Since 2006, InsideInfo (Paul Bondy) has been gaining an increasingly large legion of followers, wooing us all with his persistent sound design and openness to work with various sorts of styles and tempos, whether it be face-melting neuro, perverse minimal rollers, or even garage.
Since InsideInfo established himself within the Drum & Bass scene, he has been releasing on a vast number of labels, such as Virus, Critical, Blackout and Viper Recordings, where he presented us with his debut album. He has also collabed with a range of artists across the DnB spectrum and has remixed various genre classics. Honing and polishing his sound with each release, Paul has never failed to impress us.
Now he is back with his urban-inspired single ‘airwaves’ which really explores and experiments with a wide range of sounds and tempos, and is OUT NOW on his brand new label InsideInfo Music. The creation of this label has so far been one of the most pivotal moments in Paul’s career, after seven fulfilling years signed to Viper Recordings.
We had a chat with him to find out more about the track, as well as what’s been happening with regards to his label, and what he has in store for us. Let’s jump in!
Firstly, let’s talk about your new single “Airwaves.” Noticed that it got a big shout out from Noisia on their most recent episode of ‘Noisia Radio.’
Yes, they featured it twice! I think they played it again the next week or something, which is really cool.
Okay, so the support has been really good so far?
Definitely. It has had a lot of people who don’t normally appeal to these sort of tracks come up and say “oh, this is actually really cool,” so yeah I’m really excited about it. When you put stuff out, you’re never really sure if people are gonna get it. Some things click with different audiences, but this one has been really good.
So can you tell us what influenced you, and gave you the ‘vibe’ to write and design the track the way you did? Is there a story behind it?
There is actually, yes. So I had the idea for the track quite a long time ago, it must have been about 5 years ago. The idea for a track was that sounds like its changing radio stations every few bars or so and while it sounds like it keeps switching genre, the elements of the track remain cohesive, so it will keep the same riff but a different instrument will play the riff. That’s kind of what the idea was, and so from there, I tried to write this tune about 4 or 5 times. I just kept trying it and I was like, ‘I know this idea… if I can get it right, and come up with something like a riff that sustains, I know it can work.’ So I persevered and persevered with it every year or so. And so this time, I think I was listening to some garage tracks and just going on a binge of some old stuff, I then thought that I need to have like a riff section or more of a prominent riff and then the rest of the tune subsequently. So that’s how it happened really. So overall, the whole backstory was that before I was even listening to Drum & Bass, I used to be a Garage DJ. I didn’t really get anywhere with it, but I loved it, and then I started to get into Drum & Bass. But I have always loved Garage and I always used to listen to lots of Pirate Radio Stations. I used to be a Pirate Radio DJ as well, that’s how I really got into the industry. Rhymestar is on it as well because he used to work with Pirate Radio and we’ve done a few tours together, and we were always chatting about garage, he loves it as well.
It’s quite an arrangement, with all the distinct tempos and patterns. Evidently this track quite a challenge for you?
It was. This was probably one of the hardest tracks I’ve worked on, but at the same time, probably the most rewarding. Because when it clicked, it was such a relief. I was just like, “do you know what? That will do.” I’m sure I can add some further elements to it maybe but for now I’m happy with it.
Do you hope to continue working and experimenting with different tempos in the future?
Oh man, 100%. I already have for the last few months or so, been writing different pieces with certain tempos and of different genres. Since I finished the album, I have just had the feeling that I can now write whatever I want. So this is really like a step into that.
It wasn’t long ago you left Viper and started your new label. Do you feel this has now allowed you to be more creative and helped you push your own vision, lets say, as an artist?
I think subconsciously, perhaps… although it is quite difficult to tell at this sort of stage, because you know, it’s still early days. I’ve only had three releases on the label so far, but I do really love having my own label. It brings about a whole new set of challenges and interactions with people and I really like that. But with Viper, they were never like ‘oh you can’t do this, or you have to do this in a certain way’ it was never like that. But subconsciously, I really just wanted to be totally in control of what I write. Also, the way things look has always been quite important to me, so to the point where I actually do all the artwork for the singles myself. This has been really refreshing, and also a great learning experience, because I studied art at school, but I stopped doing it when I left and just decided to write music. So for me, it is also about getting in touch with that side of me and doing more graphic design and stuff to go with the label. It’s more work, but at the same time really nice, I even like to sit down while listening to music and come up with a picture to go with it. So on top of that I have never really felt any label oppression from anyone ever, this decision was really more subconscious.
So considering you were signed to Viper for just under a decade, and you have also worked with other labels such as Critical and Virus overtime, how would you describe your sound now you have your own label?
Well yeah, tracks like ‘Lost It,’ my first release was rather minimal, and really blends nicely with the music me and Kasra do as Circuits. But that’s not just what the label is going to be about, I hope to explore all kinds of different sounds. Like ‘Airwaves’ was about Garage and Jungle. I still like a lot of Neuro stuff, If I do go back to that though it will be more ‘funk’ sort of based stuff in contrast to your typical hardcore, noisy sort of Neuro. But yeah, anything goes really. I like really musical stuff as well, have a lot more musical tracks with vocals on the go, as well as other stuff which I would say is pretty weird or playful, all kinds really.
We’ve seen a lot of other artists launching their own labels as well. Audio has introduced us to Snake Pit; the Upbeats have relaunched their label, Non-Vogue. Do you think this is becoming a trend and if so why?
I feel like when you get to a certain point in your career, and once you have established yourself, played the game a bit, like myself really, I’ve been on a few labels and seen how it all works, then yes. Even back in 2008, I was thinking whether I should start a label and played with the idea for a bit, until I really thought, ‘you know what, it’s too early in my career’ and I didn’t have enough contacts or know how it all works well enough. So just focused on writing mainly, as opposed to the business side of things. But once you have become more familiar with the musical world, met loads of people, and everything becomes familiar, then you know why not? Nowadays it has become a lot more easier as well. Back in 2008, it was a lot more difficult to get a distribution deal. Spotify and all that didn’t really exist, it was just very hard to set up your own label, but nowadays there are companies who can do a lot for you and can be a major help if you want to own a label. They can manage it for you really, and do all the hard stuff that you don’t really wanna do. So the fact it has become a lot easier is one of the reasons I would say it is becoming a trend, the other reason really is the desire to just have total creative control and have everything more coherent, you are in charge of the schedule and can just put out music whenever you want.
Considering you are no longer exclusive to Viper Recordings, would you still perform at some of their label nights in the future?
Absolutely, I still do that. I did one quite recently and there is another Viper night that I will be playing at soon. I’ve also just done a remix for one of their artists, Insomniax, which is coming out later in June, so that’s really cool.
You have also been working very closely with Critical with your Circuits project. Can we expect more from you and Kasra? Are you underway on your next release?
Yes, we are just finishing up our next release actually. So one track is in the bag, and we’ve got a few more things to sort of pick and choose from. So yeah, that is always ongoing. I don’t know when our next release will drop but we are hoping to get something out over the summer.
You have collabed with a wide range of artists in your lifetime, from the likes of Mefjus and Audio to Hybrid Minds. Are there any more collabs in the works, and do you have a bucket list of artists you want like to work with in the future maybe?
So me and Hybrid Minds have been working very well together recently. We’ve got something bubbling away at the moment, I can’t say what yet, but it will appear soon. There’s a few unfinished collabs in the works but I will announce them when they are ready. I love collaborating, its exciting sharing ideas and bouncing off people, there’s loads of people I’d love to work with but id rather announce it when it happens 😀
Last year, we also saw you responsible for some of the scenes biggest remixes. The Mampi Swift remix and of course your incredible rework of Gambino. Do you have anymore remixes in store for us? Perhaps you can tell us a bit more about your remix for Insomniax?
Yes, so the Insomniax guys did a track on Viper that I really liked and they asked me to remix it. Love those guys so it was a no brainer. That’s gonna be coming out soon. I am also working on a remix of a pretty classic Drum & Bass tune, but unfortunately I can’t say what it is. It was one of my favourite tunes from a certain artist. It’s currently ongoing and I just really wanna get it right, I don’t want to rush it. So yeah, there’s another remix of a classic tune in the works. Tracks like that I take my time with and don’t rush, you only get 1 shot at it and once its out its out.
Feels like everything’s looking up. Anything more you would like to add?
I haven’t done like a proper DJ mix for a while, so I am going to put together a nice online DJ mix in due course, maybe even a few more, and they’ll be showcasing some of the stuff I have been working on recently. I have got a lot of music lined up really, some of it is finished and ready to roll, and some stuff I’m still currently trying to finish up, but yeah there will be a lot more music from me before the end of the year.
Perfect! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! All the best!
Sweet man! Thanks a lot!