With many of dubstep’s originators apparently turning their backs on the genre and the rest of the scene descending into petty in-fighting, could Dismantle be the heir to the throne? We caught up with the young producer to find out.
It’s no secret that dubstep is in a state of flux. As proponents of the more aggressive form of the genre enjoy unprecedented success around the world, some of the genre’s originators are apparently disowning the style altogether and others are jumping ship for house and techno.
In the midst of all this turmoil, one of the young pretenders who seems certain to rise to the top of the pile is 19 year-old Will Knighton, a Brighton-based producer who’s helping to show there’s life in the dubstep scene beyond the mass migration to brostep in one corner and the vaguely defined UK bass scene in the other.
We caught up with Will for a chat about whether he’d really call himself a dubstep producer, why he’s inspired by new software purchases and how it feels to be compared to Skream.
Tell us how you got into making music. How did it all start and when did you get serious?
I got a pair of cheap turntables and a mixer for Christmas when I was 13. I was then introduced to Reason by Hizzle Guy, the co-founder of Gangoon Dubz, and I started messing about on that making D&B. I never learnt an instrument when I was younger, which I regret, so making music on a computer was my way of getting involved with something I loved. It starting getting serious I suppose when my tunes were getting supported and I was DJing at residencies in Brighton. After a vinyl release and a steady amount of bookings, I decided it could work as a career.
Although your music’s quite varied, you’re typically pigeonholed as a dubstep producer. Do you agree with that?
Well, I think because the tempo of the stuff I make is around 140bpm and a lot of dubstep DJs play my stuff, it gets pigeonholed into that genre. I really don’t mind. Dubstep carries a big umbrella of different sub-genres now so I guess my music can easily fall into it. I’m not fussy with what it is or what people want to call it, I just get on with making the music for people to listen to. Dubstep means a lot of things to different people nowadays. People are constantly arguing with what actually is ‘dubstep’, but for me it’s music for the clubs and for people to have a good time to. I hope!
The tag doesn’t necessarily fit, because there are elements of lots of different styles in your music – ones which aren’t necessarily associated with traditional dubstep sounds and cross over into more electro and even techy sounds. Do you have quite wide-ranging taste in music?
Yeah, I’m into loads of different types of music. Having a broad horizon on music is so, so important, especially if you’re making music. Narrow-minded music listeners are missing out!
So what inspires you in your own productions?
A lot of things really, but one thing which always happens is I get a lot of ideas when I’m driving or on a plane, and I make sure I write them down on my phone.
Good tip! What have you been working on recently?
A lot of remixes, which I’m glad to say people will be able to hear very soon. Also preparing for my next single on Digital Soundboy, working with vocalists and moving things forward to the next stage.
Tell us a little about your production setup – do you work mainly in software?
It’s pretty basic. Just an iMac using Logic and Reason with some Adam A7x monitors and a keyboard. I’m looking into getting some hardware very soon and building on my setup. I think buying new plugins or equipment is key to getting inspiration and new ideas.
Finally, how does it feel to be described as “the new Skream” by Benga?
Hahaha! Erm, it’s definitely not a bad thing. I think it’s sort of a joke that was made and it’s been repeated a lot but either way I think it’s funny. I’m supporting Skream on dates of his Skreamizm tour which has just started, so hopefully people won’t get me mixed up with him!