With his star firmly in the ascendant, we speak to the biggest D&B star ever to emerge out of Slovakia
Hailing from Bratislava, Slovakia, L Plus has been making quite a name for himself in recent years for his high-energy, club-orientated take on D&B. His latest output - the Hideout LP, which dropped a couple of weeks ago on Drumsound & Bassline Smith’s esteemed Technique Recordings label - will surely serve only to enhance that growing reputation.
Having previously had material signed to other highly acclaimed imprints such as Viper Recordings and featured on Andy C’s seminal Nightlife 4 mix, L Plus has already proven that he can hold his own around the heavyweights of the scene, and the new album is no exception. Collaborations on this project come from big names such as Muffler, John B and of course Drumsound & Bassline Smith themselves.
The album proves that there is only one way to go for L Plus from here on out, and that way is most definitely up. With that in mind, we figured it was time we grabbed him for a quick chat...
How did you get into drum & bass in the first place, and how long have you been producing?
"I fell in love with drum & bass around 19 years ago, when I first heard it at school from my mates. Before that I was more into rock and punk music - I played guitar in a punk group. I started to play with Fast Tracker 2, the first music software I ever had, and tried to make my own beats with samples I made myself. It was all about sampling because the synthesizers were too expensive and not available in my country.
"It was just a way of killing time for me, at first - most of the time I was playing basketball and training on turntables. But about about 10 years ago I really started taking it seriously and trying to make music on a higher level, and it wasn't long afterwards that I had my first releases on Viper, Exposure, and finally Technique Recordings."
What were your main influences for this album, both artist-wise and anything else you’ve drawn from?
"The main influence is my crowd. What I like the most is to play tunes which work really well at gigs, so I listened the crowd while mixing and took pieces of feedback into the studio, and tried to make beast tunes for the main stage. And I listen to many different styles of music and trying to implement some influences into my music from them. Last time I listened many 80s soundtracks, and I think that collaboration with John B is the proof!"
Who are your all-time favourite producers in drum & bass?
"My top all-time faves are Drumsound & Bassline Smith. Not because they are my label bosses, but really one of my first records in my vinyl box was their tune on Technique Recordings. They are legends and they are still making tunes which are heavy playable.
"I really like what Prototypes are producing in the last two years as well - it's so energetic and pumping, I really love to play their choons. And then I also like John B, Mefjus, Tantrum Desire because I've been playing a lot of their music over the last few years."
How did the idea of doing an LP for Technique come about?
What are your plans for promoting the album in terms of touring, etc?
"I've just done a mini-tour in Japan, which was more than great! People knew everything about my album, and they were so happy to see me playing finally in Tokyo. There are some plans for USA tour because there is some interest from the promoters. I noticed more booking requests all over the Europe when album was released so I hope this trend is gonna be rising!"
What other producers are you rating at the moment, both up-and-coming artists and more established people within the scene?
"Delta Heavy, Dimension, Metrik, Cyantific, Mind Vortex, Document One, Tantrum Desire and the rest I mentioned earlier."
What is the meaning behind the name of the LP, and how far would you say the title track is representative of your general sound as a whole?
"The album is called Hideout because I feel that music is for me some kind of hideout from everyday life. When I'm locked in the studio, time passes much slowly around me and nobody can reach me because there's no place for smartphone inside. The perfect modern hideout, don't you think? There's an intro speech telling the story about the hideout, and the drop is something which I can say represents my sound at the moment. Power, speed and simplicity."
The collaboration with John B has got some great old school flavours to it. How did you guys meet and ultimately decide on collaborating for the album?
"It was a really quick process, all the agreement and brainstorming. We are friends for a long time, sharing tunes for ages, so I just wrote him about making the Hideout album and asking if he would be into a collaboration. John agreed in few seconds, then we just chatted for a while about an idea of a tune and we both were in the same 80s mood at the time, so we decided to try a pure 80s choon. When John send me first draft of the intro, I knew that was the one!"
Collaborations with Muffler and, of course, Drumsound & Bassline Smith add further weight to an already very impressive album. Could you explain the origins of both these tracks, and how they came to be on the LP?
"I've liked Muffler from the times when I started to produce. We shared tunes and I played almost everything he produced. I still had somewhere in my mind his name, in case I would like to make an interesting collab. And that tune really rocks!
"And what can I say to a collaboration with Drumsound & Bassline Smith? The biggest thing in my D&B career so far! I always dreamed about it but was afraid to ask them. But when I finally did and they said it's a good idea, I was more than happy! And the result is a massive roller.
What’s next in the pipeline for L Plus?
"I already started some tunes for a summer various artists project of Technique Recordings. Since the Hideout LP was released I've been getting many collab offers from some really good producers, so I'm looking forward to start all of these projects. Definitely something to watch in 2017."
Finally, any advice for budding/up-and-coming producers out there reading this?
"Number one - stay in the game! And number two - book me, and I'll tell you what you wanna know in backstage!"
Words: Altered Perception
Hideout is out now on Technique Recordings