Exclusive: Interview with RDG

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The 27 year old Copenhagen based producer spoke to our writer Linda Cooke about his new release, friendship, movie scores and his future plans.

1) Hey how are you? What are you up to today?

Hey, I am a bit tired as I was playing last night. I am also recovering from a concussion, I had a bike crash recently.Right now, I’m just working on some stuff for a festival called Strøm; an electronic music festival here in Copenhagen. I put on a Circle Vision night for it again this year. I have a new release coming out soon so I am working on that plus mastering some stuff for other people too.

2) You’ve just dropped a new release in collaboration with well-known dubstepper K-Man and featuring vocals from Sun of Selah on the track Rise, which is the first track on Lost on Earth Vol 1. Tell us a bit about the release and how you came up with the concept….was it inspired by anything in particular?

I have been speaking to K Man daily for the last couple of years, we get on great. Some of the tracks on the EP are his tracks, from as far back as 2010, and I wanted to sign them, so we thought about doing an EP together. We had a long conversation about what we should call the EP. We came up with the idea of Lost on Earth Vol 1 together. We’re both into space stuff and aliens – the tracks don’t sound like they are from earth. We liked the idea of making a series, which could continue forever. This record has an A and a B side. Then will come the C and the D sides, and so on.

2) How did you find working with K Man and what made you choose Sun of Selah to collaborate with you on Rise?

I have been connected with both of them for a long time. I started speaking to K Man a lot more after the Dub Mechanics split up. We just talk a lot. One time, we talked for like, eight hours – just about life and all kinds of weird shit. We get on so well, we’re close friends, like brothers. We speak together every day. This isn’t just business. Music is really personal for me. I work with people I like. I’m not just doing it for the money.

Same thing with Selah. We just clicked and understood each other from the start. It was a very natural progression to work together. Everything just clicked. We like the same kind of stuff. It’s easy. It’s a great feeling to work with other like-minded people. It comes back to the name of my label, Circle Vision. It’s a ‘circle’ of friends, and all the stuff that goes into working with each other becomes a circle and we feed into and off each other. The label isn’t ever going to get too big. I don’t want to have artists competing with one another – if that happens it’s not the sort of label I want to have anymore. I want to keep my circle as personal as I keep my music, and vice versa.

3) To those people completely unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe your sound? We’ve recently seen the sound referred to as ‘evil dubstep’ – what do you think of that? Isn’t Denmark supposed to be the happiest country in the world?

Haha. Well, I don’t know about evil…. I am a very happy person. But I have a dark side. I think it is important to connect to your dark side. If you can do that, you might even become a happier person. So yeah, I would say it is dark rather than evil. I grew up in the dark, dark, evil woods of Denmark haha. The nearest city is Arden and almost half of it is forest. The forest is called Rold Skov, the biggest in Denmark, and I would go there and play. Nature has this calm effect on me.

That’s funny that Denmark is called the happiest country in the world. Look at Scandinavia. Look at our music. There is so much death metal, black metal, dark stuff. We drink a lot. But I say just eat the vitamins and we also have great pastries in Denmark haha.

Getting back to the first question, I would say that my sound is sub heavy. “Bass music”. I don’t really like the idea that people try to put you in a particular ‘box’. I have been trying to get away from the word ‘dubstep.’ I would define my music as minimal, simple, and melancholy. Other people don’t always see it the same way. I build it for huge sound systems, for the dance; you can listen to it on your headphones, but if you don’t hear it in the club then I don’t think you can fully understand it. I think it was Boomkat who said my music was like, “melancholy dubstep for the rave,” which is quite apt. But music is such a physical thing, you are taken by its physical force, and not just your ears but your whole body is shaking.

4) Do you remember your own first physical experience of music?

Yeah, it was at a Ohoi sound night in Copenhagen. Names like 2000F, JSL, Tim Driver and Kristobal. They were playing grime, dubstep, drum and bass. I am really grateful I get to work with them nowadays.

5) How do you feel about where the dubstep genre is right now? What do you think the future holds for dubstep?

I feel the genre is very healthy and growing in to many exciting paths. A lot of cross-genre movements is going on, which I believe is putting new and strong energy into dubstep as a genre and movement.

Unfortunately it’s impossible to look into the future, but I hope it continues to evolve and keeps bringing new and exciting artists as in the recent years.

6) You’ve mentioned your label, Circle Vision, so tell us a little about your other label, Surfase…

Yeah, I started the label with a good friend, Jeppe W, (but now running it with help from another good friend Casper aka. Mejle aka. Sofa Missilet haha) we wanted to put Denmark on the map. It was about pushing our thing, our sound. It was originally meant to be a vinyl label but we didn’t have the money or the patience. It ended up becoming a digital label. There is 29 releases so far with the 30st coming up next month, yeah, in April. I am are trying now to focus on more non-dubstep related stuff and deal more in bass heavy music. It doesn’t have to be in 140BPM, I am open to all kinds of stuff. There is a
nice following on the label and the artists that I’ve signed have gone on to do really well. I am still friends with all of them, like I said, I choose to work with people that I like.

7) Where do you take your inspiration from?

I find inspiration in everything. In art. I went to art school. It’s very personal. I’m inspired by movies, especially by the mood in music. I don’t listen to a lot of dubstep. I like ambient. I am waiting for Brian Eno’s next album right now. Vangelis’ Blade Runner score is great. I would really like to compose something for a movie; bring my energy to that. Music can change a whole atmosphere.

I live in Nørrebro, which is a central district of Copenhagen, quite trendy but also a creative part of town. We Scandinavians are great at simplicity. We get straight to the point, which I like. You can see it in my work; the music, the label. I like things to be simple: people, music, food

8) If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

Music has been a part of who I am since I was 12 years old. My Dad is a musician. I grew up around music. My Dad let me play with his drum machine at a young age. When I moved out, he actually gave it to me. I come from an artistic family, really. My Sister is a dancer and my Mum a poet. I used to paint. I did Installation art. I take a lot of pictures and do graphics, actually almost everything for the labels and for others labels as well. About eight years ago, I decided that I needed to choose which creative path to follow, so I chose music. I wanted to be really good at what I was doing, and couldn’t see that happening without a bit of focus. I was painting graffiti and going to school to learn how to make movies. At one point, I was living in my studio which had no heat, for about a year or two, I can’t quite remember. I made a lot of beats during this time. All day, every day. I told myself I needed to put 100% into one thing. If making music comes to an end for me, I think I would choose another artistic path and put all my energy into that.

9) What’s next for you? Will you be heading off on tour to promote the new record?

K-Man has a mixtape coming out, his first ever, so that is exciting. We are also working on a tour – in the States in June. We’ll definitely take in San Francisco, Denver, New York, Santa Cruz and LA. Hopefully we’ll play a lot of shows and have people enjoying our music!!

I’ve got a new release coming up on Circle Vison. It’s a good friend of mine and a great musician …. Beastie Respond so looking forward to that too.