You three got together in 1995  and within three months were letting us pound the nation’s dancefloor’s with  your first release on Moving Shadow. How did the band get together in the  first place?

Aquasky - DMC World NetworkBrent: “To  summarise, we were all using Dave’s studio at differing times of the week whilst at college in the early 90’s so we heard each other’s beats. Dave made rave and early amen jungle, Kieron made early jungle and early deep drum and  bass and I made errr… trip hop! Instrumental hip hop as it was then known as the trip hop tag hadn’t been created! Kieron did a mixtape in late ’94 of jungle which had the first kinda jazzy bits on it and it was the catalyst!!! It was decided we should all meet ASAP and make a tune. ‘Images’ was that tune in Feb1995.”

What drum  n’ bass clubs were you hitting back then?

Brent:”We were in the Moving Shadow and Reinforced families back then so we played at  their parties. Our first overseas gig as Aquasky outside of the labels was in Koln in Germany in 1996. We played Damien Lazurus’s night in Old Street with Dego. Heiner from Basswerk was there and he asked me to play his dubplate and being a nice guy, I did. We have been friends with them ever since and Laszlo from Basswerk designed our first album cover in 1997 for  ‘Orange Dust’. The club was the Rose Club and we still have the  flyer! I have got to mention club Speed at the Mars Bar in  Soho! The first time I heard an Aquasky tune being played out was as I walked into Club Speed for the first time in ’95 and Bukem or Fabio was playing it on dubplate – was a nice feeling. And I got thrown out of there on my Birthday for tackling Rob Playford to the floor (I was told!).

Which DJs were you all looking up to at the  time?

Brent: “Only  two really…Fabio and Bukem. They had a long history with Bournemouth and  they were always down once a month.”
Dave: “For me it was mainly  Fabio and Grooverider, also Bukem, Randal and Top Buzz.”
Kieron: “The first time I heard propper drum and bass  was on tapes of Kiss FM that my mate Shaun O’Hara (produced as  Mad Dog with him – he also was part of the rave band Aurora). DJs like Randal, Rap, Bukem and  Fabio.”

So a new series for you ‘Monster Sounds’ in  collaboration with Loopmasters, tell us all about  it…

Brent:: “Well we did the first Artist Series for Loopmasters and thankfully it was a success and I think they are on their 75th release in  that series now! Matt from Loopmasters loved our music from back in the day and Bukem dedicated a tune to him back in ’96 and it was one of ours! The  respect goes both ways as Matt is a great guy and a fantastic businessman so  when we were offered the chance to work with him on a sub label we were well up for it.”

How do you  pick the musicians that feature samples on the packs?

Brent: “Thankfully  we have been round long enough to know many people in many genres. It’s rare we ever fall out with anyone so those contacts are still there. We wanted to  work with those people we have worked with before who were reliable and could bring something exciting to the series. We are not focusing on one  particular style or genre. As Aquasky we have been broad in our musical  output and ‘Monster Sounds’ is no exception to out ethos and beliefs.

Aquasky 2 - DMC World NetworkWhat’s the  best use of your content you’ve heard in someone’s track?

Brent: “Well, we featured the Ragga Twins on our pack back in 2007 and I keep hearing those samples cropping up in so many tunes in so many genres. So yeah, probably that’s a good answer to the question (though, to elaborate, I would  be lying if I said they were all good!)

What is  the most valuable aspect to producers from these excellent sample packs?

Brent: “Simple …access to lots of great useable sounds made by  credible producers who have a proven track record in there genre, were defo setting the quality control on high for all the packs! Its about being able to find what you  are looking for easily and quickly and then being able to slot it into your  track with ease. A good bunch of samples / loops complement a production. Sometimes samples and loops that sound very phat with lots going on are hard to utilise. As producers we know what actually works.”

What are  the big 10 tunes you are playing at the  moment?
“Anything off the forthcoming Aquasky album  ‘Raise The Devil’! on Passenger
Napt ‘Bass’ on Red Sugar
Aquasky vs Pyramid ‘And The Beat Goes’  on Passenger
Bill Posters and Deckscar ‘Feel Good’ on Passenger   
Black Noise ‘Work That Sucker’ on Wearhouse Music
Mindflow ‘Need To Be (Afghan Headspin Remix)
Foreign Beggars ‘Solace One’  ft. Black Sun Empire
601 Brothers and Sisters on Passenger
TC ft. Dread MC ‘Concrete’
Enigma  ‘Flavouse’

DMC are the  proud owners of the ‘Back To Mine’ series – what 10 tunes could we expect  ‘back at yours’ after a club or on a Sunday  morning?

“Shades of Rhythm ‘Sounds Of Eden’
The Untouchables ‘Take A Chance on Strictly Rhythm
The House Crew ‘Keep The Fires Burning’ on Production House
Mark Murphy ‘Red Clay’
Brand Nubian ‘Claiming I’m A Criminal’
Champions Of Nature ‘Salsa Smurf’
Michael Frank ‘Just Like Key Largo’
D Jazzsteppa ‘D U B’ ft.Ghetto Priest
Cold Stream & Hearts ‘Arapaima’ (check  out the album ‘Modern Dub from Bucharest’ on Dubkraft)
Fenech Soler ‘Stop and Stare’ (Gemini  remix)”

What is the  best club you have played at this year?

Brent: “I played a great club this year in St George in Transalvania, not sure what the name was, but it was an old Communist  disco…amazing crowd and it properly went off. There’s footage of it on you tube if ya search Aquasky  Kollektive Session you will find it…”
Dave: “The Social Club in Paris was pretty darn sick!”
Kieron: “The Deathwish Disco @ 93 Feet East in London was a great party – even though my  sound was only coming out on the right speakers for half the set!”

What  producers have inspired you over the years?
Brent: “Gotta be some of the old jungle/d&b/rave guys like Wax Doctor, Jack Smooth, Skanna, Bukem (his pre 96 stuff), 4Hero, Manix, Rufige Kru, LFO, Peshay (his  pre 96 stuff), Rob Playford… and in the golden era of breaks it would be The Breakfastaz, Autobots and  Distortionz.”
Dave: “I guess for me a lot of the old Strictly Rhythm house stuff and also as Brent says, the old drum and bass guys he’s listed, but also people like Rick Ruben who’s been involved in  some classic albums and the production style of stuff like Queen, where they have that totally nuts sound.”
Kieron: “I think its artists of tunes I hear that make me think wow I  havent heard that before  – and then this ‘inspires’ what we  do. Trevor Horn (early 80’s – got me interested in electronic  music), Rabit City, Prodigy, LTJ Bukem, Alex Reece, Calibre, Hi  Contrast, Zinc, Fake Blood, Skream.”

What is the best record ever  made?
Brent: “‘Red  Clay’ by Freddie Hubbard and all the cover versions I have so far located on  vinyl!”
Dave: “‘Passenger’ Iggy Pop.”
Kieron: “‘Sgt Pepper’ –  Beatles.”

What  do each member of Aquasky bring to the mixing  desk?
Brent: “We  all pay for the electricity that runs it!”
Dave: Tea and Coffeee making facilities and long  hours.”
Kieron: “Interesting smells that originate  from the toilet.”

What are  the most annoying habits of each of you in the  studio?
Brent: “Probably ignoring what the other is trying to say or removing parts from a tune when  someone isn’t in the room.”
Kieron: “Interesting smells that originate  from the toilet.”

What one vocalist would you like to get in the studio and work with?
Brent: “We have already done Kool Keith, Ragga Twins and Diane Charlemagne so we can cross those off… I really like MCs like Matt Maddox, Diabolic, Esoteric, Ill Bill, Vinnie Paz, Cannabis, Idee, Q-Unique, Immortal Technique, Slaine  & Goretex…or older guys like Ice T, Chuck D, Mellie Mel…actually…the answer to that question is Mellie  Mel!!!”
Dave: “David Byrne would be dope!”
Kieron: “Ed Sheeran has a great voice  and also writes excellent  lyrics.”

You have  run your Passenger label for 15 years, what have been your most memorable  releases?
Brent: “‘Teamplayers’ it has to be…that was a great era for breaks. The press etc. were trying  to play up that there was a rift in the community. Not sure why they kept  running pieces like that, but ‘Teamplayers’ was our answer to those rumours.  We wanted to show that we could easily make a tune with someone like Meat  Katie and not end up scrapping! To this day I will always cherish that writing process and all the people we worked with. And of course the  Bassline Breaks era which was the prelude to the current 140 jungle scene that is doing the rounds now.”
Dave: “Probably the one I remember the most is our remix of  ‘What’s down Low’ by Baitercell and Schmacher feat. Bex – funny ‘cos it’s one of the main tunes when playing older style sets, if ya drop that one in  Spain things deffo heat up! And as Brent said, our collab with Meat Katie, I dropped it in Sydney last time I was there and  the place went absolutely mental!”
Kieron: “‘Kontrol’ by Aquasky. I remeber this as it was the first breaks tune we released on Passenger and it also signalled  a new direction for us (post Zinc 138 trek era). Also ‘Gutter Pump’ by  Noisia was a memorable release not just because it sold so well, but it also  showed you could buck the genre trend with a wicked  tune.”

Who has  been the best vocalist you have worked with?
Brent: “Diane Charlemagne…because she brings so many memories with her. She is such a  lovely person and her voice is just  heaven!”
Dave: “Hard to pinpoint one! There’s so many talented vocalists we  have worked with and are at the moment – it’s hard to pick just one, but it’s pretty cool to have worked with Mark Murphy, he’s a jazz legend and from a totally different era so really interesting to  see how someone like that works.”
Kieron: “All the above and also the Ragga Twins deserve a big mention for their continuing releationship with Aquasky.”

Monster Sounds - DMC World NetworkAnd  finally, what is next from the Monster Sounds  series…?
Brent: “Next up we have out man Kelevra followed up with Lee Mortimer… two guys who have been an inspiration to us whilst we made our Black Noise  releases. And really nice guys too… both have been to our studio many  times and we always have a great laugh.”