This May sees the debut release for Sub-Division Recordings, the noisy, younger sibling of the mighty Sub-Liminal Recordings imprint. Managed by the young Drum and Bass production maestro Guzi, the label has been created to provide a platform for the next generation of producers operating on the harder hitting, more techy side of the DNB spectrum, allowing a host of up and coming beatsmiths to develop their respective styles to their full potential.
Guzi has been hard at work for a good few months putting together a team of highly talented young producers ready to drop their work on the label and if the label's first release, the definitive 'The Division Vol 1 EP', is anything to go by this is going to be a very exciting time for the fans of music frequenting the darker side of Drum and Bass spectrum.
Consisting of five superb tracks from some of the most exciting undiscovered talent in the game right now, this EP provides a textbook example of the labels style and mission objective. It looks like Guzi has been meticulous in his search to unearth some of the future headliners of the Drum and Bass scene and the EP does not disappoint.
Guzi's monstrous 'Spectre' kicks us off with space age pads and subtle amen loops that build into a breakdown consisting of droning bass stabs and dark atmospherics sliding eloquently into pure teeth gritting heavyweight bassline bliss.
Mains 'Stalker' (featuring Felon MC) begins with rampant hats and edgy chords that grow into tense gnarly drum scores perfectly punctuated with Feoln's vocal licks that in turn explode into a a thunderous distorted roller reminiscent of the early sound of a certain Dom and Rolland.
Sam Harris's 'How I feel' is next up. Pure unadulterated sub bass weight and powerful skipping drums complimented skilfully with rhythmic vocal teases ensue to create vibes even the most immobile DNB fan will struggle not to move with.
Young Belgian Sinexia starts his musical journey in style with 'HND'. Resonant drum hits and scathing metallic FX build up and drop into a hard hitting rumbling bassline that will be taking head tops off on the dance floor for many months to come.
Finally Woolf's 'Retrospekt' concludes the EP in style with it's eerie soundscapes and urgent pacy drum loops peppered with rave stabs and frantic hats that drop into another very well rounded dance floor killer that will keep ravers marching on contently for some time to come.
Guestlist were as pleased as punch to catch up with label boss Guzi for a chat about his sound, the labels mission objective, and the release of the new EP.
What was the first thing you thought of this morning when you woke up? Food
If you could only eat/drink 3 things for the rest of your life what would they be? Water (boring I know, but water is life!), chicken wings and burgers!
If I could give you a plane ticket to anywhere in the world right now where would you go? Australia, purely to rinse the free plane ticket as much as possible!
If you didn't have a career making music what would you be doing? Some seriously soul destroying office work, finance most likely, that was the path I was on before I decided to sack it all off and focus on music.
What was the first record you bought? I think it was Sean Paul 'Get Busy' – considering I was 7 years old it's not a bad tune, I'd still rep it to this day!
What is your favourite tune (any genre)? The Prodigy 'Firestarter'
Which 3 artists have been the biggest influence on your sound? The Prodigy, S.P.Y and DJ Hazard. There are so many more! I'm also heavily inspired by loads of non electronic music artists, too many to name!
If you could play a back to back set with any artist who would you choose? Randall.
This week sees the first release on your new label project Sub-Division Recordings, what is the ethos behind the label? Why did you decide to start it? Sub-Liminal (our sister label) has it's own sound and is very well established with a solid roster of artists. I am very passionate about all of the different sounds in Drum and Bass and after a few brainstorms with Agro (Sub-Liminal), it almost seemed obvious that this was something we needed to do. Sub-Division is an expansion of the Sub-Liminal brand which will quite simply allow us to release twice as much banging music every year.
How would you describe the Sub-Division Sound? Sub-Division will feature a wide range of Drum and Bass, predominantly aiming to cover the sounds not already provided for by our sister label. Our first release is quite dark and minimal, but future releases will be very diverse, ranging from huge dance floor tunes to Jungle steppers.
You seem to have put together a team of quality up-coming young producers for the release, did you actively go out looking for producers who were making music with a sound that fitted with the label or is this something that has naturally happened over time? The main thing I was looking for was originality and technical production skills, and those that I felt could bring something fresh to the scene. The sound of the label is now in their hands, and I have full faith in the team to create something great.
What makes for a good producer in your eyes? I like producers who use creative techniques, think outside of the box and bring something new and original to the table. Unfortunately these days a lot of producers seems to be spendingtheir time and effort trying to sound like their favourite artists. I prefer to celebrate the innovative producers out there, of which there are also plenty!
With the development of sample platforms like Splice and Loop Masters it seems that Drum and Bass production is more accessible then ever, do you view this as a positive thing? Why? I don't personally use sample platforms like Splice or Loop Masters as I am well aware how many people do and I don't want to sound like anyone else. I also enjoy the art and science of making my own sounds, it is a big part of my production. I do think that increased access to music production is important and can only do good, but I don't think sample packs are the way to go. I think education in actual production skills is much more important.
Since you first got into Drum and Bass have you always wanted to produce or is the production side of things a bi-product of wanting to DJ more? I started as a DJ at quite a young age and some more experienced DJs that I knew at the time encouraged me to start producing from the get go. Once I started I got the bug and since then I've thrived on constantly improving my production skills.
In the modern Drum and Bass scene it seems there is a lot of pressure on upcoming artists to put out their own music to “make it” as a DJ, do you think this is true? Has this had a detrimental effect on the quality of the music that is being released week to week? Yes I would agree, and I think this is how it should be. Making music is a far greater skill than using modern DJ equipment. I don't think this is responsible for the massive surplus of low quality Drum and Bass out there though. This is mainly down to lack of quality control with labels, music platforms and producers. It is a great thing that people can easily put out their own music independently, but there will inevitably be a lot of bad stuff to sift through.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since starting the label? Quality music shines through, even in this incredibly saturated market, no memes required.
The release has received a lot of positive feedback, which tune are you most excited about putting out? Woolf – 'Retrospekt' is quite a big one as this is just a taster of what's to come from a relatively unknown artist who I have been working with for a long time, he will be putting out a lot more over the coming year.
What's next for Guzi/Sub-Division? After this first release, Woolf and I are putting out a co-lab EP in June featuring 2 collaborations and 2 solo tracks, I am really excited about this EP as it is a totally new sound for me.
Finally where can we catch you performing over the next few months? Are you doing any festivals this summer? 18th May I will be performing b2b with Mentah at The Volks in Brighton and then I've got Breakin Science at Concorde 2 on the 1st June. I usually end up playing out and about in Brighton quite a lot over the Summer so follow my socials (guzidnb) for updates on where I'm at! So far I've got another b2b with Mantah confirmed in Worthing for 29th June and also a solo headline set at a Tribal themed event in Brighton on July 19th.
The must have “Division Vol 1 EP' is available now exclusively from Junodownload and will be on general release from 24/05/19.
GUZI -FACEBOOK - TWITTER - SOUNDCLOUD
SUB-DIVISION RECORDINGS - FACEBOOK - SOUNDCLOUD