Ahead of his new EP called Chop Shop, we interviewed Low:r (and asked him to create a great mix for Impulsecreator), who is one of the most interesting newbies in the drum and bass scene. He is definitely a producer to keep an eye on. Ben Downton aka Low:r has expressed his musical creativity from a young age, started playing in bands on bass guitar, moved onto drum and bass and nowadays has been DJing with big names, like Spectrasoul, Pola & Bryson and Halogenix. His tracks are coming out on various labels, like Fokuz, Soulvent or Terra Firma and being played by DJs from all around the globe.
Download: IPC Mix .83 – Low:r
One of your tracks called Locked Away just got a 7.5 rating from DJMag, how does that make you feel?
Yeah, haha. That was so unexpected. It literally made my weekend when I found out about it and it was crazy to be mentioned alongside Hybrid Minds and Delta Heavy too.
How do you see your old tracks now?
I am still immensely proud of my old tracks but at the same time I feel that my production skills have improved A LOT since then so I find it hard to use them in mixes & sets sometimes. There are a few that are an exception though, like Blind Tide which was from my very first EP.
Where does your alias, Low:r come from? What’s the story behind it?
I actually have had quite a lot of ideas before, it was a bit difficult to come up with a name because there are so many artists out there and all the names are just completely taken so it is kind of hard to come up with something individual. But after all the trouble, my alias came randomly. I was actually at work one day, I work in a factory in the South of England and there is one of the test points there with a test on it called lowr, and I thought that looks like something, what could be my name and I was thinking about how can I make it my name. How can I change it a little bit and I decided to add a colon instead of the e. I also did a bit of research and it turned out that it was not taken so I took it. And I just got stuck with it and work with it since then. It’s me now. Simple.
What does drum&bass mean to you?
For me drum and bass is about the community and about the good vibes, bringing people together and having the best time. Writing some good music. Is that good enough?
Yeah, absolutely. People should enjoy it, do what makes them happy and if it’s drum and bass, that’s even better. So, how did you end up making it?
I used to make electronic music, and I mean random music, like hip-hop and electronica. I met a friend of mine, Ben, who is now a member of Klax and we started to make dnb together a long time ago under the name Locustlang & Morah. We did an EP together for a label called Rabbeat Records, which did quite well since then, went up to Drum and Bass Arena charts as well, but that is another story. So that was basically how I got into drum and bass, the beginning of my journey with this genre, but we ended up going our own way.
When was it?
That was in 2011. Quite a long time ago. After all, I had a big break, up until about 2 years ago when I found myself as Low:r.
During that break did you do anything musically?
Not much apart from trying to improve my production as much as I could.
Did you learn from someone?
Actually yes. I lived with a guy called Rueben, who is a really good songwriter and he taught me a lot. So a big thank you for him for everything.
If you could make a collab with anybody, who would you choose to work with?
If it’s in the drum and bass world, I would like to write a track with Dynamite MC, that would be a good collab, his flow is amazing, or Logistics. Outside of drum and bass, I love Submotion Orchestra so that would be incredible but that is so far fetched.
How about Lady Gaga?
Lady Gaga? Umm, maybe not. Or in another life. Dolly Parton, that would be funny, country and western dnb.
How would you dance to that?
I’m not much of a dancer really.
What do you go for when you write a track? Is that a feeling that you want to give to the audience or something else?
With my more melodic tracks, I tend to go for the vibe with some nice chords, uplifting usually. Sometimes I do dark tracks but normally it’s an uplifting, kind of feel-good vibe. And some big bassline, especially recently. Big basslines are part of being in the drum and bass scene.
Where does the idea come from for a track?
Quite often I never have an idea, I just sit down and I start writing. Each idea cascades from the last thing I do. I never have a plan. Lots of producers have a plan about writing a track, which way are they going to go with that, but honestly, this is never how I have really worked.
Do you think your emotions control the track you write?
Yeah, definitely. For me, it is like an outlet. It is a therapy. I just sit down and write something and it gets rid of all my bad thoughts, it is therapeutic.
So, do you put all your bad thoughts into the track you work on at that moment?
No, no, that would be something horrible right? I just get out my emotions by writing music basically.
Who inspires you the most?
There are so many amazing producers out there, like Camo & Krooked, their production is crazy, they are always pushing the bounds. Their work inspires me the most because they are always killing it, every single time.
Anyone from outside of the scene?
Submotion Orchestra. Over all. They are simply amazing, it is the vibe they create makes them incredible.
How does making music make you feel?
I absolutely love making music, this is my number one passion. Always. No matter what, it is the process that is very methodical. It is weird because I listen to my music so much, I don’t know if it’s weird or not but I am doing it. I am like my biggest fan.
What are your goals with music? Growing famous? How would you feel about it?
I don’t want to be famous, I would rather be well known in the scene, that would be good and be able to do it full time would be phenomenal if that is the case. We can only hope, right?
What can we expect from you this year?
I will continue to make a range of styles with my own signature sound. And I have been talking to some exciting labels too so expect better and bigger things. Hopefully a lot more gigs too, maybe you can catch me in Hungary soon.
Hiraeth & Ben Ayla – Like This
Satl – Let Me Be The One (Alibi Remix)
Impish – Hive
Revaux – Accelerate
Saikon – Badman Can’t Dance
Revaux – Accelerate
Bou x Unglued – Ascendant Man
Data 3 – Stalker
Apache, Humanature, Wavefields – Propa feat. Apache
Technimatic – The Evening Loop [Was A Be Remix]
DLR, Octane – Back In The Grind (Cern & Dabs Remix)
#### – Doc001
Lowr & Surreal – Back and Forth
Anile – Allergens (Bop Remix)
Leniz – Gimme That Style (Petroll Remix)
Low:r & Horton – Skewed
Invadhertz – Intoxicated (Koherent Remix)
Objectiv – Bad Karma (feat. Haribo)
Dexcell – Without You (Anile Remix)
Low:r & Hiraeth – Take Your Soul Away (Macca Remix)
MRSA – Nail Out
Low:r – Toast
Krakota – Reload
Melinki & Low:r – Whats Real
Telomic – Onism (Aperio Remix)
Imba – Haze (Monrroe Remix)
Aperio & Critical Event – So Hot
LQ – Keep Hiding (Pola & Bryson)
SiLi – Deep Pressure (Edlan Remix)
Naibu – Red Hand
Mystic State – Circles
?? – Interlace
Pola & Bryson – Talk To Me ft. Tayah Ettienne (Dilemma Remix)