[rock the dub Interview]: Sol.ID

Texan DnB, round 2! This interview features Sol.ID, part of the production outfit Autumn, as well as frequent collaborator with many of his peers. He is one of the new breed of DnB, and brings a touch of Soul to the scene. In a genre where new producers pop up on AIM daily and get signed, it's good to find a brotha who can flex skills on the boards and on the decks, and still remain crazy humble. And it is paying off for him: aside from the critical acclaim (and many plates rinsed), he's racked up releases on labels like Fokuz, Sudden Def and Celsius, and has tuns forthcoming on Future Thinkin', Vibe'z, Nu Directions, Basswerk, BIOS Recordings and Red Mist, among others. Catch this rising star while his stock stays rising!

khal: First off, how did you first get into music in general, and DNB specifically?

Sol.ID: I've been into music as long as I remember, from late night marathons of Devo & Michael Jackson's "Thriller" videos to Rage Against The Machine & Technotronic cassettes... music is definitely my first love. My first electronic purchase besides the late ‘80s commercial dance music was Tresor vol. 2, which I used as accompaniment for my martial arts routines in competition.

khal: When did your love of music become you creating music on your own?

Sol.ID: Well, initially, I was participating in music from a more classical standpoint & composition wasn't really a goal. During the same time, I was toying around with early versions of ACID DJ software along with Hammerhead, Rebirth, etc., but I really had no idea what I was doing as far as creating a final product. I didn't even know that DJ's were out playing these Techno tunes in clubs and raves until some years later.

khal: You initially burst onto the DnB scene with Autumn, quietly dropping tunes on labels like Fokuz. How did it feel to finally get music you created out in the shops?

Sol.ID: Fast forward a good 5 years... by then I'd heard Logical Progression (“Demon's Theme”!), Timeless and a ridiculous number of jockeys who influenced me to step up and express myself through DJing first and foremost. After I made somewhat of a name playing around the state and via a string of online mixes, in addition to a weekly radio show on Destroyer.net with my partner Lost Prophet, we decided our energy would be best focused towards creating our own works. By the time the Autumn project came to pass, we already had a defined sound in mind... it was merely a matter of the engineering stepping up as it still is everyday. We would never have had the opportunities that came about without putting in all those hours promoting the shows & networking with likeminded artists such as Soulproof, ICR, and the support of guys like arQer & Realtime, who we've looked up to for ages. My man Matt-U @ Soulproof put me in touch with Marco @ Fokuz & things fell into place from there.

khal: You’re also linked up with arQer under the guise of Rapture Plume. In listening to the free EP you guys gave out recently, I noticed that that collaboration is pretty true to the styles you guys produce: blending both the soulful side and the techier side of DnB. Is that by design, or do you two just go with the flow? Are you shopping Rapture Plume tunes to labels?

Sol.ID: arQer is a mad scientist, the man can go from heavy, tech-y dancefloor killers along the lines of Bad Company or Teebee to crafting the smoothest of liquid bits, not unlike Calibre or Mutt. That's why he and Realtime get paid the big bucks to teach the youngins quality music in the Texas public schools. The Rapture Plume project is a chance for marQer and I to get down on the deeper tip. The strange thing is every tune we've done ends up being an online collab, too many extra-curriculars get in the way when we finally get a chance to link sup! We've gotten varied support on those bits from CLS & Wax, Simon "Bassline" Smith, Nookie, Amaning & Stunna. It would be nice to have seen a release on those, but with the state of DnB distribution there's no telling how long it would have taken for the batch to see light, and at the end of the day it's great to give back to the scene.

khal: One thing I do notice is that you work with a lot of other producers. Is collaborating something that you prefer? When working on tunes with other producers, how do you start the creative process? Does it differ from producer to producer?

Sol.ID: Yes, I really enjoy collaborations because I can learn so much about the work process, from creative to engineering. Also it gives me a chance to focus on one perspective without getting so wrapped up in peripherals. Due to being a newjack lots of times I'll have what I think to be a perfect idea, yet I feel my engineering skills leave something to be desired. In order for me to get the idea out in a timely manner, I'll go to one of my friends I feel can best grasp what I'm trying to get across and we'll take it from there. Other times they'll let me hear a clip of something and ask my opinion as a DJ. If I come with something that grabs their attention conceptually, they'll either send me an RNS file or bounce audio parts and we'll take it from there. In a nutshell, I generally tend to do my best work alone... but two heads are definitely better than one.

khal: What’s your production set up like? Do you prefer hardware or software?

Sol.ID: My production setup is quite minimal, but it's enough to get the job done. I use a PC with an AMD processor (time to upgrade the RAM!) loaded with Reason 4.0, Recycle, Wavelab, Ableton for messing with samples & VSTs. I really like the Tape Delay Plug, Scream Distortion Unit and lots of carefully placed Reverb! As for hardware, the only gear I use are an Axiom 25 controller, Pioneer or Sennheiser headies, and Yamaha HS80 studio monitors. As for sound design, I can never get enough samples and to be honest, I'm just starting to properly get my head around synthesis, so I'm trying to up the bar with the next batch of tunes.

khal: As mentioned previously, you have been doing a lot of collaborations lately. Are there any tracks that you are most proud of currently? If so, why?

Sol.ID: With every tune I make I try to step it up, some tunes right now that have been getting a lot of attention are "The Chosen", with Germany's Amaning (Soul:R, Metalheadz, BIOS), out now on Sudden Def, also “Soul Reaction”, which is forthcoming on Basswerk with Rio de Janeiro's Cybass (Under Construction, Rubik, Vibe'z) and “World of Emptiness”, forthcoming on Fokuz with Zyon Base (Fokuz, Lucky Devil, Shogun LTD) of Belfast. These tunes are getting support across the field from great DJs like A-Sides, State of Mind, Ant TC1, The Insiders, Flight and Crissy Criss.

khal: What’s your release schedule looking like for 2008?

Sol.ID: 2008 is going to be a big year, I'll be dropping my first solo 12" on Future Thinkin', which is a great honor to follow after artists like Sabre, Saburuko & Prolific. I have a few things confirmed, solo & collaborations forthcoming on 12" & CD compilations via Rotterdam, Netherland's based Fokuz Recordings, Basswerk out of Germany, and Red Mist out of England. Detroit's newjack Sinistarr (Creative Source, Integral, Offshore) came up with a fresh relick of Avian Jazz that is coming on his EP for Digital Blus, a spinoff of Blu Saphir. There's rumored to be a BIG remix of "The Chosen" coming later in the year, so keep your ears peeled for that one. I'm also working on projects for the legendary Vibe'z imprint (I'm onnit Dave!) and Amaning's BIOS Recordings as well as some as a few key top secret projects ;)

khal: Do you have any plans to work on an EP or album?

Sol.ID: Good question. Prophet and I secretly began work on an Autumn album project for Fokuz a little over a year ago. Little did we know how large of an undertaking it would be. Right now we're both working to mature our sounds as we want to really make an impact artistically with the LP format rather than just putting together a collection of 3-4 dancefloor cuts and a handful of random filler. In the meantime, we've got a nice collection of various tunes from melodic bits featuring guest vocalists to unexpected moody rollers... basically trying to explore the versatility of our sound. It's possible that we'll release an EP somewhere in the near future, including some fresh Autumn bits coupled with any number of collabs, with Atlanta's Midus Touch and their vocalist Tuere or the upcoming remix by one of my biggest supporters & 2008's renaissance man, Sabre (Metalheadz, Renegade, Bassbin)

khal: In DnB, many heads start their own imprints – is that something you’d want to do?

Sol.ID: As a DJ, that's a recurring question, particularly recently! I keep in contact with loads of really talented artists and somewhere down the line I would like to create an outlet for my work alongside some of my favorite producers whose work I think goes a bit under the radar. Some of those killing it on the regular include but are not limited to guys like Theory, Dan Marshall, TGM (aka The Green Man), Matt-U and Nusense. These guys know DnB inside & out and truly represent the tasteful and forward thinking sound I've come to love the genre for. Currently I don't think it's the right move for me to make but anything is possible given time, quality and maturity.

khal: You’ve also been making a name for yourself in the DJ circuit, and have even traveled to the UK to spread your sounds. What’s the best part about DJing for you? Do you use CDs or Vinyl? Do you have a favorite place to spin, and if so, why?

Sol.ID: To be honest, I've always been a DJ first so to get a chance to spread the sound abroad has been a dream come true. I've played not only in the US & across the UK, but also in Belgium, Hungary & Poland. I'm planning to make another trip to Europe this July with shows lined up from London to Lithuania. I love playing wherever there's a big vibe, whether there's 80 or 500 heads. My favorite part of it all has been bringing online relationships to the next level. I have made some great & hopefully lifelong friends through the music. I love being able to play a role of entertaining, moving people emotionally, and educating. I feel that the latter can especially be brought in the mix CD/podcast format, and I'll be recording exclusive guest mixes for Szolf├ęzs 98.6FM out of Budapest as well as upcoming BIOS Recordings & DnBTV Podcasts. Get your MP3 players ready! Regarding the CD vs. Vinyl debate, we're nearly 50 years into dance music culture... GET OVER IT & PLAY QUALITY MUSIC!

khal: Do you have any final thoughts or shout outs before we wrap this up?

Sol.ID: I just want to say thanks to everyone who's supported me & been there for me since day one. Shouts to my family, my girlfriend Jeannette, Prophet, Cle & Trill DnB, Brad Strategy (we need to finish some of those tunes!), MarQer & Dougietime, the rest of the Texas crew, C.A.B.L.E., Tom, Matyas, Sabre, Daniel @ Quadrant, Jay Stunna & the Bassdrive crew, NCDnB, Mayhem & 404audio, 2003 DSCI4 crew, the present & former DOA gang, everyone who's ever booked me (except a few, you know who you are!) and of course to Marco @ Triple Vision, Kubiks & Lomax @ Rubik, Heiner TGM @ Basswerk and Neil @ Future Thinkin for trusting in the vibes! Of course, there's too many more people to name, please stop by myspace.com/solisdead & check out the work of my colleagues, I'm surrounded by scores of truly gifted people.

Sol.ID Discography:

SDR12029 (2008) Amaning & Sol.ID - The Chosen
RRD03 (2007) Sol.ID & Cybass - 4AM
KNOW75 (2007) Knowledge Magazine Triple Vision Showcase
FOKUZLP002 (2007) Autumn - Canopy
CLS004 (2007) Autumn - Cut Away
FOKUZLTD013 (2007) Autumn - Dilated Times / Transmute
CLS004 (2007) Autumn - It's Always About The Girl (Lomax Rmx)
FOKUZ025 (2006) Autumn - Redemption / Pair of Grins
FOKUZLP001 (2006) Autumn & ICR - Yesterday
FOKUZCD001 (2006) Autumn & ICR - Yesterday
FOKUZLTD008 (2006) Autumn - Refuge
FOKUZLTD007 (2006) Autumn - It's Always About The Girl

Sol.ID Forthcoming:

Sol.ID - Blue Grooves (Future Thinkin)
Sol.ID - Levitation (Red Mist)
Sol.ID - Long Way From Home (Basswerk)
Sol.ID & Cybass - Soul Reaction (Basswerk)
Sol.ID & Zyon Base - World of Emptiness (Fokuz)
Sol.ID - Avian Jazz 'Sinistarr Recut' (Digital Blus)
Amaning & Sol.ID - Immortal Pleasures (Nu Directions)
Autumn & Perpetuum - Unconditional (BIOS)
Stunna, Release, Sol.ID & Amaning - Can't Get U Off My Mind (BIOS)


Sabre & Icicle - Sentry - Hardware
Subtone - Dogma - Cylon
Cern - The Blood Moon - Symptm
Dan Marshall & Mixmaster Doc - Exodus - BIOS
Pepe Braddock - Deep Burnt (Insiders Rmx)
Sol.ID - Long Way From Home - Basswerk
Soul Intent - A.I. - 31
Cybass - Japonica - Vibe'z
Random Movement - Psychedelic Dreampipe - Innerground
TGM - Hong Kong Nights



Anonymous said...


bigup Dave

Anonymous said...

awww yeaa... biggups the SOL:ID!!

Anonymous said...

aww yeaa !! Soul is Dead!! :D

Anonymous said...

Big big ups to the soiled one!!!

rahgroove productions said...

Thats whats up man. Keep doing your thing.

Anonymous said...

Stay Up With all the Success!!!!!
We can work on tunes as soon as i get to NC