Hot on the heels of their recent Rave Against Time EP on on V Recordings’ sister imprint Chronic, the rising drum and bass duo known as Chromatic hit Rene LaVice with a monster single in the form of “Switcher.”
With support for the duo raining in from the likes of Andy C, Bryan Gee, DJ Marky, Random Movement, Doc Scott and more, you can get a sense of just how much flex the duo are bringing to the proceedings. With Rene LaVice’s own Device label continuing to solidify his reputation as a tastemaker in the scene, we thought it was the right time to not only drop the new tune on you but check in with the duo as well for an in-depth conversation and glimpse into what the future holds.
So check the heat below and stick around for the Q&A after the jump. If you’re liking what you hear and feel then be sure to lock in your copy of Chromatic’s “Switcher” here.
What were your individual discoveries into D&B, and how did you start your journeys as D&B DJs and producers before forming as Chromatic?
Joe: I was a hip-hop head growing up, but my love for repetitive dance music properly kicked in during that period of awful noughties trance and hard house. Thankfully, a friend at college stepped in and introduced me to drum ’n’ bass… it blew my mind! I instantly fell in love with all those breakbeats and iconic samples, and there was no going back.
Leon: For me, it all started when I left school and moved to a new town. I met some people there who were bang into raving and DJing, and they started supplying me with tapes from Dreamscape and Helter Skelter box sets to listen to. The first one I was given was Andy C b2b Randall at Dreamscape 33 – still one of my favourite sets even now! It wasn’t long before I was buying a pair of dodgy belt drives and mixing DnB records for hours on end. Production quickly followed on from that, as I wanted to have some exclusive material to play in my sets!
Tell us about your project so far as Chromatic. Where did it all begin, and what brought you together to form as a duo?
Joe: That friend I mentioned earlier – the one who introduced me to DnB – was actually Leon. We ended up sharing a house in Nottingham while at university back in 2010, and as we were both into production and DJing, we combined our music gear and started writing tunes together. Anything to get out of uni work!
Leon: I remember those days well! We were both doing the uni thing, but also spending lots of time making music in our spare room. The vibes were great, and we’d known each other for a long time anyway so it was an easy progression to start writing music together. We finished a couple of tunes, and one of them found its way to Huw Stephens, who gave it a spin on his late-night Radio 1 show! We were both buzzing to get a track on national radio, and it kind of progressed from there to be honest.
What is the story behind your latest release ‘Switcher’ coming out on Rene LaVice’s Device label? How did the Device signing come about, and what were you looking to achieve in terms of production?
Joe: We’d just returned from our first Boomtown Festival in 2019, and I wanted to channel that experience into the creation of a balls-to-the-wall banger. Something super-simple and driving, but with a bit of ‘wonk’ and cheekiness thrown in.
The bassline was created using NI’s Massive X synth, which I’d just started playing around with. It’s just a wavetable oscillator, modulated with the synth’s Switcher LFO to create these weird, wobbly shapes. Naming a tune is always a struggle, so I gave it the placeholder title of “Switcher”. The name stuck!
Leon: A track like Switcher has to hit hard on a sound system, so we spent plenty of time on the mixdown and mastering, to give it that aggressive, weighty club sound that we both love. After a few tweaks and revisions, we felt the tune was ready to send out to DJs. Rene’s supported a fair few of our tunes in recent years, so it made total sense to send it to him.
We’re stoked to have Device put out the tune – the first set of releases on the label have been strong, with some wicked artists involved!