Dutch born and now London based DJ & Producer Proxima is enjoying a “second coming” of sorts as he returns to making Drum & Bass after a few years making dubstep and this year he means business.
Following on from some serioulsy good releases recently we grabbed him for a chat and he dropped us a fierce mix.
How’s it going mate? Been up to anything interesting this week?
Heya! I’m well thanks! Keeping busy with music related stuff mainly, finishing up some new material. Just recently switched DAW’s and computer and because of it my workflow has taken a bit of a blow, but it’s starting to feel like I’m getting the hang of this new setup. It should be a massive improvement over my previous one. No pain no gain, as some t-shirts are telling you nowadays.
Now you’ve got DnB in your blood, how did having Icicle as a cousin affect your musical taste and activities growing up?
Oh yeah definitely. He’s the one who introduced to me Drum and Bass and we’ve shared loads of different hobbies and undertakings. To this day he keeps being a big influence on all sorts of things, the guy’s just very interesting! When it comes to music, his ability to innovate never ceases to amaze me. I think the gap in studio skills has diminished a bit over the years, which is good because you want to be able to create your music yourself and feel like you can give yourself credit for your work. So I spent a lot of time in the studio to make my workflow my own, and am quite happy with the music it resulted in. Of course it’s a neverending process, but so was that story.
Regardless though you’ve gone out and created your own sound, you shifted to Dubstep and then back to Drum & Bass. How do you view the two side by side from a listening & creating standpoint?
I think they’re pretty different. Each has its unique energy and vibe, because of the tempo difference but also as to how both styles are being approached by the people that produce them. I did try to make Dubstep that sounded like DnB at 140, that was my approach, but it still ended up being different.
You’ve said that you produce Dubstep it has a “DnB-like sound” to it, but how has making different genres changed the way you make DnB?
Well I really like the space you have in Dubstep, so I’ve been making a lot of halftime tunes these last 2 years. It gives you a lot of room to put extra emphasis on the sounds you’re using. And it’s easier to be a bit more original, especially when you’re predominantly on the tech/neuro side like I am. It’s probably the most over-saturated substyle in DnB right now, though most of it has a fulltime (?) format. That’s why I had so much fun making tunes like Ruff Scuff, Jibber, Loose Lights. So yeah Dubstep definitely has influenced my way of producing DnB as well.
Now I’ll be honest I’m a relatively recent fan of yours, Stimulation was the first track I heard and it blew me away. How’d this one come about?
Thanks! Well that one was the result of only a couple of studio sessions, but many bad jokes. I can’t really remember if we had a specific plan for it, I think we just started with creating a couple of sounds we liked and progressed from there. We normally do have a rough idea of what kind of tune it should be, but what the end result is going to be we leave in His hands. And with Him I mean that guy Joe that solely sleeps under vertically-painted bridges and likes to passionately converse about the platonic place of the manboob in medieval politics during heavy weather. Ferociously flapping is how I would describe it.
It’s also not the only time you’ve released music through a major imprint. Loose Lights on Hospital’s Future Sound of Holland EP is another sick tune, what happened with this one and how’d it end up with Hospital?
Again thanks! I wanted that tune to have a trap-like vibe to it, but still sound like a techy DnB tune. So I chopped up a couple of “urban” vocals and used some trappy stabs and mixed those together in a tech environment. I know the people at Hospital pretty well and just sent them the tune to see if they’d like it, and luckily they did. I really like working with them, they’re an amazing team.
Lets get out of music for a sec. You moved from The Netherlands to the UK, what do you like least and most about life over here?
What I like least are the prices, lack of good deep-fried snacks and current political climate. What I really do like is the attitude towards being involved in music, and the amount of creativity that exists in a city like London. I used to live in Eindhoven where people were (and are) being creative as well but on a much much smaller scale. There are a lot of opportunities here, which helps when you’re active in underground music. But having said that, its reach appears to have been spreading quickly the past couple of years, and it is becoming easier to make music anywhere.
You said on your Twitter that you’re a Rick & Morty fan, what’s your favourite episode and how would you describe the show in one sentence?
I only recently discovered it through a friend (eeuwige dank Ro) and have already watched both seasons multiple times now, it is utterly amazing. My favourite episode is probably the one where Morty haphazardly gets injected into a hobo santa to save Rick and Dr Xenon Bloom’s theme park with organs for rides, called Anatomy Park, while Jerry finds out his (senior) dad likes to watch his mum get it on with a much younger guy from a bedroom closet, almost always dressed as Superman. Feel free to reread that. 1 sentence description: Weirder than Calibre making brostep.
How has your gigging been going this year? Any highlights or favourite locations to play out at?
It’s been pretty good! I’ve had a really great gig in Toulouse France, which was in a club called LeBikini. The whole room is acoustically treated and sounds amazing, and the crowd was mental. They gave me so much energy, I loved it. Another memorable one was a b2b session with Icicle at Fabric. It was my first time in room 1, and playing with my cousin is always a bonus. Very happy obviously that they’re reopening, hope they’ll get a proper second chance. Most gigs I’ve had this year have been really good to be honest, big shout to all the promoters who included me on their line up.
If you could do a B2B set with any artist who would it be?
Serious answer: would love to do one with Mefjus, been a fan from the start but never played together. Less serious: a coherent, meaningful and actually show-improving b2b rant with Kanye that doesn’t get him hospitalised.
On the flip side of that, dream collaboration?
Probably also Mefjus haha, would love to get a peek behind that curtain!
Finally what artists have you been liking most recently, across all genres, and have you got anyone you want to shout out?
Within DnB, I’ve been a big fan of people like Signal and Subtension and loved Noisia’s second album. Same goes for Kimyan Law, what he makes is actual music. Other stuff I’ve been listening to is mainly older material, lots of Bob Dylan, some Dutch hiphop, a couple of Stevie Ray Vaughan tunes. It varies, sometimes after a long studio day you’re not really in the mood for more music. But listening to non-DnB really helps when you’re stuck and ideas are sparse!
Thanks a lot for your time mate!
No problem, thanks for the questions! Shout out to everyone who has supported me in any way, I truly appreciate it. Keep it schwifty!