Disrupting Reality with Prolix
Disrupting Reality with Prolix

Prolix (a.k.a. Chris McCarthy) has been a driving force within the realm of tech and dancefloor drum & bass for a good 10 years. RAM, Metalheadz and Playaz, amongst other top tier labels, have tapped him for his precisely crafted take on the genre. While some say D&B anthems no longer exist, Prolix has challenged that notion with tunes like “The Savage” and his Noisia collab “Asteroids.”

Because of his remarkable talent, Prolix is seeing the inside of a lot of airports whilst his Trendkill Records imprint is seeing some of its best releases to date. Ahead of his impending performance March 25 at Funktion, Bassrush sat down with Prolix to learn more about the making of his newest single on Friction’s esteemed Shogun Audio.

People who suck up to people to get ahead in life—I can’t stand it!

How was the signing process with Friction? This certainly isn’t your first outing on the label.
I had done a few bits for them in the past: my collaboration with Icicle called “Duality” for their 10 Years of Shogun album and another one with Friction for his Versus EP. We had discussed doing some solo things and I guess the timing was right and it all fell into place. I’ve always been a fan of their output and they’re also from my hometown [of] Brighton so it had to happen sooner or later!

Tell us a little about your new track “Nature of Reality.”
It’s the first tune finished in my new studio at my new house. I actually started it in headphones while I had no studio to work in. Things have been a bit hectic the last year or so but they have finally settled down and I’m really happy with how this turned out! It’s always difficult moving into a new space as it can take some time to really get used the sound of the new room. Fortunately this time I hit the ground running.

What inspired the name/title of the flip “Sycophant?”
“Sycophant” is an ode to all those ass kissers out there. People who suck up to people to get ahead in life—I can’t stand it!

What are some of the essential bits of gear that helped shape the sound on this single?
Seeing as both of them were started in my headphones I have to say my Audeze LCD3s got some serious use. They sound great, and used in conjunction with a mono Avantone mixcube I was able to work in a very small non-studio style environment. It gave me good results and kept me sane! I use Cubase and I’d have to say that the VSTs I used a lot on these tracks were Addictive Drums and Camel Phat/Trash—plenty of distortion! I also use a lot of the Slate plugins.


What are some current sound design trends that haven’t been bashed to death yet?
I suppose the synth Serum is what everyone seems to be bashing these days. It seems to have taken over from NI Massive as the go-to bass music synth. I think it gets caned in dubstep a lot and I can hear it more and more in drum & bass tracks. It’s also a bit more intuitive than FM8, which takes a lot of getting used to. I haven’t explored it that much yet but I intend to see what all the fuss is about.

It seems like momentum is rising for the darker side of dancefloor. What do you feel is the next evolution for this sound?
I’m not sure about evolution; the engineering of it all just seems to get better and better, but the vibes are still the same. I feel the subgenre is having a real surge of popularity, and long may it continue. It will never be the most popular kid on the block but I’m fine with that; it’s not supposed to be!

What do you have coming up next on Trendkill?
Next for Trendkill is a track by myself and Sustance entitled “Patriot” and then Sustance alongside Gusto on vocal duties with “Half Life”—all heavy neuro beats keeping up with the tradition! That is due mid-March. I’ve also got beats by some new sick artists to put out, as well as a remixes from the Transcendent EP with some wicked tracks by some big names. Exciting times; watch this space!

Who are some of the newer artists that have caught your ear?
He’s not necessarily new but I love L 33’s output at the moment. He’s doing some great stuff for Eatbrain and Blackout. Aggressor Bunx and Malux are also making some great tracks with high production levels—all quality dancefloor stuff. Sustance also has some wicked beats in the pipeline!

We are thrilled to have you back in the States. What do you like most about playing in the US?
Playing for Bassrush! I just love coming over to the States in general; the novelty certainly hasn’t worn off! The production on the Bassrush stages are second to none and are run by some great guys. Aside from Bassrush, there are also other wicked nights around albeit spread over a huge area, but they don’t have to be super huge events to be good. There are lots of hardworking promoters in the States doing smaller nights, working their arses off to bring good music to the local fans and I’m happy whenever I get to be a part of that.