Μόλις λίγες ημέρες πριν έρθει στην Ελλάδα, για την πρώτη του εμφάνιση στην Αθήνα, την Παρασκευή 10 Μαρτίου, ο Amit μίλησε αποκλειστικά στον Paranoise, και η συνέντευξη αυτή αποτελεί μία ιδανική ευκαιρία να τον γνωρίσουμε καλύτερα.
Πρόκειται για τον καλλιτέχνη που δημιούργησε την Halfstep τάση στην παγκόσμια Drum ‘n’ Bass σκηνή τα τελευταία χρόνια, και το γεγονός αυτό, από μόνο του, κάνει τον ίδιο τον Amit να είναι ένας από τους σημαντικότερους εκπροσώπους του είδους.
Ήδη από τις αρχές της προηγούμενης δεκαετίας, οι πρώτες κυκλοφορίες του σε κορυφαία labels, όπως Metalheadz και Commercial Suicide, δημιούργησαν ένα νέο ρεύμα στα πλαίσια του Drum ‘n’ Bass ήχου. Η συνέχεια, για τους μυημένους, γνωστή. Ο Amit έχει έναν εμφατικό κατάλογο κυκλοφοριών στο ενεργητικό του, στα πιο σεβαστά labels στον κόσμο, όπως Ninja Tune, Tempa, Exit Records, Metalheadz κ.ά., ενώ δημιούργησε και την δική του δισκογραφική, την AMAR Records.
Πλέον εκτός από πρωτοπόρος, θεωρείται κι ως ένας από τους πιο σεβαστούς Bass παραγωγούς. Τα DJ Sets του είναι μια διαδρομή σε όλο το φάσμα του bass oriented ήχου, καθώς με αφετηρία το Dub, διασχίζει με ευκολία και τους ήχους της Dubstep, Jungle και φυσικά Drum ‘n’ Bass.
Έτσι, το DJ set του στην Αθήνα δεν μπορεί να αφήσει κανέναν ασυγκίνητο και γι’ αυτό το Club του Ρομάντσο (Αναξαγόρα 3-5, Ομόνοια) αναμένεται να πλημμυρίσει από κόσμο την Παρασκευή, στο πρώτο event της νεοσύστατης PrismDNB. be there!
Περισσότερες πληροφορίες για το event μπορείτε να βρείτε εδώ. Ακολουθεί η συνέντευξη του Αmit στην αγγλική, και θέλουμε να ευχαριστήσουμε την Άλκηστις Κοραλή για την συνεισφορά της σε αυτήν.
To kick off the interview, would you like to let people know few more things about you? How did you start out as a DJ and what were your initial interests musically? What are the key life events and influences that evolved your sound over the years?
I never actually wanted to DJ until I found Ableton Line. I was looking for something that would give me the Producer edge, as opposed to playing your next hits singles back to back. As a child and young teenager, I was really into a wide range of electronic music, but it was only when I discovered dub music via King Tubby that things got serious. My musical influences aside from Tubby are, Africa Bambaata, Mohammed Rafi, Sonic Youth and Joy Division.
Visually I find David Lynch, David Kronenburg, The Coen Brothers and PT Anderson inspiring along with world politics, World War 2, communism and fascist regimes. My indian heritage plays a huge role in terms of inspiration; I love visiting my motherland India.
How important is it to you that your music isn’t tied down to a tag or label?
Not important at all, as long as its mentally challenging, risky, smashes up the dance floor and says something about me as a person, then I’m a happy man.
Looking back at your earlier days when you started working with labels like Metalheadz, Exit, Commercial Suicide etc., how big deal was that for you?
A huge deal, being part of that history was moment for me.
There are some years now, that you have established your own record label under the name AMAR Records. How did you come with the idea of creating it and what is the philosophy hidden behind your label?
In 2013 I decided to start AMAR, the idea was to have a label that represented a spectrum of sounds at any BPM. I also wanted to give new artists a chance of showing their talents. In a nutshell there are no rules to the label.
Now that you run AMAR, do you think it’s true that vinyl sales are increasing the last years? We also see more and more labels releasing in cassette format, do you think this is just for romanticism or there is any real use to that?
Sales have risen, more and more people are getting into collecting vinyl. In regards to cassettes I think it’s more for the nostalgia or aesthetic of the medium.
Αs a pioneer of the halfstep sound, you have witnessed the evolution of the style. What is your opinion about halfstep nowadays? What are your thoughts on the current state of the dnb scene in general?
It’s nice to see something that I started go on to develop and be widely accepted. When I played my first half step tunes out, I remember people being very confused. I cleared many dance floors early on.
Could you describe your production methods? When you go to write a track, is there a specific process that you follow or is it just whatever happens?
Select a minimum of four elements from the mentioned influences, find a narrative and begin plotting. It has to be different, thought provoking and mentally challenging.
How is your approach to DJing, different from your approach to producing?
With producing it’s a bit like being a dictator as all the decision making is with you. Performing is way more liberal as you have an audience to interact with.
As a DJ, do you tailor your sets to what you think the crowd wants to hear? Or do you take it as a chance to educate, to play what you want them to hear?
Both really, a great night is when you can have a good conversation with the crowd through music, that call and response is crucial. It’s also important to stand your ground sometimes and play the future, they’ll understand it eventually even if it takes them 5 years.
Here in Greece we are going through a period of austerity and it is sometimes difficult for promoters to book international artists, but also for the crowd to afford an expensive gig ticket. This is the main reason why the scene has gone a bit down. Do you think that artists should be prepared to take a hit on their set fees in a bid to help stimulate growth in the scene?
100%, DJ’s need to work with countries and communities to make things work. It’s quite foolish to believe one fee is right for every place on the planet.
Would you like to share any advice for people starting up as producers / DJs / record label owners now?
Be yourself, plug your influences and don’t listen to the predominant genre you’re associated with. Learn the rules to a bpm or genre and then break them.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Are you working on new releases or have any tour in your plans? Although you have been very productive during the last years, we see that you focus on EP’s and 10inch releases and you haven’t released a new album since 2011. Should we expect one soon?
There’s lots of stuff going on this year, I have a number of releases planned for AMAR and other labels. I’m writing an album with David Coulter from the (Pogues/Gorillaz/Test Department), something I’m really excited about. Lots of tours have been planned in USA, India and South America.
Thank you a lot for your time. Looking forward to watch you here!
Thank you for inviting me to Athens, looking forward to the show!