We sat down with Drum & Bass heroes Total Science before the Hong Kong stop on their Australia, New Zealand, Asia tour on June 29th.
The duo, made up of Jason Greenhalgh (Q-Project) and Paul Smith (Spinback), have long since been considered Jungle/Drum N Bass aristocracy. Their legacy spans two decades and includes production and remix credits on numerous prominent record labels including their own imprint called Computer Integrated Audio (C.I.A.), and sub-labels Advance//d, and C.I.A. Deepkut. They have also toured extensively worldwide since 1999.
1. You have had a career as Drum & Bass producer/DJ/label owners for 21 years. Did you plan on being in the music industry from the start, or did you just fall into it?
I honestly had no idea I wanted to make music until the mid 80’s when I first heard electro for the first time but for that point on I knew exactly my calling was to create music in some shape or form. I began buy music equipment & with a friend started making some electro/hip hop beat demos but it wasn’t until around 1991 & the birth of the techno scene that I realised hardcore/jungle/drum & bass was the music I related to more & began experimenting with it.
2. What and/or when was the experience that you knew you could rely on music as a career? What it hearing your music on the radio or a specific DJ gig, etc.?
It took many years before I could rely on music for my career but during that time the UK was in a recession & I had no job which gave me time to develop my skills, but the defining moment was hearing Grooverider play “Champion Sound’ at a huge AWOL event in 1992, It in fact was a massive goal achieved and from then on, I was going to make it work whatever it took.
3. What type of work you did before you could rely on music as a career?
When I left school, I became an apprentice electrician that lasted a year before I got fired, then my uncle gave me a job as a trainee welder that lasted about a year before I got fired. Then I spent another year on a YTS training scheme training as a bricklayer which I actually passed but due to the recession in the UK at the time I couldn’t get a job so was on welfare for almost 10 years but during that time I found what whatever way I could to get in studios & begin the process of becoming a producer.
4. Discogs.com lists 188 releases, 331 appearances, and 242 credits, but Discogs.com is not always up to date or correct. Do you know how many tracks that you have actually produced and remixed, and if so, how many is it?
I honestly don’t know. All I know is I’ve spent most of my adult life making music & not much else.
5. What is your favorite part of producing? Making drums/synths/sampling/mix down?
I really love working on drums, but the best part is when I start working on a loop & the excitement of it building into a vibe. That is why I’ve been doing it so long & have no intention of stopping, I’m totally addicted to that feeling.
6. With so many tracks produced and remixed, including your solo projects, what do you find more enjoyable – making a tune or remixing someone else’s tune? Does any project stand out as being fruitful for your personally?
The process of making something out of silence regardless of the project is just very for filling, like I said when the vibe comes together it’s an amazing feeling
7. Is there are project that took a particularly long time, or difficult to make? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
No one project stands out but for me the hardest part of the engineering/mixing process is getting used t a new room/studio space, over the many years I’ve had to move studio spaces over 10 times & only twice were those rooms actually treated spaces. It’s taken me up to a year to find how a room sounds & it’s a long a frustrating job!
8. Is there anywhere in the world that you haven’t performed in that you would like to.
I’ve been lucky enough to have played in a lot of countries so for me it’s more about countries I’d like to play again that I haven’t for a while. I’d love to go back to Japan & Brazil to name 2 it’s been too long!
Catch Total Science along with DJ Fu, Magnetic Soul, DJ Kruze, and MC R-Vee on Friday, June 29th at Gecko Lounge (LG/F, Au’s Building, Ezra’s Lane, Central) at Magnetic Soul’s 13 Years of Hong Kong Drum & Bass event. Tickets are available for $200 HKD from ticketflap.com.
More information is available on the Magnetic Soul facebook page – facebook.com/magneticsoul