Formed back in 2006 by ‘Mala‘, one third of the original DMZ line-up, ‘Deep Medi‘ has remained a steadfast ambassador of dubstep, releasing deeply meditative dubplates that harness raw energy and sub-bass power. Capable of holding down a crowd of hungry ravers, whilst still appealing to the heady bedroom listener, it’s the labels unwavering consistency and quest for sonic enlightenment that has set it apart. In a scene that’s gone global, it’s relieving to know that not everyone is chasing rainbows of sensationalism, and trying to create the most aggressive B-line possible.
‘Commodo‘ is a relative new-comer to the imprint, tailoring his art and waiting for the right opportunity to release his own brand of sound has paid dividends to this understated producer. We’ve probed him for techniques and influences, and gained an insight into his Modus Operandi, but this remains a man who wisely keeps his cards close to his chest. Commodo’s mix expresses his musical persuasions and provides an aural treat for its listeners.
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For those less acquainted, could you tell our readers who you are, where you’re from and what inspired you to write music?
My name is Dominic and I produce music under ‘Commodo’, which in hindsight was probably a bad choice. It turns out there is some popular anti-virus software with a similar name.. As well as a big lizard from Indonesia. I was really interested in sound when I was a kid but only on a very base level, just textures and note intervals and how they make you feel.
Do you have any formal musical training?
I never had any actual lessons. I taught myself using a guitar when I was 12 or 13.. Just used my ears to figure out what the right and wrong notes were. I think I prefer the wrong ones..
I didn’t have a broad taste in music – as not many kids do. I only really listened to hip-hop and punk.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
Getting a stew going.
What environments do you prefer to create music in?
I’d prefer to be able to make music in any environment but for a long time I’ve only been able to make any progress if it’s past 2am… which can cause problems. There’s a peace you get in the early hours that really helps me work.
Could you tell us about what equipment you use to produce with?
My setup is really basic; just a Mac, some monitors, a turntable and a dictaphone. I wont go into too much detail about how I make music but a big chunk of it is manipulating (or sometimes not manipulating) samples and audio. If I use a synth it will only be for something very basic which I’ll export then usually chop and screw into something a bit more interesting..
Your signing to Deep Medi has catapulted you into the limelight, has this affected your routine and outlook on life?
I had been looking for a home for my music where I could develop and experiment a bit instead of jumping from label to label for each release, I’d also been thinking about sending some to music to Mala – but wanted to make sure I sent the right tunes…
I sent Uprising, Saracen and a few others and ended up getting a phone call a couple weeks later about signing to the label. My work ethic has definitely improved since joining Deep Medi – I’ve got things to be working towards now. Before joining the label I felt like I was in an awkward place, with my music not being hard enough for some audiences and not trendy enough for others. I don’t worry about that anymore and just make whatever feels right.
How would you describe the ‘Commodo’ EP and who produced the artwork?
I’d just say it’s a collection of tunes we thought worked together and represents what I’m about at the minute. I wanted to keep the EP self titled with some fairly ambiguous artwork, which was courtesy of an illustrator by the name of Tom J Newell. He’s very talented.
Could you give our readers an insight into what you’re listening to at the moment?
The new Vodka & Ayahuasca album by Gangrene (which is the Alchemist and Oh No).. It’s vibes. There’s a new producer called Clams Casino, he produced the first track in the mix I recorded, he’s got a really unique sound which is usually kinda lo-fi, kinda fucked and he makes really nice textures with samples. Also some Neo-Soul in the form of ‘Infinite Possibilities’ by Amel Larrieux. I’ve been listening to this one for a long time now… Amazing production and seriously lush vocals.
Are there any producers you’re particularly pushing or working with currently?
I tend to play a lot of V.I.V.E.K‘s music when I play out… Lurka’s as well. I can say that some new material from myself and Lurka will surface sometime soon which should be interesting. We’re looking to put some stuff out that has a bit more of an off-key vibe but still at 140bpm.
Any words of wisdom?
As the great warrior poet Ice Cube once said… “If the day does not require an AK, it is good.”