You could say Noisia have been pretty busy the last couple of years. Two Kraantje Pappie albums, an I Am Legion album and tour, remixes for everyone from Icicle to Katy Perry, as well as production for people like Korn, Hadouken, Dope DOD, Dream Mclean and Wretch 32, plus a plethora of their own releases — and even a video game soundtrack. It's hard to think of any bass music artists with a discography as extensive and impressive as theirs.
So it should have been of no surprise when Noisia announced even more music, with their new eight-track 'Purpose EP' scheduled for release on the 30th June. Noisia describe the EP as "written for the dancefloor" and the three tracks already premiered — 'Asteroids', 'Stamp Out' and 'Oh Oh' — have been ripping dancefloors apart for months already, with support from Zane Lowe, Friction and many others.
It is with great pleasure, then, that DJ Mag presents an exclusive first play of 'Shaking Hands', the latest track from the new EP. Our personal favourite of the tracks we've heard so far, this track delivers on every level. Noisia's trademark quality production combines with jump up-esque beats and mids, making this track sound like DJ Hazard on steroids.
Have a listen here:
Also being released is this 4 x 12" Vinyl pack. Even the artwork is meticulously detailed and perfectly produced... Preorder it here: http://bit.ly/PurposeVinyl
We managed to catch up with the Noisia guys for a little Q&A (below)...
There are eight tracks on your new EP – why didn't you make it into an album?
“These tracks were all written for the dancefloor, with no particular musical innovation, except for maybe ‘Long Gone’ and ‘Leopard Slug’, but those two are also firmly rooted in a scene. It felt like a waste to not release these tracks and wait until we had everything in place for an album. Somehow we have this preconception that an album should reflect all our developments, and even though these tracks do represent a large part of what we love about music and where we are as well, it isn’t everything. And besides, what does it matter anyway, whether you call it an EP or an album?”
Would you say you're a prolific production team, or does it take you ages to finish a track? How does the process work? Some of your tracks are very intricate…
“We are very prolific. Since 2010, when we released our first album, we have been releasing Noisia tunes while working on other projects almost full-time. In 2010 we produced an album for Hadouken (as Nightwatch) and worked with Skrillex (back then he went by the name Sonny Moore), and since then we’ve produced two albums for Dutch rapper Kraantje Pappie, made three hours of music for the PS3/Xbox game DmC Devil May Cry, produced and released the I Am Legion album, did several remixes that took a lot of time (most notably ‘Smack My Bitch Up’), worked on a couple of loose production jobs as Nightwatch, and so on. Nik has done a lot of artwork for our labels, and Martijn and Thijs have been touring all over the world, with Nik occasionally joining them for Noisia shows but also doing visuals on the I Am Legion tours.”
Why are so many of your Dutch countrymen, who mainly play EDM, the biggest DJs in the world (Armin, Tiesto, Hardwell, Fedde etc)? What is it about Holland that produces so many successful DJ/producers?
“This is a guess: Holland is one of the richest countries in the world. This could help people to afford to take risks — like trying for a career in music. Maybe the not-so-strict drug laws have something to do with the building of good music scenes? I guess the same could go for our football team. We are a very small country, but we’re rich so we have good education and have time to develop talents like musical and athletic abilities.”
How far - in your view - should drum & bass cross over into EDM?
“As far as it wants. There’s a place for everything. There’s a place for the Skrillexes bringing Lauryn Hill on stage, and a place for underground scenes adoring deep and minimal tracks. We gotta say, we love both, even though we do feel slightly more comfortable in the underground.”
What got you into drum & bass in the first place?
“Dnb appealed to our teenage angst.”
And what do you like about the scene most in 2014?
“The ‘scene’ is a weird thing, we move across many scenes. In Europe we get booked for lots of underground club-nights. We love that. People that come to hear the sound they’re obsessed about, people that recognise the underground tunes, it’s amazing. But in summer we do festivals, at which the crowd consists of a few of the same underground scene people, but also a lot of curious people that come to check your music out for a moment and move on, and people that just want to get messed up and have a rave.
“In America and Australia the underground scene is happening as well, but we are outside of it, or we’re too expensive for it, so over there we play mainly big EDM festivals, which is also an amazing experience every time. Meeting all the Dutch musicians, seeing them play for crowds of 50.000, going to table-service clubs, it’s a trip when you consider yourself a hardcore-dnb kid deep down. It was also surprising to hear that almost all of them know about us and really respect our production standards, even though it’s miles apart from what they aim for.”
How has it been working with Foreign Beggars in I Am Legion? What have been the highlights so far?
“It’s always a trip working with these guys. They come from a very different place than we do, and somehow our worlds attract one another. Working on the I Am Legion record was a wicked experience. We took our time on it (it wasn’t initially meant to become an album, or even a separate artist identity) and made whatever we felt like. To put that album out, build a live show around it like we’ve never done before, and then end up playing Sonar festival main stage is a dream come true.”
Anything else you want to tell DJ Mag readers?
“Arjen Robben is from Bedum. This is 10km from our studio. Bedum! Also, we are putting the finishing touches to our new studios in Groningen. We’ve been working in them for over a year but the outside of the studio rooms still needs to be finished — amongst other things. All of that is getting done this month. Very excited to get the studios completely finished — it’s taken three years from planning to realisation! You can see the whole building process here: http://bit.ly/NoisiaStudios
“Meanwhile, the I Am Legion Remix EP was just released. It features remixes from Alix Perez, Phace, dBridge, Teddy Killerz and many more. Finally, we’re playing lots of great festivals this summer, both as Noisia and as I Am Legion.”
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