Another FatKidOnFire feature, another American dubstep producer planting the red, white and blue flag on dubstep’s front lawn. We’re back with the latest addition to behemoth US producer/ DJ/ label manager/ all round dude (and long time FKOF fam) EshOne‘s release catalogue – chatting to our American friend about his latest Artikal Music release and more.
It’s been a while since our last chat – as well as being a while since his last release on Mosaix and J:Kenzo’s label. This phenomenal producer has a gigantic EP dropping next week – the 27th of April to be exact – and we caught up to find out more…
Hey Donnie! It’s been a minute, how are you? Doing well, a lot has changed recently in my life. I’m back living in Albuquerque, so it is cool to be among my friends here! It‚ is also nice to be able to go out to events and stuff again.
For the (few) people unfamiliar with you and your music, who are you and what do you do? I am a fly fisherman, cattle rancher, and all around outdoorsman living in New Mexico. Sometimes I make some acceptable tracks with decent drums and occasionally badass baselines. Lately I’ve been working with a rad software company in Albuquerque full time – it’s a super fun place to work. I am still playing weekend shows, and plan on touring annually.
Are you still out on the ranch? How is balancing tunes with work these days? I have some help these days, but I still go out regularly to check on the cows and get some fishing in. It is a two and a half hour drive, so it can be difficult to get out there. I am making little loops in Renoise when I have time, but lately I haven’t had enough time to finish many tracks. I always work best when I have shows coming up, and I’ll be in Washington D.C. next week, so I have some motivation to get a few tracks done this weekend!
American dubstep seems to be blowing up right now. Who (label or producer) are you rating at the minute? Crix Saiz, Matty G, Skriptah, AxH, Deafblind, Mesck, ADP, Saule, Wulf. A lot of dudes doing the real minimal techy stuff and doing it well. I am into the kind of percussive roller or push/pull type stuff when I play sets, so lately I’ve been going back to playing more and more of my own stuff. There are some others from USA, but I haven’t heard from them in a while, so I’m not sure how active they are currently. To the homies, if I didn’t mention you, send me some new tracks!
You‚ are following up on Artikal debut – the fantastic Petroglyphs EP – with another solo release. How’s the response been to the tunes on your forthcoming Monopoly release? In all honesty, Monopoly was a filler track I made for the Artikal tour back in November. Then we heard it on a few big ass rigs out here. Most notably was Gritsy’s Wall of Bass. I put Monopoly on and went out in front of the GWOB as we closed up, early morning. I seriously think that stack of subs rearranged some molecules in my body or something. It was quite an experience. It was then that I decided I had a monster of a tune. Scrap Night is one of my favourite tracks. I can listen to it over and over and it doesn’t get tiring.
You’ve recently finished up on the Artikal US tour – how did that go? Have you got any gigs planned outside the U.S.A. any time soon? The Artikal tour was awesome. It was great to play a couple new places I haven’t been in the US, to play Canada, and to chill with the Artikal guys. Seriously one of the best times I’ve ever had with music, or even in general. I’d like to get to the EU this year, but we’ll see what happens! I’d need a handful of dates close together, because right now I don’t have the luxury of staying out there for too long.
Other than the Monopoly EP, have you got any releases planned over the next few months? I can’t really say. I have some plans with Elk Beats, but I’m currently considering changing the order of them. I’ve also wanted to put out a cassette tape of just some raw shit. Maybe like an actual mixtape, and I don’t care who says no one uses cassettes anymore. I just like the packaging idea and I think tapes are cool. I know that I’d like to keep working with Artikal, and I’ve not ruled out putting a vinyl out with another label. It has to feel right though, I’m not working with Artikal because it’s a cool thing to do, I’m working with Artikal because they are awesome and we get along really well. I don’t really care about label association hype or anything like that.
In your opinion, who’s made the best dubs (and what are they!) of 2015 so far? Unfortunately I don’t really have the time to go out and hunt dubs anymore. I just have what people send me. I’ve really been feeling what Sleeper has been sending over, and Ago from Numa Crew. That syncopated, hard, dub influenced sound is what’s up. Finally some kicks and snares in unique patterns, that don’t sound over compressed. I think big kicks and snares sound horrible compared to some well felt out, more natural sounding percussion.
What does 2015 hold for dubstep – Stateside and globally? I have no clue. This is a good thing. I just know I want my tracks to have even more movement. I want them to be even tougher, and have more tension. I’m more hungry to do things with this sound, because I’m not hearing exactly what I want. Things are getting close, and there are artists that are really making some good music. But I feel like I can get where I want to be in this sound sometime this year.
Anything else you’d like to share? Yes, I want to thank everyone I’ve met in this scene that has been nice to me. As competitive and ego filled as music gets, I always appreciate when people are nice. There’s no reason not to be nice in this industry. I try to be fair and polite when I meet anyone, and if I’m ever not, please call me out. To those who have been less than nice to me, you better hope we’re not on the same lineup ever cause I’ll do my best to rinse you out and make you look like you need to go rethink yourself a bit.
Donnie and Artikal have kindly given us the premier of the final track on EshOne’s Monopoly EP – the suitably titled The Fence. Check the tune out and read on for our review of the release…
The FKOF review
“The title track Monopoly is an excellent choice as EP opener: it exercises the right escalation of transparent tones that announce the sonorous wall of vibrations ahead. A humming sound joins the baritone, one that will delve itself into any listener’s memory for quite some time. The way a fundamental low-frequency oscillator touches base with all ad hoc elements is remarkable, simultaneously inhabiting the outskirts of space and present polyrhythmic tribal percs. This American production tunes into the familiar Artikal frequency-band, one that both stuns and stimulates. EshOne is back with another mammoth release, more gargantuan music made for the world’s sound systems…”
“Track two opens with smooth low-pitched bass notes that thunder with a rolling motion through a jungle full of horns, intensifying the drum work and catchy pad drives. A subtle touch of reverb is embedded perfectly, swerving through a sturdy stereo image that is one hell of a ride. The confident horn galling through the mix doesn’t smother EshOne’s ability to attract attention, followed by one of the best-layered snares we’ve heard in a long time. All that remains is the hypnotising percs and unique padding, derailing anyone still aboard. Scrap Night is a collection of odds and ends; all tied together with the producer’s feel for bounce and skank, making it an excellent cut for a dark room and proper system. If you’re in for a leap of faith, make sure to adjust the volume knob…”
“The Fence is a mystical affair that quickly unravels itself through slow combustion before the energetic first drop hits. EshOne’s signature moose sound returns to the rude 4×4 beat patterning, excavating the loops from the old days. The deformity of every sample throughout this short play makes his creation interestingly dynamic – by stripping down elements to their core value. Doubling the drums was an excellent choice by the American artist, showcasing the purity of his production approach. An adroit take on such unanchored cut makes EshOne’s sound what it is: sound system music for all. A track of this caliber belongs to an influential label like Artikal Music, one that is setting the standards for years to come…”