MENU Brownswood electr*c // Rockwell

Brownswood electr*c // Rockwell

May 21, 2010

One of our favourite discoveries in the past twelve months, no question. When we first heard the warm, soothing skitter of ‘Underpass’ (via Fawaz in the Brownswood office) we were all blown away. Then he dropped his debut EP on Critical – another storming success – which had us reaching for the phone to call in a remix for Jose James (check it HERE). He has very quickly established himself as one of the breakthrough artists of 2010 via a string of D&B cuts imbued with the revolutionary spirit and personality that (for me) has been missing from drum and bass since Ed Rush and Optical dropped their magnum opus ‘Wormhole’ in 1998. Therefore he was a natural choice to represent the experimental sound of D&B purveyed by the likes of dBridge, Instra:mental, Consequence, ASC, Stray, Sabre and co. on our new compilation Brownswood electr*c which explores all our favourite new electronic music that lives in the nooks and crannies betwixt and between traditional genres. It drops on 28th June and it features Hypno, B Bravo, Pearson Sound, devonwho, Eliphino, Mount Kimbie, Mosca and more… all essential listening for 2010. Check it.

Back to the matter in hand then… we’ll be profiling some of the artists who feature on Brownswood electr*c right here and first up it’s that man Rockwell. Run it…

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself please?
My name’s Rockwell, currently living in North London via stints in Cardiff and Bristol but I come originally from a little village in the sticks called Badsey. I’ve been producing music in my bedroom for about 6 years.

How would you describe your music?
Well as it is mostly produced at around 170-175 bpm I suppose it comes under drum and bass, however I like to explore various moods and textures within the boundaries of the traditional d&b tempo, whether it be a glitchy, tender, emotive stepper such as ‘Underpass’, deep techno as used in ‘Molloch’ or straight up rolling bass which forms the basis of such tunes as ‘Stay Calm’ and ‘Full Circle’.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
I listen to such a variety of music, so it would be difficult to single anything out in particular. However I think how I am feeling emotionally at the time affects the tune I am writing more than any musical inspiration. I think drum and bass that is solely inspired by drum and bass can be extremely stale and boring so I try to think outside the box and make music that is quite personal to me.

Whom do you count amongst your most significant influences when it comes to production?
The producers who have helped me the most so far would be Icicle and Alix Perez, both have helped me with the technical side of things and also have given me great exposure by supporting my tracks. Also I’ve read a lot of people compare my music to past producers such as Photek and Source Direct as we share common ground concentrating on complex and intricate beat structures. It’s amazing to compared to such producers but unfortunately I am not as familiar with their tunes as maybe I should be! To be honest I find inspiration in the strangest places, anywhere from a progression in a techno tune, to someone drumming their fingers on a bus window.

What albums/releases/gigs are out there or coming soon?
Gigs-wise I am out and about nearly every weekend around the UK and further afield so the best thing to do would be to check my MySpace. As far as releases are concerned, I have an EP scheduled on Shy FX’s Digital Soundboy label for early May, and also a 12” dropping for Friction’s Shogun Audio imprint in early June. Scheduled for release later in the year is my 12” on mysterious label Darkestral which will be really special so keep your eyes peeled for that! Also I remixed Jose James’ track ‘Warrior’ for Brownswood, which should be in stores now, and I have just completed a remix for Cash Money records. Information on that one should trickle through in the coming months…

Do you have a current DJ mix or any tracks that are available for free download right now that we could point folks to?
Links to anything and everything that gets recorded get put up for download on my Facebook fan page. I regularly play on the live stream at DNBTV and also on Rinse FM for the Digital Soundboy Show. Also I have just completed a mix for the Gilles Peterson Worldwide International show, which should air in a few weeks time.

A few recent ones…


(The second hour)

DNBTV LIVE 91: ROCKWELL & MESSY MC (love the bow tie steez – so sharp!)

Brownswood Electr*c released 28-06-10 on Brownswood recordings, buy the exclusive advanced copy now at the Brownswood Store.

And finally you can check Rockwell and his music over here…
Rockwell on Twitter
Rockwell on MySpace
Rockwell on Facebook
Also it’s always worth checking youtube for brand new tunes taken from Mixes. (Big up the Russians!)