KOAN Sound is an electronic music act consisting of Will Weeks and Jim Bastow, both hailing from Bristol, UK.
The group’s early origins and influences lie mainly in acoustic based music, from bands such as Incubus to RATM, but it wasn’t until 2005 that the duo became immersed in electronic music through acts such as Noisia and The Prodigy. Soon after, the growing Dubstep scene in Bristol began to inform their productions, eventually leading to a string of releases on various labels.
In early 2011 KOAN Sound released their first extended single, the ‘Max Out EP’. The release signalled a turning point in their production, gradually moving away from the 140bpm template and showcasing a wider range of styles than before. It also helped bring more attention to the act, and led to working with a number of artists, including singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.
Later in the year the group would unveil their biggest release to date, the ‘Funk Blaster EP’ on Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint. The EP achieved the No. 1 spot in the Beatport releases category, and received exclusive featuring from US-based magazine Rolling Stone.
The duo rounded off the year with DJ sets across Europe and North America, and picked up ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ at the Dubstep Music Awards in November.
If you wack Culprate into youtube, you’ll be hit with some pretty spectacular dubstep. Magnificently produced and perfectly executed, Culprate is the name that seems to be on everyones lips at the moment. See for yourself, dubstep idioms such as ‘sick, ‘heavy’ and ‘pure filth’ are being spoken out from fans across the globe. One enthusiast even wrote, and i quote, ‘makes me want to collect used chewing gum and build a sculpture of the Russian Prime Minister out of it.’ Not the most conventional of complements, but it sure did make us laugh!
Culprate’s musical intuition started at the age of just 13, when he decided to learn the guitar. By the age of 15, Culprate’s passion and creativity really came into bloom as he was introduced to electronic music production at college. From then on it was just a matter of time before his driven persona and growing production skills resulted in fantastic dub step anthems, tearing their way through clubs around the world.
Having established several releases already on respected dubstep record labels like ‘Dubsaw,’ Culprate has already marked his territory in the dubstep scene. However, he is far from content, admitting recently he would love to get his hands on some hardware to take his production to the next level. And with influences ranging from Squarepusher to Amon Tobin, only Culprate could tell you what sort of production the future holds. But from what we’ve seen already, we know it’ll be good.
Dread At The Controls (Culprate Remix):
5 Star Ep:
James was brought up in a musical household with both parents involved with Classical music, and always showed a healthy curiosity about music, listening to anything from Jazz to house. He first heard about drum and bass around 96 on London’s pirate radio stations and at school where everyone talked about Jungle music being the cool new thing. In his own words, ‘it sounded totally alien’ and he was blown away. He started reading music technology magazines, managed to set up a basic studio and started experimenting.
James’ first release happened thanks to a hook up with Dom Angus (Dom & Roland) though their parents who are friends and colleagues. The result was the 2004 ‘Vega EP’ on Moving Shadow. It was well received but unfortunately the seminal label stopped releasing music and it was another two years before James found another home with the legendary Ram Records.
Impressed by the production skills displayed on the Vega EP, Andy C followed the progress of the young producer and ended up signing him to his label, with the first track ‘The Bypass’ – one of Optical’s favourite tunes – appearing on 2006′s Dimension EP and getting tongues wagging on the scene.
James was then given the chance to make his own EP, and ‘the third stage’ was released in summer 2007. It included the suave ‘Rework’, produced in partnership with the Brookes Brothers, and a brilliant electro-breaks track ‘Asteroids’ that fits well with James’ open approach to music: ‘I’ve been into drum and bass for a long, long time – he recently told Knowlede magazine – That is great but it’s all about bringing in influences from elsewhere. I am really into all electronic music and I listen to a lot of techno and electro’.
With signing Culture shock to its prestigious stable, Ram are nurturing yet another talent destined to expend the boundaries of the scene.
BBC 1Xtra RAM Records Takeover Mix: