Drum & Bass is space – Interview with Sam Binga
Are you getting tired of Drum & Bass as usual or you are looking for something new in addition? Then you should have a look at Sam Binga, former known as Baobinga. Since two years he has been moving around on different Drum & Bass labels like Exit Records, Critical or Astrophonica and brought his own thoughts, spirit and view for other things into the scene.
Ahead of his gig in Leipzigs venue Distillery we caught up with him and had a little digital chat about recent and future projects of him.
IT’S YOURS: If you meet somebody who doesn’t know you as a DJ and producer, and you would like to introduce him or her to your sound, how would you do that?
Sam Binga: I think the best way would be to listen to the mixes I’ve done over the last couple of years. In those mixes I always try to include a little of everything that inspires me – so there’ll probably be some footwork, some jungle, some of this new stuff that people like Fracture, Om Unit and Moresounds are making that doesn’t really have a name yet, some hip hop, and a few curveballs from out of the blue as well. As a DJ and as a producer, I try to bring a lot of different ideas into what i do, but shape them all into something that is hopefully unique to me.
With the switch from your alias Baobinga to your now known alias Sam Binga, you would’ve been welcome on very different scenes but you chose to walk towards the Drum & Bass scene with various releases at Astrophonica, Exit Records and especially Critical Recordings. How did the connection to those labels start and why did you choose, working with them?
I’ve been very lucky to work with such great labels – a lot of that comes down to just working with the right people at the right time. For example, me and Om Unit sent the first thing we wrote together to dBridge, and he picked it up for Mosaic Vol 2. I used to live with a techno producer who knew Kasra, so that helped me get stuff over to Critical. And once I met Fracture, it was obvious that we’d have to work together – so that’s how the Astrophonica link came about. Everyone I’ve worked with has gone from being people I respected and admired through music, to genuine friends in real life, which is pretty much exactly what you want.
What is the most fascinating thing in the movement of Drum & Bass for you?
I think at the moment we’re in a very open phase. Drum & Bass became so almost ‘perfected’ that there became space for people to come along and do things ‘wrongly’, and that’s kinda where the stuff that excites me is happening. There’s space to work with a variety of tempos and to bring in non Drum & Bass music into your sets, and I’ve always been someone who finds the hybrid, non-purist cross-breed approach the most interesting.
If you would have the chance to remix any song, which song would it be and why would you chose it?
Maybe Ron Trent ‘Altered States’? But then I’m not sure it really needs remixing… Maybe Migos ‘Fight Night’? Or Darqwan ‘Said The Spider’? Tricky question – generally if I love a song, I tend to just like it how it is!
In my opinion, the tunes you are making with vocalists like Rider Shafique or Redders vary to the sound you make without any. Do you have some kind of schizophrenic style of writing music with and without vocalists or do you don’t make any difference in your style of producing?
I think a lot of that is just that I have a very respectful approach to producing tracks with vocals. I build them with a vocal in mind and so I make sure I leave space for the vocallist to shine. When you’re making a track without a vocal, the energy and charatcer that a vocallist will provide isn’t there, but equally there’s much more space in the track, so you have a need – and more space – to create interest another way. I think that probably explains the difference.
How is it, working with Redders or Rider Shafique and bring the Grime-Style of those MC’s into the speed of Drum & Bass?
It’s great – I’ve known them for a while now, it’s always good vibes in the studio and the process is very collaborative – they can give me feedback about what’s working in the beat, I can easily explain the vibe and feel I’m after vocally. When you send away for a vocal, it can be trickier as you don’t know if they really get what you’re after, or whether they’ll send you back something that’s clearly not their best work. So far, I’ve been pretty lucky in that respect, but it’s definitely better to be able to hang out in the studio together and catch a vibe.
You recently did a remix for the new EP of Ivy Lab, would you like to work more closer with them? Do a featuring or Remix more stuff and get more Stuff Remixed by them?
Watch this space… 😉
His new EP with Om Unit came out recently on the self founded label Bunit.
You can catch Sam Binga on Friday the 10th of April, he will play in Leipzig at the venue Distillery.