Skism
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Skism

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“My journey through dance music started about ten years ago when I cut my teeth as a drum and bass DJ. I was always into metal as a kid, so the natural progression into dance music from there was the heavier side of drum and bass. Today, I try and incorporate as many different influences from outside the genre I’m making into my tunes. Obviously it has to fit into a certain framework (tempo and structure) but other than that I like to experiment with classical progressions, metal influences, ethnic samples, break beats – that sort of stuff. The great thing about a young genre like dubstep is that you have the ability to try stuff that hasn’t been done yet.”

Indeed, he has come from seemingly nowhere to virtually own the genre, and if that’s a little on the edge, there’s no denying the kids lap it up – check out the Down With The Kids video on YouTube – they’re virtually eating from the palm of his hand, which is exactly what Tommy wants. “Musically, I’d say that this year I’m inspired by the more melodic/euphoric styles of dubstep that have become more prominent. The obvious examples of people flying the flag are Flux Pavilion, Subscape and Gemini.”

And maybe that has something to do with it. Moreover, he has set up Never Say Die Records with partner Nick Demus just over a year ago. “We’ve achieved a lot in that time,” he says, “and have had tracks and remixes from the likes of The Freestylers, Foreign Beggars, Flux Pavilion, Excision & Datsik, Shockone, Reso, J Majik & Wickaman, Dc Breaks and myself under various guises.” Keeping busy it seems comes with the territory.
“The big project for us at the moment is the new Foreign Beggars EP, The Harder They Fall. Some of the biggest names in the business have produced it (Skrillex, Black Sun Empire, Lazer Sword, Mensah, Alix Perez, Medison & Ruckspin). We are also releasing it on a very special format. We focus a lot on image and branding, our artwork is top notch and when we promote a release, we try and push the artist as much as possible rather than just sticking an MP3 with a logo on it out on Beatport like so many digital labels these days.”
So this year the focus is all about building the stable and bringing new talent through. And it that respect, that lads had taken on some great new acts who you’ll be hearing a lot from over the next year. Dodge & Fuski, 501, Skeptiks & Zomboy are some of the fresh talent on the imprint. Otherwise, Tommy describes some of the new stuff he’s working on and has completed recently: “I’ve just had a few remixes come out, there’s one more to come out soon which is my remix of Heavy Artillery by Canadian dubstep giants Excision & Downlink. Other than that I’m actually collaborating a lot at the moment. I’m working on a pretty special remix with my good pal Flux Pavilion and I’m also working on a track with long time friends DC Breaks for their forthcoming album. I’m gathering ideas for my next EP but it’s pretty hard to get in the studio with such a busy touring schedule and a label to run, at the moment I spend more time on other peoples’ music than I do my own!”

Touring, however, is an essential part of getting your name out there – far less subliminal than a record. And with that, comes on stage antics that are at times random, always crazy and sometimes odd. “I wore a wig in a video once as a joke, and now everyone wants to see me DJ in a wig, it’s pretty retarded to be honest, but sometimes you have to give the people what they want, even if it means looking like a bell end. Generally though, I’m a DJ’s DJ. Expect a three deck set with incessant energy levels.”

With incessant being the operative word, the lad is back to spread the raucous message he delivers so well. “I’ve been coming to Australia since about 2007 so I’m pretty familiar with how you Aussies like to party! Expect banging music and even more banging hangovers.” We would expect nothing less, Tommy.

BY RK