With a heavy four-track EP on the way from 31 Recordings, Kmag touches down with the mysterious and soft-spoken Vromm as he takes us on a journey to the deep, dark and minimal side of the d&b/bass music spectrum.
Let our readers know a bit about you, where you’re coming from, and where you’re based out of currently.
First of all, thanks Chris for finding me and asking for an interview.
I’m currently based in London but lived in Madrid for nearly two decades. I went there when I was 17 years old to learn about sound engineering and music production. I worked there on many projects as a music producer such as music for adverts, singers, bands and also different kinds of projects, designing sound, mixing and mastering… almost everything! It’s difficult to survive in Spain just making music, unless you do many different things so I moved to London in order to focus more on my own stuff.
When I arrived in London, my friend Eric Volta was sharing a studio with the other member of Various Production and you can imagine the rest of the story…
You’ve had quite a varied and eclectic career thus far – for many in the d&b community it may seem as if you’ve come out of nowhere. Talk a bit about how this EP for 31 Recordings came together, what sort of influences went into its creation and whether or not you see yourself as a drum & bass producer, bass producer, or something more.
This EP is the result of a new experimental music stage in my life. I was tired of listening to the same music all the time and I discovered this “half-step” thing a few years ago. Some of my influences come from hip-hop and Chicago/Detroit techno at the end of 80’s.
One day in 1991 my friend Luis Mendoza gave me a mixtape with an incredible mix by Grooverider so I started to get very into hardcore and early jungle. This last discovery lit a flame of the curiosity within me about how to make music and this changed my life.
Now I am focused on Vromm but at the same time I’m involved in another music project I share with great musicians, some of them, from the Spanish Symphonic Orchestra. So I see myself as more than just a d&b or bass music producer.
At what point do 31 Records and Doc Scott get involved? Did you send him tunes out of the blue or had you already developed a relationship with him in the past?
None of them – actually I met Chris Parkinson, 31 Records’ label manager and he was the one who showed my tracks to Doc Scott.
The vibe on this EP is dark in the very best possible way. For me, it felt like the soundtrack to some dark dream or film. What kind of story do you see the EP telling?
Haha! Yes it does, I like that! But I’d like to let the people decide their own story when listening to my tracks because I don’t make music just for me.
Each tune evolves in this very satisfying way that really builds the tension up, sometimes in unexpected ways. On ‘El Sol’ for instance, that nice big sweeping pad builds to the breaking point and then you do that tricky drop where you let the silence fall in on a series of false starts before bringing that bass back and launching into the tune proper. How have audiences reacted to that one live? The first time I heard it I thought there was an unintentional glitch or something.
Crowds make some noise during the silences and because of their happy faces, I think they expect a rewind but sometimes, a rewind can break the flow of a set.
Before we go, fill us in as to what else you’ve got cooking in the lab and if we can expect an album from you anytime soon!
The EP is due out September 15 and yeah, although I would like to put out an album, I don’t know if it’s going to happen anytime soon. What I do know is that I prefer quality over quantity.