Melodies is a big tune!
Shame it never took off, it came and went jus like UK Funky
dBridge & Jon Convex have been getting back on the Autonomic sound recently with the Heart Drive and CNVX stuff, yaaas
autonomic & uk funky are the 2 genres that need to come back imo
yeah i’m surprised how small uk funky was, after listening to it i hear it’s influence so much more now when listening to kinda ‘bass’ stuff from 4/5 years ago, and listening to mixes i already know a lot of the tunes when that took me time with grime and dubstep
this come out last month
yeah that one’s sick
what defines autonomic, i’d heard they tried keeping it no faster than 170 bpm, is it kinda aiming for sparse beats that sound a bit like slower genres like techno?
Were you aware of what was happening at FWD>> at that time? My assumption when I heard the Autonomic stuff for the first time was that this was a D’n’B parallel to dubstep – half-step, loads of space and so on…
No, not at all. All of that came about more because I was starting to get bookings at Swerve… that’s where I met Instra:Mental down at Swerve, and it was literally just hearing their music that freaked me out and turned my head, especially that track they had on Soul:R, umm, ‘Naked’ something – ‘Naked Zoo’ – when I heard that, I was totally “wow, what the fuck is this, I have to meet these people, I have to get more of these tunes”. And they were just finding their feet again too, they’d come from the angle of having been caught up with all the bullshit that was in d’n’b of keeping up with the technological race, with all the plugins and whatever, but they still had all their old kit. And I did too, and I missed that, I’d gone into the laptop but I had all my old kit gathering dust in a corner and it was great to finally meet people of the mindset that you could still use that gear.
And they were bringing a techno influence along with the analogue gear, right?
Hmmm, it varied – I’m sure Al [Boddika] would say different…
Really? I’ve seen him out and about in his Underground Resistance t-shirt!
Heh, well he’s on that now… [laughs], but I’d say his roots are more hip-hop. Damon [Jon Convex] was always the electro, the techno, always playing us early Autechre and Boards of Canada and that sort of thing. So truth be known I’d say he was more of an influence on Al, but Al would probably refute that. Anyway, they asked me down the studio, and straight away seeing their gear it was “oh I’ve got that, and I’ve got that, and I’ve got that” and listening to all these tunes they were doing I was gone. Then it was like two or three tunes in my set would be theirs, and it just got bigger and bigger, a five minute section, then ten, then fifteen, and it was brilliant watching people – it would throw them, but it’d dawn on them that “hm, this isn’t what we’re used to hearing but it’s… um… good!” So it literally started from a seed of playing two or three Instra:Mental tracks in Swerve.
The FWD>> thing, I had no clue – I was really surprised to find out how long that’s been going in fact, because I was so much a part of d’n’b, so locked into that world that even when dubstep started to kick off, like so many d’n’b producers I was a bit snobbish about it – which of course was really “oh OK, here comes another threat, will it kick d’n’b off its pedestal?” And it did! It was funny watching everyone panic, but I wasn’t fazed by it at all. I do admit I was a real snob though, just listening to it, like “REALLY?” But after a while it grew on me, I realised it was like when we started, the rawness of it and that you just couldn’t deny the vibe. I don’t think Damon and Al were into dubstep either, so no, it wasn’t a massive influence. But what did happen was that once we did more of the 170 half-tempo stuff, people from that scene were able to get with what we were doing – we were getting sent stuff from like Pearson Sound, Scuba, James Blake, people like that all sending us 85/170 things, I’ve still got a lot of that that’s never seen the light of day, some really great stuff. And that did help us in a lot of ways because dubstep had become an established genre, and in a weird way we were then accepted into it and started to get bookings over there as well as in d’n’b, we had all bases covered… We did alright!”
Yeah, that definitely closed a circle, it was a bit like a return to 1996 when techno guys like Claude Young or whoever were into D’n’B – in fact if you look at something like Dimensions festival, that brings D&B, dubstep, techno all back into the same loop… It seems more natural to see Scuba next to you than to see him next to, say, Benga…
Yeah yeah, and we had a great time at Dimensions too, we had an Exit stage there last year and I’m really looking forward to doing it this year. And yeah you can see the cross-influences, and there’s no real hang-up about it, where there used to be in d’n’b, the same snobbish attitude that you almost didn’t want to let on what you were into, it was weird but everyone was so guarded… That was definitely something we addressed on our podcasts where we’d open people up to what it was we were doing, we’d do these “influence” things on either side of the mix, that you could directly correlate and connect to tunes within the mix – stuff that Damon and Al were into and how that permeated into the music, and the same with me.
The podcast was obviously super important in bridging different listener groups. Was doing it a conscious effort on your part to take action to reach outside the drum’n’bass clique, or was it just fortuitous that it reached out the way it did?
I think there was conscious effort in as much as me coming from BC, and seeing the way drum’n’bass had been going, it felt like painting by numbers, like there was a formula to it. A big tune would come along, someone would reverse engineer it and suddenly there’d be a million copies. The dancefloor dictated so much, and that’s OK, but our thing was, that doesn’t matter. Just because it doesn’t tear up a club doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it. So that podcast was deliberately to show the other side of what people can do, I’m not saying it was “more musical” because of course it all had musical value, but just to show that there’s more to what D’n’B could be. You can smash up the dance? Great, that’s wicked. But what about the other stuff? What Instra used to say is “we want to go back to ’97, and when drum’n’bass went in that direction, we want to go in that direction instead.” And they kind of actually did, because they had all the same kit they had back then, and they were trying to use all those synths, all that outboard, and move it on, take influence from what was happening at the time and move it on.
my favourite autonomic tune is ASC’s remix of no future. perfect vibe.
london… no future >>>>
on a sidenote i almost shat myself when i mixed in skeptical - fluctuate. what a fucking blend!
Prefer Consequence’s tbh
i think technically it’s a really good track but if i had to choose one of the two i’d play out, it’d be asc’s remix cos it’s a bit more upbeat
there any autonomic rinse sets still about, google not finding much
heard sick old zomby rips that say they’re from it, seems like an interesting mix
That White Snares tune is so big. This one too:
@ultraspatial you posted Holy Other… bit off topic but what do people think of “We Over” by him?
There was a lot of similar pop-y sort of stuff out around that time that I really didn’t like and thought was b8… Really like that tune though but feels like a guilty pleasure