Born in Italy and living in London, Disprove has quickly made his way into the hearts and underbellies of bass afficionados worldwide with his compelling and tasteful neurofunk output as well as his quality productions in the field below our beloved 170s that has earned him the support of illustrous names such as Koan Sound and even Skrillex. Releases such as Rustic Funk, Doublespeak or the In The Lab EP (including one of my personal favourites of 2012, the fabulous Mini) clearly speak for themselves; yet luckily I managed to speak to the man behind them too.
Subsphere: You are currently creating a massive back catalogue on respected labels such as the Ammunition family, Koan Sound plays Rustic Funk and Krefeld loves you: How are you?
Disprove: I’m good, I feel quite satisfied about my first results after years in the studio.
Now, even if I do this ‘full-time’, I consider what I’m doing a hobby, but to be honest, after all the support I got with the first releases, I’m starting to feel the pressure from the scene that seems to trust in myself.
All this is pushing me to improve myself day after day without making mistakes, and that’s positive to me, but sometimes I feel more anxious about my responsibilities rather than satisfied as I said before.
Also I have to say special thanks to the Ammunition-Caliber crew, especially Coffey who supported my first decent tunes and gave me the motivation to do what I’m doing now. He is the man.
You are making and releasing music on a much wider scale than just dnb – where do you musically come from?
My first very passion for the electronic music started when I was 16 with the deep-electro-acid house where I discovered the “funk” applied to the edm. Afterwards I moved to the italian underground rave scene where I met both the dubstep and the drum & bass genre that led me to get interested about the ‘bass music’ in all its forms, especially the dark and minimal ones.
After years of listening, I understood that my favorite kind of sound was dnb, so I thought of pushing my sound in that direction.
During these several years I also produced (under another alias) and listened to a lot of hardcore-tekno and breakcore which helped me a lot with the current productions as they are both very speedy genres where it’s more all about rhythms and mad breaks rather than sound design.
And where do you see yourself going?
I hope to contribute to the development of new genres in the scene which are waiting for us in the future. I think there is always something new to invent and to discover; artists like Mefjus for example can make you understand how you can bring some freshness in a genre that has existed for more than 20 years.
So where do you draw your inspiration from? What currently influences you?
Well, spending 85% of a day in front of the computer I could say youtube LOL. Sometimes, zapping on it, it might happen to find a good tune and fall in love with not only the tune itself but with a tiny element of it which gives the right inspiration to write something new. If i have to turn off the computer I’d say that living in a city like London, which offers different underground situations, gives me the spiritual energy that I can use in my DAW/Production. Also you can easily meet other good producers from other countries and organize a quick studio session, something impossible to do where I live in Italy.
Musically speaking I find the maximum inspiration listening to Noisia and Neosignal, I’m really obsessed by these guys, their extreme audio quailty and engineering. I can pass whole days not only listening to their tunes but studying their sound waves too, and their audio spectrums which is where actually I learned most of the things about mixing a dnb tune.
And the inevitable last three records that you listened to?
What is it actually that makes the mystery of ‘music’ in general so appealing to you?
Mmh, hard question. To me its almost all about producing, so what I like to do is to keep on improving my skills and to achieve what I wanted to do when I started producing.
Travelling thanks to the music, releasing on the most important labels, meeting the big producers are mainly the things that are appealing to me and obviously most of them are still ‘mysteries’ that I’d like to unearth.
And what do you see and like in dnb in particular, and where do you see its boundaries?
As we all know, dnb is one of the most complex genres in electronic music. If you want to make a decent tune you must know a lot especially about mixing\mastering, so since I’ve always been attracted by this complexity, I feel really satisfied in finishing a tune that is not only a 4/4 kick and some percussions. I’ve always liked to make my life harder, in a nutshell haha.
It’s a genre that exploits 100% of the whole sound spectrum. It doesn’t allow errors and really stands out as a genre in both audio and arrangement.
I think its hard to find a dnb subgenre that actually sucks. Even though now I’m listening mostly to stuff from labels like Critical, Shogun Audio, Dispatch, I can also easily feel the right funk and enjoy a harder and more noisy genre like technoid, or something more chilled and progressive like liquid dnb. In every tune you can feel that nerdy attitude that makes me happy.
Everytime I find a good example of this attitude between producers is when I send or receive a demo. In the 85% of the cases the first constructive critic will be about how it sounds.
I don’t actually see boundaries in the dnb cause you can clearly notice how it is in constant evolution, and the proof is in tunes like Phace & Noisia’s Microorganism. We could only dream about a track like that 5-6 years ago, and today it’s reality!
You can express more with less elements and that’s why I prefer the deep, minimalistic side of the music, and I believe it will be able to offer more and more in the near future.
Could you give us some insights into your creative and production process? Like, when do you do what how and especially why?
I’m an Ableton Live user, I produce in my bedroom with a macbook pro, a pair of KRK Vxt 6’s and a Virus Ti.
Usually I start with the drum and a bassline phrase. Once I found a nice loop I start writing the main part, then the intro and afterwards the second drop.
It takes from 3 days to 2 months for me to write a tune, but it is rare that I finish a tune very quickly. Sometimes I struggle with a 2 bar loop for weeks and sometimes I open the DAW and the tune comes out basically on its own, so when I don’t feel inspired I spend time sampling basses, drums and ambients so i can re-get inspired and use them quickly when I’m in the right mood.
I create mainly 170 and 100 bpm, but in 90% of cases I start with a dnb rhythm and if I don’t reach a nice flow I lower the bpm and I start writing the same sounds at a lower tempo so I can keep that dnb feel on a non dnb tune.
I can say I use 60% ears and 40% eyes during the mixing, I’m a strong spectrum analyzer user, I cant go a second without checking what I’m doing and sometimes for me doing a mixdown is like painting my own canvas.
And do you actually aim to express something distinct and communicable with your music? What’s it all about?
More than a musician, I feel like an engineer so rarely I try to express something throughout my tracks, but obviously I try to push my sound to people who perfectly understands what they are listening to, who can seize more than a cheesy melody and a terrifying wobble.
So where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?
In the countryside, enjoying a healthy life as my grandparents taught me, maybe still listening to Stigma, while I’m watering the garden.
Sounds intriguing! Finally, a personal question: Batman or Spider Man?
Disprove Guestmix (download mp3):
|leftbg=0x4b4b4b|lefticon=0xffffff|tracker=0xC0C0C0|loader=0x4b4b4b|rightbg=0x4b4b4b|righticonhover=0x4b4b4b|rightbghover=0xffffff|text=0x4b4b4b|titles=Guestmix for Subsphere|artists=Disprove|animation=no|width=500|righticon=0xffffff|volslider=0x6b6b6b|voltrack=0xffffff]
1. Fracture – Tunnel Track
2. Ebk,Octane & DLR feat gusto – Mainframe
3. Disprove – In the Lab
4. Icicle – Nowhere
5. Rockwell – Full Circle
6. Disprove – Mini
7. Larrge – Sequence
8. Disprove – Sleep Cycle
9. Phace & Noisia – Microorganism
10. Spinline – Made Guy
11. Break – Condenser
12. Disprove – Doublespeak
13. Emperor – Smokescreen
14. Vidual & Voice – Tired of Waiting
15. Ivy Lab – Brat
16. Fearfull – Tongues
17. ALXR, Disprove & Displaced – All About
18. LSB – This City
19. Spinline – Darpa
20. Emperor – Begin
21. Incognito – Shuffle the Desk
22. Xtrah – Contortion
23. Ulterior Motive feat Codebreaker – It’s On