Away from the clean-shaven techno geeks and OCD Soundcloud waveformers is Callum Wright, making beats for the taxi to and bus back with the sweat and stink of rave left in. Approaching dance music with the gutter heat of rap and a psychedelic imagination, D/R/U/G/S has carved out a new, poetic language of rave. His music owes as much to teenage years spent jamming Wu Tang Clan and trance, the latter of which he explores on his first Dummy Mix – a slowed down set of re-edited EDM you can hear below. As much an audio experiment as dance mix, it’s one of our favourites in ages.
Earlier this week, D/R/U/G/S announced news of his latest EP ‘Amphibian’ which is available to stream and download through his website. He also released his latest UK tour dates, where he will be supporting Delphic in October.
Hi D/R/U/G/S! How are you?
Im grand thank you, enjoying copenhagen right now.
Can you explain the concept behind the mix?
It was born out of an aftershow party I was playing at, around 6 in the morning, that’s when I do my best thinking. I always find that good ideas come from having the most open mind possible with what you’re playing or writing. We started playing around with the most commercial ‘EDM’ we could find and found that at 6 in the morning it worked a lot better at 108bpm.
When did your interest in this music begin?
The first dance music I ever really took an interest in was kind of trancey, a lot of James Holdens remixes and earlier work in particular.
Why do you like it?
I enjoy messing with the mechanics of tracks whether that’s doing a remix or djing or whatever. The production on all these tracks is great even if you don’t particularly like the songs you have to admit that and I love how the different melodies and intricacies are brought out when you change the tempo and pitch. It’s a lot of fun.
It’s quite a harsh mix you’ve delivered. Have you much affection for the genre?
Yeah definitely, it’s a much maligned sound! Like most things, if you dig a little deeper into it you’ll find some great work. Its a bit of a cliched thing to say but I’ve never really had the energy to keep up with the current ‘sound’ whatever that maybe, I think that shines through in my production.
How did you treat the songs you used?
Everything is slowed down to around 108bpm and sometimes pitched down, a lot of the tracks are cut up otherwise they’d go on for hours. Kind of like a chopped and screwed trance mix I guess!
There’s a number of trance fans coming to the fore, from you to Rustie to AraabMUZIK. Why do you think this is?
I guess the melodic side of the sound is what draws people in, I know it does in my case. Maybe it’s a reaction to the prevalence of bass music at the moment? I don’t really know, my own route into dance music was so different from most producers it’s hard to describe. I just kind of do things without much thought!
Can you tell me a bit about what you have coming up and your future plans?
We just put out a free EP on the new website and there’s a full release coming on Different Recordings in October which I’m super excited to put out, then we’ve got the Delphic tour and some club shows too.
And what are you looking forward to in September?
Right now I’m in Copenhagen for Trailerpark festival, first show here so excited for that. We’ve also got some really interesting remixes to put out soon, very different from what I’ve previously put out, a lot more experimental in style, kind of going back to the original ideas I had when I started producing. I think I got a bit too lost in worrying about where I sat in the world musically, whether it was house or techno or how ‘djable’ the songs where. Now I’m more focused on just writing interesting music, I feel a lot more comfortable now.
1. Sander Van Doorn – Renegade (The Official Trance Energy Anthem 2010)
2. Randy Katana – You & I
3. Moby – Lift Me Up (Seso Sento Remix)
4. Ramon Tapia – This Groove
5. Jesse Perez – Dale Que Tu Puedes
6. Dirty South – Alamo (Robbie Taylor And Benny Royal Remix)
7. Funkagenda – Together
8. Dirty Vegas – Throwing Shapes
9. Temper Traps – Sweet Disposition (Axwell Remix)
10. Richard Grey vs Erick Morillo and Jose Nunez feat Shawnee Taylor = Life Goes On
11. Jean Jacques Smoothie – 2 People (Moloko’s Maxique Mix)
12. Reflekt – Need To Feel Loved (Adam K & Soha Vocal Mix)
13. Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence (Niels van Gogh vs. Thomas Gold Remix)
14. Tim Berg – Bromance (Avicii’s Arena Mix)