The following interview to join the MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire series has been on the target list for a pretty long time. After featuring his label co-founder back in November 2011; it’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally managed to get Requiem Audio's Droid Sector down for a feature…
Who is Droid Sector?
Droid Sector is a single individual from Melbourne, Australia. I produce, DJ and part own Requiem Audio, the label that I’ve been running with Tim Boot since 2009.
What got you into mixing and producing dubstep? What’s your style – big,dark basslines or as filthy as possible?
As a long time DnB listener I was starting to get tired of it and was looking for something new that reflected my favorite vibes in DnB – deep, dark and melodic. So when I discovered dubstep in late 2007 I was absolutley hooked and started writing it straight away. I’m a producer first and foremost, and the DJ side to it only developed once I started getting gig requests. In fact, I learnt to use CDJs only a few months before my first gig in 2009 ! I’d say my style is pretty eclectic, my aim is to write music I feel like writing rather than trying to stick to one subgenre of dubstep. As a result I’ve released a wide range of tunes from dark and hard as fuck rollers to epic melodic dancefloor tunes, with everything in between. But deep and dark has been, and always will be my favorite style, and it’s what I’ve build DS around.
What software do you use to produce your tracks?
I’m an FL Studio man. That programme has come leaps and bounds in the last decade or so and it’s an extremely versatile and flexible bit of kit. It allows me to lay down ideas straight away, and I believe for workflow, FL is second to none. I used to run a bit of hardware as well, but I’m 100% software these days.
Turntables or CDJs?
I always use CDJs when playing out.
How long have you producing and DJing?
As an amateur, I’d been producing and DJing since the early 2000s, but I’ve been releasing tunes as Droid Sector since late 2008. I can thank Mark ‘Tech Itch’ Caro for giving me my big break in the scene, he released my debut 12” on his dubstep imprint Ascension in late 2008 and it all sort of snowballed from there. I’ve now got about 6 vinyl releases under my belt (with more to come), countless digi releases, and I’ve been given the opportunity to play alongside some of my dubstep heroes! I count myself very lucky to be in the spot I am today.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be?
Good question, there’s been so many great gigs I’ve played that it’s hard to pick one. Probably the Requiem Audio Label Launch night in Sydney, going b2b with Boot and Sook was immense fun – and the massive venue was nicely packed so it was a great night all round.
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why?
Hmmm, there are many great producers out there at the moment, hard to narrow it to 5. But for my money these guys are doing the most interesting things at the moment:
- Boot - A good friend of mine and an amazing producer. He’s finally starting to get some attention abroad, and about time I say!
- 3rdeye - James has gone on hiatus for a while but that doesn’t stop me from loving his tunes. Truly emotional and deep dubstep written with the highest degree of technical skill
- TZR - Tom is from the US and has his own distinct sound. Heavily sci-fi influenced with lovely atmospheres. Always love his tunes
- Chewie - a studio wizard who writes some of the most well-produced dubstep out there. The fact Chewie isn’t a household name in the scene yet is a travesty, but that seems to be slowly changing
- Dubtek - My long time Seattle homie, I’ve loved his tunes since back in the day and its nice to see he’s finally get some attention from the big guys in the scene!
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going?
Sometimes I look at dubstep and despair. Musically, it has gone in the complete opposite direction of what I had hoped it would. One of the biggest issues I see is the complete lack of originilaity within the genre. No matter what sub-genre you’re looking at, it’s a sea of clones. It’s like someone will produce a tune that’s new, fresh, then within a few months you have a million other producers making tracks that sound identical to it. Take the ‘dungeon’ sound for example. At first it sounded amazing; Biome in partituclar really bought some freshness to the deep dark sound. Within a few months every man and his dog was producing tracks in that exact style. Now it just sounds boring and diluted. People are scared to try new things, instead it feels like producers are only interested in getting signed and in order to do that they feel their tracks must sound like whatever’s cool at the moment. This becomes particualrly apparent when running a label and having to go through the stacks of tunes that are submitted to us. Unfortunately, it’s a situation the producers are thrust into by unimaginative labels and punters, which leads me to believe the scene is in a pretty unhealthy position creatively. If you look at my top 5 producers in the question above, you’ll notice they’re all guys who haven’t had the recognition they deserve in the scene, and I believe that’s because they bring their own sound to the genre (or for whatever other reasons), labels don’t want that. They want familiarity. It’s disappointing and frustrating for a lot of these guys to work so hard and get no recognition. But hopefully things will change soon…
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to?
Yeah quite a few lined up for this year. There’s a few 12”s on Terminal Dusk, Gamma Audio and Vicious Audio coming up as well as a digi EP on Paradise Lost. I’ve also got a few collabs and remixes in the works. At the moment, I’m concentrating on writing a full length LP that I’m aiming to release sometime next year on Requiem Audio. It’s gonna be a mix of styles along with a heap of collabs.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers?
Write what you want to write, make music that expresses who you are and how you think, not what you think other people want to hear. Being original is the key.
Big shouts to all my supporters over the years, my fellow producers who’ve helped me become the artist I am through their support and feedback, and FKOF/MIG for giving me a bit of exposure on here. Big ups!
Tom’s mix is a brilliant edition to the 126-odd others that we’ve featured in the MIG x FKOF series – 35m and 12 tracks from some of his (and my) favourite producers at the moment. Grab the download or hit play… Click to DOWNLOAD
1. Degrade - Talkin Greaze [Terminal Dusk]
2. Shredexx - Just for You [dub]
3. Droid Sector & Dubtek - The Hidden [Terminal Dusk dub]
4. Disonata - Lacuna [Red Shift dub]
5. Boot & TZR - Across Oceans [dub]
6. Droid Sector & 3rd Eye - Catharsis [Subway]
7. Perverse ft. Beezy - Cross Examination [InnaMind]
8. TZR - Forgotten Worlds [dub]
9. Disonata - Overlord [Requiem Audio dub]
10. TZR - Stygian (Droid Sector remix) [Onset dub]
11. Shredexx - Alien Music [dub]
12. Droid Sector & Chewie - I Try [Vicious Audio dub]