Drum+Bass United's Tim Dunleavy sat down with Drum+Bass United Records recording artist Jonathan Loeser a/k/a Invalid, to discuss his latest release and video "So Alive". Jason Bakes, Drum+Bass United's founder, and the DNB artist a/k/a BC#9, collaborated with Invalid to take DNB United Records debut release, "So Alive", and remade the track into something brand new. Jonathan went all the way with this track, and created a wicked new video. Take some time to read the exclusive interview and to find out how these two DNB producers have been building Drum and Bass United Records catalog and platform to a new level. The first sign of cosmic synergy was evident when Invalid & BC#9's collaborated, producing the insanely popular Neurofunk episode for The United State Of Drum+Bass Podcast. The guest mix has reached over 40k plays on SoundCloud alone. BC#9 and Invalid are solid DNB artists that can stand on their own as individual producers, musicians and DJs. As a production duo, there seems to be no stopping them, proving that they hold true to the name and philosophy that Drum + Bass United Records was built on. With multiple releases already available on DNB United Records, and their latest "So Alive", I'm sure you will enjoy this exclusive artist spotlight that highlights Invalids outlook as he gives our audience some insights on his current releases, production techniques and his views on both music, as well as his plans for the future with DNB United Records and BC#9.
Exclusive Interview WITH INVALID
Q-How long have you been producing DNB?
A- Publicly for 2 years, I started practicing producing when I was 15 years old.
Q-When and how did you and BC#9 meet?
A- We met in 2017 via DNB UNITED, He kindly promoted Komplexika for me.
Q-What work have you released with DNB◉UNITED RECORDS ?
A- Featured on Jungle Demon(2019), Medicine (2019), and soon to come So Alive (2019)
Q-As one of the signature senior artists on DNB United, what is your favorite thing about the label and platform as an artist?
A- The platform reminds me of a track with the chorus that goes something like "All Cultures All Together" #curseovdialect
Q-How did the idea to remix So Alive come about?
A- Honestly, it came by happenstance when I submitted my drum tracks to BC#9, and he thought I had remixed the whole track by the amount of tracks he received (though they were only drum stems). He thought I should finish mixing it, so I did. I wouldn't consider it a remix, because if it truly were a remix I would have changed the sound to become something new. Really, It's a revamped release of the original remixed from a mixing desk engineering standpoint.
Q-You created a wicked video for So Alive as well. Did your vision for the video evolve as you created it ?
A- Thanks, my original vision never evolved into what I hoped it could be, I had a vision of a vintage city themed with a real female model in the rain, but I just didn't have the resources to make it happen. So I just designed that weird film with what I had to work with at the time. I think of it now as a cyborg that's "So Alive" with its newly integrated components.
Q-When remixing or collaborating with BC⚡︎➒ on a new track, what is your philosophy when it comes to honoring the original, while bringing your own style and sound to the new song?
A- "Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him."
This guy is the gardener type, I dare not step his roots, nor any other artist for that matter.
Q-I understand that you are the one responsible for all the final mixes of the tracks. Jason says you’ve delivered the best mixes of all the tracks that both of you have released to date on the label. What DAW do you mix down in?
A- Mix-down digitally in Logic, hope to change that someday with a proper budget. Would much rather use an analog desk with outboard gear, it's what I'm accustomed to.
Q-Who have you two decided on to master the tracks, and where did you find them?
A- We currently use two Mastering Engineers, Nik Hrycyk at Amethyst Audio in the UK and Adam Haggar at Mount Olympia Mastering in the US. Both are great to work with, each provide a unique sound (no sh*t), glad to have them on the team!
Q-What is your personal relationship to Jason?
A- We're good friends, we enjoy a lot of the same music outside of DNB, from Motorhead to Thievery Corp. He's just a good soul with positive intentions and motivation. Jason Bakes is considered a family friend before a music collaborator. Much love to Jason, Christene, V.Vega, and Tara.
Q-It is public knowledge that Jason has been diagnosed with cancer. At the time he was diagnosed, he told us that he made two phone calls from the hospital. One to his family and the second one was to you. This is serious news. How did you feel when you heard?
A-Gutted man, probably won't ever forget the news. I suppose there comes a time in everybody life this day and age where they get the call. I hope science & technology with carry us into the future where things like this won't be an issue. This guy has been through a lot, and it's only begun, a true role model for those in similar circumstances. I feel better about the situation now that he's accomplished so much since being diagnosed.
Q-Jason speaks so highly of you. He stated that after learning about his diagnosis you flew him into Denver Colorado for the Roni Size show and you had the opportunity to work on new material to be released in the future. So many podcasts that Jason has hosted end with him stating that “drum and bass saves lives”. It sounds like this trip was a spiritual journey for him. Was it for you as well?
A- No doubt it was. It was though as if a weight had been relieved from my shoulders knowing that we got some important work done in the studio from his back catalog. It was also something new for me as I've not had to host anyone of my family members in such critical condition, it's a delicate thing, I'm glad we did it up right.
Q-Is there any new music that you and Jason got to work on while in Denver that we can expect in the future from the two of you that you can talk about?
A- If you're a long time fan of BC#9 you'll be excited, more re-releases/remasters coming your way.
Q-What advice would you give DNB artists struggling in America that can’t find a label and platform to get their music heard?
A- I have no advice to give, I'm still learning. I suspect Drum and Bass and its subgenres is still underground in the US, to me, it's the electronic punk rock of our day. Despite being affiliated with DNB UNITED my music is hardly heard. As a whole (Promoters, Artists, Listeners, Audience Members) we're just not trying hard enough to break through as the rest of the world has. Maybe we just have poor taste or lack the feel. To conclude: If you want to be heard, regularly play the marketing masses game as its currently designed and perform consistently, that's my future plan at least...
Q-What is your favorite DNB releases you’ve heard in 2019?
A- RTN II JUNGLE - Got it on vinyl as a gift
Q- What is the most significant positive changes that have occurred in your process from start to the finished released product today in caparison to when you
A- Simple. They start and they end as releases.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with dnb United’s audience. Cheers, Tim Dunleavy
Visuals by Invalid productions
Review of So Alive Remix w/Invalid by Tim Dunleavy for DNB United Remix
Rebirth, Resurrection. These words can evoke strong emotions. Remixing a song is a rebirth, giving it a new life separate from the original. Birthed from the same source, it has a life and persona of it's own...a musical sibling, if you will. So it's fitting that Invalid (aka Jonathan Loeser) should remix “So Alive,” the BC#9 (a/k/a Jason Bakes) composition that launched DNB United three years ago. Brothers with different mothers and close collaborators since Invalid's 2017 release, “Komplexica,” this track offers me a chance to resurrect my role as reviewer, after months battling a body repaying me for the sins of my youth. I hope we're even. According to Jonathan, the track is not a true remix (something he hopes to do in the near future) but a “revamped release of the original” which also includes new drum tracks. The changes are both subtle and prominent, making “So Alive II” more open and airy, rooted by beats insistent, but never overwhelming. The track becomes a sonic room we move around as we appreciate the architecture and the instruments swirling about us while the groove gently, firmly moves us towards the exit. Jonathan also contributed a video to accompany the track. It's a swirling, abstract collection of kinetic bursts and shapes...moving, always moving in and out and over themselves. The images in synchronicity with the music as a female silhouette appears and disappears; a sensuous dancing spirit, guiding us through our journey. The video is that little extra, the 151 proof rum float on the mojito. The little extra jolt that transforms the cocktail from good to great. The video and audio were superbly mastered by Adam Haggar at Mt. Olympia Mastering, and Nik Hrycyk from Amethyst Studios in the UK. Three years ago, I described “So Alive” as “a twilight drive along a mountain highway with the top down and the city lights twinkling in the valley below.” I stand by that statement and add that with this BC#9/ INVALID collaboration, that car got an engine upgrade.