Bredren Interview

Belgian drum & bass trio Bredren have just released their debut album Trinity on Basher’s Proximity Recordings. We talk favourite albums, tours, coming such a long way in a short space of time and what’s next…

The three of you met at a DJ competition in 2009, would you say you are competitive when it comes to DJing and production? Do you try and outdo each other in the studio?
To be honest, we’ve never really had the competition vibe between ourselves. When it comes to DJing, it’s usually Adrien and Dieter going back to back, trying to drop tunes that will get the biggest crowd reaction. As we are very like-minded in tune selecting, it never really comes to a competition of dropping the best tune.

The studio sessions are slightly different. Sebastien is always on the buttons; Adrien and Dieter sit next to him brainstorming on what vibe or beat pattern we should create at that moment. It’s all about selecting the right samples and making choices that the three of us are happy with. It’s really rare that we don’t agree about a choice we made in terms of the progress of a tune, that’s why our workflow is generally pretty fast.

Belgium seems like an exciting place for drum & bass at the moment, the likes of MZine and Scepticz, Mtwn and Mental Forces are making a name for themselves. How would you define the sound coming out of Belgium at the moment?
We think the drum & bass scene in Belgium has producers who all have their own individual sound. No one really has the same sound, that’s why it is so interesting. If we would describe the producers you’ve just mentioned we would say the following: M-Zine & Scepticz are the darker, rolling and 2step minded producers, when Mental Forces are dubbier.

The MTWN guys are bringing something totally different, more experimental vibes! The good thing is that we all support each other and we feel like a big family with everybody having their own style. But we guess the Belgium scene is stepping up more and more lately, it’s definitely alive!

When you’re writing a track together, how do you spread the work out between the three of you? Do you each have a preferred element to work with such as bass, drums or effects or does it depend on the track?
Sebastien is definitely the technical part of Bredren. As we said before, he is always on the buttons and comes up with innovative ideas and sounds. Adrien and Dieter are both like the right hand(s) of Sebastien. They bring ideas to the table and push Sebastien in the right direction. It works out very well and the three of us are happy about the way it goes.

Besides that each one of us has his favourite part of making a tune. But in the end, when the bass part comes in, we are all starting to feel the vibe of the tune. That’s the part where we start pulling bass faces at each other. When that happens, all three of us know we are working on something we really like.

What was the first drum & bass album you bought and why did it appeal to you at the time?
Wow, that’s a tough one! All three of us started listening to drum and bass at a different time. In the beginning we were mostly listening to compilation albums from DJ Hype, Andy C (Nightlife), Chase & Status and so on. At the beginning of Bredren we bought a few vinyl albums such as: Horizons Dreamthief’, Dispatch Transit 1, Alix Perez – 1984, these really got us in to the kind of drum & bass we are making ourselves now. After listening to drum & bass for a few years, we found out what the good stuff is. As you all know… it’s the deep stuff right? Haha!

You’ve had releases on Proximity Records and Inception Audio. Which other labels are you feeling and who would you like to release music for?
We also had a few other releases on labels we are really feeling from the beginning, such as Dispatch Recordings, Break-Fast Audio, Demand Records. To be honest we don’t really know what will happen after the LP but we surely would like to work with a few labels in the future: Horizons, Critical, Invisible, Cylon!

But we are not aiming to be on the biggest labels out there, we just want to bring out music we are happy about. We are satisfied by bringing out music on any label, as long as they give us the full support.

The press release for your new album Trinity explains that you wanted to make 13 distinctive tracks but still allow the listener to enjoy the album as a complete piece of work. Would you please talk us through the process of selecting the tracks?
At the beginning we first wanted to do an EP for Proximity. Our workflow at that time was so fast that we had a lot of finished tunes in a short amount of time. We had too many tunes to do just an EP, so we asked Basher if he would be up for something bigger. He said he was really feeling the idea of making an LP, he thought it was our time to do it.

So we started working on tunes more and more frequently and after a little while we had a lot of finished and unfinished projects. We decided to start selecting the ones we were feeling the most. We also asked Basher which ones he thought we should finish, and so we did.

The idea of our LP is to present a compilation of tracks that would create the same story as one of our live mixes. We wanted to have a very versatile compilation of tracks to show what style(s) of drum & bass we really like. As you can hear, there is quite a lot of variety in there, and it shows what we are really about in every kind of perspective.

All the tracks on Trinity have a distinctive, dark sound. Do you deliberately set out to create foreboding music or does it happen organically?
Well, it’s kinda obvious we like dark sounding music. It is a big inspiration for us and I think you can hear that. Besides that, all the rest happens pretty organically. We always start selecting dark samples and start messing around with them. The perfect tune for us is rolling (even if it’s a half-step one), deep, loads of reverbs and delays, mid-ranged, nasty sounds and sub. There’s never enough sub!

High On Yourself proves that you can also create a softer, soulful style of drum & bass. Can you tell us a little bit about the vocals and how the hook up with Manon Gogos came about?
Besides our “dark” side, we also really dig the liquid, deep side of drum & bass. From time to time we need some melody in our lives, so that’s why we’ve put this track at the end of our LP. We met Manon through a friend of Dieter. She said she was a singer for a jazz band. We started looking her up on the internet and found out she had the perfect voice for a liquid, deep sounding tune.

We had been working on a tune for a while at that moment but we thought it was missing something. So we asked Manon if she would be up for writing some vocals for this one. She said yes and after a few days she sent the accapellas. We were blown away by the result and all of a sudden this tune was elevated to another level. It was one of those projects we loved working in because it was something different for us.

You are still relative newcomers to the drum &bass scene. What was it that made you decide to put an album out at this point in time?
Well, to be honest, it’s right that we’ve only been around for three years now but we’ve put out quite a lot of music already. As we said before, our workflow was really fast a year ago so we had a lot of tunes finished at a short amount of time.

Proximity released most of our tracks so we were happy to release an LP for them. They truly believed it was our time to do it and we were up for it so why not give it a shot? It worked out fine in the end and we are really happy about the result.

Which track was the most fun to make?
All of them haha! No really, it was fun to work on a project such as an LP. We had the chance to do something different with each tune so all of them have been great to work on. It never got boring because not a single tune is the same. We do have a few favourites ourselves though, such as “Capital”, “Infamous”, “Source Code” and “Homasu”.

Will you be touring the album and which countries and cities would you like to play?
We have had a few launch parties so far in cities like Porto, Brussels, Helsinki and Madrid. It would be nice to get some recognition in other cities around the globe as well. We are currently working on a tour in Australia, we really hope it will happen!

We would love to play a bit more in our own country, but we have to admit it’s not always that easy. Belgium is not really that big on deep drum & bass, and we would love to change that! We do appreciate the promoters who are doing their best to push the deep scene and we are always glad if we are taking part in it.

Finally, could you tell us about any other projects you’re working on and where you will be performing next?
We have a few projects on the go, even a few that didn’t make it on the LP which still have a lot of potential. Besides that, we started a tune with Fre4knc and MC Swift a few days back, and it’s about to be a banger!

After the work around the LP settles down a bit, there will be a “Trinity Remixed’’, an EP with remixes from the LP by some our favourite producers at the moment! We’re also releasing our third vinyl in 2015 and our second release on Dispatch (a collab with Philth) will be coming out as well So as you can see, we are still busy and you can expect some more from us in the upcoming year.

Thanks Kmag for the interview, Proximity [Darren & Kit] for putting out our debut LP and all the people who have been supporting us the last few years! Large ups!

Photo: Quinten Decleyn