“Mixing classic UK rave styles and bleep techno with new recording techniques and Jamaican dub influences” is how Neil Landstrumm describes his own work when pressed for a pithy lexical distillation. “I’m refreshing the rave for 2007!”
About as far from the cosmetic glow sticks and neon hoodies currently cluttering the hollow nu-rave scene as you can get, Landstrumm is an artist who has put in the years down at the nocturnal coalface. Having released tunes on a royal-flush of labels, his new tenure at Planet Mu came about through “dogged perseverance” and a desire to be part of something “that’s taken notice of and heard worldwide”
“I don’t really think Dubstep is anything spectacularly new; heavy bass lines, synthetic melodies and a Jamaican dub / reggae influence have always been part of UK dance music”
A rich tapestry of styles and influences, his debut LP ‘Restaurant Of Assasins’ for Planet Mu sees Landstrumm veering off into new territory as he explained from his Edinburgh home. “My aim was to make good party music that seeks new lows and should rattle a few bass bins in the process. The record is certainly a new direction for me so I guess it remains to be seen how it works out, but it’s definitely more accessible than the music I’ve released on Tresor and Peacefrog.”
With a recording process that involved “retro-Toyotas, special delivery greens from Leeds, expensive mastering compressors from New York, 46 miles a day to the analogue graveyard, having a smoke with Bez and the heaviest subs this side of Chapeltown”, ‘Restaurant Of Assassins’ shirks easy categorisation – despite the Dubstep overtones. “I see myself as along for the Dubstep ride but not in the front seat,” Landstrumm explains. “I don’t really think Dubstep is anything spectacularly new; heavy bass lines, synthetic melodies and a Jamaican dub / reggae influence have always been part of UK dance music, but it’s a refreshing take on the same old sounds. I think it’s doing fine though – slotting nicely into a niche within British rave culture.”
With collaborations alongside fellow Mu types Milanese in the pipeline (“strictly rockers”) and a stated aim to avoid ever making “the dull but fashionable ‘minimal’ electronic music that dominates the rest of Europe”, Neil Landstrumm is a man who may view the musical past through rose-tinted lenses – but does so with a Vicks Vapour masked clamped to his face.