a swimming pool, what would you fill it with?
Scott would fill it with beer, Tyksie. Money I guess. I'm not a money person but would be nice to have a pool of money!
Has there been a party that's changed your life?
The first drum & bass night I went to, at Lakota in Bristol. That confirmed that I was into drum & bass. Another one is probably Let It Roll because that opened my mind up to how much I do love drum & bass and I needed that at the time.
When did you first properly get into drum n bass & what did you think at first?
Maybe 2004/2005. Yeah, I loved it. Didn't hear anything else like it, just thought what the fuck is this and got pretty obsessed with it.
What tunes was it that caught your attention?
Hype, Hazard, G Dub, the early Playaz I guess and the harder jump up stuff. As you get more into it you discover other stuff and that's what so great about it. It's so versatile, with so many different sounds and styles.
I'm assuming you both got into the music about the same time?
Yeah, exactly the same time. The first ever CD we heard was one that we both shared. All our mates shared this one CD, it was the Drum & Bass Essentials by DJ Hype.
What instrument would you take with you to a desert island?
A harp, that could be quite relaxing and not too in your face.
Annix's The Dog Knows EP is out now, nab yourself a copy here!
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