George Levings speaks to RA about moving forward with the drum & bass project.
The Metalheadz-signed project was once the duo of George Levings and Guy Brewer. The two parted ways after the release of their debut album, Call To Mind. Brewer moved into the techno world as Shifted while Levings dipped his toes into house music under his Endian alias.
Earlier this year, Commix resurfaced with Generation EP 1, a 12-inch with two obscure older tracks and a new remix from SpectraSoul, to "reintegrate" Commix back into the scene, as Levings told RA. Now, with Generation EP 2, Levings presents the first new Commix material, with three originals (and one bonus track), ahead of the release of a new album next year. We spoke with Levings over email about reviving Commix.
What made you want to go back to Commix and drum & bass?
I always knew I would come back to drum and bass at some point. It's part of my heritage and it was a massive part of my life growing up. We decided to make a departure from the scene after we wrote Call To Mind because, firstly, we were creatively drained. I didn't want to hear another two-step ever again, let alone write one! And, secondly, because of where the scene was at at the time. We just weren't feeling it and we were warming more and more to other forms of music.
It was the right move for both of us to make. I got back into cooking, took a teaching qualification, got into mastering and sound engineering, travelled... and most importantly, had the time to explore other forms of music and styles of production. It allowed me to look at music the way it should be: a passion, a form of expression. Something that can get lost when you work within a scene week in week out.
Was it hard getting back into that mode? What was it like?
No, it wasn't hard. In fact it was far easier than when I hung up my mouse a few years ago. I've come back to it with a new energy and a feeling that I have something to offer the scene again. In the time I've been away from the scene I have developed a whole new set of production techniques. I am a far better engineer now and I feel in a good position to produce music that is an evolution of my previous work. Something that is very important to me, to keep it moving forward.
Is there anything new in your approach now that you didn't
know/use back then?
All of our music was written on Reason, a program we used for nearly 15 years. All of our source material came from samples with a little bit of supportive synthesis but not much thrown in. A very restricted working method really, which is fundamentally a good thing but after so many years of producing like that, I wanted to explore new techniques and working methods. I've had lots of fun doing that over the past few years. I've worked in lots of different hardware environments, studied the engineering side of things quite extensively and also refreshed my musical knowledge through piano lessons and relearning theory. My music is coming out sounding very different now. Which is exactly what I wanted.
C Arplong (Digital Only)
Metalheadz will release Generation EP 2 on October 21st, 2016.