Coyote Records released Beton Brut’s debut EP, “Nervous Network”, this month. At two tracks long, it’s a short introduction to a new producer, but it makes one hell of an impact. Both tunes feature distorted vocal samples that transmit through an industrial web of angular bass stabs and brain zapping percussion lines.

In this interview, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we spoke about the relationship between physical spaces and music, brutalism, and his musical influences, both past and present.

How did the link-up with Coyote Records come about?

I got these two tracks together and I thought, I want to release these because I’d been self-releasing from the start of the year. I know Coyote from being a fan, basically. But I was going through their Bandcamp, just listening, and I saw their Big Cartel… I didn’t want to send a Soundcloud message, because that’s a bit bait, and everyone does that. I was like, I’m going to be a little bit different, I’ll do it through their store. [Tomas] was like, I like what you’ve done because I wouldn’t have noticed it if it was a SoundCloud link.

How was being on Rinse?

Yeah, it’s my first time being on Rinse. That was sick, to be fair. I’ve always wanted to do [a show] on Rinse. I can tick that one off now! All my mates were like, what, you’ve done [a show] on Rinse. [laughs]

It was a lot of fun. It’s nice for me to test the waters with what I want to DJ with, this whole grime-tech thing, with electro. It was a nice experiment.

Yeah, that’s radio. You can test the waters and see how people are responding to things. What sort of stuff were you listening to before you got into producing?

A little bit of everything, but the first three CDs I bought were “Boy In Da Corner”, “Walk In The Park”, and a Clubland…do you remember Clubland TV?


It was a Clubland TV multi-track type thing. It was all these hardcore rave [tunes]. I dunno why I picked it up, but I think that’s where my two worlds collide now. So a little bit of grime and a little bit of this hardcore tech. [laughs]

It makes sense, you’ve got the grime thing and then the industrial bit, which is sick.

Yeah, I think I’m leaning more towards the club style, but grime is always something I’m gonna be completely into.

The clubland thing is mad. I remember downloading on Limewire, a three-CD compilation. It’s probably a similar thing.

Yeah, it’d be eight minutes of pure noise! I’m like, what am I listening to? [laughs]. There’ll be one track on one CD that’s actually alright.

One tune and you’ll just rinse that for a year [laughs]

Just burn through the CD! [laughs]

So other than Dizzee Rascal, what other early grime emcees and producers were you listening to?

More Fire Crew. Possibly one of my favourite tunes [is] ‘Oi’just an incredible tune. Kano, Dizzee and Lethal B, I think that would be the main three people. I was bumping their tunes back-to-back, just constantly on repeat on my MP3. [laughs]

Sidewinder [is] a wormhole I went down. Just going through all the old tapes on YouTube, finding all these rare ones. Finding people I haven’t even heard of, and some of it’s sick. Some of it is so sick. It’d be like three hours of the harshest noise, and the actual radio is just trying to peek through. That’s been a nice aesthetic for me. I’ve been trying to re-create that at the moment.

Yeah, because on Nervous Network and Screw Loose, you’ve got the vocal samples. It’s God’s Gift on the second track?

Yeah, that’s it. God’s Gift, yeah. The [name] Nervous Network is actually taken from an early-noughties, singalong tune.

Oh sick, so you found that through your [YouTube] rabbit hole?

Pretty much, yeah. Just a few days of going through recommendations on YouTube and obviously, there’s loads of repeats. So it’s just trying to dig through those, and trying to find a name I haven’t seen before.

So you’re getting into grime music, getting into different emcees, how did that crossover into producing yourself?

I think it’s more the interest of sound design, pretty much. So it’s always something I’ve been interested in. I was more focused on doing sound design for games. That’s what I always wanted to get into. Producing was just on the side.

It was mainly listening to tunes and thinking, how have they made that bassline? How have they made that noise? I think that’s what got me into producing, trying to re-create [sounds] and a little reverse engineering, just to understand it, really. I’m just being a little bit nosey with other people’s music and just trying to understand what they do and how it’s done.

What are the differences between approaching sound design to approaching producing music if there are any?

[There’s] not really that much difference. I can go on the internet and grab a four-bar loop of whatever I’m looking for, and it will fit. But it makes [producing] a little bit more fun, having those happy accidents, accidentally creating something. Which happens more than often. [laughs]

Like me just messing around for a couple of hours on one patch, just completely manipulating it, that’s what it is, really.

It makes sense you talking about sound design, you’ve got that industrial element to your music.

Yeah. I’ve always been interested in space, having space and sound. I’ve always thought it’s an unspoken connection. Certain areas will have a certain sound. A space should always have a certain sound that connects to it, [without] you realising it’s there.

Yeah. It’s making music to fit a context, enveloping a place with a certain sound. That makes total sense, you’re trying to find a context for your own thing.

Yeah, pretty much.

Yeah, it’s cool. Even though the tracks on Nervous Network are quite heavy, there are some moments where there’s a flash of silence, and then you’re back into it. Like the stabs on ‘Nervous Network’.

Yeah. Like with the early 2000s grime, the patterns are always a little bit awkward. It’s like an awkward rhythm, like how many claps can they fit in one bar? I feel like the awkwardness and the space; that’s always a cool connection that all intertwines with each other.

Beton Brut translates to ‘raw concrete’ and there’s a brutalist building on the cover of ‘Nervous Network’. What is it about brutalism that you like, and how do you feel that ties into your music?

It’s awkward looking, isn’t it? In my hometown, it was an industrial place. It was just factories after factories. Now it’s all knocked down. In the back of my house, I had my garden. And if you look up over the fence, there’s a massive steel mill. So, it’s just an all rusted up steel mill. I feel like it’s just comforting because that’s what I grew up with.

I just feel like making this type of music and having something like brutalism to look at; I feel like that’s the unspoken connection. Both of them have that conversation. I feel like that works together.

Yeah, totally. It’s creating a musical world.

Yeah, it’s a little bit more of that backstory… mine’s concrete for some reason, broken concrete. [laughs]

The bus station in Preston is a full-on brutalist building… It’s been there for years, and people wanted to knock it down but now it’s a listed building.

Oh, it’s like a tube thing. Why would you want to knock that down? It looks sick.

Apparently, when it was built there was a cross-culture conversation between radicals in Preston and Berlin, the people in Berlin were saying it was architectural heaven.

On another YouTube rabbit hole, I was looking at some American sneaker thing, and they were talking about Air Max 97s. You know the tubes on the Air Max 97 that go all round? Apparently, the designer was in France, and it was at a train station. The stairs to go up was all in tubes. So he thought, oh, that looks really cool. I’m gonna put it on my shoe. Apparently, that’s what the tubing is [on the shoe].

I was like, he’s thought so much into that, he accidentally came across the train station with some tubing around it and put it into his shoes. And now I wear those shoes. I thought I should be a little more…and create that world. Having me do all the brutalism stuff, I feel like that will be helpful in the long run, say like, if I ever make an album, I’ll be creating this world, one release at a time.

What other producers or sound designers are you into?

Mumdance, Pinch, Walton. Eastman, I’m loving his label at the moment. I do like my [film] scores. My favourite score is Annihilation, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that film?

I’ve been meaning to watch it for years.

It’s so good… There’s a track on it and it’s called ‘The Mark Interlude 2’. It’s about a minute and a half long, and there’s a little lead sound in it that I’ve been trying to recreate for God knows how long now.

So how do you go about making tracks? Do you build from a loop and go from there?

Yeah, it’s mainly finding a weird or niche sample and trying to manipulate it as much as I can. And then I pretty much go from there. It’ll usually start from one sound and [then] try to build around that sound or make multiple manipulations. I started off producing on Logic, but I’ve recently just moved over to Ableton. It’s like cheating, honestly. The stuff that you can do in seconds, it’s insane.

What would you like people to take from “Nervous Network?”

Play it out loud, put some headphones on and blast it up!

It was another experimental piece that I’d done, it all started from just making bass noises, and this is where it’s ended up. Maybe my next release will sound very similar.

So you think you’ll keep on that industrial grime track?

Yeah. I’ve done an audio-visual piece for Uni, it’s about nine minutes long, and there are about three tracks in that. The first scene is just a pile of concrete and cameras panning around it; the second song is in a broken-down warehouse with a load of shit inside and a happy hardcore smiley face floating around. And then the last one, it looks like waveforms, but liquid. Something that I wanna look into a little bit more is audio-visual.

Buy / Stream “Nervous Network”

Posted by:Ryan Moss

I'm the sole founder, editor and writer for The Art Of Grime. I love grime and want to push all the sick artists doing things at the moment.

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