I would like to introduce this piece by Edward Priest, a proper in depth interview which is rare these days. So grab a Tea or Coffee and enjoy…
Bristolian producer ‘Seyms’ has been making waves in the past few years across the underground dance scene in Bristol. Focused on Drum & Bass styles, he can boast a versatile and uniquely distinctive sound. With a number of wicked Reggae, Funk and Motown remixes combined with some original pieces, this man is definitely one to keep an eye on. Without a doubt one of the most humble and nicest guys In the scene, I caught up with Seyms to find out where this bass music wizard find his inspiration, and how he harnesses it for the enjoyment of ravers everywhere!
First of all to those who don’t know, can you give us a little background behind ‘Seyms’ – how did your involvement with music begin?
I’m a producer, DJ and ultimate lazyman. Music is at the foundation of everything and I cant help but try and get involved in making some myself. It was going to free parties back in the day that I found my love of underground dance music, with all my gratitude going to the boys behind rigs such as OCM (Original Cuntry Munters), 4bidden and SWP (South West parties) who put their time into giving us munters incredible parties and sound systems to worship as young-uns. I’d say this is where all the GYRO boys grew their love for the scene and set a blueprint for a future for us all to set our sights on.
Your co-involved with the newly formed ‘Gyro Records’. Initially a sound system ‘(Gyro standing for: Get Your Rig Out) and now a record label. Was the decision to instigate this transition from events to a label based on yours (and your other label associates) rising success?
Well I owe the creation of GYRO entirely to Joe Bristow, Shane Hope and Fred Richardson. It grew from a few speakers and many many neighbor complaints in Bristow’s house, to forming into something bigger. The label naturally formed out of our passion for the music and our passion for the particular styles of Jungle and Drum and Bass that all us GYRO boys love. As a lazyman and all round monghead I owe any success of GYRO to the boys. Bristow is the technical wonder who can literally make any system sound how their meant to sound and Shane is the DJing and networking badman who has devoted the last 6 years of his life to getting himself and the GYRO name and vibes to where they are today. It is their passion and skills which have lead the label to the success it is having now.
From the eclectic and diverse set of styles showcased in your production repertoire, you no doubt have a wide range of musical tastes. Who are your biggest influences? How would you say that there inspiration comes through in your pieces?
Yeah I truly think sound is the basis to all form and life and therefore I literally love all sounds and styles. However, I’m a sucker for the Reggae, Motown and Soul records from back in the day. Crate digging (i.e. searching on Youtube) is one of my favorite things to do. Finding those hidden gems of music out there, and because I’m a crap musician, I cant help but sampling them! Dance music wise, it would have to be the old school badmans like Ed Rush and Optical, Stakka and Skynet and those early Noisia records (Block control and Concussion days). However for me, no-one has been as bigger influence than the badman himself: Break, the man behind Symmetry. He just dons everything he does, from the sickest, vibiest sampling to the grittiest and pure rolling drops. I fucking love him! I guess my pieces are just an attempt at that genius and striving to reach those vibes one day really!! An ultimate dream would be to get on his label or disguise myself as DLR and collab with him, would catch purest vibes!
So much influential drum and bass has come from Bristol, Roni Size, Break and DLR who you both mentioned earlier to name a few. Do you believe Bristol promotes and fosters creativity and forward thinking in the underground dance scene? And if so do you think this is why the free party movement has so much weight in the South West of the UK?
Yeah the free party scene is really at the heart of it all in Bristol and it is a hub of creativity. With free parties it’s more of an anything goes environment than a club, and the South west in general fosters a lot of forward thinking. It’s an incredible city to be near for the scene because there is truly a lot of love and dedication for the music and scene down here, it’s a beautiful thing! Plus, you can’t beat a bit of west country hills and scenery with a rig and a fathead on a sunny sunday morning, quaint as fuck!
It’s interesting you mention Break as a don as, of course it is beyond doubt that he is!. Highlighting the strength of his samples combined with his gritty drops is something I always accredit to your style. So I can clearly see his influence. Your remixing and use of samples combined with that tech/gritty sound is the first thing that drew me to your music with remixes of Tessellate and Applause as favourites.The blend of the uplifting vocals and your funky techy sound are synonymous with your remixes, but have you thought about working with any vocalists to try and establish something entirely new?
Well thats exactly what I love about Break; he truly mashes up the chilling vibes in breakdowns with the absolutely having it vibes in the drop. This is what I am always striving to achieve and where I find infinite inspiration. I would love to work with vocalist and musicians, but as a result of laziness I haven’t yet bothered to go to any effort to try to get some together to be honest. But the future will hopefully hold some fruitful results. If I get off my arse and put some proper dedication towards networking and getting my shit together hopefully it help form a greater music career! As you know, I’m awful at getting things done, it has taken me about 5 months to answer these questions, useless haha! At the moment it’s still all about sampling from Reggae and Motown type records. Or stumbling across the odd good quality acapella which is always a godsend.
It would be a falsehood to refer to you use as simply a drum and bass producer as you’ve dabbled with other styles such as Hip Hop, Dub and Ghettofunk. Although it is no doubt your Drum and Bass is top notch, can you see yourself diversifying your sound further with more non D&B projects?
Yeah I’m working on other genres at the moment and will be looking to expand into others genres, it’s all about the mash up! From House to Hardtek, to getting a band together and recording something proper, on some funk vibes! I really love to explore all forms of music and sound, and all of life is fundamentally rooted in vibration and sound in the entirety of the spectrum. So just gotta get involved innit! Playing the guitar has always been something I love doing, bluesing out and stuff. Plus some awful attempts at singing which will always leave me jealous of proper singers. So yeah again we will see what the future holds, I am open to anything!
Do your non DNB projects ever influence future drum and bass songs? Or likewise does your drum and bass influence you to create non drum and bass projects. Drawing upon different styles of your own music creation to morph and evolve your own versatile range of production?
Yeah I can’t help but change the tempo of tracks and see what they sound like, might even bounce certain sounds out for later projects in doing that. It really is just all about creativity and fucking about really: the ‘fuck it’ philosophy! But that does mean I often fuck up a lot of tracks and music projects and don’t save the original and shed a few tears realising I cant go back. This has since become referred to as a ‘Seyms it’, brilliant haha! Everything influences everything, I believe everything is connected in someway. Ultimately everything evolves the way I approach and even hear music, where my focus is moves with my consciousness. Less cosmically explained: it will usually coincide with finding new music and wanting to remix it or making a bass synth and realising it sounds better at a different tempo, or thats its too electro-ey for DNB or vice versa.
A big favourite of mine is ‘The Flow, a track featuring yourself and Shane (Audiomission) who you mentioned earlier. You have a number of collaborations together and often perform your DJ sets together. How integral has the relationship between ‘Audiomission and Seyms’ been to your journey through music, and can we expect any new exciting collabs soon?
Well we’re cousins and got into the scene together when we were younger. He has been truly dedicated to it since then and has put immeasurable amounts of love and effort into the free party community and his own music talents and networks. Truly cementing himself in a central role in the free party community! So from my aspect, he is integral to my connection to it and we love to gauge each other’s reaction on a piece of our music or certain mix’s. So for me it is a fundamental brothership in music and in life, and there will definitely be more involvement and collabs together in the future. For collabing it’s just finding the time where we’re both free, we have grade and it’s daytime so the neighbour is out and bobs your uncle. And as for ‘The Flow’, it is out now on GYRO Records!
You currently have two tunes advertised as forthcoming on your soundcloud the Dutty Duck forthcoming on Under The Surface, and of course your absolute banger ‘Chemical Reactions’ is to be put out on my outfit Bill Up Recordings. Aside from these do you have any other tunes coming out in the near future?
I will be uploading a lot of tunes I have had sitting around on to Soundcloud for people who may want them. This is basically to force me to start some fresh music, so as for now no. But that is going to be my new focus in the new year, so, hopefully, watch this space 🙂
If you want to hear more of Seyms music you can find all his works below on both his personal, and the Gyro Records crew soundcloud pages.
*Cover photo courtesy of Owen Porter Photography