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Introducing our BOTW: Drugg

In recent years, an argument that’s commonly batted around concerning electronic music is that, due to the democratisation of good electronic composition programs (Logic/Reason/Ableton to name a few), it’s easy to produce higher quality music in this genre. Although the now wide circulation of these programs has indeed meant more and more people can label themselves “bedroom producers”, and have the wherewithal to write well produced tunes ranging from deep techno to noise electronica, lavishing praise on a recording has become easier, either as a general listener or a reviewer. In fact, due to the wealth of EPs and albums that crop up in both physical formats as well as on home created labels or myspace and soundcloud pages (this is obviously mainly true for all genres), making yourself stand out is harder than ever.

Here’s where Drugg come in. Initially beginning as a ‘garage band’ project between childhood friends Tom Hanley and Max Whatley, the duo’s brand of dark electronica was enough to prick up the ears of Berlin dub DJ Pole aka Stefan Betke. High praise indeed. Not only this, but Pole liked the group enough to master the whole of ther debut EP, ‘Shackled’, which is released in a matter of weeks through independent label Less Music. There are definitely elements of the minimal dub as purveyed by Pole in the music of Drugg, perhaps explaining to some extent why he took a shine to them. However, genres don’t seem to play much of role in Drugg’s musical philosophy. The band claim to take equal influence from instrumental hip hop pioneer DJ Shadow as they do Flying Lotus, Steve Reich and post-rockers Disco Inferno, and throw all of this into a live band setup for their tour dates.

Moving seamlessly between ambient soundscapes, glitchy beats and punishing noise, and consisting of a duo who have the guts to put on largely improvised sets with live electronics, Drugg are no doubt ones to watch out for as they rise above the competition.



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