“We’re ending our first year with a FKOFd EP from one of the most exciting American producers we’ve found. Malleus may not be quite as well known as some of his Stateside compatriots, but we think his FKOFd012 release will change that.
“Inspired by the foundation sound, Malleus has created an EP that places alongside early dubstep material while still sounding new and fresh. It’s a homage to the Big Apple days, built with a 2014 perspective. As far as producers in the new wave of American dubstep go, Malleus may not have been the first producer you’d think of. But that might change with the Virginia-based musician’s FKOFd012…”
Easy Tyler, how you doing? Hey Wil. Doing really well thanks.
Awesome! For those who haven’t heard of you before, can you give us a brief rundown of who you are/ what you do etc.? Tyler Sharpes AKA Malleus AKA The Honey Dipper AKA Rare Meat. I sit at a computer for hours on end, fine tuning knobs, in order to create the finest in system music for the masses.
Where did it all start for you? I first discovered you during the BT remix in mid-2012, but you’ve been producing longer than that right? Yessir! I’ve been making music since I was 17. Learned how to play guitar and made hip-hop beats in FL Studio around that time. Over the course of the last 11 years I’ve been in several bands and produced all kinds of different styles of music.
It wasn’t until 2010 when tearout dubstep started gaining speed here in the ‘States that I showed an interest in the UK scene (aside from The Streets’ Original Pirate Material – I got big into garage in high school without knowing what it was). Being a musician I tend to like knowing where genres began so I looked up the roots of dubstep and started from there. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a different sound which I enjoyed much more [than tearout] so I dabbled in whatever I felt I could make. That BT remix was the first thing I think I actually attempted that I was honestly excited for so you caught me at the right time.
You seem to have a fair few bootlegs to your name. Is taking a track and reworking into an entirely new entity something you’re a fan of? If you could remix or bootleg any track, what would you choose? Honestly, my DAW doesn’t work well with raw audio files so remixing with stems is quite a pain in the ass. However, I’m a huge fan of sampling so bootlegging comes pretty naturally. I feel like I can get more done in a timely manner when I’m in my own realm of cut and paste. I’ve been rolling around the idea of doing a bootleg of LAS and Gantz‘ Firepusher so perhaps that would be an appropriate answer?
We first linked up with your early 2013 FKOF free, Trudging, but this is your first feature/ mix with us. How is the whole dubstep producer thing going for you? With every new tune I create, the more proud of myself I become. The moment I stop learning new things is the moment I’m stumped and start seeking new knowledge so I try to keep it on the up and up.
The US initially got quite a bad rep for dubstep but that seems to be sorting itself out these days. You’re based in Virginia right? What’s your local scene like? Yeah, Virginia is a large land mass of garbage in all honesty. There’s nothing local going on and I’m lucky if I get a good crate to dig at the thrift shops around town… But DC’s an hour north of me – which has plenty going on. So with a little effort I consider myself pretty lucky.
We’ve worked with a few of your Stateside brethren over the past 18 months but, from your point of view, who’s making your favourite American 140? You know what, it’s really hard to find people making what I like in the US. Everyone really seems to be stuck on that reese-driven stuff which, don’t get me wrong is great, but I’m looking for some seriously original stuff. It’s hard finding likeminded individuals anywhere, let alone in the States. I have found a few really talented people here though. Just to name a few worth checking out; Saule, Cuttle, Tynjin, Djoser, Aftee, Dubamine, el Jeffe. I’m sure there’s others I’m forgetting!
What about labels? there are a few US labels we’re aware of – but which imprints have you got connections with? Alright, so in the past, working with a lot of record labels left a sour taste in my mouth. I’ve attempted to work with a few and always got let down.
I’ve had some success with a couple such as Gradient Audio (great label based out of Oregon), Sublimated Sounds (good friends of mine in Florida) and Dub Force One on the UK side.
From a selfish point of view, we’re pretty stoked to welcome you to the FKOFd family with our twelfth release marking our first year in business. What can you tell us about the tracks in your EP? I feel very lucky and honoured to be working with FKOF with this release! The EP is kind of split between two time periods so there’s a good bit of style transition within these tracks.
On the whole, I was definitely working towards the sound I’m making now but wasn’t quite there for all four tunes. I think it makes for a really interesting listen considering they’re all some of my favourites to date.
Yours is a fairly varied release, but is there a track from FKOFd012 you’d pick to describe the Malleus ‘sound’? Wall to Wall is definitely the sound I’m going for – which makes sense considering it’s my newest tune haha! Needless to say I’ve been attempting to reach this point of happiness within my abilities and I’m finally there.
What’s your production set up like at the moment? Fully digital or are there a few bits of analogue kit you can’t live without? All digital at the moment. I’d love to be able to work with more analogue gear but as my good friend Methodman once said, “Cash rules everything around me”. Would love to get my hands on a nice Dub Siren or Spring Reverb mmmmmmm!
In terms of ‘live’/ DJ shows, what’s the event culture like in your local area? How’s playing out going for you in 2014? If I’m willing to make the drive an hour or more north, then it’s fantastic! However, I’ve been so busy the past year that I really didn’t make it out to as many events as I’d like to have. Things have settled down a bit now and so I think this coming year will be a very progressive and productive one in terms of both gigging and attending events.
Release or dub, US or otherwise, what’s been your favourite tune this year? Do I really have to choose!? Shit… LAS’ Tic. I heard him drop it once in an intimate little bar in DC last year and then recently heard it on the massive Tsunami Bass Sound System at Reconstrvct’s XX Anniversary. Such a large tune.
What can you tell us about the mix you put together for us? I’m quite proud of it. I feel like it properly displays the many styles I enjoy in a well blended fashion. Then again I could suck and not know it haha!
Of the venues you’ve played recently, are there any that stand out – either for the crowd or the system? You’d be surprised to hear that I don’t play out much at all. I’ve only played a few venues and each has been fairly small (which I enjoy due to the nice party atmosphere) but fingers crossed, this coming year will change that. Looking to start getting on more events and playing out the arsenal I’ve been creating the past couple years.
Any final words or shoutouts? Good luck with the release, and we look forward to working with you again in the future! Bigup to you guys for everything! Shouts to my US and UK fam! Saule, Eva808, Distinct Motive, the DC Deep Sessions crew, Beezy, Truth, Joe Nice and all those involved! Much love for the support in all ways. Jah!
As far as full length debut releases go, there’s not much else we can say (that we’ve not already said) about Tyler’s EP with us. It ticks every box, rattles every sub and perfectly summarises the kind of music we want to be supporting with our label venture. Malleus is a great example of how far the sound has come, how far we’ve come and how international things have become. A producer, from the depths of Virginia, making dubstep as creatively and deep as this – long after the genre died a death? That’s our kind of poison.
And, let’s not forget, we want to get to the point where we can start pressing FKOFv. These tunes would be perfect for that…
Click to DOWNLOAD (167MB)
- Eva808 – Voodoo Mama [dub]
- Gantz – Baby Face [Innamind]
- Monsta – Cannibal Lunch [Monsta Dubs]
- RSD – Dancehall Rock [Moonshine]
- LAS x Mikael – Dem Break [Innamind]
- Malleus – Wall to Wall [FKOFd]
- Ishan Sound – Namkha (Kahn remix) [Tectonic]
- Moonstones – Logged [dub]
- Eva808 – Old School Ninja [dub]
- Karnage & MarkIV – Witch Doctor [dub]
- Bukez Finezt – Under Control [Subway]
- Malleus – The Message [FKOFd]
- Gantz – Spry Sinister [Deep Medi]
- TMSV – Haze VIP [Artikal Music]
- Gantz – Rising [Deep Medi]
- DJ Madd – Murder Dub [Roots & Future]
- Swindle – Belfast [Deep Medi]
- Goth-Trad – Cosmos [Deep Medi]
- Mikael – Dreaming [Free]
- Mono – In the Half Light (Clearlight remix) [Foundation Audio]
- Lurka – Refresher (Gantz remix) [Innamind]
- Malleus – Body Heat [FKOFd]
- LAS – Malfunktions [Innamind]
- Malleus x Saule – The Flip Version [dub]
- LAS – Uuha [Innamind]
- Mala – Miracles (Commodo remix) [Deep Medi]
- Jakes – Roar [Free]
- DJG – Melon [Getdarker]
- Wayfarer – Fall of the Zulu [Tribe12]
- LAS x Gantz – Firepusher [System]
- Ipman – Aight (Killawatt remix) [Pressed Records]
- Goth-Trad – Man in the Maze [Deep Medi]
- V.I.V.E.K. – Asteroids [System]
- Von D & Mr. Lager ft. Phephe – Your My [Boka Records]