Determined not to be musically pigeon holed, Silent Dust are about to drop their latest genre bending release "Massive" / "Vostok 1". With a fresh vocalist in Zilla Rocca and a wide musical palette to draw from, Silent Dust are creating a masterpiece!
Your most recent series of releases for your None60 imprint has seen what is likely to be your most diverse work to date with "Vostok 1" / "Massive" being the most varied of all. To the listener it is as if you have had an instance of inspired musical clarity. Reflecting on the release, where do you guys find yourself at this point in time regarding the music you write?
We’ve got a great amount of freedom now as we are only making music for our own label so we can do what we want when we want! That probably explains the diversity on this release. It’s also quite refreshing to be back making tracks to be released as singles rather than for an album, as much as we enjoyed making our album it’s nice to be able to finish a couple of tracks knowing that they can be released almost instantly.
"Vostok 1" has dropped almost in sync with Felix Gartner's jump from a space capsule to earth. In a further parallel the track explores the almost sci-fi first spaceflight Vostok 1. Musically “Vostok 1" explores a very loose definition of what can be described as drum & bass, and is as well fitted being described as 170 emotive electronica. How do you guys define yourselves?
We just try to make good music and not get bogged down in describing our sound, Vostok 1 is probably as close to Drum & Bass as we can do right now, whether that means it’s not actually Drum & Bass or the genre has become too restrictive I don’t know.
"Vostok 1" could be described as classic Silent Dust, continuing the exploration of the sound you are best known for. What has been the most defining characteristic or theme throughout your work together in your opinion?
We always try to make emotive music but more importantly we always try to do this with subtlety. So we try to get obscure or less obvious samples that the listener will start to get on repeat listens rather than getting everything on the first listen! That’s probably not the way many people make music now but we believe there is still a place for that.
"Massive" is something of a wild card! Somehow comfortably straddling between booty hip hop and the deeper side of bass music, the track brings together some unlikely elements seamlessly. How did the concept originally come about?
As much as we grew up on mid 90’s Hip Hop over the last few years we’ve really got into producers like Bangladesh, Mike Will Made It, Lex Luger, Hit Boy(the list could go on forever!!). "Massive" was a result of listening to 808s, fast hats and autotune! It’s definitely a direction we will be going down again as we really enjoyed making the tune and working with Zilla.
On "Massive" you collaborate with Philadelphia's noir hop originator Zilla Rocca... With a huge distance between you guys geographically, how did you paths cross? Was there a natural fit creatively and was it a comfortable collaboration?
We were put onto Zilla Rocca by LA music writer Jeff Weiss who thought we would like Zilla’s film noir influenced story telling… And he was right! So thanks Jeff!! Zilla is really easy to work with and gets what we are trying to do so the fact he’s on the other side of the Atlantic didn’t hinder the work rate at all! We are already working on more music with Zilla so it’s definitely a comfortable collaboration!
Silent Dust is a perfect example of how completely blurring the boundaries between genres can bare some of the most interesting fruits. From the outside it seems your own musical journey has surpassed the previous outer limits, where do you see your own sound progressing next?
The boundaries will continue to be blurred but working with vocalists is definitely the way for us to go. We are working with a band called Cloudeater and have just finished a remix for them that features Wale so it was quite a buzz to work with vocals from such a big MC . We definitely won’t stop working at 160-170 as we feel there is still room to be creative within drum & bass but we just take each track as it comes and what inspires us in that moment.
Silent Dust Feat Zilla Rocca - "Massive"/ Silent Dust - "Vostok 1" is out 06/11/12