Tea & Biscuits with: Nurve
Nurve lands on Nomine’s Backlash Records with a brooding two-tracker which channels the attitude and energy of the noughties Jungle/Drum & Bass era. By throwing out the rule book, he makes a welcome debut on Backlash Records and with Nurve’s history it’s an anticipated union.
Nurve has been an active member of the music community for a long time. Starting out by selling records in his hometown of Bedford, to producing an array of varying sounds from the UK underground, including Jungle/Drum & Bass, his production spectrum is a versatile one. Also being well established in the Dubstep and Grime scene for over a decade as part of Macabre Unit, he later reconnected with his roots through Education & Bass and its head Nomine, a respected Drum & Bass producer through his Outrage alias and long-time friend. And once again through Nomine’s imprint Backlash, Nurve is focused on the genre that’s always been important to him, with his slamming single ‘Mic Drop / Apocalypse’ leading the charge.
His short detour has proven fruitful as Nurve comes back right with two serious Drum & Bass cuts. Jumping straight in with the high energy levels is ‘Mic Drop’ featuring a rugged vocal from the legendary MC GQ. A clash of amens rain down with sharp bass hits and expertly worked filters and tones – wrapped perfectly together to ensure maximum effect on the biggest sound systems.
On the flip side is the gnarly ‘Apocalypse’. Filthy bass tones are strung out, twisted and rinsed with rolling drum works akin to the Digital & Spirit sound. Both tracks highlight Nurve’s love for the whole spectrum of Drum & Bass, and his ability as a producer to be diverse whilst creating music for the heads. ‘Mic Drop’ and ‘Apocalypse’ sit perfectly within the catalogue of Backlash – proving that the imprint is returning for good, and doing so with the full power of their expertly trained signees.
We recently caught up with Nurve for a cup of tea and a chat about his latest release, his relationship with Nomine and future plans.
This is your debut Drum & Bass release on Backlash – how does it feel to finally have it out there? And what are the main differences to approaching Drum & Bass than say Grime or Dubstep for you?
It feels great! To release on such a legendary label is an honour and the fact that it’s owned and run by one of my very good and long time friends, Outrage makes it even better. My approach to Drum & Bass is very different to other genres. The whole track writing process takes longer and needs more time, in my opinion. I could get away with a lot more when I was writing Grime and Dubstep.
Do you feel like you’ve come full circle, releasing with Backlash? What was it, musically, that drew you to the label?
I have most certainly come full circle as my journey started with me being a Jungle/Drum & Bass kid. It never left me but the journey I chose to take with Grime and Dubstep was a choice of my surroundings. I followed suit with what my friends were doing at the time and it ended up being quite a good choice to make as it has led me to where I am today. Outrage and I have very similar tastes in music and we work very closely together as part of Education & Bass so naturally, when I make any kind of music it goes straight to his inbox which sometimes leads to a release on one of his labels, and sometimes it doesn’t, in this case, I’m glad to say it did!
How did the collaboration with GQ come about? Is there a story behind the track?
I had this idea of creating a track with the intro being just like the atmosphere from a mid to late 90s early 00s rave. I jumped on YouTube and started going through uploaded sets from old rave tape packs and I stumbled across the GQ vocal which was from a Mickey Finn set at Dreamscape. I ripped it and started to piece together the idea. Once I had it ready I sent it to Outrage and he loved it and said that we should just hit up GQ and see if he would be up for signing it off as an official feature and he did. It was purely a combination of creativeness, chance and the fact that we have a lot of links in the music industry. Sometimes things that are official don’t always start out that way
Can you tell us more about your relationship with label head Nomine? And how did you get involved with Education & Bass?
I have known Nomine aka Outrage for around 25 years. We grew up in the same town together and although we went on very different paths musically we always kept in touch. Around 5-6 years ago he hit me up proposing this idea he had which involved us going to clubs across the world, firing up a projector screen, setting up a little studio and inviting people down to hear us share and demonstrate music production knowledge and techniques and to also give people feedback on their music. It was a concept that nobody had ever done before in this way and I was all for it. We spent a good year travelling about with great success! This then led to the website being formed and us taking things online as well as still very much doing the in-person masterclasses and workshops. After a few years of doing this, I was offered the opportunity to work for Education & Bass full time and it was an offer too good to refuse. An opportunity to work in the music industry doing what I love? Yes, please!
Do you have more music planned on Backlash? And what else do you have forthcoming for 2021, anything you can let us in on?
I do have a lot planned. One thing I can tell you about is that I am working on an EP for the mighty Digital and Function Records. This should be surfacing at some point this year. I also have a few things in the pipeline but I will let that stuff surface when it is confirmed and in motion. The music industry is very different from day-to-day, so the stuff I am working on today might change tomorrow…