In 2011, Kristjan Jõgeva from Estonia started making drum & bass. Only two years and countless tunes later, his deep rolling basses, hypnotic rhythms and at times even junglistic vibes have made him a driving force behind that darker branch of bass the likes of Skeptical, Ruffhouse or Survey, and his new album Strange Impressions is -in short- another landmark on the fascinating journey towards the center of that perpetuum mobile of repetition and low-end energy. Releasing on an almost weekly basis on either of his two labels Dubthing and Depthwise Recordings, there is no telling how he could possibly manage to do an interview, let alone do a mix. Fortunately, some minor fluctuations in the space-time continuum allowed for us to get a deeper insight into the estonishing groove machinery of Thing.
Subsphere: You have been out in the field of dnb for quite some time now: how is it working out for you?
Thing: It’s working out nicely , I have my own labels where I release my music, I produce whatever I want and when I want. :) I’m my own boss!
Your output is likely among the most consistent and regular within the genre (with 100+ tunes over the past years); do you have a special approach to producing, and how do you keep the Thing machinery running so smoothly? Do you actually sleep?
LOL, actually my sleeptime is pretty ok, about 5-6 hours. Actually it’s hard to tell how I produce and so fast etc., there is no Thing formula. I use Ableton Live and use only samples, so I have developed my own style and sound. :) I’m just fast, I produce 2-10 tunes in a row and then take a few weeks vacation from producing.
When you make music, what is important to you? What aspects do you foreground, what things just ‘happen’ in the process? What do you like most about it?
I absolutely love delays, echoes, reverbs – you can hear them on almost all my tunes. Every new tune is started from scratch, no templates etc. Actually when I start to make a new tune I have no idea where it will take me, I just combine different samples and try to make them sound together nicely. But sometimes if a tune is getting nowhere, I just delete the project file and call it a day.
If you were to give someone directions to understand your music, what would you say?
Halfstep drumnbass music influenced with reggae vibes.
What are your main musical influences in- and outside dnb, now and over the years?
There is so much music that influences me; here are some samples of what I hear time to time: My favourite producers are Loxy, the Untouchables, Flatliners, ASC, Sam KDC, Overlook, J. Robinson, Ruffhouse, etc.
And the last records that you listened to?
Where is that occasional ragga vibe actually coming from?
I dont know, I’m just a white guy who just loves this ragga feel vibe. :)
Strange Impressions is not your first album. How do you decide which tracks go onto an album and which ones are single output? What was your approach to Strange Impressions?
It’s actually how I produce: If I produce 4 and more similar tunes then I try to push things forward and make some more and release an album , if the vibe is not so good I put out a single or EP, that’s it .
Wikipedia gave me the usual impression that Tartu is a nice city. However, Estonia is not that big yet on EDM’s world map: So how is it with dnb in your hometown and country?
Hmm, there are some guys who produce dnb here, but mainly Estonia is mainstream land. So that was the main idea for me to make different vibes and make my own label and show it to the world. Also I want to hear more that reggae vibe music here , so yeah I’m looking forward to where this music scene gonna go here , cause it’s nice to hear more that reggae – dubwize music from here.
Any plans and wishes for the future?
I want to make more tunes, and make it even better. Constantly trying to make better sound, but that’s it, I don’t have big plans, let’s just see what happens! :)
One final question: What would you do if an interstellar electromagnetic pulse (or whatever) destroyed all electric power forever? Would you rather build a steam-powered computer or settle with congas and double bass?
I think the congas and double bass version is so much better. It’s pretty wikkid to make that music live without any electronic machines! :)
Thing Guestmix (download mp3):
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