Hot off the release of their first Soulvent single Northern Air, brothers Ru and Joe Brooks had a little virtual chin-wag with me to tell us a little more about what makes them tick as producers…
Hiya lads! Tell us a little about yourselves…
Joe: I’m Joe and I’m just finishing up my final year at uni in Leeds. I’ve been playing the drums for 13 years and have spent most of those years as a drum teacher. I also have an unhealthy addiction to basketball and follow the NBA religiously!
Ru: I’m Ru, recently moved to Leeds from London. Tempted up here by the cheap pints…and to make music with Joe too I suppose? I’m a bass player and dabble in sound design/freelance production work, filling the gaps with a day job at the Everyman Cinema in Leeds (the posh one with sofas and stuff).
When did you each respectively get into DnB?
J: We both got into it around the same time in about 2005/6. It took slightly longer for DnB to agree with me, but once it did I was hooked and have been ever since! Pendulum helped the transition from loving metal to loving DnB, and I’m sure that’s the same for a lot of people from our generation.
R: Yeah Joe disliked it for a while when I first started getting into it, but slowly came round. I heard Masochist by Pendulum in my friends car and instantly knew this was going to be the music I wanted to listen to for the rest of my life, and it still is!
How did you start producing together as brothers?
R: It always made sense really. Our taste in music is very similar so in terms of producing, our ideas align most of the time.
J: We’re from a very musical family so have been playing in bands together all our lives too, me on drums and Ru on bass. Once Ru got his first laptop with an early version of Cubase he’d play around on it and I’d always be interested to see how it worked. After both of us learning the ropes of production, it just made sense to work together on music as we’d been working together creatively for so long before that.
Do you find your sibling relationship affects your output?
J: We can both be quite stubborn but I’m sure Ru will agree that i’m always right! Seriously though, I think it helps massively! We can communicate ideas without even using words, just speaking in clangs and wobs and somehow the message always gets across.
R: Absolutely, we both know what each other mean even if we can’t necessarily articulate it, which makes communicating ideas very easy. Also being brothers means we can disagree honestly. If Joe thinks a snare I’ve been working on for five days is crap, he won’t sugar-coat telling me I’ve wasted my week…
What software do you use?
Both: Logic X
Who’re your influences, in and out of drum & bass?
J: Alix Perez is a huge influence to me, being able to showcase such a variety of 170 music and execute perfectly every time! Kimyan Law is also coming out with some interesting stuff. Outside of DnB, DJ Premier, Anderson Paak, Jazz Liberatorz… I’m a sucker for a jazzy hip hop beat.
R: DLR is a brilliant producer compositionally and never disappoints. Break and Noisia are also obvious choices for their impossible mixdowns. DnB aside I love funk and jazz stuff. Snarky Puppy blow my mind, but I agree with Joe on hip hop too. J Dilla’s production approach amazes me and is a great lesson in thinking outside the box.
What is the DnB scene like in Leeds?
R: I was actually very surprised at how popular it is up here. It’s a much smaller community than in London but there’s the same level of dedication and passion for the music. I strongly believe that Leeds will soon stand up against the DnB strongholds of Bristol, Manchester and London.
J: Yeah it’s very healthy! Such a sense of community and family between all the artists, labels and promoters. Artists like Aperio, Subdivision, Precision and MC Subliminal are all on the rise because of the opportunities they’re given here. We also run our own night, Vision State, and we’re holding our biggest event yet on 19th May with Proxima and Ed:it which should be a lot of fun!
Right, here are some more quick-fire questions:
Fried, scrambled or poached?
J: Fried, runny yoke please!
R: I don’t eat eggs (don’t hurt me)
Tea: how do you take it?
J: Milk, sugar and with coffee instead.
R: Milk, one sugar
Favourite Soulvent release?
R: Introspective by GLXY.
J: The whole This Time Last Year album is such an impressive body of work! But my favourite track has to be Aperio – Out & About.
Top 5 favourite films?
J: Haven’t watched a decent film in a while… been re-watching Always Sunny In Philly. Will leave that one to Ru seeing as though he works in a cinema…
R: I can’t choose favourites, but 5 that I like right now:
The Red Turtle
La La Land (don’t judge me…)
Favourite 3 drum and bass producers right now?
J: QBig & Zenith B
(Gonna say Amoss & Fre4knc too…sorry!)
R: QBig & Zenith B (agreed completely)
(also Kyrist and Klax…sorry!)
Xbox or PS?
R: Xbox. It would’ve been tough, but Rocket League is on Xbox now so no contest.
J: Xbox… because Halo.
What’s next for Revaux?
J: We’ve got a few bits in the works for some exciting labels that we can’t say too much about. Looking forward to showing you all what we’ve been working on!
R: Hopefully more DJing and live shows! We have some dates booked in with more on the horizon and a residency in the works, so keep them peeled for that. Otherwise, as Joe said, we’re glued to our computer screens at the moment trying to make a new batch of fresh music to come out throughout the year. Some stuff outside of DnB is going to happen too so yeah, exciting times ahead!
Written and edited by Joe Goss.