Who is Whistla?
I’m a producer/ DJ/ radio station owner/ label owner (and more) from east London.
What got you into mixing and producing bass music? How would you describe your production style?
I got into making music through being a raver on the dancefloor. I started DJing and producing in 1992 (I’ve been releasing tracks since 1997) and the “bass music” descriptor fits the kind of music I make. I guess my production style is a hybrid of all the different types of music I’ve been into and made over the years whether it be using samples exclusively or analogue exclusively (both avenues I have been down over the years). I now utilise different techniques to achieve what I want in the final track, and how I want that track to feel, which tends to change with every tune.
How long have you producing and DJing? Can you tell us a bit about Sub.FM and how the station came about?
I first started producing and DJing in 1992, during the hardcore era. I’ve always played on pirate radio since the early days, on stations like Addiction FM and Eruption FM, but almost since ‘the dawn of the internet’ I’d wanted to do internet based radio as it seemed to me to be where radio (and more generally music as a whole) was headed, in terms of reaching audiences. So when the technology appeared (and was reliable!) I jumped on it and haven’t looked back.
How do you go about building your tunes – do you have a process? What software do you use?
I don’t really have a set process, it’s different everytime depending on what my initial idea for the tune is – whether its a melody line, a vocal, a rhythm, a bassline etc… Whichever one of those I have the initial idea for, I’ll get out then start working on it adding elements and building the arrangement. I use lots of different software, Ableton primarily at the moment along with loads of outboard gear I’ve gathered over the years. Though sometimes I will draw for a simple Reason set up or use a 100% old skool midi set up with Cubase on my old G3 for a bit of a vintage vibe, it all depends on what kind of track I want to create.
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out?
Turntables with Serato.
Given you’ve played venues all over the world, what/ where’s been your best gig? if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be?
It’s hard to pick one, if pushed I guess playing in Amsterdam was one of my life long dreams and I really loved it. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve been fortunate to play alongside a number of my heroes, however I’d love to play alongside some of the artists I first got into like Satin Storm in the hardcore days, or Larry Heard. Todd Edwards has been a huge influence and I’d love to play alongside “The God” at some stage.
Who are your top 5 garage producers at the moment; and why? Which labels (apart from L2S!) are you feeling at the moment? Any dubstep producers making beats you’re feeling?
My top 5 changes daily but right now would be something like (in no particular order):
- ENiGMA Dubz,
- Ollie Macfarlane &
- Dbridge (he’s been dropping some amazing garage tracks recently).
I’m loving Black Butter Recs at the moment, they are putting some great tunes out, as are Slime Recordings and UTTU. Dubstep-wise, Compa is making some great tracks that really capture the original dubstep vibe that I love.
Do you think there’s a future for dubstep? Where do you see the genre going? Where do you see it fitting in within the ‘bass music’ spectrum?
Oh yeah; dubstep is well established and I can’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. I see the genre diversifying more and possibly splitting into a few more sub-genres down the line. For me ‘bass music’ is a catch-all term for ‘bass-y music’ that isnt DnB. It’s a very vague term (much like the early idea of ‘dubstep’ was) but within it dubstep most definitely sits.
What forthcoming L2S releases can we look forward to? Any coming from yourself?
We have lots in the pipeline, I am just putting the finishing touches to my ‘On Drugs’ release that will be accompanied by a host of remixes much like my ‘Pillowtalk’ release had. We also have the Monz LP coming very soon as well as a Didz EP, a new BunZer0 EP and more!
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers looking to get their music heard or signed?
Be yourself, don’t try to emulate someone else. Keep trying and don’t give up, it can literally be a waiting game for you to get noticed so be patient, confident in your music and keep doing what you do even after the knock-backs.
Tell us about your mix for MakeItGood x FKOF…
In the mix I’ve dropped quite a few new bits from myself as well as some new L2S tuna and stuff that I’m feeling at the moment.
Big up to the Sub.FM family, the L2S famo and the FutureGarageForum.com massive.
3 people (dead or alive) you’d go for a drink with?
Sid James, Jackson Pollock and Del Boy.
Favourite ‘bass music’ track of all time?
Wow that’s a hard one! If we include dubstep in with bass music then I’ll go with Mala’s ‘Blue Notez’.
Top 3 bass music digital/ radio stations?
There is only one, Sub.FM!
Whistla’s done himself proud with the 45m mix he’s done for MakeItGood x FKOF. Some serious dubs from the man himself along with new material from LS2 – can’t fault it. Hit Whistla up on SoundCloud, Facebook, Mixcloud, Twitter and on his website. Click to DOWNLOADTrack list:
- Ollie Macfarlane - Grey Skies (Whistla remix)
- Hostage - Creep
- Baby Diego - Back II Love
- An Expresso - Lost Lighters
- Whistla - This Love
- Morcee - It’s You (Lakosa remix)
- Ollie Macfarlane - Elusive
- Dbridge - Scarlett
- Whistla - Future Jammin
- Deeply Unexpected - Robomonkeys (T.R.O remix)
- Whistla - I’m Messy
- Whistla - Music In My Dreams
- My Nu Leng - Down
- Whistla - 4 U
- MileZ - Perfectly Still
- ENiGMA Dubz - We At War
- Whistla - Head Swim
- Zinc - Goin In (Royal T Remix)
- Whistla - On Drugs
- Wookie ft. Rachel - 2 US (Exemen Steppers mix)
- Whistla - It’s Me Again
- Whistla - ICU