After taking a little time off to stretch his legs in new directions original badman The Others is back with a heavyweight EP on Subway and some bright hopes for the future of the sound. Bayfield took five minutes to pick his brains on what he’s been upto and where he’s headed next.
The Others: How goes it?
Bayfield: Yep all good thanks mate, what’s been happening?
The Others: busy in the studio, not enjoying the nice weather unfortunately
Bayfield: hahah ’tis the major drawback to production life
The Others: Yeah if only my studio was outside, I could enjoy it… although my tunes would sound like shit lol
Bayfield: Haha that’s the trade-off I suppose. Maybe some sort of middle ground like a ragtop studio where you could just pull the top down on sunny days might work? What’s new for The Others then? Been a while since we last heard from you before the Subway release… MyStyle 004 if we’re not mistaken?
The Others: Yeah MyStyle 004 was the last project I did at the back end of 2014! So since then I had some time off from writing ‘The Others’ material and been doing some additional production / ghost writing kind of stuff which has been a lot of fun… But earlier this year I had some great ideas and went on a really good run and wrote basically a whole albums worth of new material, so the past few months has been about deciding how and where to release them as well as working on a bunch of new music.
Bayfield: Ah nice man, the ghost producing is an interesting angle! Obviously not asking you to name names but what sort of styles have you been working in? The new EP definitely sounds like a slightly different style of Others to your previous bits.
The Others: Yeah it was really fun working on different projects with the freedom of not attaching my name to it. It may sound weird, but it actually allows you to be a little more experimental than usual. It was a huge learning curve for me and something I really enjoyed doing. It was mainly dubstep and house stuff, so I’m pretty comfortable within those genres. Without giving to much away, the success and reaction to the music definitely inspired me to write some new material of my own again.
With the new EP I think you can obviously hear it’s me, references to my older sound are in there for sure. But it’s also ideas that have developed directly from working on other projects I’ve been involved in and taking inspiration from them.
Bayfield: For sure man; I’m always a fan of the old mantra “a change is as good as a rest”
Like I said you can obviously hear the new EP is still The Others but it seems to have a bit of a fuller sound to my ears. It’s densely layered stuff without being to screechy / tearout. Really splits the difference nicely between the heavy style and the darker styles. Also got some of those classic sort of trance-esque flourishes that pop up subtly in your stuff
The Others: Exactly! I think over the years there’s been times where I’ve questioned how and where my sound fits in within the grand scheme of dubstep, and to be honest I’m not quite sure it does fit in anywhere. I guess in the early days of the scene the stuff I was writing was classed as the heavier, more energetic end of the spectrum but these days in comparison people would class it differently.
Therefore, it can be challenging at times because I’ve never quite felt as if I ‘fitted in’ within the scene. And over the past few years the scene has divided even more, so that space in the middle where I guess most people place my sound is now a bit of a no-mans land in that regard. But I don’t let it concern me too much as I just want to focus on writing the music, that as a raver a myself, I want to hear when I go out to a club. The Shepherd Approach I guess you could call it haha.
Bayfield: It’s always better to shepherd than sheep! Long term I do honestly think it provides better rewards and satisfaction too.
It’s interesting you speak about that no-mans land as it were. That’s definitely something I’ve noticed more recently. There’s the kind of “dungeon/minimal” crew, the tearout / bro stuff and the reggae / dub heavy stuff all in their own little spaces doing their things but there doesn’t seem to be that crossover much anymore.
Whereas on a club night a five years ago you might get a nice sweep of styles everyone seems to be very much staying in their own corner these days… To be fair there’s only about two and a half club nights left standing so perhaps lack of opportunity is partially to blame but things do definitely feel more boxed in than they used to. Artists seem to be afraid to switch up their styles too far for fear of alienating the fans still going to raves and buying tunes.
The Others: 100% you’re right. The music is very segregated these days and I can only see that as a negative thing. It’s totally understandable that people have different tastes in music and some prefer different angles within the sound but that doesn’t mean something you disregard isn’t loved by someone else, and that should always be respected. It drives me mad when I see every debate about Dubstep end in a slanging match. Everybody’s introduction to dubstep was different, for some people it was through nights like FWD or DMZ, or labels like Tempa or Hot Flush. For others it was through platforms like YouTube hearing the likes of Skrillex or whatever. But it doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, or somebody is right and someone else is wrong. It’s just circumstance.
Personally when I go to club night I like to hear all the angles within this sound. Because I feel that all of them have something positive to bring to the table and I am able to enjoy the different styles without having to prove my credentials or take sides. The thing that really drew me in to this music in the first place was the unity and community that came with it, so I think it’s important that we all stop hating on the differences each of us have.
Bayfield: Yeah man for sure, I don’t know if it’s because it came from a very “heads” / underground background or if it’s just the way it has ended up with most electronic music in general but (and I’m aware of the irony of stating this in an interview) I do think people spend too long pondering and discussing the “scene” as opposed to just having a laugh with it.
There’s just far too much worrying about what label / genre / artist the work is repping as opposed to just looking at whether or not the music is any good. People get bogged down in the technicalities and just end up making everything a bit clique-y and suck all the fun out of it.
The Others: Yeah man for sure. The bottom line should always be, do you like this song? If the answer is yes, then great. if the answer is no, then there’s another one on the way in 2 minutes. And there really is no need for anything else. Yes it’s all good to big up a track, label or artist you like – nothing wrong with that at all. But there is no need for the bad vibes or hateful stuff just to try and prove a point. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it – it really is as simple as that.
I think if you look around at the people who are all really flying the flag for dubstep these days, they are doing something different from anyone else. And that’s the way to go as far I’m concerned, do the music that you enjoy making / listening to – and fuck what anyone thinks of it.
Bayfield: Yeah definitely. Considering how few shows there are to get booked for these days I’m surprised there’s not more experimental stuff going on. In most instances there’s literally almost nothing to lose hahah!
That being said though it does feel like dubstep on the whole has started getting a little more love across the board this year. Can’t be arsed getting into all that tawdry “is dubstep dead” shit but it definitely feels like it’s on a bit of an upswing at present
The Others: Yes I think everyone can feel the force again. There’s some great music coming out at present, not to say there hasn’t been in the last few years, but maybe it was just a bit few and far between. Most excitingly there are some new producers coming through that are doing great things. On the whole I feel the music is in a good place right now and we are on the cusp of really exciting things over the next few years.
Bayfield: For certain there’s a definite feeling of not just more music but more decent music coming out.
Can you give our readers some of your recommendations on the new bloody side of things?
The Others: I love that Topper Top track by Sir Spyro, it’s fucking ill. Also I really been enjoying Bukez Finezt album lately, that’s a solid release. Caspa & Rusko’s EP 1 (and forthcoming stuff) is really heavy, as is FuntCase’s new EP on Circus.
Lately I’ve got some really good music from Trampa, Joker, Sleeper, Cimm, Emalkay, Gentlemens Club, Sukh Knight, Franky Nuts, Truth, Distance… I could go on forever. There is a lot of great new music about right now!
Bayfield: Yeah I can definitely vouch for some of that stuff there!
Just to play devil’s advocate do you think the UK is in need of some fresh club nights for this sort of thing?
There’s only really a few still running in the capital and they are all pretty tried and tested. Apart from the CTRL Sound guys and Karma’s new night I don’t think I know of anything at present that isn’t already a well-established night / name.
The Others: There is a huge problem within the UK clubbing scene at present I believe. I think part of it has to do with the market being oversaturated with DJ’s, nights and music that aren’t up to scratch or out to make a quick buck. But perhaps the more pressing is the issue of the closure of so many nightclubs.
I can see a big shift going back towards the DIY attitude of illegal raves, which I think is probably not a bad thing at all. All these nightclubs are being closed down because financially the clubs can’t justify having a big empty space in city centre, that five days of the week is empty. So I think we will see a dramatic shift towards outdoor illegal raves / warehouse raves in the next few years. It’s already going that way now.
Bayfield: yeah there’s far more of those popping up around the outer zones of London for sure, with the news of Studio 338 burning down and Fabric being shut indefinitely there definitely feels like there’s going to be a sharp rise in those sorts of illegal raves purely out of necessity.
The Others: Yeah Fabric is a classic example of the problem within the clubbing industry right now. It has been the UK’s premier nightclub for many years, built in area with not much going on culturally. These days that area has become very in demand, and property developers are doing everything within their power to firstly obtain that large piece of land or get these clubs entertainment licenses revoked so it doesn’t disturb the neighbours in their overpriced new developments. But the whole reason these areas have become so desirable to live in is because of clubs like Fabric and the fantastic cultural benefits they bring. It’s basically a carbon copy story of most of the nightclub closures within London in recent years and it so backward. It comes down to the pure greed of local authorities, councils and property developers. Very sad indeed.
I think it’s inevitable that we will see more illegal raves take place because there won’t be any venues left! Sometimes you got to hit the reset button, and I think it’s about time we show authorities controlling our cities that we are going to have a good time no matter what happens, and that closing clubs left right and centre isn’t going to make us all stop liking underground dance music overnight. FIGHT THE POWER! Haha.
Bayfield: Hahaha that’s exactly it man. Although long term I do worry the illegal rave thing might be something of a double bind: The councils dress it up shutting venues down as “concerns for the safety of clubgoers” and then force clubbers to go to illegal raves where stuff is even more unchecked and (potentially) unsafe, particularly for younger ravers who are inexperienced, so by forcing all these clubs out (because as you rightly said people will go raving either way) they are actually forcing the punters into potentially more dangerous situations.
Right man just to bring it back home before I have to roll out what can people expect from the new EP and also where can people expect to cop it? Will it be a vinyl thing you think?
The Others: The EP is a mixture of stuff I’ve been writing over the past few years. The lead track ‘Lions & Tigers & Snares’ is actually about 2 years old but the demand for it to come out has been overwhelming. It’s received good support from all angles, Youngsta has been supporting it, as have people like Skism, so I feel it covers a few bases. There’s a collaboration with Proxima on there which youguys premiered, as well as two brand new tunes that are pretty geared up for the dance floor.
It’s basically just a nice mixture of different sounds and styles, with my print all over it.
Bayfield: Ah wicked Subway! Not heard from them in a minute either that’s a good link up for your sound man. How come you’re not going through DubPolice on this one?
The Others: Well I really liked the labels previous output, as I mentioned earlier I’m a big fan of Bukez Finezt’s album which dropped a few months back on Subway. And I’ve known the label chief Geoff Nicon for many years and he’s a stand-up guy I’ve always enjoyed working with.
For the moment I think the plan is for Dub Police to take a short break, and I was quite keen for my music to come out now so I am currently working with other labels and enjoying putting together new releases with them.
Bayfield: Ah nice man brings us back to what we were saying earlier: “a change is as good as a rest!” Thanks for your time man been a pleasure chatting to you.
The Others: Ok mate thanks for taking the time to talk and I’ll catch you soon!
You can cop the new EP by The Others on Subway right HERE right now.