On their Manifested Visions EP, breakbeat titans Loxy & Ink are bringing passion back to the dancefloor.
If you think you miss the club, imagine how Loxy & Ink feel. These two music-makers have been spinning the sickest and freshest tunes known to man since some of us were in nappies, and probably even before then.
To call these two titans of UK breakbeat culture ‘rising stars’ would be doing them a terrible disservice. They were there right at its colossal boom, meeting in record shops to find the latest in drum and bass and classic rap to champion on their respective pirate radio shows, or going hard on the decks at club nights for iconic labels like Goldie’s Metalheadz, Speed and Renegade Hardware as they brought intense magic to the dancefloor time and time again.
But with lockdown making any and all nights out null and void, these DnB torchbearers have turned their attentions to a new project, one full of passion and unrelenting drum beats. The Manifested Visions EP encompasses decades of influences across all genres, blending ‘90s hip-hop with tough breakbeats, heavy symbols, punch-packing melodies and standout lyrics, staples of the pair’s production style that has allowed them to endure over all these years.
We caught up with the dancefloor heavyweights below, talking their inspirations and where they plan on taking their sound next. Take a look…
Hey guys! How have you guys been this past year?
Loxy: I’ve been great personally, this past year just gave me a chance to reset and get in the studio, be creative and spend more time with my family – which is also a bonus.
Ink: Due to obvious reasons I’ve been at home for the last 18 months, meaning I’ve had much more time to be in the studio than ever before. This has been positive as I’ve been able to focus on how I want my production to sound, as well as spending lots of time with my family.
What is one thing you’ve learnt about yourselves?
Loxy: I’ve learned what I can do with and do without, and also learnt to know my worth a lot more than I may have done before.
Ink: My studio is my best friend!
How did you guys first meet and get into music?
Loxy: Record shopping bumping into each other from time to time and then on Underground FM, a station my good friend MC RAGE was running in the mid-90s
Ink: I first met Loxy over 20 years ago in a record shop, shopping for music for our respective pirate radio shows. We had the same interest in music so we were in the same clubs. Because of our similarities in tastes, we quickly became friends and the rest is history.
Where are you guys both from?
Ink: I was born and raised in London.
How do you think your hometowns have impacted your sound?
Loxy: I’m a representation of my home town through and through, but at the same time, I draw from my personal experiences and influences so I soak inspiration in from all over. I was DJing from the very early ’90s at events like Psychotic and the infamous Dungeons and Desire, so, naturally, the vibes from those early experiences still have major influences in my current sound.
Ink: As I come from the originating town of Drum and Bass, I was lucky enough to be around the DJs and Producers that created the sound and also the establishments that would manufacture it; like Music House (Dub Plate Cutting House). I was at the centre of a rich culture, helping to develop and grow the sound and the industry.
We’ve just heard your new single “Manifested Visions” and it’s definitely giving us old school Wu-Tang 90s era vibes, what was the production process like?
Loxy: Production is always based on vibe – first knowing the vibe we want to achieve, and then execution. Seeing as the ’90s was always a golden era in Hip Hop for me, Havoc from Mobb Deep, DJ Premier and RZA all are major influences in regards to my production, so I guess that naturally shines through on this particular track.
Ink: That’s exactly the production process! As I’m an old skool Hip Hop fan, and have grown up with the sound heavily influencing my lifestyle and culture from groups like Wu-Tang and artists like Rakim, Nas, KRS One, Mobb Deep, Big Daddy Kane etc. The essence of Hip Hop has always been an important factor in my approach to making street music, found in the lyrics being delivered in a certain style and the vibe of the beats capturing a mood of the artist at hand without watering down any of the elements involved. Basically raw delivery in sound which I think we’ve achieved in this single.
And why the name Manifested Visions?
Loxy: Ink says a bar in his verse with that line and it also rings true with what we try to achieve we have to manifest our own visions in order to see them come to pass.
And what did you want to evoke with the music video?
Loxy: A classic hip hop mentality, representing the city I’m from while showcasing lyrical prowess.
Ink: We wanted to show a strength of character and deliver a raw piece of authentic Hip Hop that cuts no corners and stays true to that gritty London vibe we grew up in.
The tune really taps into drum and bass, hip hop and a hint of trap, where do you derive most of your influences from?
Loxy: My influences stem heavily from comics, movies, life, and other genres of music such as dub, reggae, techno, house hardcore, pop music and soul.
Ink: As mentioned earlier, Wu-Tang has played a massive part in my development of Hip Hop and production. So with the likes of RZA and co. as influences, the “code of the streets” has been easy to follow, with the foundations as strong as the Wu-Tang Clan.
You guys are constantly pushing the envelope on your sound, where do you see it going?
Loxy: The beautiful thing about this is you can never tell where it’s going, but what we all can hope for is that it moves in a positive direction and moves forward. The sky’s the limit, all it takes is a little imagination.
Ink: As we have been working in the Drum and Bass scene for almost 30 years, we have had the pleasure of touching upon multiple genres of music. This has led us to produce an eclectic sound for this particular EP which may well continue, as we’re huge fans of music in general. Prepare for variety and versatility.
You’re due to drop this EP as well – what was it like creating it in lockdown and do you have a standout tune?
Loxy: The standout tune for me personally would probably be ‘MANIFESTED VISIONS” mainly because it showcases a diff side that not everyone may be aware of.
Ink: The process for me was no different to any other time as I tend to work alone. The standout track for me is “Phoenix Rising” – the main reason being us working on a sound that would transition between light and dark elements of Drum and Bass while maintaining an intensity that could lift the roof off any rave. This concept of intensity is heavily laced and galvanised within my DJ style so it naturally translates into my production.
What’s next for you guys?
Loxy: More music, more DJing & more fire!!
Ink: We have an album on the horizon, again focusing on multiple genres of music and showcasing even more of the flavours found on the EP.
What are you most excited for?
Loxy: To see the back of this pandemic and to get back to DJing to live crowds!
Ink: The release of our visual side of this project is most exciting for me as this is the first time we have been in a position to constructively explore this aspect!