Ringing in from idyllic Viana do Castelo, Portugal, Andre Freixo—otherwise known as Dez, one half of BassBrothers—is buzzing with the release of his group’s new WTF EP.
After joining the Playaz family in 2014 the BassBrothers have gone on to create a name for themselves within the world of drum & bass. With the ethos of replicating and honoring vintage sounds, clever sampling and keen production chops are clearly the cornerstone of their sound so much so that it’s caught the ear of heads like Noisia and the Upbeats.
Pressing forward with their own fresh approach the pair have a new release, their second EP aptly called WTF. Whether you’re into minimal sounds or don’t care about sub-genres, Bassrush caught up with one-half of the crew to learn more about the new EP and Dez’s greatest achievement thus far: becoming a father.
Not sure if we are minimal drum & bass producers now just because we did one EP with that vibe after almost 10 years of jump up wobs and stabs. We do whatever vibe we’re feeling at the moment when we sit down in the studio.
So how are you feeling now that the EP has been released?
We feel happy and proud—it’s probably our most mature project to date. Jeremy from the Upbeats is asking for it and Noisia are playing it on Noisia Radio. That’s gotta be a good sign! (Laughs) It’s good to have not only the jump-up DJs playing it but also reaching these other amazing artists within the full spectrum of D&B. It’s important so we’re definitely proud of that and sincerely hope people will like it as much as we do.
Does WTF mean what we think it does?
Yes, it sure does! We thought it was good name for this project as it’s not really what people may expect from us. We wanted to do something different and the ‘WTF’ is kinda playing with that idea.
When did it actually all come together?
We’ve been working on it since our Electronic Propa album [in 2015].
This is not your first time working with Jam Thieves, how did that new collab “Pusher” come to life?
They speak Portuguese! Not very often do we get to speak our own language in the drum & bass world as everyone’s English! We’ve been talking for years now as we both love and support each other’s work, so it was a matter of time for us to join forces with our Brazilian brothers again.
What’s your personal favorite track off the EP?
Probably “Kravitz.” I honestly love that track! It sums up what we were going for on this EP: simple and effective.
Obviously “I’m Out” is a crowd-pleaser as well. Who is Kyara?
Kyara is a Portuguese reggae/dancehall singer friend of ours. She did a hit here with a well-known Portuguese artist a while ago—that was the first time I heard her. Since then always wanted to work with her and we finally did!
How do you feel about your current sound being labeled “minimal”?
We like to keep it diversified, the new EP has a lot of that but we just did a remix for Taxman “Original Ninja” which is 100% jump up. Not sure if we are minimal drum & bass producers now just because we did one EP with that vibe after almost 10 years of jump up wobs and stabs. There’s always a right time and spot to fit all these sub-genres in a set though and we believe that one hour of the same thing straight is boring as fuck no matter what sub-genre you’re talking about. We do whatever vibe we’re feeling at the moment when we sit down in the studio.
What are a few tracks on your personal playlist at the moment?
D&B tracks include Prolix and Teddy Killers’ “Sputnik,” Upgrade and TI’s Bob Marley bootleg, obviously the new Noisia album, and Tyke’s remix of Potential Badboy “Revolution.” As for solid good jump up, I’m loving love K Motionz’s “Cartel and Survive.” Besides D&B I always have proper roots reggae on the playlist plus a couple non-new-school-crap hip-hop tracks as well.
Congratulations on the arrival of your first-born! Has starting a family impacted your production habits at all?
Thank you and it sure did! I’m not spending 12 hours or more a day in the studio until I have a big headache as I used to do before. My girlfriend is amazing and totally supports my work and understands it—that helps a lot. Also I want to spend time with my baby as she’s by far the best thing I have. We work it out with no drama in terms of the production time. (Laughs)