Mayan Audio – one of the most promising labels that focus on heavyweight D&B crowd killers has recently released a 4 part compilation called “Mayan Audio Presents 2016” full of dancefloor favorites. They’ve also gave us a chance to chat with an upcoming UK-based producer who goes by the name of Traced, who is now signed exclusively to the label and has some tunes that we totally dig. We’ve asked him about his future plans as a part of Mayan Audio artist rooster, the story behind his massive tune “Cybernetics” and his approach to DJing. He also recorded an absolute beast of a mix for us, that you can listen to at the end of this page. We hope you have a good read (:
Hey there, Dan! How’s it going?
Hi. It’s going well, thanks.
We know that you have a very rich musical experience in lots of genres. How long have you been following the D&B scene? What were the most noticeable changes in the recent years?
I worked in a record shop from a young age so I got to see the whole evolution from jungle to D&B. As I’ve woked in the shop I had a chance to listen to so many different genres of music. I tried to collect a bit of everything, so I was collecting D&B too, though it wasn’t the main genre I played at the time. I think also from being in that record shop environment I’ve learnt to respect all kinds of music, which led to me producing in a lot of different genres throughout the years.
As for how Drum & Bass has evolved, the production level of the genre has come leaps and bounds. Over the years new technology and new ways to manipulate a bassline have come along, which led to a huge increase of production quality and that’s how we got D&B music of today.
What is your own understanding of neurofunk? How can you describe it and what’s the most important and unique thing about it?
I’ve always tried to make music with energy and neurofunk sound has plenty of energy, so that’s what attracted me to it in the first place. I love how people on the dancefloors respond to it, it reminds me of people on heavy metal gigs. I think it has created a lot of excitement within the music, but there has always been a heavier sound in drum n bass, it’s just that now it has a tag, that has caught on with the masses.
Tell us about your latest tune called “Cybernetics” that was released as a part of a massive compilation “Mayan Audio Presents 2016”. What was the process behind it? What’s your favorite tune from the LP and why?
I have been working towards my first solo EP or single for Mayan, so my intentions was to work on a track for that. I’ve always been a keen scratch DJ, although I generally gave up doing it live due to venues having dodgy cross faders, but I still give it a go, when I’m mixing at home. I’ve already had the bass track done so I was hunting for some vocal samples. I wanted to do something different from just a rap sample so I sampled myself doing some live scratching. Halfway through making the tune Gary and Tony (Mayan Audio owners) told me that the label was going to put out an album to mark the start of the year and asked me to submit a track for it. So I finished it and sent it over around the same time I had a VIP of my track Phobia, so I sent that one over as well. Then, while we were all in Prague for the Mayan event at Storm Club the lads told me both tracks have been picked for the album. As for my favourite on the album, that’s a tough one… everyone brought their A-game to the table for this compilation, but Volatile Cycle’s “Impact” featuring Nuklear MC and Yen’s “Heavy” have been a couple of favourites in my recent sets.
Is there a tune that never gets old for you?
That is one of the hardest questions people ever ask… in recent years “Pale Blue Dot” by The Prototypes is a track I just can’t stop playing.
Now that you are officially a part of Mayan Audio camp, what should we expect from you in 2016? Are we getting a Traced album anytime soon?
I’ve had many discussions with Gary at Mayan about the plan going forward and album is always part of the discussion. There are numerous pros and cons, when it comes to making albums. One of the cons for me would be the amount of time it takes. Back in the day, when I was making breaks I did an album which took a whole year, it’s a massive commitment to make. I think at this point in my career it wouldn’t be wise to do an album. I think the focus should be on getting the music out there quicker in the single or EP format. So the next project is to get my first solo release out on Mayan, whether that would be an EP or a single is yet to be confirmed, I have enough new music for an EP, but single may end up being a better format as of now.
What is your favourite venue you’ve played at and what is the venue of your dream?
Last year I played at Storm Club in Prague with the rest of the Mayan Family, that club is wicked, the people of Prague know how to party to dnb. I’ve played at a lot of venues over the years. but for me it’s not about the venue it’s all about people inside it. If people there are enjoying the music then it doesn’t matter how the place looks like, as long as it has a vibe then it’s a winner in my book… A clear quality soundsystem is a must though. I dream to play on Let It Roll Summer or Boomtown Festival.
Is there a particular way in which you like to structure your sets? What one should expect when going to a gig with Traced in the line-up?
I normally start with a tune that has a cinematic intro, sounds a bit cliche these days, but it’s great way to introduce yourself to the crowd. Most of the times I play massive bangers, but I like to throw a curve ball here and there. I’ve recently been using Yen’s track “Heavy” as a track to break my sets up a bit, as well as Decimal Bass’s “Work For Nothing”.
How do you think, what’s crucial for one to become a good D&B DJ?
Quick mixes are a good way the keep the crowd on their toes. Most dnb is rinse and repeat so most of the time people get bored with the same drop twice unless it’s powerful or diverse enough to play the both drops. Tune selection as well is incredibly important.
What are your three favorite tunes of 2016 so far?
Here you go:
Thank you for the interview. Do you have a couple of words to say to all your followers out there?
Thanks for the support I’ve had so far :)
And now let’s get straight into the guest mix that Traced has prepared for us:
Traced – The Journey
L33 – Badman
Tuff Touch – Chapter 33
Mefjus – Blitz
Coppa & Heamy – Cause A Riot
Rusty K – Frozen Heart
Agressor Bunx – Amnesia
Seppa – Coriolis
Nickbee – Another Dimension
Traced – Cybernetics
L 33 – Manipulate
Yen – Heavy
Volatile Cycle – Imapct (feat. Nuklear)
Mefjus – Godzilla (feat. Dope D.O.D) (Audio Remix)
Mob Tactics – Get Dirty
Recs – Bloodhound (Maztek Remix)
Decimal Bass – Work For Nothing
Icicle & Safire – Suction Cap
Mefjus, InsideInfo & The Upbeats – Footpath
The Qemists – Run You (Memtrix Remix)
Mob Tactics – Rave Weapon
Audio – Make It Happen
Optiv & BTK – Gamma Rays
Spor & Memtrix – Super Trace
Mefjus – Chaos Theory
Mind Vortex – Future Fold
Kritix – Substance
Traced – Phobia VIP
Misanthrop – Collapse
Symptom & Parallel Motion – No Means No
Teddy Killerz & June Miller – Rock’n’Roll
Mefjus – Suicide Bassline VIP