This month we were able to catch up with the Portugal based drum & bass duo known as Neurotoxin. Actively producing new music for their homeland label, Skalator Music, you will want to keep this duo on your radar! Their newest output is a solid four track release titled the "Phoenix" EP. Neurotoxin show that they are right on track and capable of providing quality productions. We are sure to see more of them in the future!
Hello Gonçalo & Pedro! Glad to see you are both keeping busy in the studio. How are things over in Portugal?
G: Well, I've just become a dad for the second time recently, so not much studio time for me lately! However, I've been getting some stuff organised and hopefully I'll have some nice ingredients ready for our next tracks.
P: I'm actually in Turkmenistan right now, working with the broadcasting team at the Martial Arts games. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, but I can't wait to get back in the studio and make some drum'n'bass!
Can you give our readers a little background on how you both linked up to start producing music?
G: We were playing in rock/metal bands since our teens, so we knew each other before we turned to electronic music. I started djing around 2002, and trying to produce my own dnb tunes. Anyway, back in 2007 I had this project with a singer and Pedro joined as a guitar player. I was making beats in the computer and recording their performances. We made some weird synth pop stuff with occasional hints at drum'n'bass, but I was always trying to make drum'n'bass tracks on the side. Eventually, the project died out and Pedro and I decided to explore darker/more underground vibes. He got more and more interested in production, and started to make his own beats. We worked on polishing some of those projects and that's how the first Neurotoxin tracks came to be.
So the new "Phoenix" EP out now, marks the third release for you guys on the Portuguese label, Skalator Music. Nice work all around on this new four tracker with great focus on the neurofunk aspects. Have the darker sounds always been a favorite style for you two?
G: When we started producing together we just wanted to make deep/obscure chilled out stuff, at whatever bpm... Our first gigs were actually live acts, with Pedro playing guitar sometimes. He wasn't really a DJ yet back then. In time, we started to do more DJ gigs, and while we wanted to play out our stuff, what we were doing wasn't very dancefloor friendly at all. So we'd only play our tunes in afternoon sets and studio mixes.
P: Gonçalo, on the other hand, was playing stuff like Current Value in his sets... So we needed to find a balance in our production and our live shows. Then, at one point, one of our friends wanted to start a label, and he asked us for a 'banger'. We couldn't really deliver a proper tune back then, but that got us to try and use more techstep/neurofunk techniques, and work towards finding a vibe and our own take on drum'n'bass for the dancefloor. We're quite fond of the dark/spacey atmospheres. But yeah, we're into all subgenres of drum'n'bass really.
Are you both able to find time during your schedules for regular production sessions, or do you find yourselves too busy and rely on sending tunes back and forth online?
P: We live pretty close by, so we rarely need to send stuff over, we just get together in the studio, usually late at night!
In no particular order, could each of you give us 3 songs that you have been enjoying lately?
G: Simple Technique - Cold Steppin (Ulterior Motive Remix) ...this one is absolutely insane; I'll also have to name Zed Bias' new album on Exit: Different Response, can't just pick one track off it, it's such an amazing album; and DMX Krew - Snowy Blue from his latest album on Hypercolour, I've been listening to that one a lot.
P: Commix - Kosmos 2251; Nymfo - Modern World; Bungle - Cocooned, these are some of the tracks we've been playing without fail for the past few months, these get me amped up every time!
While Skalator Music is a great home based label for you work, what are some other labels you follow and would like to release music on?
G: Dispatch definitely, Critical, Metalheadz of course, Horizons, 31 Records, Warm Communications, Demand... But there are many great newer labels out there right now, like Blendits, Plasma Audio, Cyberfunk, Hyperactivity, that we surely would like to work with.
Any other releases on the way soon or upcoming events to catch you guys at?
P: There is one release lined up for Skalator Music later this year, but it's still an ongoing project. We're working with a vocalist for this one! Can't really say more right now.
Any closing thoughts or shout outs?
Big shouts out to Skalator, YLS, Al:X, Mais Baixo, Counterpoint, Incendiário, MC Tresh and our homeboys from the Hacienda! Also to everyone following and supporting us.
Keep up to date with Neurotoxin at any of the following links: