4 Oct 2011
Originally hailing from Warsaw in Poland, Xilent aka Eryk Kowalczyk is one of the hottest & most exciting young talents in the Drum and Bass scene today. ‘Choose me II’ is the first release since Xilent’s recent exclusive joint signing to the AudioPorn / Mainframe label. The Dubstep version of ‘Choose Me’ topped the Beatport charts. Climbing to #1 and maintaining a top 5 position for 3 months, ‘Choose Me’ also racked up over 1 million views on Youtube. AudioPorn is run by Shimon, member of Ram Trilogy (alongside Andy C and Ant Miles) and original member of the Ram Records crew. Austrian label Mainframe (the driving force behind Camo & Krooked) is run by DJ, producer and promoter DisasZt. Xilent is now setting his sights on his next two Drum n Bass singles for AudioPorn and Mainframe with ‘Evolutions Per Minute’ / ‘Tenkai’, due out on Mainframe in September 2011, as well as ‘SkywardI’ / ‘Skyward II’, due on AudioPorn in October.
On 28th October, Xilent will be joining London Elektricity, Mc Wrec and Blokhe4d at Metros City with Heavyweight Soundz to celebrate the Halloween period. I caught up with a very excited Xilent as he prepares the shake the foundations in just a few weeks.
What did you do before you got into the music industry?
I married music pretty quickly, throughout secondary and high school I used to be a drummer for various bands, although I have to admit that straight after high school I was hoping for a career as a web designer. Recently, I’ve spent 3 years ona Software Engineering course, but moved to Sound Production for the 4th year and currently, after my gap year, I’m about to finish my honours degree.
How and when did you first get into Drum & Bass? What were some of your early influences?
My earliest influences must have showed up at the age of 10 when I found a CD in my flat called ‘Future Grooves – Essential Drum’n'Bass’. This resulted in me listening to DJ Rap, Future Cut, Adam F, all that good jungle/amen stuff. Then came Black Sun Empire, Concord Dawn, Calyx, and from then on it was a pretty straight path.
How did you come up with the name Xilent?
Xilent comes from the word Silent, as Silent Hill if my favourite game franchise ever. I’m amazed how many people are still yet to pronounce it correctly, as if changing one letter in the word turned their world upside down, hehe.
When did you first start producing? What were you trying to accomplish when you wrote your first few tracks?
I started when I was 8, when I got my hands on my first PC with a software called Rebirth by Propellerhead. It consisted of 2 standard Roland synthesisers plus 2 nice sounding ones for drums. My initial goal was to make trance music and show it to the guys and girls in my class, but back then most of them didn’t even know what melody is. Once drum’n'bass kicked in in my life a couple of years later, I already knew about Cubase from my dad… to this day however I can find floppy disks with some of my Rebirth loops.
What hardware and software do you use for production?
Ah, already mentioned before – it’s Steinberg’s Cubase, which I find to be the most intuitive and crystal clear out of all DAWs that I had a chance to meet.
Can you remember your first encounter with Dubstep or how you got into the genre?
It must have been a friend of mine from the city where I live now (Edinburgh), that played me a couple of old school
dubstep tracks I wouldn’t even be able to recall now. At first I found it way too slow, but after I had a shot at it, I realised how many elements can be squeezed into one bar. The slower the tempo, the more room you have to show off, which I couldn’t say about producing drum’n'bass at first.
Since your massive dubstep hit “Choose me II” EP, if you had to categorize the music you play or produce, what genre would it best fit?
Dubstep is dubstep. I never had any other sub-genre name for the style I produce; some of my older listeners, however, are definetely tuned to a specific genre of drum’n'bass I make, and what I try to do is implement those specific elements – from melodies to glitches – into the dubstep tunes. Just like my fellow producer friend Yanntek from Germany, I like to call the drum’n'bass subgenre Ultrafunk. It’s silly enough, considering how much elements is implemented into the structure of the ultrafunk tunes.
Out of your releases, what album did you enjoy making the most?
I enjoyed them all. I have to admit I like when an album makes sense as a whole, so that the tracks are at least a little bit connected to each other – such was the case with my Ammunition release ‘Lift & Fall’ with tracks Uplift and Fallen. Both telling a completely opposite story, you get the idea. That’s kind of the plan. I’m currently enjoying working on a lot of my upcoming stuff for AudioPorn and Mainframe Recordings, to be honest. After such great reception of Choose Me, everything seems to be a pleasure to make.
What has been your best achievement so far in your music career?
Definitely “Choose Me EP”. The fact that my first attempt at dubstep hit the top charts and stayed there for 3 months,
found itself in more than a couple of compilations and hit over 1 million views on YouTube. This made me feel like never before, and the follow-up is out soon.
Apart from your past and current accomplishments, where do you see your music taking you in the long run?
When I started production professionally, I didn’t think so much about playing live. Now though, it’s something I always look forward to. There’s no better feeling than seeing a crowd go off to one of my new tunes and my set. I love performing and touring and can see myself doing it for a long time.
What are your top current 10 tracks?
High Maintenance – Sun Flares
Yanntek – Ancients of Future
Emperor – Network
Kung – Formula
Neonlight – Contraire
High Maintenance – With You
Excision & Downlink – Heavy Artillery (Skism remix)
PLAYMA – Far Away
Benny Benassi – Cinema (Skrillex Remix)
Smooth – Calling
Any last words, press kit or shout outs to Dub Zone and Teknoscape?
I wanted to thank everyone who supports me and enjoys what I do, huge shouts to Dub Zone, Teknoscape and all the Perth crew, see you in a couple of weeks!
CATCH XILENT AT HEAVY WEIGHT SOUNDZ
@ METRO CITY – FRIDAY OCTOBER 28th!
Get your tix here http://www.loadeddice.com.au/tickets.php