Ahead of his London album launch party, DRS drops by to talk about his debut long player on Marcus Intalex's Soul:r label.
When it comes to MCs, drum & bass has a fairly dire public image. Bidi bidi lyrics, dodgey track suits and sports wear, excessive ranting over tracks and overactive self interest. And outside of the club scene? It isn't often alot better, some of the most cringe worthy MC led tracks have come from drum & bass.
It's probably worth mentioning that it really only comes from one side of the music, the jump up scene. Alas there is hope, where jump up MCs have failed to procure anything of note in the studio, the more grown up end of the genre has yielded far more credible fruits both in the club and as release. Take SP:MC, Conrad, Fokus, Stapleton, Stamina. High calibre MCs, working with high calibre producers with fitting results.
With a strong discography to his name, Manchester's DRS now steps to the front of the stage with his aptly named debut album "I Don't Usually Like MCs But...". The album collates the various sides of DRS' character with the help of a formidable production roster; Dub Phizix, Lynx, dBridge, Genotype, S.P.Y, Marcus Intalex, Lenzman, Calibre and Enei.
The album demonstrates an ability to craft lyrics intelligently and addresses a wide variety of personal issues ranging from the struggles of life on the road (Holding On) to drug addiction (Habitual) and dealing with anger (Count To Ten). There's a dark edge to much of the lyrical content and themes. DRS continues;
"I think life has a dark edge, and mine especially. I think it's how you address them that is the measure of a musician or man. I use my musical outlets to exorcise life's demons or pitfalls so to speak".
"I use my musical outlets to exorcise life's demons or pitfalls so to speak."
With so many different artists on board maintaining a consistent sound across the album has to be a consideration and how successfully an artist creates a work that's coherent rather than just sounding like a collection of singles. How does DRS explore the myriad of sounds that are present across drum & bass at the moment?
"I had all the creative freedom with the album. Firstly an album, and a debut is meant to be you! No compromise, so if someone, or Marcus (Intalex) was to steer that process I would never have been happy.
But Marcus knows me and my taste so there was never a problem. The sound of my album is me, so whatever the beat the distinguishing feature is me."
"How people see me or my craft is my responsibility."
"I Don't Usually Like MCs But…" could be seen to acknowledge some of the negative preconceptions that tend to be held about the typical drum & bass MC, DRS in many senses could be recognized as having a chip on his shoulder or a need to justify his status given that both stereotypes and his own journey through drum & bass coming from the mid 90's Goodlooking Records stable. The rise to prominence of other "intelligent" MCs such as SP:MC, Sense and Code:breaker in the last couple of years is a positive step for the genre, DRS continues;
"That's a fair analysis. Also its the most common thing someone will say to me before or after a set. I have no chip on my shoulder to anything or anyone apart from myself or my own defects, How people see me or my craft is my responsibility. So if I or my craft are getting negative press, only I can fix that! As for the rise of Stu (SP:MC) and all these other amazing vocalists it only strenghthens what were trying to do."
DRS - "I Don't Usually Like MCs But..." Track Listing
01. Soul Remembers (Ft. Dub Phizix & Fox)
02. Blackhearted (Ft. Lynx)
03. Autonomic (Ft. dBridge)
04. Do What (Ft. Genotype)
05. Star Voyager (Ft. S.P.Y. & Jenna G)
06. It Aint Easy (Ft. Marcus Intalex, Kim Nishikawara & Tyler Daley)
07. Playing With Fire (Ft. Dub Phizix)
08. Renegade (Ft. S.P.Y. & Kemo)
09. Holding On (Ft. Lenzman, Jehst & Riya)
10. Keep The Faith (Ft. Calibre)
11. Count To Ten (Ft. Enei)
12. Bun Ya (Ft. Dub Phizix, Strategy, Fox, Skittles, Chimpo, Konny Kon & T Man)
13. Habitual (Ft. Calibre)
14. Raindrops (Lenzman & Pete Simpson)
We're lucky enough to have two prizes to give away, A CD copy of the album and also 2 guestl ist spots for the album party in London on 25th August ( All info here: http://organicbeats.co.uk/features/scene-focus/bunch-cuts-250812 ). Simply click HERE and enter your email address to be entered and we'll pick a lucky winner out of the hat...
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