The dynamic tandem talk their latest split hip-hop / drum & bass single for R&S.
For as long as I’ve been into drum & bass, Loxy and Ink have been present. I remember the first time I saw Loxy’s name: it was via Dieselboy‘s 1999 mix CD A Soldier’s Story, which featured “Stalker” from DJ Loxy and Usual Suspects, a menacing experiment in punishing bass played at breakneck speed. At the speeds Dieselboy was playing tunes back then, it was a pretty memorable rager from my brief time in college, but it led me to dive into Ink and Loxy’s Quasimoto EP, which dropped in 2000. More than two decades later, I’m still just as excited with each new release that they’ve been a part of from the b-boy era of the 2000s through the deeper dives into bass and sound that have littered their work apart and with frequent collaborators like Resound, who is featured on the flipside of their latest single “Spray Trains of Thought.”
The second split hip-hop / drum & bass single Loxy and Ink have released on the iconic R&S, “Spray Trains of Thought” is the pair once again picking up their pens and dropping razor sharp lyrics over a straight-up hip-hop track. Where “Manifested Visions” gave me more inspirational vibes, “Spray Trains of “Thhought” feels like a proper ode to the four pillars of hip-hop…and something that would’ve been right at home on the Marc Ecko’s Getting Up video game soundtrack.
With “Spray Trains of Thoughts” dropping on Friday, May 13, we wanted to get some thoughts from Ink and Loxy on their roots in hip-hop, releasing hip-hop songs alongside drum & bass tracks, and the album they’re working on for R&S. We got all of that and more, including some early thoughts on Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness!
HRDNZ: Who would you two say are some of your biggest influences are emcees?
INK: Looking at my long interest in hip-hop, I would have to mention some of the old school emcees first—Rakim, KRS-ONE, Big Daddy Kane, and LL Cool J. From more recent times, the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Kendrick Lamar.
Loxy: Biggest emcee influences for me would be the likes of Nas, Rakim, Black Thought, and Mos Def, to name a few. From the UK side of things, Ghetts, P Money, Klashnekoff, Jehst, Cristale, Scorcher, and JME.
Does the writing process on your hip-hop tracks differ from your drum & bass work?
Loxy: Me, personally, I have always found it easier to do hip-hop for obvious reason being that drum & bass is more detailed, production-wise. I find hip-hop more vibe orientated as far as when I make it, so it’s a lot easier to create a complete vibe when it comes to hip-hop production, but both go hand in hand at the end of the day, to me.
INK: Yes it differs greatly as it has a more lyrical perspective in the production, which entails me writing lyrics, too.
Being from the States, the first time I heard about drum & bass was reading a review of Goldie’s first album when it came out in ‘95; they mentioned he was a graffiti writer back in the day. That was the connection for me. Talk about the influence graffiti has had on you.
INK: I grew up around the time that breakdancing and street art became very popular, so I have always been inspired and surrounded by the culture. The music that I produce to date has been heavily influenced by street culture and hip-hop in general. If you listen to many of my productions, you will hear a myriad or references and samples from hip-hop greats.
Loxy: I love art and being big into hip-hop culture, graffiti will always play a significant part in regards to my musical influences in general. We have a thriving graffiti scene over here also.
The split hip-hop/drum & bass release is dope. I have one folder that’s just my current favorite rap and drum & bass releases, and I just put it on shuffle while I’m about. I don’t want to call it a “statement,” but is it fair to say that there’s power in being able to drop a single that features pure, uncompromised hip-hop and drum & bass together?
INK: I have always been a believer in hip-hop and drum & bass blurring the lines between the genres and both heavily represent an era and a generation which changed and revolutionized music as we know it. So releasing a mixed genre project such as “Spray Trains of Thought” has always been at the forefront of our agenda. For as long as I can remember I have always approached music in this way and shown the true relationship between the art forms.
Loxy: Yeah, it’s definitely nice to be able to release both, especially after years of making hip-hop. It’s definitely good that other people get to experience that layer.
Will we ever hear you two spit on some drum & bass tracks? Are there any dnb remixes of “Manifested Visions” and/or “Spray Trains of Thought”?
INK: We currently have lyrics on a dnb track on a project we did decades ago, performing as Fifth Element which was our first outing in amalgamating the sounds.
Loxy: As for the future, you never know; no dnb remixes of those tracks as of yet.
Any chance of dropping an all hip-hop set in the near future?
Loxy: I’ve done a few hip-op sets in the past for Metalheadz, and also did one at the Sun and Bass festival, so definitely always up for doing hip-hop DJ sets
INK: I’m a DJ first and foremost so playing any music is not a problem for me, and have played exclusive hip-hop sets in the past, so watch this space!
What’s lined up after this release?
Loxy: After the R&S album, I have a few projects lined up after this that will be revealed closer to the time
Does your album have a title or release date yet?
INK: No release date or working title at the moment, but we have several tracks that have been shortlisted for the final album. Once we are satisfied with our selection of music, we will then take a deeper look at the concept and name.
[We’re] approaching it as a multi-genre project, infusing drum & bass with hip-hop, and touching on other genres.
Finally, what are your initial thoughts on Doctor Strange and Multiverse of Madness?
INK: Saw it on its release date as I am a Marvel fan and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Loxy: I thought the movie was great. I’ve been collecting comics for many years and [I am] an avid fan of the MCU and DC movies. The movie had a lot of great moments and touches and comic references that will have fans satisfied. I leave it at that as not to spoil it.