Be it in his former guise as a third of renowned production outfit Chroma with Phobia and Sato or under his solo moniker as Tyrone, Newcastle based Ben Duncan is an artist who has been making serious movements around the Drum and Bass scene for some time now. Having already dropped a release on Ingredients along with a powerful co-lab EP with Jubei on Metalheadz, Tyrone has a point to prove and is set to make some more monstrously bass laden waves in the coming months.
This week sees the release of Tyrone's first solo project on Metalheadz, the 'Luncar City EP'. Consisting of 4 tracks sounding like they have been forged in the very same fires that gave us classics like 'Unofficial Ghost' and 'Metropolis', the EP is absolutely dripping with the headzy ambience we have come to expect from Goldie's behemoth of an electronica imprint. Tyrone's outstanding EP is a strong contribution to the ever growing catalogue of Metalheadz classics and is certainly one for the lovers of the proper old school Metalheadz vibe. These future classics will be doing the rounds on dance-floors for a good time to come.
Guestlist thought it was high time to link with the man of the moment for a chat about the EP and what he's got in store for us in the next few months.
So... This is your first solo EP on Headz, surely a big tick on the 'to do' list of any producer, how does it feel? It’s a strange one for me as I’ve released quite a lot of music either as Chroma or collaborative, however, this is actually my first solo release and it feels great, particularly as it’s on Headz which has always been on the bucket list. I made the decision a couple of years ago that I wanted to do some solo stuff just to prove to myself I was capable and here we are so yeah, chuffed!
Is there a story behind the EP? I actually wrote the tracks a few years ago and it was when I first made the conscious effort to finish some solo material. Paul (Jubei) and I had a routine where I’d have a new tune in his inbox every Monday morning which drove me to get my head down in the studio. There was a lot of rubbish, but these were the first tunes I finished that I was pleased with. Next thing I got a phone call from Goldie who was at a festival and had just heard Paul play Lunar City - that’s how the EP came about!
All 4 tunes a full of those old headzy vibes from start to finish, which is your favourite? Why? Warriors. I must have made 40 versions of that tune and spent years sacking it off then going back to it. Each time I went back to it I could hear the potential which is why persisted but could never get it right. It’s certainly the longest I’ve spent on a tune and it’s not even that complex, but it carries a lot of emotion which is why I had to finish it.
Tell us a bit about your production techniques and how you approach making music. Fairly standard really, drums first - I tend to reference similar tracks to get the mix right on the Kick/Snare then mix the rest of the elements to suit. I’ll then either look for a sample or write a riff that sets the tone for the track then builds the track up from there. I don’t often go in the studio with the mindset of “I’m gonna write a track like XXX” because it never happens. The amount of times I’ve gone to write a roller and ended up with a panty wetter is a joke, so I just let it happen. I also spend a lot of time in the car listening to music and sometimes ideas pop in my head, so I’ll open voice memo and hum into my phone – I might look and sound like a dick, but it works for me.
Which artists have been the biggest influence on you? Phobia – I met James through the local record store in Newcastle where he worked and he’d always bring me up to speed on new music. He was someone we all looked up to in Newcastle, particularly for his style of music – proper rollers. James introduced me to production, showed me the basics then sent me away to get my head down and learn. If it wasn’t for him I (and several others) probably wouldn’t be involved in D&B today. When I finally started becoming competent, we started collaborating and eventually set up ‘Chroma’ with Sato.
Jubei – I met Paul via Phobia and the Newcastle scene. We used to go on road trips to James’ gigs in the earlier days and ended up living together whilst I was at uni. Paul’s always been a big inspiration to me as a DJ and a producer. There’s a reason he’s a DJ’s DJ - I’ve never heard him play a shit tune or a bad set once. He has an ear for sound that not many have and the ethos of ‘less is more’ which works - His style and sound has undoubtedly inspired me the most and continues to do so.
Finally, what have you got in store for our lucky ears in the future? I’ve just finished an EP for Guidance which will be out later this year and features a co-lab with Ulterior Motive. Headz have a second EP by me and I’m currently working on an EP for another label (more info to come soon!) which I’m really excited about!
Tyrone's must-have 'Lunar City EP' is available now from the Metalheadz online shop.
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