While Redpill has been releasing tracks here and there: a solo single on Nexus Sound, a cheeky A.M.C remix on Titan, loads of appearances on annuals, there really is nothing like a multi-track from the Toulouse neuro heavyweight. Redpill’s sonic world is complex, emotive and cinematic enough that the listening public needs at least an extended play to full immerse into that world. Luckily, just when the D&B scene was really feeling that void, Repill’s new EP All I Do Is dropped yesterday, February 7 on Eatbrain.
Full of that heady and melodic yet decidedly neuro sound fans have come to love along with a few new tech tricks, All I Do Is is an epic in three tracks, with its creator grabbing the listener by the soul and throwing them headlong into that afore-mentioned cinematic world. This EP scratches an existential D&B itch most of us didn’t know we had.
Since it’s been a while and since there are so many moving pieces to this EP, a little catch-up seemed in order. Turns out Redpill’s been doing a lot to keep his creative process going over the pandemic, including messing with a new DAW, establishing a very cool Patreon community and lining up a killer 2022 release-wise. Redpill never really left but we should all be glad he’s back.
This is the first solo multi-track for you in a while. What have you been up to since Mosh Pit? What was the impetus for releasing an EP now?
It has been quite a ride since Mosh Pit, which was released end of 2020. I felt that the booking desert (due to COVID) was an opportunity to dive deeper into production. Since that I have been releasing new music on Blackout but not at my usual pace. I also felt it was a good moment to rethink my music direction.
I started my Patreon which is turning 1 year old this month. Beside the financial help for my family it’s a wonderful experience about the interactive sharing of knowledge and staying close to people that have a similar vision of music is much appreciated in these isolation times!
Also, and this is for the tech heads, I have been switching DAW from Ableton to Bitwig which is quite a step after more than ten years of grinding (on Ableton). It was quite challenging to approach a new environment but now I feel so much more free and creative with the new DAW.
Was there a theme or inspiration for All I do Is that you hope to get across to fans?
With this EP I wanted to come back to the raw neurofunk sound I like and miss a bit nowadays, with not as much melodies or big drum and bass business. I’m staying loyal to the “James Brown” funk theory: the bass has to hit the first beat of every bar with the fundamental note. This groove has shaped my music from bass guitar playing ten years ago to now with bass music production.
With the amazing EP artwork we wanted to bring that cyberpunk vibe we love and which matches perfectly to the music.
The sound on All I Do Is seems both to have apocalyptic neuro vibes and a heavy dose of more emotional and emotive sound design. How important was that balance and getting that more emotional side in for you? What did you do tech-wise to make those bits apparent in the mixdown?
I have been heavily influenced by sad rock and metal music and I think it has a big impact on my approach on production. That’s why I often incorporate melodies and emotional parts in my tunes. I am also quite reserved as a person and I think music is one of the ways I found to express myself and liberate emotions. I’m convinced that heaviness needs softness to exist. Like drops need calm breaks and epic build ups to be impactful. Its all about finding the sweet spot between both.
The EP opens with the title track, which has some really interesting echo effects; it sounds both Thunderdome-y and like the inside of a warehouse rave. How did you get that effect to sound so realistic? How do you think it related to the overall vibe of the track?
For this EP I definitely used way more reverb than usual I wanted to give that subtle coloration to emulate natural club echoes without damaging the mixdowns. Currently I am mainly listening streaming music with headphones which are quite neutral and sometimes I feel it lacks life.
That reverb addition is giving that Thunderdome-y feeling: you are just entering the noisy main stage on a big festival with thousands of people raving all around! Let’s wait a bit more and we will live that incredible experience again soon!
“Luxure,” by contrast to the title track, is quite celestial in the intro and ancillary synths. What’s that progression from dark and echoey to bright and celestial meant to say in your eyes (or ears)?
I really like that duality of emotions; It gives way more personality to the tune and makes it more interesting to listen from start to end, in clubs or for home listening. Also (I think) it makes it more time-proof and brings fresh air to the sound.
There’s another contrast style-wise in the final track, “Drop It,” which seems to be pure dark dance vibes. With this, the whole picture is sort of revealed and All I Do Is seems to be a sampler of styles. Was it your intention to have so many different beats and vibes on one EP?
Yes I think this one is closing the EP perfectly by bringing a new shade of neurofunk that I like, with that subtle techy jump up crazyness addition. I try to make my releases as open as possible to different ideas and genres while still respecting the needs of the dancefloor.
Despite all the different styles, it does seem you’ve got some common elements flowing through this EP. Did you consciously want to pull the tracks on the EP together in this way, or was it more just what you were feeling at the time?
I think it was how I felt the sound at this time, especially for “All I Do Is.” I added that coloration to the other tunes of the EP to improve overall consistency and it seemed to work well!
What else is coming up for you in terms of releases or other projects?
I have big plans for this year but it is a bit early to say anything. I am currently sitting on quite a lot of solo tunes, previews can be found in my new Eatbrain Podcast.
Beside that I have several releases coming soon: 1 tune on the next Eatbrain VA after the EP, a remix for Blackout in April. A collab remix with Pythius on PRSPCT. I am glad to finally work with these guys! I’ve also asked producer friends to remix tunes from my catalog. It will be released as a massive VA EP coming around June, also on Blackout.
Finally, how’s the Toulouse scene doing lately? Do you feel that D&B is finally heading toward recovery?
We should have played at Le Bikini in January but all France nightclubs have been shutdown so it was canceled. Also an Eatbrain Night event here is postponed to April. I don’t have so much more news at the moment but I can’t wait for it to re-open. I think the scene here is remaining strong, there were two parties at the end of 2021 which were really successful so that shows people are still here and just waiting to be unrestrained. Also production-wise, Toulouse is doing great as usual! Especially friends Burr Oak, Cecil Hotel, Monty, Visages who have been smashing it!
All I Do Is is out now on Eatbrain and can be purchased on Beatport or streamed on most platforms.