I’ve always loved the idea of US-made drum & bass, and the fact that people have fallen so deeply in love with a UK-centric genre that they’ve worked to make a space for it to live out here in the states. Evol Intent (a trio made up of Bro Safari, Treasure Fingers, and Gigantor) have collectively been a major piece of the US-based DNB movement for over a decade now, and we’re stoked to be seeing them featured in the latest American-focused compilation from legendary UK DNB imprint Hospital Records.
Check our premiere of Evol Intent’s “Getting High At Low Tide” below, along with an interview with trio member Mike Diasio (Gigantor) below:
How did y’all meet?
Nick and I met at University of Alabama years ago through DJing and started producing together back in the archaic days of hardware gear. Shortly after, we heard about this guy from Oklahoma tearing it up called ‘The Enemy’ via the fledgling internet at the time, and after a remix swap AJ came on board and the three of us decided to team up and make tunes. Shortly after everyone moved to Atlanta, and Evol Intent started it’s rise through the scene.
What has the US based DNB scene been like over the years from your perspective?
US drum and bass has definitely had it’s ups and downs. Drum and bass as a ‘scene’ is not what it was in the late nineties/early 2000s on this side of the pond, but there are still plenty of people that hold die-hard interest in the music. The fact that it’s never fully gone away is a testament to the hardcore fans and the passion for the music, and many top level EDM producers (like Skrillex) seem to dip into the genre every now and again.
Are you finding that more people in the states are starting to be down with DNB?
Absolutely! we’re starting to see new, younger fans and this is what the genre needs. I just hope that jaded, older fans don’t scare them away haha. Dnb can grow if we keep it welcoming.
What does an Evol Intent studio session look like?
Generally we work in the box with Ableton Live these days, (in previous years we swapped Reason files and mixed down in Logic Pro with a mixing console). Often we send the full session back and forth, but also we will send layers if it’s easier, minor changes. Generally whatever we can do to keep it moving.
What were some of the first records that got you into this style?
Initially I came from “IDM” sounding stuff like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, but also records like Roni Size’s “New Forms” and Goldie’s “Timeless” were influential before I started DJing. Other than this lots of ‘Renegade Hardware’/’Moving Shadow’ releases were massively influential.
What are everyone’s favorite gas station snacks?
Generally I stick to ‘whatever is least likely to kill me’ so it’s a tough sell. Beef jerky and sparkling water please?
What are your favorite Evol Intent songs to play out?
I love playing new stuff, like the one out today ‘Getting High at Low Tide.’ The title track from our upcoming EP (Revolt) is a fun one, also we have a collab in the works with 12th Planet, Lumberjvck, and Le Castle Vania that’s great to open with. Otherwise classics like Spor’s ‘Flipside’ remix and an edit of our tune ‘Street Knowledge’ are a staple favorite.
What was the last song that made you go, “Wow.”?
I swear I’m not pitching for the home team here, but Nick has a Bro Safari tune called ‘Snap’ that really floored me. Aside from that, the tune Noisia and Ivy Lab did called ‘Possession’ fascinated me when I first heard it.
Who are some other US based DNB acts everyone should know about?
Gein and Gridlok for starters! These folks have been at it for a minute and make killer music, I hope most folks who follow US DNB closely are already familiar with them.
What do you think have been some of the most important events for the growth of bass music / drum & bass in the states?
The initial rush in the late nineties when drum and bass was new was crucial to the genre’s growth, but electrohouse kicking in the door in 2007 and dubstep blowing up in 2010, has both helped and hindered the drum and bass ‘scene’ stateside. I don’t think we’re worse off for it, but there are fewer dnb nights now with the plus of more festivals.
As far as shows go, for US dnb the staple nights for dnb over the years have always helped push the underground: Respect here in LA, Direct Drive in NYC, and Elements in Boston have all been around for over 15 or so years. Most obviously major festival promoters like Insomniac putting drum and bass on helps massively!
How do you guys feel about this Hospital release, and the label in general?
Love it! Glad to see Hospital investing in the US Scene and artists. Support like this is crucial to making the scene grow more in general.
What are some of the most crucial DNB or Jungle albums?
Spor’s ‘Caligo’ was a great one from the last year. Classics like Ed Rush and Optical’s ‘Wormhole,’ Goldie’s ‘Timeless’ and even Dieselboy’s classic mixes like ‘6ixth Session’ are generally considered crucial. Also personally recommended: Noisia’s ‘Split the Atom’, Pendulum’s ‘Hold Your Colour’, and The Upbeat’s ‘Nobody’s Out There’.
Hospital Records’ Future Sound of America compilation is out now through the Hospital shop.