Written by Olivia Patt
11 Sunday 11th September 2011

You’ve had a couple of releases already this year – is Boss of the South your best yet?

I think every EP I’ve done has had a completely different vibe and idea behind it, so it’s hard to pit them against one another. I’m very proud of this EP though. This tune was one of the first tunes that exposed me to a whole different market of interest. It’s also an anthem of sorts so I’m happy that people will now be able to load it up in their crates.

You definitely bring a slightly southern flavour with ‘Boss of the South’ and ‘Coke Bottle’; it’s not like any sound we know coming out of the UK right now. Do you have a particular process when you’re making your music?

I made ‘Boss of the South’ in a car ride from Miami back to Atlanta in March of 2010, and it was storming pretty bad. My process at the time was “stop thinking about the monsoon that’s shaking the car around”. But regardless, yes, these tunes in particular did have a process. I just wanted to a few songs that centred around a vocal. I wanted the vocal to carry the tune and get stuck in people’s heads. Since then quite a few people have made up their own lyrics. I think it’s hilarious and great all at once. I also wanted to bring in a few key ingredients from Juke and Footwork (particularly in ‘Coke Bottle’) and add them to a slower tempo tune and see what happened. And lastly I always try to add a bit of a hardcore touch to it.

We’re loving the Sinden remix on there too, and he’s got only good things to say about you, calling ‘Boss of the South’ “an absolute beast” – what’s it like working with such an electro heavyweight?

First, all smoke blowing aside, I LOVE his remix. It’s so fun to play and people catch on part way through, “Oh wait, I know that sample”. I think he took it in a completely opposite direction and it’s brilliant. Sinden has got to be one of the nicest most down to earth people I’ve met in the scene yet. I’ve respected the guy for what he’s done for so long and it’s pretty unreal to hear comments like that. It’s always a pleasant thing to hear that someone you respect taking notice! He came to Atlanta a few months back and we just kicked it, wrote some slow tunes and ate sushi.  Also shouts to Dubbel Dutch for none of this would have been possible if he hadn’t passed the tunes on to Sinden. Funny how things work out!

What comes next for you after the EP release?

More EPs of eclectic bass music with various labels, and I’m also finishing up my full length album for Tectonic.

You’ve got your own label, Embassy Recordings. Anything exciting in the works?

Only a month or so from the release of Wheez-ie’s EP! If anyone out there isn’t familiar with his work check his remixes on the Boss of the South EP. This guy is brilliant, original and truly a musical person. We’re doing two EPs with him. Also we’re about to expose some up and coming talent that no-one’s heard yet! Broodlings from ATL. They mainly do Juke and Footwork stuff ranging  from soulful to avant garde. The EP we have with them is a nice taste test of all their moods. We’ll be announcing that one soon as well. 

Dubstep is becoming more and more popular over the pond, and you’ve helped to pioneer that – what do you see in dubstep’s American future?

Heavy metal stuff is dominating dubstep right now, but my prediction is that there is only about a half a tank of gas left in that machine. The kids will grow up and be less angry and more involved.

A lot of the true school dubstep producers, promoters and DJs have been branching off quite a bit already, incorporating more house oriented ideas in their music. In response it has opened the door for all kinds of grass roots style music to influence that smaller demographic of partygoers.  People are happy now to hear Moombahton and Juke in a night that was once centred around dubstep only. It’s healthy.

Finally; are you really the Boss of the South?

Damn straight! I have the vanity plates on my Tercel to back it up.

Boss of the South is released September 12th on Grizzly. To hear more of Distal’s work, visit his Soundcloud.

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