London-based duo GLXY (Tom and Jonathan) have recently experienced an unprecedented rise, working their way up through the ranks, with their soul-drenched style of production. With a strong following behind them, 2018 saw the duo take the plunge, signing to Shogun Audio and releasing two EP’s on the label.
Furthermore, they have featured on DRS’ “Space Cadet” EP and very recently, found themselves on remix duties for Magnetude on RAM Records.
We caught up with them to talk more about their recent work and what we can expect from them in the future. Let’s jump in!
Easy boys! How’s it going? I hope we haven’t stopped you from producing your next release for this interview, have we?
Almost! We had a pretty intense writing period over Christmas to now so we’re just taking stock of everything and figuring out plans for next release. We’re having a lot of fun in the studio though, some nice sounds coming out which we look forward to releasing.
Sounds exciting! Before we jump in with the questions, let’s get a proper introduction! So to start, how did GLXY form? Where did you meet and were you both D&B fans at the start?
Think it’s safe to say we were both big D&B fans growing up. 14 years old onwards we both had pretty similar tastes – early Chase & Status and High Contrast etc. even though we didn’t actually know each other then. We eventually ended up meeting at Leicester Uni in the DJ society where we actually used to play for a lot of “deep haus” student nights together. We realised we were both into drum and bass and had produced a bit in the past, so we just chucked a few ideas from there and it just stuck.
Coming more towards the modern age, but taking a stop in 2018. 2018 was a very big year for you both. With you signing to Shogun and releasing two EP’s on the label. What can we expect for 2019 in terms of Shogun releases?
Yeah, 2018 was a big year for us and has given us a nice platform to push forward from. We were able to put out music from across the spectrum of D&B that we both love and Shogun backed us in doing that. The combination of more soulful liquid to slightly techier, darker, techno influenced sounds is the backbone of where our sound has come from, and where we’re planning on taking it this year. We haven’t got anything concrete locked in for 2019 yet but we’re very busy working away at new material – watch this space is all we can say!
But it’s not just Shogun you’re releasing on, is it? We’ve heard your remix of Magnetude’s latest single “Before the Dawn” which JUST released on RAM. I must say that’s an exceptional piece of music right there, great take on the original as well. How did this remix come about?
Thank you! There’s not an exciting story to this one unfortunately, RAM guys hit up Shogun asking to get is involved and it went from there. Wicked opportunity though, definitely an honour to put a RAM release to our name.
Whilst you were working on this remix, you were literally remixing a track on the polar opposite to your style of Drum & Bass. What inspired/influenced you guys to create this remix?
Yeah as you say, a lot of our work has been on the more soulful underground liquid side of things. But, this was actually a really fun challenge for us trying to figure a convincing way to put our sound on the original. We wanted to take the major elements of the original track (piano and vocal essentially) and just totally flip it but have fun with it – turned out pretty nice!
We’ve heard Magnetude say the track is “extraordinary” and “everything and beyond” what they would look for in a Liquid remix of their track – how has the overall response for your remix been?
So far seems positive – seen a good reaction on socials which is also reassuring, can be a barren place out there sometimes haha. Early days on it though, looking forward to seeing the reaction to playing it out in a summery set, feels like that’ll be where it’s most at home.
As mentioned, Magnetude represent the more hard-hitting side of Drum & Bass. Are there any other artists on the contrast to your particular style of Drum & Bass who you’d be keen to work with or do a remix for?
Good question! Would love to have a crack at remixing a neurofunk track one day, some of the basses those guys create are mind-blowing. We always like to integrate sounds of that vibe into our productions to keep it a little spicy so I reckon it could be a nice fusion.
Not only have you done this remix for RAM, but you’ve also had a release on DRS’ latest EP “Space Cadets”. How do you find balancing commitments with labels other than Shogun?
Yeah, that was another nice project – Del is too sick to work with, his talent/work rate is unbelievable and it’s always an honour to collaborate with a legend in the game. Usually, the balancing act of collabs etc. that end up with us releasing on other labels comes pretty easily. Around the time of finalizing a release it can be pretty intense work on getting it submitted to a deadline, but once that’s done we have a lot more freedom to work on tunes with other artists. It’s always pretty inspiring too so it compliments working on solo pieces with Shogun.
Following on from this, we’ve already asked you about Shogun releases for the year – but can we expect any further releases on any of these two labels, or maybe others throughout the year?
We’re always bouncing around ideas with other artists so I’m sure a couple releases will pop up on other labels this year. We’ve got one with Zero T wrapped up which will be dropping on 31 in the near future and a couple of other pieces/remixes in progress, watch out for those.
It’s cold outside, and Summer feels like it’s miles away! But do you boys have any Festivals that you’ll be performing at – which you can announce yet?
So far, Let it Roll and Hospitality on The Beach have been announced but there’s definitely at least a couple more to drop soon. Our summer schedule is looking pretty healthy which is always great – especially as we haven’t had a GLXY original 2019 release come out.
Having worked with plenty of vocalists in the scene, are there any in particular that you’d like to work with again, or perhaps a bucket list vocalist you’ve always wanted to work with?
Yeah we’ve been lucky to have worked with some of the best vocalists in the scene, Del, SOLAH, Visionobi etc. We’re definitely looking to branch out and work with some new talent that’s not known within the Drum & Bass world. There’s definitely an exciting opportunity to create something fresh – look at what Luke LSB did with Tyler, not sure he’d worked on a D&B track before “The View”. Our bucket lists for vocalists are probably too long to name!
Final question, apologies if this is tricky to answer, but where would you guys like to see yourself in, say, 5 years?
It is a tricky question, longevity is something that we really wanna achieve though, would love to have tracks that people are still playing in 10-15 years time. We should probably get an album released within the next 5 years as well shouldn’t we?!
But yeah continuing to grow and travel with music, work with more incredibly talented artists and continue to enjoy the process I’d say. Wouldn’t also mind looking at doing some other genres around the drum & bass.
Many thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Best of luck for this year and we look forward to hearing what you have in store for us!
Thanks for having us, looking forward to getting more tunes out!