DAWL creates hard hitting RAVE music spanning; Electro, Techno, Breaks and Hardcore. His impressive discography is full of weighty industrial club music. DAWL has released on labels such as Klasse Wreckes, Hearlucinte, Craigie Knowes as well as his own imprint Tone Dropout.
We have an exclusive mix from DAWL full of breaks and high energy club music. We also had a conversation about the record label and how it came to be, and those all important production tools.
How have you been these last few months?
Well things have not been much different for me really as I have been at work all through the Covid thing although my weekends have been completely free to work on new music projects. It’s all work and no play at the moment, I miss seeing people so I’m really looking forward to things getting back to normal.
You’ve been running Tone Dropout with Sween since 2013. How did you guys meet and how did the label come about?
I met Steve through mutual friends we had a lot in common with music and graffiti writing so when ever I saw him when out in a bar or club we would always end up talking for hours about music and graffiti related stuff. We became good friends and started to meet up a lot to play and make music.
After the first Tone dropout release TD vol 1 Steve managed to get us in with Rubbadub who has distributed all our releases. This changed everything, since then, our Records have been selling in record shops all round the world. Also Steves work with Danny Beck (The He-men) was a big part of Tone Dropout, Danny released music under the name OKI NOKI and Zaitsev along side Mark Farnsworth and he has a wealth of knowledge in music production.
Could you tell us about your very first release?
Myself and Steve (Sween) would meet once a week for a mix have a drink and chat nonsense, we would often talk about getting a record pressed so we got some money together and pressed a hundred white labels, this was Tone Dropout vol 1.
We took them around record shops and the rest were sold on Bandcamp. It took a long while for the records to sell, we actually had about sixty unsold copies in a box in Steve’s living room that we jokingly called the coffee table. After months of not selling any copies out of the blue Bandcamp sales just went crazy and we sold out within two weeks. We released a larger run of vol 1 a few years later.
Has the way you produce music changed since the first record back in 2013?
I have learnt a lot since Vol 1 production wise but I think I’m working the same way more or less.
Do you have any go-to synths / drum machines?
I mainly use 808 and 909 drums when making Techno and Electro. I never get bored of that sound. Really I just like anything that has a nice sequencer, I like to record instruments live and really twist out the sounds then cut and paste the best parts of the recording into the track.
On Tone Dropout you’ve managed to find this incredible consistency on each release both in terms of style and mix. Do you think this is a big part of being a successful label?
That’s down to Sween really we are label partners but he is the driving force behind it and he mostly runs the label himself. He has done a great job of putting the EPs together keeping the balance of music styles so they are not too heavy in any one genre and at the same time keeping an old school feel to it. We have been really lucky to have some fantastic artists releasing music. I think that has also had a lot to do with the labels success.
Do you have any advice for people starting out in this industry?
Keep it fun, for me that’s all this has been about just my love for the music and wanting to have some small part in it.
Do you have any upcoming or recently released music you would like to share?
Myself and Sween have remixed Kim Ann Foxmans Blood Moon on Especial. I also have a track on the forthcoming Touched Eletronix 5 album, plus releases with Art Of Dark, Out The Flat and Childhood Electronics to come out over the next few months.
Finally, tell us about the mix.
This mix features some upcoming unreleased and current Tone Dropout tracks plus the Kim Ann Foxman blood moon remix. It also features some tracks from my Break it Down EP on Haws and some records I have bought over the last month or so.A lot of breakbeat on this one with a nice bit of deep Techno at the start.
Interview by Adam P.