Ask any DnB producer who has been active in the last 20 years who they count amongst their influences or for the names of other producers who they greatly admire, chances are that Current Value will appear somewhere on their list. With releases on labels as prestigious and diverse as Critical, Invisible, and 31 accumulated over the past two decades, Current Value has pushed his technical boundaries once again with his recent City Syndrome EP on Souped Up.
On top of his notoriously high musical output, he has recently developed an Audio Visual show, creating a unique environment in which to feel the full Current Value experience.
This time, Current Value spills the beans on upcoming music plans, CVAV, his thoughts on the state of Drum and Bass, and many more important things. Read on for to find out what he has to say exactly…
Your audiovisual show which debuted last year has been very well received and turned quite a few heads in our scene. What gave you the inspiration to work on this to start with?
It was mostly born out of the idea to do more with a CV show, to make this an audio-visual experience and to enter new territory.
I recently saw that you teased some new material for CVAV. How much more music can we expect to be tailor-made for this?
The plan is to take this a step further. This concerns the musical part which is going to be brand new as well, as the visual side of things – and also technically. It won’t repeat itself. The story will continue – CVAV season II.
Saying you have been prolific with the sheer amount of music you put out would be an understatement. Can we expect yet another album, maybe as an accompaniment to CVAV?
Indeed! Music for that has been, and still is, in the making.
We’ve seen you cover a number of DnB subgenres in recent years. How would you describe the stylistic change on your EP that was recently released on Souped Up?
The EP is taking a good step away from Neurofunk again, as heard already on my recent Invisible album, and plays with roller and jump up inspired ideas. Let’s say it focuses on pace and Liquicity, mostly rounded with the play of chord functions that bring some emotion to the table.
Your production talents are certainly not limited to DnB, but what made you want to pursue DnB mainly?
It is probably the tempo that seems to trigger a certain thing that makes me want to express myself there the most. To me it’s almost the most challenging electronic genre. It keeps me “on track”.
You’ve been in the game long enough to influence many producers, but what artists have strongly influenced your own music?
That has changed a lot of times. Back in the day people like Tech Itch, Dillinja, Source Direct, to name a few were the inspiration. Later on it seemed a little more label based… Dread, 31, Virus, all across the board to be honest. Noisia have certain made an impression ever since. I also know Mefjus’ music for about 12 years+. Concorde Dawn have always triggered the musical side… Inspiration comes a long way and might not just be based on others productions.
This is quite a difficult question, as we all know that Current Value encompasses many different styles if DnB. But if you had to choose one track that sums up what Current Value is about, what would it be?
One of those tracks could be Dark Rain. Emotional chord progressions, dense Beats and bass… I don’t know. It’s things to be heard rather than being explained. I say “could be” as the track just shows that specific direction. There are many others.
I’ve already mentioned the volume of your musical output – how do you stay so musically driven?
To me making music is an essential, like breathing if you will. It happens naturally, un-pushed and easy, exactly how I need it. I said it many times and I will say it again: One has to develop skills such as trained ears, application of techniques, fast workflow – generally being fast is important – technical adaptability etc. All this will give you more freedom and flexibility in creating.
Having produced for so long, you probably have a lot of gear that you’ve collected over the years. What are your favourite tools to use at the moment, and do you have any particularly old equipment you still rely on?
I “only” use (a) pc notebook(s) or my Macbook 12″, a soundcard, and the various headphones I have as far as equipment goes. Daw is Ableton 10. Serum, Propellerheads Europa as VSTs and Ableton plugins. I still own the Nord Modular V2 Key from back in 2006 which I barely use. This way i’m super flexible and can produce when- and wherever I want.
Many producers look up to you as an inspiration – do you have any advice to give to them, no matter how experienced they are?
I often advise to try to recreate certain sounds which will give them a nice overall training. Ears and technical skills can be gained this way. I did this a lot when I started out. It is also a very good indicator of ones capabilities! Challenge yourself!
A lot of people would say that the UK has the strongest scene for DnB. How do you find living somewhere were DnB has relatively little prominence compared to other genres of dance music?
I look at it as a good thing as it sort of silences everything dnb related. Not that it would have much of an impact as I haven’t gone “out” in years. It does feel weird to fly out of the country every time when it comes to booking… in a funny way.
DnB has undoubtedly changed a since you started getting involved. Some have said that now we are entering a new golden age for DnB – how would you react to this?
That’s right, no more DnB police around :)! I think one cannot kill the “DnB-ness” about DnB so it will remain a platform such as techno is, being determined by tempo and beat structure for instance. A new golden age means people loosen up the countless rules for production as well as for reception of music. Everything has become less narrow minded. An important factor is the advancing technology that opens the door to the galaxy of electronic music more and more.
What are your opinions on some current trends in DnB? The new dominance of jump-up, or the increased aggressive nature of Neuro, for example.
Music is a way of identification which will keep playing a roll here. In other words it is – as many many other things in this world – a playground for definition and separation from one another, the separation from the source which the human kind has always been oh so fond of :)! That’s the way hypes are created too… diverging from the individual state where significance and peace seems to only be found in belonging to a certain group, style, a certain group identity.
It depicts the world we live in a world that wants to make us believe that we’re enemies. This leads to all facets of extremes but also fuels creativity and gives artists an opportunity to express that anger, fury, fear, hate etc.
Where do you see DnB in 5, 10, or even 15 years?
I think it’s a repitition of cycles like it has been in the past. It will change here and there. Hypes will occur and fade again and be reintroduced. It’s going to stay “interesting” for sure and challenging from the producers side.
How can we keep up to date with the latest information about Current Value’s projects?
Thank you for taking part in this, it’s been a pleasure having you!
So, it looks like we can expect plenty more to come from Current Value in the near future. Needless to say, we are very excited here at BSSDRP! In the meantime, why not listen to City Syndrome from the City Syndrome EP on Soundcloud below:
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