Critical Sound – Emperor Interview (In-Reach Mag)


Active Member
I don’t know about you but one thing I often ponder upon is: what is it about drum and bass that not only takes over your iTunes and bank account, but ultimately, your entire life? Ever since I was old enough to go to raves I seem to have spent my adult life chasing that all encompassing drug, drum and bass. I know i’m not alone in this, every head i’ve met over the years has said the same thing, If you ask us when our mother’s birthdays are, we probably couldn’t tell you, ask us what we had for dinner last night and the chances are we probably couldn’t tell you that either, but ask us about any d&b tune and I guarantee we can tell you where we were when we first heard it, who played it, what label it came out on and probably what was on the flipside!

That being said, there are still those moments when you hear a tune drop and you know you’ve just witnessed something extra special, and for me, one of the last times I had that feeling was the first time I heard “Monolith” by Emperor during one of Arkaik’s sets a few years ago. I was instantly hooked on the sticky, tech beat and couldn’t wait to hear more from this producer that, i’m ashamed to say, until that point I hadn’t even heard of. As usual, Critical Music had discovered an incredible talent and blessed us with Monolith and Tension on their sister label, Modualations (MODULE012) mid 2012.

A few months later saw Emperor’s next release “The Fire” and “Tension” on Phace’s digital label, Neodigital which I personally feel gave us a real insight into the potential of this young producer and a better idea of what we could expect from the future. The Fire was the perfect combination of hard and rolling drum and bass with elements of militant Limewax/Donny/Current Value drums, stabs and futuristic sounds quickly evolving into rolling neuro that would give the most revered names in the scene a run for their money.

So here we are in 2014 and Emperor has certainly made a name for himself and quite rightly so, with phenomenal success on major labels such as Neodigital, Critical Music and Hospital Records. His latest output on Critical Music in collaboration with Mefjus was a resounding success, a four track EP of absolute fire! And those lucky enough to have been in attendance will have seen him annihilate dance floors at various Critical Music events. As he gears up to begin a three week tour of Australia and New Zealand we managed to catch up with Emperor to discuss all things studio, Critical and most importantly, Neuro!

Ok, so let’s start by going back in time for a moment. I remember reading in an old interview of yours that you come from a very musical background, do you think this helped to shape you as the versatile and diverse producer you are today? ....