deeB is a producer that has been on my radar for a few years now. With each of his releases, I tend to grow more and more fond of his sound, which if we need to abstract ourselves from the chillhop scene, I actually find very spacious and ambient.
We recently premiered and hosted his track "Aviation" and that triggered a series of events which led us to this moment - our first interview with the Dutch producer and his seriously zen mix, full of unreleased gems. I hope you guys enjoy "discovering" the person behind the moniker and the soundtrack he gifted us.
- 1. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 2. deeB - ...and Retain (Dust Collectors Seasonal Sounds 5)
- 3. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 4. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 5. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 6. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 7. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 8. deeB - Untitled (unreleased)
- 9. deeB - Outronic (unreleased)
Hi Danny! Man, before anything I just have to start with expressing my utter love for your "Morningview" beat. It's just... yeah, I'll get to that later, but this track has given me so much happiness, it's indescribable. Anyways, where do we find you today?
Thanks, glad you liked it so much. Happy with the way it turned out, although I really want to say something about it as well. Today you find me in the studio. Which is in my living room. Hi there.
Tell us the most random fact about yourself. Something which very few people know.
I fall asleep very fast. Sometimes I fall asleep while making music. The loop just gets me into a trance. And because the track loops I'm clueless for how long I've been away.
You also made a mix for us, how would you describe it in a sentence?
A slow, short drive through a fall landscape while listening to new unreleased deeB stuff on a broken fm radio.
Where does the name deeB comes from? Also, how important is the capital B?
Because my name is Danny people used to call me "dee”, so a shortened version dee-Beats is the simplest explanation behind the name.
My intention was that people would pronounce it like deebee, also a hint to decibel (dB). But apparently they prefer to say deeb, so over the years it kinda changed into deeb. I'm fine with it really. I use it myself too.
How did you get into beat-making? Did you play music before starting producing actually?
I got into beat-making by the end of high school when my friends and I were playing around with Fruity Loops, trying to make drum 'n bass and other beats. Just trying to sound like our heroes, but we didn't have a clue.
Hadn't had any experience with playing music either so it all has been, and still is, a learning process where I had to dive deep into sampling to 1: have nice sounds without playing an instrument, 2: get a decent lesson in music history and 3: you learn more and more every track you make, about the place of each sound in a composition, so eventually you'll learn how to use sampling as an instrument to create new compositions made up of tiny fragments of sampled material. Along the way I've picked up playing the piano a bit, it makes things so much easier and more fun to do because you rely less on samples. Recently I've got into guitar also, still working on that.
You've worked and released tracks with a lot of labels and collectives, how important do you think those "establishments" are in the world where a musician could essentially do everything independently?
In terms of audience and promotion it's pretty obvious a label can be pretty important. Also in a world where artists can be dependent on features in popular playlists, labels can play a big role too. And they just take a lot of work and time off your hands, time that can be put into making music. But yes agreed, all tools are available for you to run a one man show and do it all independent. Even Spotify is piloting a test to let Artists upload their tracks directly. But for now I'm happy working with people who put their heart and soul (and money) into spreading my music as far as possible, while I focus on what I like most.
Going back to "Morningview". Man, I am a huge Incubus fan, so this really made me happy. How did you come up with the idea behind the track?
Haha, there it is, I knew it would come, glad I can finally talk about this. Yes, I like the track too, but in the end I'm not happy with it.
As a fan of a lot of older Incubus tracks I wanted to work with an Incubus sample the way I'd normally work with a sample. So change it up, edit it, change its context by adding new instruments and change its flow. It came out as a pretty nice and small track. Although, I struggled to not end up with the same lead melody as Philanthrope's track "Hope". You'll notice when you listen to both tracks.
As soon as it landed online I got a lot of positive feedback on the use of the sample. But the fact that people instantly recognized the sample made me feel less proud of the track, because I just took a sound of another famous track and did my trick with it, and actually I didn't even process the sample that much. That was the last time I ever used sampling that way again.
How does your studio/setup looks like? Would you mind snapping a photo and walking us through it?
1) Focusrite Scarlett 2) M-Audio MIDI Keyboard 3) SP404 OG (linked with ableton) 4) AKAI USB Turntable (linked with ableton) 5) Novation Nocturn (just for the occasional knob twisting)
Pretty straight forward set-up I think. Ableton is the main show here, I can record vinyl into it, use it back and forth with the SP and use my keyboard to play melodies with a vst or a sampled / edited sound.
Not shown: MPD24 / Various Guitar FX / A guitar / Fieldrecorder.
I've always found your sound very... ambient in a strange way. Where do you get inspiration from when it comes to producing? Do you listen to other genres besides chillhop/instrumental hip hop?
I used to listen to a lot of old Amon Tobin/Cujo and Boards of Canada as well as other UK triphop artists, who totally left their marks in terms of ambiance and space I use. I also get a lot of inspiration from native music and totally different styles such as UK Bass and House/Techno music. A lot of these bass/drum driven genres teach you a lot about keeping it minimal, only using the necessary and put every element in their right place.
Who are your favourite producers and people we should be checking out right now?
Moose Dawa, Anonymous Musik, Teebs, Cedric Till, Stan Forebee, Moods, Prefuse73, Kyle McEvoy, Lightfoot, Binkbeats, Thes One, C-Mon & Kypski, Juicebox, Flitz&Suppe, Juan Rios, Made in M, Plusma, Bugseed, Birocratic, Freud, Philanthrope, DrChamploo, Knxwledge, Cookin' Soul, Dash, Obijuan. To name a few. In random order.
If you could tell something to your younger self, the first day you picked up beat-making, what would it be?
I'd tell him to pick up an instrument on the side and to be patient and have some fun.
And last, but very important question. What's next in 2018? Should we expect a full-length release this year?
Well, my Jazzclub Atmosphere EP just got released last week on Komorebi Records. It's a selection of jazzy tracks made between 2014 and 2018. Right after I finished A Day In A City in 2014, I started working on a jazz album, but along the way requests for compilations and collabs came in and the album idea kinda got ripped apart. All by myself of course.
Tracks like "Secret Meetings", "Sevenhouses", "Just one More" and "All Orange" have found their way to various releases already while the other tracks were still sitting there. One failed attempt (I won't point any fingers) to release these tracks on a US label (nor dropping any names) and two years later, these tracks are finally out for the fans of jazzy beats.
Also a track titled "...and Retain" was released last week on the Seasonal Sounds 005 Fall compilation by Dustcollectors.
In a few weeks time I'll drop a free EP on Martian Bass Records. It's called the LL Cool J Doin it Well RMX EP, and contains four tracks build around a remake I did of LL Cool J's classic track.
Maybe it's a different sound than you are used to, a bit more abstract and electronic, but a deeB EP nonetheless.
Last thing that will drop in 2018 will be the Louis EP. A 14 track split EP I did with my mate Anton. We shared the same idea and vision, shared some sound material and decided to work it out separately.
Expect some heavy natural ambiances, abstract soundscapes and warped field recordings. Kinda next level. This one will drop on Martian Bass Records too and will be available on all streaming platforms and limited vinyl.
A new full length, follow-up on Slowmocean will follow in 2019.