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If you were any kind of fan of the fidget house and UK funky movement that swept through dance music in the late 2000s, then you’re familiar with A1 Bassline. A seminal figure in the UK bass scene, he pushed the boundaries of club and rave music. Fast-forward to 2015, and he’s releasing his first album, Technicality, today via Shadow Child’s Food Music. His sound has matured, and he’s gone back to the roots and sounds that’ve inspired him through the years. The track “Blk Lodge” is a metallic techno weapon with piercing drums and sporadic synth blasts. Check out the premiere below, and scope some words about what when into the making of this forward-thinking album.

Did you discuss or exchange ideas with other producers while creating this album?
On this particular project, I played it to a few friends whilst compiling the tracks in order to see what worked together so the album made sense.

Do you think advances in computer technology and gear have affected your creativity?
Although I did use some old gear on this (some old Emu racks and Oberheim synths), the main bulk was in the box. There is a really good new plugin that emulates Akai samplers that convert to the 12-bit sound, which saves a lot of time and sounds great. Writing on a computer is great and the writing process is really quick, but sometimes it feels very formulated. Writing on hardware feels a lot freer. Happy mistakes are more frequent, rather than copying a 16-bar loop with slight automation and sound changes. But I guess the balance between the two is healthy.

How does this production reflect your personality/ethos?
I wanted to try and capture some of my main influences of the music I grew up with that excited me and shaped my palette of sound design and finding samples.

Creatively, how did the work on this album stack up to previous studio sessions? Was this more challenging to complete than others?
Half of the album was written over the course of the last three–four years. I got back into drum breaks recently and got back to the roots of music I listened to when I was younger. It made sense to do an album project. It took a little while to work out what tracks to use to make it feel glued together as a concept rather than 10–12 single tracks doing different things.

What’s your favorite sound/synth/effect/etc. used here?
The Amen break and Tighten Up break. However much the Amen break has been sampled to death in drum & bass, a well-processed Amen still gets me every time. A lot of people get Amens wrong, and to the untrained ear probably would go unnoticed. But early Dillinja, Photek and Source Direct versions of the break are sonically pleasing. Tightened-up rides and ghost notes on the break are killer. I think the version I used on the album was given to me by Breakage, so thank you James!

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