[Q&A] Snails Slithers His Way To The Top

Posted: March 4th, 2015

Elusive and mysterious, the man they call Snails is a Montreal-based producer and DJ who has quickly risen to the top of the ranks when it comes to party-style trap and bass. Bassrush followed his trail to get educated on the origin of “vomitstep,” the current state of trap, and his recent collabs with Brillz and Jack Ü.


You’ve been busy touring Asia and Australia. Are you feeling the love for dubstep abroad?

Oh yes, Australia was totally crazy. It was so cool to head out there and see the reception to my sound. Shows and fans in the states have been so great, it’s so cool and rewarding to receive similar feedback overseas. The people and countries are just amazing as well. Can’t wait to go back.


Which tracks are doing the most damage at the moment?

These three tracks have been slaying dancefloors every set I’ve played them: Ookay’s “Egg Drop Soup,” Destroid’s “Bounce” (VIP), and Hexes’ remix of Kriss Kross’ “Jump.”


What’s the one thing you miss most while on tour?

Probably my kitchen and all my Montreal homies. Everyone knows I’m the taco king and I just love cooking in general. I can’t complain about heading to restaurants with friends and producers on the road. Apart from that, my production setup at home is where it all started for me. [I] always love to be there in my den.


Tell us about the origin of “vomitstep.” How did it come about?

I’ve always been a huge fan of sound design; it’s what caught my attention and really started my love of electronic music. The weirder it is, the more I like it. I guess as I kept producing, the weird got the best of me and the vomit became my instrument.


How do you feel about the current state of trap?

I feel really good about it. It’s nice to see it going in so many directions with the hybrid sound. Audiences are also enjoying variations that are a bit less in your face. I think it’s generally a great time for music across all genres.


We loved your bootleg with Brillz of “Crazy” by Lil Boosie. Do you have any other collaborations in the works?

On top of being on tour with him, working with Brillz was like a dream come true.  As I started producing, he was a huge inspiration. He’s been such a big factor in the trap scene and he was so supportive of me. I’m so happy with the track and the reception it’s had. Several others are on their way, actually the one I did with Jack Ü just came out days ago. That’s another one I’m super proud of. A few years ago, if you told me I’d be doing a track with Skrillex and Diplo, I would have thought you were insane.


Your music covers a range of influences. What was the first song that caught your ear in dance music?

I was a DJ first so I’ve always been inspired by dance tracks that really get people moving. For example, “Streetwalker” by Duke Dumont has always been a favorite of mine, even though that might not be obvious at first in my productions. I have to admit that the first time I heard “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” by Skrillex my jaw dropped. It gave me so many ideas about the direction music could go.


Volume two of SNAILEDIT! Welcome To Slugz City is coming soon. What can we expect to hear this time around?

Oh, it’s so omega! I’m all about discovering new sounds and pushing them out there. Volume One received such a huge reaction, so I cannot wait to see the reaction to Volume Two. I have so many bangers and unreleased tracks in the next one.


What’s next for Snails?

A lot of shows are lined up. This Saturday I’m playing at the Palladium in L.A. with the homies Bro Safari and Zomboy. That’s going to be massive. Apart from that I have a busy schedule over the next months with club and festival dates! Electric Forest is another one I’m super excited about. I’ve never played it before and heard so many great things. Expect me to bring the vomitstep everywhere!


By Amanda Ross

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State Of Mind Go 'Full Force'

Posted: March 1st, 2015

The Budapest-based Eatbrain imprint continues to blow doors with the latest EP fronted by the New Zealand duo known as State of Mind. It’s truly an international affair, as the boys collaborate with the likes of Mindscape, Chris.SU, and label boss Jade himself in what is a non-stop, high-octane journey into the heart of dark and deadly neurofunk territory.

From the tough funk-swagger of the title track on through to epic hell-raisers like “Chariots” or the hard-grooving “Bypass,” it’s tunes like the futuristic floor-killer “Know Your Place” where all the elements come together in that special and inimitable way that are sure to keep this one on heavy rotation all summer long. Get some!


By Chris Muniz

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Chronic Rollers Return For Another Hit

Posted: February 28th, 2015

Established in 1996 as a place for the deeper and darker output of the V Recordings family, Chronic has since evolved into an imprint that features the very best of old-school Bristol vibes mixed with new-school growling stormers.

On this, the second in the Chronic Rollers series, the Chronic fam pull out all the stops, enlisting the likes of Bladerunner, L-Side, Spirit & Denial, Level 2, Dave Owen, Jaybee, Zere, Paul T, Edward Oberon, NC-17, AK1200, and the list goes on and on! Stacked 16-tracks deep, the compilation charts a raw and uncompromising course through a jungle and liquid-tinged soundscape of tight snares, rolling riddims, and cavernous basslines. Head over to the V Recordings audio shop to get a full sense of what kind of heat the compilation is about to deliver and be sure to preorder your copy while you’re there.


By Chris Muniz

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Dieselboy: Enter The Destroyer

Posted: February 27th, 2015

A person’s character is defined not by who they are, but what they do. If a big-time artist gifts some of their music, it’s apparent that they care deeply for their fans. Case in point, drum & bass icon Dieselboy.

Two weeks after his 90-minute release, The Destroyer, was made available on SoundCloud, it had already amassed an astounding 270,000+ plays. The 93 tracks take the listener on a thrill ride of heavyweight bass, weighing in at speaker blowout proportions. Dieselboy conjured up the name while touring with Downlink on the Blood, Sweat and Bass tour. He describes the mix as relating to the ’70s-themed Tarantino and Rodriguez movie collaboration, Grindhouse.

It’s all in a day’s work for the man who was honored a decade ago by the UK-based Drum & Bass Arena Top 10 DJs online poll. In the meantime, Dieselboy, born Damian Higgins, collaborates with those who inspire him to reach new heights as a producer, DJ, and record label pioneer. Projects in the works for Dieselboy include potential collabs with artists such as Phace, SPKTRM and Rekoil, as well as a new project with close friend Mark the Beast, called Faces of Def, which features 175-bpm bass music influenced by various genres. Other than mixing it up with those he admires, he also enjoys cooking and concocting new recipes, declaring himself “food-obsessed.”

We caught up with Dieselboy while he was cruising around his hometown of Brooklyn on foot, as he’s never owned a car.


Did you have a selection process with choosing the music for The Destroyer? Or is that just what you are listening to right now?

I just sat down and made a folder of about 150 tracks; music that I was already playing, some old stuff that I thought I could get little pops of energy out of. As I was working on it, I would get new tunes and try to incorporate them here and there. There are some new tracks I shoehorned in like a week before releasing this. There’s really no exact rhyme or reason to it. It’s just a collection of dope music. 


When you do your live set, you use four decks? 

Yes. My live sets usually don’t sound exactly like my mixes. Typically in a mix, I’ll put in some deeper tunes than I’d usually never play in a live set, and in a mix, I usually don’t put in super high-energy dance tracks. I just don’t feel like those stand the test of time when you listen to them repeatedly, year after year. When I play live, it’s similar to how a studio mix sounds, but I don’t plan my live sets. I’m always just winging it. This new mix is programmed precisely, because it is something that people will listen to over and over again. I try to bring in lots of detail. Programmed or not, I put about 40 hours into it. It was a pain in the ass.


That’s great because it’s best when it’s about that old-school mentality of judging what your crowd wants, monitoring what they are responding to, and adjusting your music to what they want. You know, instead of bringing a hard drive to a party.

It’s funny that you say that because that’s the way it is now. What you are describing is the way that people used to play. To me, that is what DJing should be. I didn’t spend all of these years trying to master a craft, only to just show up and play a preprogrammed set. I don’t get any personal satisfaction from that. I mean, I get paid to DJ, but I take pride in my work and have a serious passion for it. If I were to show up with a perfectly, meticulously planned-out set… Sure, I could crush it, but how could I take pride in that? It wouldn’t be fulfilling. I get satisfaction when I show up with maybe the few first tracks planned and nothing else. I then just roll with it. See where the night goes.


So, you use CDJs?

Yes, CDJs and USB drives. I started using USB drives in September [of 2013]. Up to that point I had been burning CDs, and it had just gotten out of control. I had way too many CDs in my CD books and was spending half of my set trying to find the music I wanted to play. I DJed with Loadstar at a party in Ukraine in August [of 2013], and he was using USB drives. I was inspired to make the switch.


Do you see drum & bass becoming mainstream? 

No, not like trap or dubstep. People have been saying for years that drum & bass is “making a comeback.” I’ve always been playing drum & bass. There were a few years where I was playing, like, 15 minutes of different bass music near the end of my set, but the core of my set has always been drum & bass. There may be more of an interest in drum & bass now, but mainstream? No. It’s just too complex for some people. Too fast.


Right, right. They can’t figure out how to dance to it. 

Yeah, unless you are going to ruin everything that makes drum & bass “drum & bass.” I just don’t think it’s going to happen. That’s how dubstep happened. To most people, it kind of just sounds like slow drum & bass. The groove is easier to understand, but 175 beats-per-minute is just not going to go mainstream. That’s just the way it is. 


Are you still doing stuff for video games? 

Not so much. At one point, I was working with a guy who had a lot of clout at Sony PlayStation, and he was throwing a lot of work my way. But typically in that business, it can be who you know—not what you make. I hear a lot of terrible EDM in commercials and video games now.


I know, it’s like someone’s brother or something. 

Yeah. There are so many talented artists out there who should have their music featured but don’t.


So, you created something called the Blvck Celebration mix. Does that mean you are a big Depeche Mode fan? 

Yes, that means that I was huge Depeche Mode fan, up until Violator. I signed off when their music became more rock, less synth. I liked the name and thought it would be fun to flex the reference. 


What kind of music originally drew your interest? 

I was really into R&B back in high school. Used to be a huge fan of Teddy Riley, the guy that created the new jack swing genre. He was also in Blackstreet and produced the first Bobby Brown record. I was also listening to Depeche Mode, New Order, and bands that sounded like them. Then I discovered Nitzer Ebb and Nine Inch Nails. Then I got into all the industrial stuff. Eventually I ended up at a Front 242 show, where some guy told me about a group called T99 and their track “Anasthasia.” That was my doorway into techno and dance music. That opened up a whole world for me. 


When did you realize you wanted to be a DJ?

After I heard “Anasthasia.” I remember tracking it down at a dance music shop in Pittsburgh called Collectors 12". As soon as the track came out of the speakers, I was hooked. Instantly. Feel free to hit YouTube and look it up. The track still sounds sick. I had already randomly DJed dances at my high school. I don’t recall the moment I realized I was going to DJ for a living—probably back in 1997 when I quit my 9-to-5 at an internet company doing tech support and moved to Philadelphia to work at 611 Records.


Are you still writing for 

I am, but it is a struggle coming up with good angles and things to write about. I want my input to be more than, “Hey! I am DJ Dieselboy! I ate at this restaurant.” It sounds like I am just blowing myself.


And finally, if you could produce music with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

Honestly, if I had the opportunity to go into the studio with anyone, it would be with the people who do the sound design for big summer blockbuster movies like Transformers. I would love to just sit in on a few sessions and see how the magic is made. I feel like I have a good ear and good ideas for coming up with my intros, but I am lacking the skill set to make those insane sounds.


By Lori Denman-Underhill


This article originally appeared on

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TREi Signs Exclusively To Viper

Posted: February 27th, 2015

Crushing it since first appearing on the scene in 2007, the Wellington, New Zealand native known as TREi looks like he’s finally settling down and calling Viper Recordings his home. Having battled for national supremacy alongside fellow Kiwis like Pendulum, ShockOne, State of Mind, and Concord Dawn, TREi has cut his teeth on a wide range of imprints including Technique, Commercial Suicide, Shogun, Samurai, Uprising, and SOM Music.

The past few years have seen TREi working closer and closer with the Viper crew, most notably with his chart-topping hit “Seeds” early last year, followed quickly by his remix of Tali’s “Forces” from Viper’s Decade of Viper anniversary album. Still, those who’ve been following closely know that it was his Empires EP which dropped at the tail end of 2014 on Technique that solidified his place in the upper echelon of the drum & bass elite, as each and every tune on the EP crushed it.

Looking ahead to the new year—and with the ink still wet on the contract—TREi is already hard at work on a series of singles and an EP designed to lead up to the release of his next studio album. Big things from down under!

By Chris Muniz

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Smooth Enters 'The Black Hole'

Posted: February 26th, 2015

The ever-essential Luka Smooth returns from the depths of Slovenia with yet another pair of dancefloor monsters sure to have the kids climbing up the walls. “The Black Hole” is the angrier beast of the two. Centered on a spiraling cosmic theme, this is pure anthem territory sure to deliver the chaos in the vein of last year’s “Virgo Cluster.”

The vibe switches up on the flip as “Rollercoaster” rolls it out with a funk- and disco-inspired workout that is meant to keep things buzzing and humming on the grooviest of dancefloors. The blissful vibes in contrast with the growling A-side make for a nice combination for all the selectors looking to flex on different vibes throughout the night.

Out now on Viper Recordings, so grab it!


 By Chris Muniz

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