Hex, the Glaswegian DJ, producer, and blogger over at The DnB Dojo is a very busy man. His fourth release, Winged Foes/Slugproof (Frustrate Remix), drops from Transmission Audio on April 30th.
We interrupted Hex’s full schedule to ask him five quick questions. In the process we learned about his musical influences, his deep-seated hatred of seagulls, and the super power he’d find most useful.
1. Can you give me a couple of your early influences musical or otherwise?
I guess my musical influences are quite wide ranging; I grew up on punk, rock and metal as a kid, bands like Tool, Pennywise, Metallica, then later on I got into hip-hop via Jurassic 5 and the Beastie Boys. I discovered electronic music much later; as a kid I wrote it off as something anyone with a keyboard could make. Hearing Aphex Twin and Squarepusher was a revelation for me, their music was so complex, so intricate. From there I got into other forms of electronica via the early Dubstep scene around 2005. Drum & Bass quickly became my favourite style of dance music because it has some of the complexity and chaos of the IDM and breakcore that turned me onto electronic sounds in the first place, but more groove for the dancefloor.
2. Your music tends to lean towards the darker techier sounds, with the exception of your release on Sub:Mission Audio, Grey Skies/Weightless. Is that sound more a by-product of your musical influences or some other factor like your home base of Glasgow?
I like listening to music that’s either very powerful and energetic (metal, tech D&B, breakcore, etc.) or very mellow and beautiful (liquid D&B, ambient, folk, etc.) so when I write my own tracks those are the qualities I’m trying to instil. A lot of it depends on mood; when I sit down to write if I’m feeling tired or sad something more mellow tends to come out of it, whereas the more energetic stuff comes out of exuberance, or anger. I wouldn’t say I’m an angry person but I’ve always been drawn to aggressive sounding music; maybe that’s my outlet!
3. Looking back over your discography, it seems that this release for Transmission Audio, Winged Foes/Slugproof Remix, is your fourth. What else is in the pipeline?
Yeah this is my fourth full release, which feels good! I’ve got a collab with Frustrate (who remixed Slugproof for the flip of the Winged Foes release) signed up to Quentin Hiatus’s Free Love Digi imprint, I think that’ll be dropping as part of a compilation later this year. That one’s dark but a little deeper, and there’s quite a shift between the first and second half of the tune. I’ve also got a tune signed up to Alchemic Breaks which again I think will be dropping later this year as part of a “various artists” EP. That one is based around live drums which I’ve chopped up a lot, and some mellow sounds…I guess I’d call it liquid drumfunk. I’ve got some other collabs finished too but we haven’t found a home for them just yet, so we’ll see what happens to those.
Otherwise I’m working on a whole bunch of stuff! I’ve got ideas for an EP of liquid material, an EP of deep/half-step stuff and more techy tracks, plus I’d like to go back to some of my older tunes and do some VIPs. So many ideas, never enough time!
4. Winged Foes is very “metal” and conjures some confrontational imagery which, to me, fits the track really well. Where did the inspiration come from for the name?
Winged Foes is actually a very literal title – I live near the river in Glasgow in a top floor flat and as a result we hear the seagulls, a lot. During the summer they are super noisy and they keep me awake at night sometimes, which really hacks me off…generally I’m pretty mellow but I tend to be grumpy as fuck if I don’t get enough sleep! I started writing the tune last summer after two or three nights of the seagulls squawking on my roof at 2am, it’s pretty much a reflection of my mental battle with the birds, so I’m glad the confrontational imagery comes through!
5. Tangentially speaking of wings and flying…If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
Definitely teleportation. Being able to travel anywhere in an instant would be so useful!
Winged Foes/Slugproof (Frustrate) is available 30th April. PREORDER HERE.