Hailing from Wolverhampton, UK, the bass music producer p0gman is not only known as one of the OG dons of dubstep but is also widely credited with pushing the boundaries of the genre as a whole. Solidifying himself in the scene with his filth-drenched, wonky touch, p0gman has earned releases on some of the largest imprints in the game in addition to starting his very own label, I.AM.Audio.
Since his latest release, ZERO, in September, the young producer has been touring the US, Australia, and Europe, all while managing to produce his highly anticipated Reloaded EP. Since experimenting with more diverse sounds as of late, p0gman returns to his origins with a new flare. The project takes listeners on a journey through the realms of bass music that showcase a bundle of effortlessly heavy tracks ranging from bouncy floor killers like “Reload” on through to minimalistic tracks like “Tanzania” that manifest a deeper vibe.
Still buzzing off the response to Reloaded—you can buy it here—we caught up with p0gman to talk about life on the road, the story behind his new EP, and what to look out for in 2017.
I was trying to write music that I thought people wanted to hear. Then I just had a thought one day: 'What the fuck am I doing trying to be something else?'
You’ve been touring like crazy—how’s that been?
Yeah, this year has been my biggest year to date with constant touring across Europe, Australia and America; pretty much seven months solid from March to September. It was a grind with all the traveling and being away from home for so long, but it was all worth it as it was a strong year for shows. I’m just happy to be performing so much and doing what I love!
What’s the response to your new EP been like?
I’ve played the whole thing at most my shows and the reaction has been sick! It’s always a nice feeling when new music goes down so well, as I’m sure any DJ would tell you. We always worry how tracks are going to be received by the fans because we really care about their opinions—without them we would be nothing.
The EP seems to hint at your roots. Was that your intention with this project?
Definitely! One of the main reasons I decided to go back to being p0gman again was because I got so lost in this “new, cool” sound. I was trying to write music that I thought people wanted to hear because of how the scene has been heading lately. Then I just had a thought one day: “What the fuck am I doing trying to be something else? I got this far being p0gman and because of the sound I make.” I must shout out the Gentlemans Club boys, too, as we spent some time on tour together and they really helped me realize this.
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the project.
This EP is a bit of a comeback project with a big “I’m back!” vibe. I wrote the whole EP using NI Massive again rather than Serum, which is one of the reasons I was losing my original sound. It was way more fun to let the tracks come out this way; it was so unforced and natural. All I wanted to do on this EP was have fun and it was exactly that.
What are you most excited to share off this project with your fans?
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the final track, “Tanzania,” is received by my fans. It’s a complete rewind to when I first started listening to dubstep; nothing but a rolling bassline and some serious sub. It was really nice to write a deeper track that I was just vibin’ to in the studio rather than imagine it in the rave. I just wrote it to nod my head to and was super happy with the outcome. The whole feel of the EP is very original p0gman, so I’m looking forward to seeing if the fans agree.
Do you have a track that is particularly special to you?
“Reload” is my personal favorite; it’s the first track I wrote for the EP and the name explains it all. This project was a way for me to reload myself and stop getting lost in something I’m not. It was also the song I finally wrote in months that I was genuinely happy with. I uploaded it to SoundCloud and straight away people were happy with the revived direction.
Are there any tracks off this EP that you particularly challenged yourself with?
The whole EP was challenging for me because I got so used to using Serum and trying to cater to this new sound that it was difficult go back and write music how I used to. Fusing my old way of writing—but also trying to use newer mix-down and other tricks I’ve learned—was also challenging. I really aimed for the EP to sound original like my old music, but also hit harder as well as sound crisper and cleaner than before. Combining new and old techniques really worked on this EP.
This release is out on your very own I.Am.Audio imprint. Can we expect more releases under the label?
100%. The label took a back seat this year due to me touring so much, but we have new guys involved in helping to run it and we plan on getting the ball rolling better than ever. Definitely expect more releases and more quality from us in 2017.
You just released a remix with BadKlaat of Myro’s “Talk To Me.” How’d that collaboration come to be?
Myro hit me up asking if Badklaat and I would be down and of course we jumped straight on it. It helped a lot that we are all good friends and were able to come up with something so quickly because he needed a quick turnaround, but we managed to smash it out. Badklaat’s work rate and production skills are unreal, so it made this so much easier. I’m a huge fan of what Myro is pushing lately with his sound, so I was super happy to work on it.
Any other unexpected collabs we should look out for?
Since I finished the EP, I decided that the rest of the year will be dedicated to collabs. Some ones I can mention are Krimer, Ponicz, Bare Noize, Soloman, Walter Wilde, Rakket, and Dack Janiels, amongst others. There are a few more I can’t announce yet, but there are some big things in the works!
“Lenguin” is dope! Was it an introduction to the Reloaded EP?
I always just want to give the fans as much as I can. The support I’ve had over the years and still continuously get is honestly the best in the world. I always release free music and more than anything it’s just to say thank you for the constant love I get from them. Shout out to every single person supporting my music.
Any other special shouts you want to leave us with before we go?
Definitely want to shout out everyone who supported me this year and everyone who has been on the crazy journey that was 2016. Zac my manager, Mike my agent, Tony and the whole Bassrush squad and anyone and everyone who has ever supported in any way—I love you all!