Releasing double single ‘Exhale/Vibration’ via Four Corners, music producers Nick Bee & Pyxis champion mental health and melodic DnB. Both unique and distinct in sound within the drum and bass sphere, these two talents come together to create harmonious DnB for the masses. Pyxis grew up in the London nightlife scene and was known to be a dedicated club scene girl. Throughout the ’90s, she was involved in PR and editorial campaigns for various nightclubs. By the early 2000s, Pyxis was running S2k Music with her business partner Laura. They have signed over 1200 artists since then. Ukrainian music producer Nick Bee grew up listening to bass music from a young age as well. Although the genre wasn’t popular in his home country at the time, the musician fell in love with the genre. This young talent is ambitious and brave enough to be as experimental as he pleases. The result is animalistic and unfiltered basslines.
We asked this remarkable pairing a few questions about their individual musical journeys below.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got into music?
Pyxis: My dad was in the music business, my whole life was led down to this path. I have worked in music since I left school and I don’t think there is any other way for me to have a career :).
Nick Bee: I was 12-13 years old when I heard DnB for the first time, from that time I’ve never stopped enjoying it. Now I’m 30, so it’s a huge journey already.
Give us a sense of the music scene where you are based.
Pyxis: I live near London, so it’s one of the epicenters of nightlife around the world. I spent a lot of time in it when I was younger, but now that I have a family I am very home-based. London has a supreme nightlife which is rarely rivaled. That said, it was better when I was younger, we had more clubs that have sadly since closed down. The ones that are left are doing a great job of keeping the scene alive though.
Nick Bee: I’m from the Ukraine and here we don’t have that many venues and parties with drum & bass. At the moment we have some promoters in Lvov(the west part of Ukraine) and Kiev (the capital)…We have some huge artists like Agressor Bunx and some newcomers, like the one I met recently that released music on my label Crucifyme.
Tell us about your studio set-up and gear.
Pyxis: I run a really simple setup. A laptop, iMac, Adam Audio monitors, Logic X, and a Keystation all running through Solid State Logic. I don’t have 100’s of plugins, I just use the good ones.
Nick Bee: Nothing complicated, I make it all simple…PC, midi, monitors Adam A7 , headphones Beyerdynamic DT 770, and my soundcard Focusrite . This setup gives me enough quality sound, maybe I’ll change monitors one day.
What are some of your key musical influences?
Pyxis: Broken beats, jungle, old skool, lo-fi, breakbeat, downtempo, RnB, jazz, triphop.
Nick Bee: As I mentioned before, I grew up listening to DnB at the age of 13. I first listened to Noisia tunes, Optiv, Pendulum, and many others. I got into Neurofunk mostly.
As an artist, how do you infuse your music with emotion?
Pyxis: Cinematically, euphorically, atmospherically, it needs to give me goosebumps before I let the public hear it. I can generally tell myself if it will touch the souls of others.
Nick Bee: Always. Melodies are a reflection of emotions, so to include a melodic part into a track is a common thing I usually do while I produce.
In your opinion, how has bass music evolved over the last few years?
Pyxis: It has expanded its sound, it has aged very well and stood the test of time, which can be brutal in any event. It has prevailed where other styles have eventually failed and that is down to the skill of the producers who have been able to take it to new levels and keep it fresh. You will notice that bass music from 20-30yrs ago still sounds fresh now because I believe it is timeless.
Nick Bee: I think today we have more top-quality DnB, when almost every artist uses a synthesis of drumkit samples where all the sounds are crafted from the start. This makes tunes sound flawless, harmonic and balanced…
What has been a memorable highlight of your career so far?
Pyxis: I don’t think I’m there just yet, to pick one epic moment like that. They are all memorable highlights and I am grateful for them. I just take a day or release at a time and hope I reach people through the music.
Nick Bee: I think it was the first time I played my music in Europe (France) at age of 17…That was a super exciting journey.
Who do you look up to in the DJ world?
Pyxis: Personally I don’t look up to anyone in that way. Everyone is on their own journey and I respect that. I don’t have a particular favourite, I have a whole bunch I listen to, but I don’t pick one. And generally, they are DJs that do their best to support other producers and make their sets real.
Nick Bee: I try to look into different styles and artists these days. There are a lot of new artists being discovered each day..so I’m not sure what artist to include in this list.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Pyxis: An archeologist :). I don’t like digging but I do love unearthing history and it would be amazing to uncover a Roman site or something, that would be amazing.
Nick Bee: A doctor I think, as I got a medical degree after 7 years of study at a medical academy.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Pyxis: I have a few projects coming up, but as with everything in music, you can’t talk about them until they’re imminent. Next year is shaping up to be really amazing with some bucket list collaborations. There are a few vocalists that have asked me to produce some music for their multigenre albums, which is a real honour and also some labels I will be honoured to finally work with too. Watch this space ;).
Nick Bee: Yes, I have a new project with a friend from US. We came up with it accidentally by doing a couple of collaborations, now we have a whole album. We are trying to get the right name for this project. We are focusing on straight and hard DnB, including experimental styles..
‘Exhale/ Vibration’ features on the Spotify playlist BASS_GROUND
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