With the release of his latest single "Canyon", we get to know Pessimist a little bit better. Working out of Bristol, making future music with a distinct admiration for the past, Pessimist gives us the low down regarding his progression through the music and his take on recent drum & bass history...
Along side Arma "Canyon" is possibly your highest profile release to date, seeing you opt for a firm handed dance floor roller backed by a hard as nails remix from Cern. How does collaborating with Arma differ from your solo work? You have a bit of a reputation for deep soul stirring music, how does your output adapt to working with another artist?
Working with the Arma boys was good fun. Each one of them brings something different to the table yet all share a similar ethos to their music. In terms of adapting my sound to a collaboration, I don’t think I needed to. Personally for me, a good collaboration is all about hearing each artists mark on the track, if you’re working with like minded people then everything should come naturally, otherwise you end up making something that doesn’t really represent you and your sound and that’s something I feel strong about.
Cern's remix of "Canyon" is absolutely stinkin'. You've had your music remixed before, What was your initial reaction to the remix? Does it take time to adjust to others interpretations of you original work?
When Geoff originally proposed a remix from Cern for Canyon I was really excited. Cern really captured the vibe of the original and added typical Cern vibes on the top. I’ve always loved it when people remix my tracks, it’s never really been something that I’ve had to take time to adjust to. Maybe I’ve just been fortunate that I haven’t been given any dud remixes. I remember being in a club in Bristol, SPY was playing, he then shouted in my ear “the next tune is the remix” then he dropped the remix of my track ‘Whispers of Scandal’ and straight away I loved it.
As an artist, you came though on labels like Ingredients that built their reputation by signing the cream of young new skool producers. "Canyon" sees you launched into the more established echelons sharing label space with the likes of musical luminaries such as Calibre. Does this latest signing represent a shift in your position within drum & bass?
Yeah definitely, Samurai is a label that are releasing music that a lot of people wouldn’t dare to at the moment and I respect that! I think this release and my release with Renegade Hardware on the Horsementality album were big deals for me. But I regard Ingredients records as highly as any other label. I would rather release music on a label that allows you to have full creative input rather than release on a so called ‘Big’ label and have to make something that’s been done time and time again; Tracks that are rated by ‘the production’ value rather than a good vibe and structure. You know, those basslines that sounds like someone farting and vomiting. I hate that!
Post Instra:mental's decisive releases on Darkestral, therehas been an influx of young creative artists within 170 music. How do you place yourself within this category, if at all? With the open musical freedoms of modern drum & bass, how much creativity can be contributed to new blood without the expectations or restrictions of the more seasoned artists of yesteryear?
Im a lover of both the traditional and the experimental stuff. Rogue by Instra:mental was a massive track and so was the Thugtronik release. There was definitely a turning point for drum & bass that has subsequently allowed producers to do what they want to do now. But If you really think about it, how many labels actually release this kind of drum & bass? Drum & bass was just as experimental back in the late 90’s as it is now, the works of Source Direct, Photek, Alex Reece and others shit on a lot of stuff you hear today, I think it’s very important to understand the roots of the music in order to move forward.
The structure and progression of a track is probably the most important aspect of the music for me, maybe because I like to listen to techno and other dance music, music that doesn’t have a strict set structure. So, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m an experimental producer, I just don’t like to conform to trends. That’s the way I’ve always been, even in school I was always looking for something no one else would listen to.
There’s loads of great talent coming through right now which is great, its exciting, as long as they have they’re own sound. Music is an art form, if your copying someone else’s work, then there’s no artistic input what so ever, that kind of defeats the whole point in writing music. Names like Blocks & Escher, Clarity, Friske and many more are the guys that excite me, with this sound all being championed by dBridge & Loxy.
What can we expect from Pessimist in the coming months?
Well, my first remix will be released sometime soon. It’s for Hustle Audio, a remix of Cursa – Deep response. I’ve teamed up with a good friend of mine Understate on a couple tracks which are signed to Cylon, so keep an eye out for that! Im also working with Vega & Cooper from Bristol on a new project called Ruffhouse so keep your ear to the floor. Apart from that im afraid it’s all hush hush haha.
Pessimist - "Canyon" / Pessimist - "Canyon" (Cern Remix) is out now!