Perhaps most famous for producing both the original version of Lethal B’s ‘Forward Riddim’ back in 2004 and the timeless classic ‘Bullacake’, Dexplicit has played an instrumental role in grime’s development for over a decade. Tending to favour producing specifically for MCs and vocalists over releasing solo work, he is to this day one of grime’s most prolific hit makers, yet he’s maintained a low profile throughout his time in the producer’s chair.
Having finally decided to converge on the instrumental market once again in 2012 there is serious potential for Dexplicit to hit new heights in similar fashion to fellow veteran P Jam, who himself made a big impression on Terror Danjah’s Hardrive imprint last year. With this in mind, Tomas Fraser managed to catch up with the man himself and secured the latest instalment in our collaborative mix series to boot.
Sonic Router: For those who who may not be too familiar with you, how would you describe yourself?
Dexplicit: I’m mostly known for ‘POW!’ and ‘Bullacake’ but my style is very much bottom-heavy club music. Everything I do is usually full of energy and big melodies. Bass, club and energy would probably sum me up best in 3 words…
Your mix is full of forthcoming material and combines a mixture of solo instrumentals and vocal tracks. Do you see the two as separate or do they work in unison? Do you approach solo and vocal work differently?
I do think they’re separate. The artist based stuff is a totally different scene. It’s more iPod friendly and designed for people to listen to wherever so will often be geared towards a specific genre. If I’m trying to aim for those sort of listeners, I have to approach artist work in a way that’ll cater for that. I enjoy the bass heavy stuff a lot because it’s free reign – the club scene is so open-minded in comparison and there are no real genre boundaries, so you can really experiment with the music you produce.
You’ve worked with a slew of artists in your time – who has been the most interesting to work with?
The most interesting to work with… ah wow, do you know what? I’ve worked with so many people its difficult, it’s too hard to name just one person. I’ve always found people who are able to just walk around writing bars in their head amazing, I’ve never understood how that happens. Big Narstie and Black The Ripper both do it – they never have paper or anything to record ideas on, it’s mad.
Meleka is interesting too. She seems to have a brilliant ear for what she wants and she knows her sound down to a tee. We’ll have about 42 arguments in a session but it’s all constructive. There are even times when we don’t like each other for 20 minutes but it always comes out nice in the end.
My engineer Joel James is a real character too. He mixes down all my stuff, including most of the stuff in the mix. We spend a lot of time raving in our sessions which is always a good laugh. In terms of personality and character though, it’s gotta be Big Narstie. He laughs the whole way through a session; I’ve never worked with anyone like him.
You are a more than competent DJ too but often prefer to remain in the studio. Are you hoping to start playing out more in the future?
I’ve done a lot of work in the studio recently so it’s time to start playing out – I’m in Hong Kong next month and the bookings are starting to come in. I’ve had time to build a lot of projects so I feel like I’m on top of everything. I love deejaying absolutely. Nothing beats seeing people’s reactions to your music.
What can we expect throughout the rest of 2012?
I’ve got an instrumental EP out on July 2nd and a vocal EP coming out soon after on more of a jungle/grime vibe which I’m very excited about. I’ve been doing a lot of remixes too recently. I’ve actually just finished one with MIA and Wiley and another for Nelly Furtado. MistaJam is also premiering one I did for Jenna Andrews, who is signed to Def Jam, over the next few days. I guess things are looking good for the rest of this year…
Davinche – Jay Z Money (Dexplicit Remix)
MIA – Bad Girls (Dexplicit Remix)
MIA Vs Wiley – Bad Girls Remix
Yolanda Be Cool – Le Bump (Dexplicit Remix)
Preeya Kalidas Ft Scorcher – It’s a Problem
Dexplicit – No Chance
Harry Shotta – Showtime (Dexplicit Remix Instrumental)
Dexplicit – Nibiru
Dexplicit – Rebellion
Dexplicit – The Centaur
Dexplicit – Bezerka Barrage
Nelly Furtado – Big Hoops (Dexplicit Remix)
PJam – Fight The Feeling (Dub Version)
Dexplicit – Marine Life
Jenna Andrews – Unhappy Ending (Knocking At My Door – Dexplicit Remix)