When it comes to blowing a rave into the stratosphere Ben Hall and Simon James, better known as Delta Heavy, are in a league of their own. Their trademark sound is instantly recognisable and they’re responsible for some of the most relentlessly hard hitting tracks in the scene. The London based RAM Records residents now bring you their ‘Apollo’ EP and have revealed a full LP is imminent.
After hearing such exciting news it was an obligation of ours here at Perspective to bring you an exclusive interview with the lads. So without further ado we bring you – Delta Heavy…
Q: The guys already revealed they were taking a lot of influences from the 80’s on their new EP, something you may also recognise from their ‘Galaxy’ days. What has made them go back to this style?
DH: The 80’s influence on the EP specifically relates to ‘The World Is Yours’, which was partly inspired by the soundtrack to Scarface by Giorgio Moroder. We’ve been influenced by 80’s music and sounds since we began producing. There are elements of them in the majority of tracks we have released and an awful lot of tracks that didn’t make it out of the studio have been 80’s inspired.
Q: In a previous interview they revealed they incorporated some analogue into their new material. Was there any reason for this?
DH: We generally work completely in the box with a few choice pieces of analogue hardware. It’s important when recording vocals to have a quality front end, a decent mic and pre-amp.
Q: ‘Badboy Style’ is a hybrid of Drum ‘n’ Bass and the much more contemporary Trap, quite an experimental hybrid. How do you successfully achieve a hybrid of sounds in this way?
DH: There’s no magic formula per-se, more just experimentation. ‘Badboy Style’ came about as a conscious decision to try fusing some classic Drum ‘n’ Bass/Jungle sounds with the feel and structure of more contemporary Trap stuff with a few ravey influences to boot. We have always liked the idea of fusing genres and influences to attempt to create something fresh.
Q: No one can doubt they’ve achieved an original sound on that particular front. Now what for the LP? The signature Delta Heavy sound is very in-your-face and takes no prisoners. Would they be toning it down for the album?
DH: We set out to write a few actual songs that hopefully will stand the test of time. Dance music tends to be very trend based so the goal for us has been to write an album that wouldn’t sound dated a year on from its release. Sound-wise there should be something for everyone; we’ve certainly toned down the ‘brutality’ somewhat as we want the album to be an enjoyable listening experience at home as well as on the dance-floor.
Q: And who, for them, has achieved something similar with their albums?
DH: Our friends and peers including Sub Focus, Wilkinson and Camo & Krooked have all put out great pieces of work over the past year.
Q: Releasing an EP and LP in such quick succession is quite unorthodox. Any reason for this?
DH: It had been a long time since we had put out any music at all so we were very keen simply to release some new music. We definitely saw the two Drum ‘n’ Bass tracks as a return to our roots whilst reflecting where we are at production-wise in 2014.
Q: The boys have an Australian tour coming up and play out a lot. How do they manage to tour and produce?
DH: We do produce on the road – for example we did our remix for Diplo and Fresh last year in an Adelaide hotel room in 3 days – but we recently cut down on DJing to concentrate on the album because nothing beats having dedicated time when we are both undisturbed in our London studio.
Q: And what differences have they noticed across the international scene?
DH: There are subtle differences in what crowds respond to musically across different territories, certain scenes may prefer a more traditional Drum ‘n’ Bass set whereas other places such as the US are often more open to a mixed genre set.
Q: Back to the LP, can we have any extra details on the album?
DH: We started to think about an album project seriously at the beginning of 2013. It is slowly coming to fruition. Without giving too much away, there is definite concept behind in terms of the sound that is present across many of the tracks. Our aforementioned 80s influences are definitely part of this.
Q: How do they split the workload between them? All duo’s are different…
DH: Si comes from our more musical background whereas Ben’s focus is more on the engineering side but as time passes we’ve found our skill sets merging together. We are very much equal in terms of workload in the studio.
Q: Any shows they are most looking forward to in Summer?
DH: We have a number of exciting shows coming up including the Easter weekend Australia tour, Mysteryland USA and shows in the UK, Netherlands, Romania and the Czech Republic.
Q: And finally, five tunes any Drum ‘n’ Bass DJ needs in their set at the moment.
Delta Heavy – Apollo EP
Fred V & Grafix – Maverick Souls
Calibre – Sagan
Kove – Gobble
Friction & Metrik – Legacy
Some great tunes on the recommendations there, particularly the Apollo EP! A great interview with the guys which has made us even more excited about the unveiling of this eagerly anticipated LP. Keep a close eye on all things Delta Heavy this year, they’re a growing force!