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Icicle: You can't beat the vibes up North
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Icicle: You can't beat the vibes up North

D&B expert Foz Foster chats to Dutch tech funk pioneer Icicle ahead of his set at Relapse on November 22nd.

Mike Warburton

Date published: 27th Oct 2014

Photo: Icicle

As a firm favourite of the likes of Goldie, LTJ Bukem, Andy C and D-Bridge, its safe to assume that Icicle is something of a big deal in discerning drum&bass circles.

Having converted to junglism at the tender age of 15 following a gamechanging visit to local night Jungle Galaxy in his Dutch homeland, Icicle has gone on to release records on drum&bass' biggest imprints - Ram Records, Shogun Audio and Soul:r to name just three.

With a penchant for tough tech funk, and edgy punishing rhythms, Icicle stands apart as one of drum&bass' most unique individuals. Foz Foster just had to get him in for a chat.

You've just released 'Problem', an absolute banger with Skittles (watch it above), are you happy with the response with that one? 

All the love and feedback has been great, it has been a while in the making and to finally have it out there is a good feeling.

It's certainly been doing damage to dancefloors around the UK, Skeptical dropped it with 'Disco Dodo' at the last Relapse and the place went wild! Can you tell us any more news about your forthcoming album? 

It’s my second album to be released on Shogun Audio - its title is 'Entropy' and it will be released mid November. I’ve worked with producer’s Proxima and Mefjus, and it features vocals by SP:MC, Skittles, Metropolis & Sarah Hezen.

That's got to be one of the most anticipated albums of the year for many people, roll on mid November! You've been involved within the scene for quite some time now, how do you currently rate drum&bass both in this country and further afield? 

I think drum&bass has been doing very well the last few years. Obviously D&B seems to be getting more and more mainstream attention but also in the underground. Worldwide parties are growing too with a lot of new people are getting into it.

Agreed, the scene seems to be strengthening both in terms of the mainstream stuff, but also within the underground with many different sub-genres organically growing and becoming strong because of it. OK, bit of a generic question, which DJs do you rate at the moment?

Proxima is killing it, so is Mefjus and Randomer (listen to 'Ruffa' above) is a personal fave at the moment in the techno scene.

Mefjus is definitely another artist going from strength to strength. Which producers do you rate at the moment and do you prefer working on your own or collaborating?

I think collabs in the studio are a good thing to do, it makes you think differently about your process. When you cut yourself off too much it is easy to get stuck in your ways. Nevertheless it is important to keep your solo output strong and don’t do to many collabs, people will start wondering how much you are really capable of in the studio!

It's more often than not an interesting experiencing watching how other people craft a song. Which emcees are you a fan of and what's your opinion on them performing live with you?

I think currently there are a bunch of really good D&B MCs, many of them from Manchester! Skittles takes it technically for me, but someone like SP:MC, a long standing veteran can't be forgotten either (check out their collaboration above). Working with a good MC adds a lot to a show I find, you get more interaction and energy from a crowd.

Definitely. When someone knows when to do their thing as well as when to let the music roll out is what you want. If you weren't playing out music around the world, what do you think you would be doing? 

That’s an odd question, probably still playing music around the world!

Can't argue with that. Haha! Which country goes craziest for drum & bass and do you get to go home often to play there?

I would say Czech Republic and Belgium are competing for the craziest crowds at the moment, although the UK probably still has it! I get to play in Holland every once in a while, it is always nice to go home and see my old friends and play some music.

Yeah Belgium's clubbers are notoriously bonkers, it's good to see the music appreciated in so many places! Which cities do you enjoy playing in the UK and do you notice any regional differences between the North and South?

I think certain places have slightly stronger scenes than others, down to local talent and the hard work of promoters but that’s evenly spread though out North and South in my opinion. Can’t beat the vibes up North though, surely.

We couldn't ask for a better answer! You can't beat vibes up North, especially in Manchester of course. Ha! Finally, are you looking forward to playing for Relapse at Sound Control?

Definitely, I’ve never not had an epic time in Manchester!

See Icicle in action when Relapse lands at Sound Control on November 22nd. Get your tickets here.

Keep up to date with Relapse movements by joining the group here.

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