Murdock and Dynamite MC interview each other
The announcement of Murdock’s album sent shockwaves throughout the wider world of electronic music, and not just drum & bass. He’s reigned supreme over the music circuit for years, heading up Belgium’s Rampage Festival and helping thousands of ravers worldwide enjoy some of their favourite artists.
He’s also dedicated as much of his time to his own sonic art, the type of which has already been unveiled across a variety of mainstay D&B labels. Although, for his landmark album, he returns to Viper, a label which is celebrating fifteen years of its history with an exciting addition to their catalogue. After already dropping his first single ‘Holding On’ earlier this summer, the electric collaboration with James Marvel, he’s set to revisit ‘Stronger’ with brand new single ‘Dark Cloud’ ft. Dynamite MC.
Dynamite MC is one of the many renowned featuring artists who’ve made an appearance throughout Murdock’s ‘Stronger’ LP. He adds his tell-tale vocals to a track which takes you through the darker side of Murdock’s production; the flipside of records like ‘Holding On’. Flipping drum patterns and a foreboding intro takes you up into its first climatic breakdown. Although not without the synths which are a signature of Murdock’s production, there’s a moodiness that seeps through its every layer. Murdock shows that ‘Stronger’ will be an exploration of the diversity he’s worked on since he first began making music and this makes an appearance throughout the album. ‘Holding On’ and ‘Dark Cloud’ are just two instances of this versatility.
In this piece, Murdock and Dynamite MC took on the task of interviewing each other!
Dynamite interviewing Murdock:
D: You’ve been in the game for a long time, what keeps you still keen to be in the club scene?
M: There’s nothing about nightlife that I don’t like. When I started throwing bashes way back when, I was behind the decks, in the ticket booth, I was the sound guy, bouncer, bartender and clean-up guy when everyone had left. I like the loud music, the smoke, the electricity that’s in the air because new, exciting music is being played.
D: Rampage has been a phenomenal success, one of the biggest DnB events on the planet. How did you achieve this?
M: I tried to be original, surround myself with the right people and pick up on talent before other people had. And then I had the incredible luck of being picked up by a guy (who’s now my business partner), who had the network and the know-how to take this to the next level.
D: Do you think hailing from Belgium has been a disadvantage or an advantage, in terms of infiltrating the UK scene?
M: I never looked at it as infiltrating the UK scene… We have always had such a blossoming scene in Belgium that I never really felt the need to take it elsewhere. I love many different kinds of music, I have friends playing techno, hip-hop, house and what have you, and I would play d&b at one party, go rave to techno at another and close the night playing d&b somewhere else, or play d&b all night and then go to a dancehall after hours gig till way past sunrise… I remember when we were playing Petrol, and the night ended, we moved to the second room where they were still bumping roots reggae till late. Classic!
Belgium’s a good spot (and there are quite a few more, of course!) and I think many UK artists will agree that playing over here is usually quite a treat.
D: You have a deep love for hip hop, this is clear. Have you ever written some rhymes? Can you rap!?
M: I should let other people be the judge of what I can or can’t do, but I have been the lead MC for a band in high school! My life was about hip hop back then, so how could I not give it a go!
We were on some Smokin Suckaz Wit Logic type tip, with pretty laid back grooves from a live band (that included, among other people, one childhood friend of mine who is now a big-time designer, working for the likes of A$AP Rocky and Raf Simons – he does all the artwork for my Rampage parties) with rapping over top. Loads of fun, as I recall, and no recordings. Probably for the best!
D: How would you describe the Murdock sound?
M: I think I found a bit of what I like in every corner of drum & bass. There’s liquid I like and there’s some I detest. There’s jump up I love and some I’d never ever play. So my sound is made up of bits of everything: all based on groove, brought to the decks in a mix&blen’ fashion, but not shying away from the occasional shocker. And I suppose that’s the way I approach making music as well: lay down the groove, find a melody and/or vocal that fits, roll it out…
Murdock interviewing Dynamite:
M: When I mentioned 90s hip hop to you, you instantly went “yeah bro, that’s my era!”. So what are your top 5 favourite tracks, albums or artists from that period?
D: I was/am so East Coast, so Wu-tang, Nas, Biggie, Tribe, Busta Rhymes, Mobb, Dipset and of course there’s many more, but I’m compressing it to 7! (even though you asked for 5)
M: I have been playing music with your voice for many years. Do you ever play any of those tracks yourself anymore and what would be your favourite?
D: I always liked ‘Visions’ because I produced the track and recorded vocals, so it’s a complete build from the ground up. I tend to think my best song is ahead of me, so I always think the last song I did is the strongest. I listen to recent stuff and try to improve my style. But as a rule, I try not to blast my tunes all day!
M: I love A$AP Rocky’s crew cut ‘1 Train’. Who would be your ideal set of MCs to do a track like that?
D: UK DnB MC’s? There’s a lot of scope here. But I think Stamina, GQ, Evil B, Darrison, Trigga and Conrad. They all bring something completely different to the table, so would be interesting.
M: You have been around for a minute. How do you view the current state of the drum & bass scene as opposed to a few years ago or even decades ago?
D: It’s changed, it’s grown, it’s evolved. It’s a tree with branches and new shoots developing all the time. It’s super healthy and it’s loved by new generations. We’re sadly losing venues though, especially in London and this is a problem, but festivals embrace it on a global scale. The energy will always be dnb’s greatest ingredient.
M: With Brexit looming and the world basically going to shit, what’s the one thing you feel the youth of today should be aware of?
D: With a multitude of sources of information/news available, don’t gather yours from just one place. Be open-minded to different sources and opinions. Segregation will never lead is happiness, Unity is the key. We are one.
Check out Murdock feat. Dynamite MC ‘Dark Cloud’ below and grab a copy here