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Domu Interview


Domu Interview


Dominic "Domu" Stanton began his career making "underground" music during the U.K.'s drum-n-bass heyday in the early 1990s. Since then, he has developed into one of the masters of broken beat music, creating some of the heaviest tracks to hit the Co-Op floor. Not to be etched into one musical style, Domu's rhythms are one minute deep techy head-nodders or upbeat dancefloor stormers, and the next, straight-up soul and hip-hop. Emmerald caught up with Domu on the eve of his latest full-length release on Archive, "Return of the Rouge".

Emmerald: You started your music career in UK drum-n-bass. How did you get into that style of music?
Domu: Around 1991 I was into U.S. and British hip-hop and acid house and techno from Europe, the U.K. and U.S. I noticed a lot of artists merging styles like Nightmares on Wax, Genocide II, 4Hero, Guy Called Gerald, The Exorcist and Acen and Dice--all were early examples of this music. I followed it from the start, Jungle in 92, Reinforced through 93, Bukem stuff into 94, then the big Ragga comeback in 94, then Techstep. I saw all the fads come and go. I lost interest when Ed Rush and Optical and Bad Company become really popular.

Emmerald: Are you still making DnB music and how involved are you in that “scene”?
Domu: Only through Reinforced and open minded cats like Calibre, Marcus Intellex and Total Science. Drum and Bass is a very small minded world generally, and I often wonder why bother to put out records that none of the kids will buy.

Emmerald: Elaborate on that a bit. When you say none of the kids are buying the records, are you talking just about sales in general or kids' taste in DnB music? Either way, couldn't you say a similar thing about broken beat? It seems to me that overall, DnB has a greater following than broken beat, which is still pretty well underground and appeals to a very specific set of listeners.
Domu: That’s partially true; only mainstream DnB has a larger following. The DnB I like, Paradox, Fracture and Neptune, Cartridge, etc is really hard to play out ‘cos it ain’t 2-step, and as such sometimes sells less than broken beat, or at least as much as. So my negativity over making it now stems from the fact I lived and breathed it since ‘92 and had to move on, as I feel so personally about how bad some of the music has gotten.

Emmerald: What’s your take on the DnB movement in the U.S.?
Domu: I know the U.S. has established artists now and will grow at a different rate than the U.K. scene. It doesn’t matter that the U.S. wasn’t into the very beginning of the scene, because no one here in the U.K. seems to remember it either. When people use a breakbeat now, it is just straight Recycled Think or Amen or Apache. I love Paradox, Fracture and Neptune, Beta 2, Cartridge – people who really know how to chop a break.

Emmerald: You’ve got a new album coming out, “Return of the Rouge”. When is it due out and on what label?
Domu: It is coming on Archive Records and will be out end of July. The first 12” is ready now and is called “Let Me Be”, with remixes from Mark de Clive Lowe and Rima. The second single will be “Its You” with a remix from Wajeed of Platinum Pied Pipers fame.

Emmerald: With whom did you work on this album? You’ve got a couple of singers and an M.C. What about other producers, if any?
Domu: Just peeps I find on my travels who are willing to work. The MC is an old friend I’ve known for 10-12 years who lives in Bedford. Yolanda, one of the vocalists, I met whilst she was MCing for me in Bristol. And Rasiyah is from the scene, having sung for DKD and Bugz in the Attic. Its quite organic hooking up with folk; if it doesn't work you won’t hear the record. I don’t work with any other producers for Domu, but I collaborate on loads of other stuff like Bakura, Rima, Yotoko etc…

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