Breaking the 2-year silence, new boy Monika steps up to the plate delivering the 9th portion of the Liquid Based Mix series and he truly doesn’t disappoint! With a 43-min offering, littered with dubs, we reckon it’s certainly been worth the wait (pun definitely intended). Take a listen below, or over on our Mixcloud page.
After a slight break in his musical offerings, Monika – real name Maxwell Sweeney, has broken the silence with his debut release on Soulvent dropping last week, titled Vector. In light of this, we thought we’d have a cheeky interview with the man himself and see what he’s got to say! AND he’s delivered you a 43-min mix packed full of dubs to keep your ears busy whilst you read!
Hi Maxwell! What got you into drum & bass?
Maxwell: Initially, like a lot of people at school in the 2000s, it was artists like Pendulum, Sub Focus, Mampi Swift, and early Chase & Status. I remember my friends giving me Drum and Bass Arena sets and then listening to them on repeat. Tunes like Ebony Dubsters – The Power of Ra come to mind.
How did you start producing?
M: A little later on from the 2000s a close friend introduced me to another side to DnB that I’d never heard before. He showed me London Elektricity – Just One Second. I was astonished that there could be such beautiful artistry in a genre that I thought was reserved for grimy dance floors!
I became totally obssessed with Hospital for a while. My friend and I went to a Hospitality night at (now closed) Matter at the O2 in London. I became so inspired by the amazing vibes on the dance floor that the DJs were creating, and I wanted a part of it. Getting a laptop and a copy of Logic was the next step.
What’s your chosen software?
M: Logic Pro 9. I tried Logic X for a bit and I didn’t like it so I’m sticking to what I know best!
Maybe I’ll give it another go in the future but 9 delivers what I need.
Do you play any instruments?
M: I’ve played the piano for most of my life, and I recently learned some of the basics of the violin.
What’s the DnB scene like in New Zealand?
M: Sadly, I don’t really know! I moved over to live with my girlfriend and we’ve been living in a small town on the South Island where DnB is all but non-existent.
However, we have plans to move to Wellington within the next year. NZ’s capital has DnB in it’s veins, and I’m going to tap into it.
What’s your proudest release to date?
M: Without a doubt it was getting on the NewBlood 014 vinyl. I’d been a huge fan ever since the fantastic 010 album, which showcased early Enei, Synkro and Stray. It stands as a physical representation of my hard work and passion.
Which 3 label’s inspire you the most currently?
M: Samurai/HORO, Exit & Stones Throw.
Dancefloor or Liquid?
Fried, scrambled or poached?
M: Gimmie dem buttery scrambley eggs fam!
Noisia or Ivy Lab?
M: Ivy Lab.
Labour or Conservative?
And finally…. what’s in store for Monika for this year?
M: – Moving to Wellington
– Future releases with my house alter-ego Jesse Bullitt
– Writing/pitching more choonz, innit!!
Thanks for your time Max!
Written & edited by Joe Goss.
Sometimes the best part of running a label, is the demos you receive. Ranging from all corners of the globe, tastes & sub-genres alike, at Soulvent we operate with a huge dependency on the on-a-whim punts that we receive from producers monthly.
Monika is truly such a story. After receiving 3 demos somewhat randomly from Maxwell ‘Monika’ Sweeney himself a few months back, we were baffled at how we had ended up with the tracks. Did he send them to us? Who is he? However, now all finalised, we’re pleased to bring you these two tracks in the form of his debut single Vector on Soulvent.
Title track Vector opens with a classic breakbeat, engulfed in swirling atmosphere pads, pulsing synth swells and yearning vocals – all the while bubbling with a menacing arpeggio underfoot. Halfway through the build the synth’s intensity grows, and the slightly more sinister nature of the track takes hold. Post drop we’re introduced to meaty low-end, complete slick sub drops, more other-worldly vocal phrasing and innovative drum fills.
Meanwhile Bahn starts with a huge, warm synth swell, leading to a sub driven drum pattern. Modulating synths lurk in the intro, while the uncertainty of key keeps you hooked, caught between spaced resonance and droning tones. The drop culminates in a fully unexpected gully drop, complete with driving percussion and stepping tones of rumbling bass supported by pads.
Set for release this June, Monika kicks off our run off Summer releases, with enthusiasm and panache for the genre, the likes of which always excite us!
The lovely folks over at Skankandbass have kindly premiered the B-side to Monika’s forthcoming single Vector. SV031 drops on Friday the 30th of June, so don’t sleep and grab it on pre-order now! Otherwise, take a listen below. And don’t forget to take a look at their Drum & Bass Legends T-Shirts, with all profits going to Mind, a UK-based mental health charity.
Our Liquid Based mix series enters it’s 8th chapter with a half hour mix from rising star Changing Faces, hot off the release of her debut single Talk To You – out now on Soulvent Records! So lock in and relax!
Having just released her debut single on Soulvent, we had a virtual-sit down with Ema Vaskova, or Changing Faces to you – to see how she got into the world bass & breaks! And while you’re reading you can listen along to her 30-min Liquid Based Mix HERE!
Hi Ema! Tell us a little about yourself…
Ema: My name is Ema, I am 20 years old and in a quaint little city called Piestany in Slovakia. I spend nearly all of my time making music and hanging out with my doge! 😀
How did you get into Drum & Bass?
E: Initially I wasn’t really interested in electronic music, but a friend was listening to some kind of electro house which intrigued me. Then later on when I was browsing through YouTube, related videos led me to High Contrast and Pendulum. I found a video of High Contrast DJing at one of the biggest festivals in Slovakia. Once I heard his remix of Ready For The Weekend by Calvin Harris, that was the moment I fell in love with DnB!
When did you start producing?
E: I’ve been producing since 2012 I guess (approx). I remember that when I first opened FL Studio I closed it because it was quite intimidating! Eventually I came back to it though.
Do you find people treat you differently being a woman in the scene?
E: No, I think people treat me like everyone else.
What software do you use?
E: I use FL studio. I have been looking into different DAWs, but I still come back to FL studio. I do have Ableton on my computer though, and would love to use it too because it has a lot of cool functions.
Shout outs to Josh from In:Most for showing me the basics!
Are there any females in the scene who inspire you?
E: To be honest I don’t know that many females in DnB scene, but definitely big love to Kyrist, and my dear friend Charli Brix – she is an amazing vocalist! I’m also a big fan of Riya.
When did you get your first big break?
E: It was definitely last year at the Beats Evolution Conference, the first Drum & Bass conference of it’s kind in Prague. I played at the afterparty, just before DJ Marky and everyone from the conference was there, including a bunch label heads & the UKF crew. They all saw my set and because of that I gained a lot of contacts and got in touch with some amazing people. So big ups to the Let It Roll crew for making it all happen!
What is your proudest achievement to date?
E: Hard to choose only one but I think it’s my track ‘In The Woods’. It’s a meaningful me and it was also my first feature on UKF channel, which is amazing because I never thought I’d get an upload on their channel!
Okay, here’s the quick-fire round!
Jump Up or Neurofunk?
E: Neurofunk, as my close mates The Prophecy are Neurofunk producers 🙂 (big stuff from them incoming!)
Earl Grey or Green Tea?
Donald Trump or Theresa May?
E: None, I’d rather stay out of political discussion 😀
Ketchup or Mayonaise?
E: M A Y O !
And finally…. What have you got lined up next? Releases/gigs/world domination…
E: Got this release with you guys which I’m really happy about, thanks for letting me be a part of your label! I’ve also got some collabs in the pipeline with the In:Most boys and few bigger producers, which I can’t announce just yet.
I’m waiting to hear back from a few labels about some solo material so fingers crossed! Otherwise I’m playing a lot of big summer festivals later this year which I’m excited for! You can check my dates over on my Facebook fan page.
Thanks for your time Eva!
Written & edited by Joe Goss.