JDNB Interview: Kumo
With releases on Born On Road, Liondub International and Nuusic to name a few, Manchester based Kumo took some time out to have a little chat with us about all things drum and bass and his recent 'The Beast EP' which dropped on Liondub International.
Hi, thanks for chatting with us here at JDNB. Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come from?
Thanks for speaking to me, I really appreciate the support! I'm a producer/DJ based in Manchester, I’ve been trying to not pigeonhole myself into one sub-genre but I predominantly make dnb more on the rollers side with a lot of original jungle influence with my notable releases being on Liondub International, Born on Road & Nuusic.
I've been involved with the music scene for quite a while now, originally starting out running my own events then managing events for the likes of Jungle Jam/Detonate etc throughout university.
What musical influences did you have growing up?
I've always had quite a range of music that I listen to but I got into dnb relatively early. Me and my friends started going to festivals at like 11/12 years old and always seemed to gravitate towards the dnb tents. Now I listen to a lot of different styles, anything from 80s disco to Metallica depending on how I’m feeling on the day.
How's the dnb scene in Manchester these days and what events would you recommend?
There has always been a lot of dnb in Manchester and never short of any events, it's always a safe bet to go anywhere that’s got relations with bloc2bloc because you know the music is going to be good. For me a lot of the time it comes down to the venue it's in, The Bread Shed always hosts decent events and was where we hosted our first event years ago.
In your own words ‘what is jungle / drum and bass’?
A lot of people will go on about the culture or and deep roots into the UK underground scene but for me the music has always been about escapism even back to the early 90s (before I was born) the focus was always anti-establishment and escaping the hassle of day to day life. Whether that’s listening to music throughout the day or going to an event at the weekend it's a time where you can forget about everything else and enjoy that point in time.
Describe your sound?
I try to add a lot of original jungle sounds to my music to keep the authenticity whether its breaks or fx then build around that to make it more modern. Drum and bass is always evolving but I think these sounds will always be the fundamentals.
What first got you into jungle drum and bass, was there a specific track or producer that made you think “yeah this is the genre for me”?
Has to be Everyday by Shy FX, used to be played on pretty much every set I saw when I was younger and those gunshots going off always got the crowd going.
‘The Beast EP’ which is out now on Liondub International is finally released . How does it feel to finally get this out there?
Yeah it feels great, the EP was about a year in the making. Don’t think people realise how long music is geared up for before it goes out so it's always a great feeling seeing a release do well after the anticipation.
‘Set It Off’ is a banging track, how did the link up with R3idy come about?
I can’t even remember how it came up now to be honest, we were going back and forth for a while with different sounds and he sent over the rough idea. The tune seemed to be finished off really quickly after that and got a really good response from people supporting the EP. Will defo be working with him again in future, he’s got so much potential!
What would you say has been your 3 biggest achievements so far within the drum and bass scene?
Think being played on Radio 1 by Rene Lavice was a big one for me, was like validation of what I was making.
Eating pizza on stage with Noisia at one of the events I was managing will always be a memory I buzz about. Especially after listening to them for so long.
My EP with Born On Road was top selling across all genres for a couple weeks which was crazy. Can't wait to get more music out with them.
What does your studio consist of, and what’s your fav plug-in or piece of kit to use?
My studio is pretty basic tbh, I’ve only recently had a proper set up that I use regularly. I now run everything through Logic X on a Mac mini and Adam A3X speakers (recently changed from the HS7s due to size). I also have 2 pioneer XDJ-700s to practise on at home. Pretty simple really.
Where do you get your inspiration from when making tracks?
Anything that I’ve enjoyed recently, normally before I produce I listen to a few of the tracks I’ve liked on soundcloud that week then just see what I come up with. Like for example ‘The Beast’ was made when I was listening to a lot of S.P.Y’s tunes.
What's the best bit of advice you can give to up and coming producers to get their tracks heard by labels?
Don't have an ego about your music, even if what you’re making is sick. In this scene people talk a lot and word will get around if you’re a nightmare to work with. Be humble and try to regularly talk to other producers but don’t get pissed off if they don’t get back to you.
If you could remix one track from the Liondub International back catalog, which one would it be?
Probs Ganja Dance by Saxxon & T>I. I would like to make a filthy roller with it. Might have to try getting my hands on the stems thinking about it.
Name your top 5 Liondub International tracks?
What are your goals for the next year?
I want to release at least 6 EPs across certain labels (not naming names just in case it doesn’t happen) and I am aiming to collab with a lot more people. Fingers crossed a few more Radio 1 plays will happen.
What would you say you like most about the www.jungledrumandbass.co.uk website?
I think it's wicked, deffo a great place to keep up to date with the latest tunes.
Thanks for your time. Lastly, any thanks or shoutouts?
Just anybody supporting or playing my music. It makes it all worth it. I keep telling people if they have videos of them dropping my tunes, send them through or tag me in them and I will always share them! At the very least it's free promo for yourselves haha…. Big up :)
'The Beast EP' by Kumo is out now on Liondub International: Download / Stream Here
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Interviewed And Edited By: Chilla