The Stateside heavy-hitter known as Des McMahon returns to center stage with a massive EP on Reid Speed’s Play Me Records and we’re more than stoked to be premiering the title cut ‘Dread & Despair’.

As an added bonus we sat down to chat with Des for a glimpse not only into the tune and the EP, but into the head-space of the ever-impressive artist as he continues to evolve and look to the future. So check the short Q&A followed by the Bassrush premiere of ‘Dread & Despair’ below.

In many ways this EP not only builds on but seems to represent a kind of evolution of your sound. Is that a fair assessment and something you were conscious of going in? 

In 2019, I made a decision to level up my sound. From an emotional perspective, dark drum & bass has always been what I’ve related to the most and with time I’ve grown into a much more stripped-back minimal sound. Basically doing more with less. In addition to that, I wanted to open up an avenue that would allow me to go back to writing other forms of electronic music I really enjoy such as garage, 2step and deep dubstep in conjunction with dark minimal drum & bass. In many ways this has always been my goal. I feel like the deeper sides of these niches represent my day to day life a lot more than any other sound has.

That deeper vibe definitely comes through in a way that hints at more than just an evolution of your taste as an artist. Give us a sense of the kind of head-space this project emerged from.

The first half of the EP began in early 2020 which, goes without saying, was a very difficult time for everyone. I lost an extended family member who played a significant role in my childhood at the very beginning of the pandemic, so everything was very real very fast. I must’ve written down “Dread & Despair” somewhere in my iPhone notes because while the title is very harsh, it was and still is really accurate for what a lot are feeling. “Dread & Despair” is something I feel on a regular basis, even prior to 2020, and writing music that expresses these emotions is what helps me get through the thick of it.
As you continue to evolve as an artist, where do you see yourself headed in the coming year and beyond?
Going forward, expect to see plenty of drum & bass still, but also a good amount of everything else. I’m really overdue to put some deep 140 out, I have an entire EP’s worth on the back burner. I also have a handful of half finished songs that don’t fit any DJ set or live performance that were started for the sole purpose of having something emotive and intricate to listen to, inspired more from late 90s trip-hop and different shoegaze records I’ve been hooked on.
Last but not least, hit us with your “Best Cures for Dread & Despair”:
Music, Family, Friends, Bulldogs, Sunlight, Therapy, Exercise (Endorphins), Hoagies, Dancing, Mosh Pits, Meditation, Laughing, Cooking (for others), Loving Others

Des McMahon’s Dread & Despair EP is out July 15 on Play Me Records so pre-order / pre-save here.