Feonix Gives New Life to Dubstep with 'The Underground' EP [Interview]

"It’s a collection showing a personal progression over a strange period of time."
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"It’s a collection showing a personal progression over a strange period of time."
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Forthcoming on Uprise Audio, elusive yet undeniably talented and influential artist Feonix shares with us a masterpiece; his latest release ‘The Underground’. 

To pigeonhole the Manchester based producer into any one genre would be quite inaccurate, as he stretches his talents across many different styles, newly releasing a groundbreaking album with LSN, and installing that magic ingredient of the un-labelable into tracks that keep you begging for more. Reverting attention back to the sphere of 140bpm and experimenting with new production techniques, ‘The Underground’ and it’s satisfyingly heavy persona proves that Feonix hasn’t gone anywhere, and is a force to be reckoned with.

You bring such a beautiful essence to your works that speaks very uniquely for itself, what have been some of your main musical influences for your work and in particular, ‘The Underground’?

Thanks, I guess my main musical influence is probably still Queens of the Stone Age. I dunno, when I first heard them it proper changed the way I kind of understood music up to that point and I just really dig their music, the harmonies, beats, mixdowns… It might not be an obvious one, but their sound is something I’m constantly bearing in mind.

The Underground came about a couple of months after finishing my album, where I’d been going through an experimental phase. I thought I’d have a crack at making some 140 again and wanted to create something roll-y… a bit of an “I’m baaaack” sort of deal. It went through a few versions before the heavy mids went in, they were a happy accident, but ended up giving it a classic sort of feel. Which was nice.

Can you shed light on your production process, what inspires such moving tracks time after time?

I’ve actually been changing up my process recently, I used to normally start with placing together a beat in the arrangement view & see what happens, or I’d have found a beautiful bit of music to sample and play around and it would all kind of form around that. Now though I’m trying to make them a bit more live, it started with The City actually, playing the beat in on a drum kit I’ve made through a little AKAI pad, and creating and playing in all the synths, vocal cuts, etc. I’ve just been finding it really easy to get something natural on the go through it. I always try and finish a tune, even if it’s not that great, just so it’s out of my mind. I’ve got loads just sitting there in my Itunes now; not doing anything, but you learn something new every time.

Along with the ‘The Underground’ and the new album with LSN, do you have any other collaborations or discloseable plans in the works?

Well, the LSN ball is ever rolling, still getting on with a lot on that front, some nice collabs on the way there. Pretty much constantly been getting on beats with both Simetra and Na-kika (from LSN) as we all live up in North Wales. We’ve been on a lot of 160 and 170 recently, going to be interesting to see how they build up… no plans as of yet.

How do you feel your production and musical evolution has progressed? Any major players that brought you to where you are music-wise?

It’s definitely got a lot more focused, minimal. I’ve gone past the point of thinking tunes sounded full by having loads in them, and kind of focused on musicality a lot more. There’ve been quite a few mentors along the way; Na-kika was the first, got me on to Ableton, which kind of completely changed the way I made beats, things got a lot more serious. The whole LSN crew actually opened my eyes up to the world of collaborating, I find it easy to write music with Simetra… Most of the time, haha.

Mujek (at the time Deafblind), Nurve (Macabre Unit/Demon) and of course Seven have all been helping and mentoring me over the last few years as well, with production advice, or just making me want to try harder and make better music.

Also, a mate of mine Tony McLintock: a few years ago he told me I should try and get a female vocalist on a tune, I ended up making Eon Eyes (MUD) with Kaya after that and consider it a massive turning point.

‘Underground’ is seriously heavy and seems to be a perfect showcase of what you do. Were there any goals in mind through the process of crafting the EP?

Each tune comes from a different point over the last few years, it’s interesting actually I hadn’t thought about it, but one was made when I was living in Bangor after University (Losing), two of them were made when I was living in Manchester (Underground, Taro) and two whilst I’ve been living back in Wales (The City, Doorway). It’s a weird pattern, but I guess it is somewhat reflective of what I wanted from the EP. I guess it’s a collection showing a personal progression over a strange period of time.

‘The Underground’ is out July 1 on Uprise Audio.