In a social media- driven music culture obsessed with carefully categorizing every new sound, its easy for artists to confine themselves to the conventions of this genre or that one. Emerging producer Notixx understands the importance of prioritizing sound over labels. Instead, Notixx makes music that he wants to listen to. This artistic purity is evidenced in his debut EP on the venerable Dub Police label. Last Call is an energetic fusion of dubstep, drum n’ bass, and hip-hop influences, all built upon the heavy-hitting bass that we expect from Dub Police artists. If you made it out to Caspa’s 500 tour, you’ve probably heard these tunes before. The EP is available now, but before you reach for that credit card check out what Notixx has to say about the Last Call EP, his creative process, and your mom – only on The Dankles.
Your new EP, Last Call, features influences from many genres spanning the bass spectrum: dubstep, trap, drum n’ bass. Did you intentionally set out to create such a diverse release, or is it just a natural consequence of your process?
Ask anybody that has seen me play a live set, I’m sure they will tell you that I touched on between 5-6 different genres during my set. I really like a lot of different music, and I’m very happy that it shines through in my productions. I respect the general categorization of music into genres, but at the end of the day, I really just wanna make whatever I feel like making without any sort of format, so that’s what I did.
You demonstrate a unique ability to blend traditionally defined genres, which suggests an astute ear for bass music. Who are some of the biggest influences on your sound?
There are so many artists that really push the boundaries and are huge influences for me. Culprate, Tipper, xKore, Kai Wachi, Daktyl and SOOO many more great artists are infinitely inspiring to me. I have to add Skrillex to the list too. Watching him grow into his sound has been very cool.
You’ve made some fire remixes – a remix of Caspa’s “Geordie Racer” actually landed you a spot on the Sub Soldiers roster. What is your approach when remixing a song? Is it different from your approach to making an original tune?
When tackling a remix, it’s definitely always a different process to writing an original tune. I’m not starting with a blank slate, but at the same time, I kind of am. I’ll usually take a couple listens through the original, and browse through the stems a bit. Then I’ll brainstorm with this in mind; what would I make with these sounds if the original track did not exist? It’s a dangerous approach, because you risk your remix sounding immensely different from the original, but in my opinion, you can usually tie it back in later and make it work.
I was in love with the simple sound design in “Geordie Racer” and I could already hear the bootleg remix in my head before I executed it. All I had to do was sit down and write what was in my head, and I did.
What was your vision for the Last Call EP? Did this vision change at all during the process? Ultimately, do you think you achieve it? What has it been like working with Dub Police on this project?
My vision for this EP was to collect a bunch of tracks together that I specifically wrote during a time when I was working with a clean slate with no expectations. All the tracks on this EP were written without a formula in mind, and without a specific influence. I think I was able to make it work out and I am happy with the results. Working with Dub Police to release this has been quite a trip, I’ve been looking forward to releasing music with them for about a year now, and finally getting everything in order has been a huge relief.
On Facebook you list “Your Mom” as a favorite artist. Tell us a bit about how she won such a favored spot in your heart – either my mom specifically, or “Your Mom” as a general collective?
HA! Yeah I don’t like to take things too seriously on social media I guess. I try to be as approachable as possible on the web. I suppose I could list some actual influences on there, but that would ruin all the fun. If you can just read about me off a page, I’ll never get to know you! Ask me what influences me if you really wanna know. It changes every day (and it’s not “Your Mom”)
As a musician, what is your advice for aspiring artists? Is there anything you would say to others aiming to create music or in any media?
It sounds so cliche and silly but DON’T GIVE UP! Seriously, we’ve all heard it before. If you love music and it’s what you want to do, you have keep making it. You can’t slow down, you can’t get jaded, you can’t half-ass it. Everyone will notice the second you stop caring. Put your heart into it if it’s what you love, and if it’s just “a hobby” don’t ever expect it to become a profession.
The other thing I would say, is to always network. Send promo copies of your music to bigger artists. Send demos to labels. Email people and talk to them. Go to shows and meet artists and connect with them. Talking is key. Get to know the people that make the industry turn.
Looking forward, what is next for Notixx? Shows, Releases plans..?
I want to set up an actual tour very soon. I’ve been holding off on it for a while, but I definitely see that soon in the future. Right now I’m playing various gigs on the weekends and it’s going great. I love traveling and meeting people!
I have releases for two other major labels already lined up in 2015.. .but I don’t plan on stopping there. You’ll have to wait and see what happens down the road.
Notixx is one of the newest additions to the Dub Police team. His Last Call EP is available now via iTunes, Beatport, and Juno Download. If you like cool stuff, dope music, and a whole lot of bass, don’t forget to follow Dub Police and Notixx on Twitter.