LSB Interview

LSB is Luke Beavon, a Drum n Bass DJ and producer from London, UK. LSB began to make a name for himself in the DnB scene as promoter and resident of the infamous ‘Bounce’ events in Norwich. LSB (and promotion partner N3gus) ran Bounce for three years bringing a huge array of diverse artists to the events. Legend has it that the Bounce 3rd birthday party was so loud, the ceiling collapsed at the bowling alley underneath the club!

A formidable DJ, LSB likes to champion the sounds of new artists as well as delving deep in to the record box for select classics. Since 2006, LSB has focussed his attentions to his own music and has been steadily making a name for himself as an artist. LSB signed his first tune to Zinc’s Bingo label in 2007 and has released on Deep Soul Music and Demand Records. Whilst LSB has gained the attention of many with bootlegs of Sade & Little Dragon it was his debut single on Spearhead Records ‘All of My Love/Rolling Sideways’ which really got people noticing his sound in 2011.

LSB established himself with his first EP on Spearhead which sat the upper end of DnB Charts and the collaboration with Technimatic gracing the playlists of DJ’s such as Friction. S.P.Y. Logistics, Lenzman, AI and many others. 2014 will see LSB release on labels such as Soul:r, Hospital Records and continue his progress with Spearhead Records with a follow EP and talks of a debut album on the agenda.

Hey Luke, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the Drum & Bass sound?
Hi. I’m Luke, I live in Brentwood in Essex and have landed here via stints in Norwich and London. I discovered DnB whilst at Uni in Norwich around 10 years ago

Who are your biggest musical influences and what was your first ever Drum & Bass record?
I have a wide range of influences and they vary from time to time, right now I’m mainly listening to Bat For Lashes, Foals and The Field. My first DnB vinyl was the Freenote EP by Zinc I think.

Can you tell us why you chose the name LSB and the meaning behind the name?
I wish I could tell you it was anything more interesting than my initials Luke Stephen Beavon. I sometimes use the name TheLeastSignificantBit as the term has a place in digital music and it also sounds self depreciating.

How do you feel your sound has evolved since All Of My Love and Rolling Sideways?
I’m technically more competent and more comfortable with the sound I’d like to make and less inclined to be worried about whether it sounds like anything that is en vogue or popular, just making music I like. I’m a bit more comfortable in my own producer skin. Some of the music due to come in 2014 feels like the strongest representation of me.

There are some fabulous drum & bass producers around at the moment such as yourself, Calibre, Marcus Intalex and SpectraSoul and the sound appears to be as vibrant as ever. What are your thoughts on the current sound and how, in your opinion, has it evolved over the years?
I love it as much as ever and it’s very diverse and full of great music. I find the biggest evolution is the amount of producers (particularly in relation to listeners) so there is a lot more music to go through to find the gems. The production techniques have improved and the sound is generally more polished and clean. Although I do wish it was a bit rawer and dirtier!

I hear you are due to make your debut on Soul:r early next year which is Marcus Intalex’s label. Can you tell us anymore about this?
Yes, very excited about this. Possibly my all time favourite label, so I’m chuffed. There are a number of tracks that see a release on Soul:r next year. Mostly likely with a track called ‘Leave’ which will surface early next year and theres a few other bits waiting to be confirmed.

Many Drum & Bass producers such as Photek and Marcus Intalex have turned their productions skills to other genres of music. Have you thought about doing this yourself?
I’ve got a few more DnB tracks I want to write before I diverse, I’m not the fastest or most prolific so I need to improve that before making other stuff I think. I have dabbled in some 125bpm stuff with my brother (house producer ‘Jett’) and I expect we will do a bit more.

You have just completed building a studio at home for both yourself and customer use. Can you tell us more about this and where you would recommend DIY studio builders to start, and if working on a smaller budget, where do you recommend making the bigger investments?
Lucy (my partner) and I recently bought a new house, originally we were looking for a spare bedroom for th studio, when we couldn’t find one we liked, we decided to get one with a bigger garden. I set aside some money I’d saved and commissioned a brick built outbuilding and I’m turning it into a studio of sorts. The finishing touches are being done at this stage so I’m not in yet. I can’t wait. The budget wasn’t huge at all, so it will be built up over time. I’m on a tight budget, so I suppose the most important things are a sequencer you are comfortable with, from there it’s personal preference. Some people can make great track on a laptop and headphones whilst sitting in an airport departure lounge. It’s all about being comfortable and relaxed.

In regards to production, what is your current setup in your studio and which is your favourite toy?
I use Ableton, I’m just moving onto version 9. I run a PC, but also have a mac laptop for stuff on the road. I’ve used Reason and a bit of Cubase in the past. I don’t have a particular favourite toy, I love the synth Omnisphere but I use a lot of samples, so samplers are my friend. That being said I’m soon to invest in an ex BBC Calrec mixing desk, I’ve wanted one for years, so hopefully that will be my favourite toy!

When producing music do you like to use sample packs or source your own samples?
Never use sample packs for anything other than the odd drum hit, but I like to source my own of them too. I don’t have many rules but I do feel with the amount of youtube tutorials, vast amount of VSTs with excellent pre-sets that production techniques are becoming more and more standardised so I believe you sound pallet is very important. I spend a lot of time compiling my own sample banks going through anything I can get my hands on. It’s time consuming but worth it for me.

You have been fortunate enough to play in one of the best clubs in the world Fabric. Which is your favourite club that you have played in and why?
I loved Fabric, can’t wait to play again. I have a massive soft spot for Lava/Ignite in Norwich (now shut) I run nights there fore years alongside N3gus and we have some amazing nights and it was always fun to play.

Which DJs/Producers have caught your eye of late and why?
Frederic Robinson, Anile, FD are 3 that I’m really enjoying at the moment. Frederic Robinson is completely unique and brilliant, makes me feel like a right Charlatan. Anile and FD have loads of great music forthcoming. There are plenty of other producers that I always support like Technimatik and the guys on Spearhead (hybrid Minds, Bcee etc) and I’ll always love the music on Soul:r and I can’t wait for Toyko Prose album.

What was the strangest or funniest thing that has happened to you whilst playing at a gig?
I can’t think of one particular instance, Although f you watch me closely you’ll see my struggling to see some of the time (especially depth perception) so I can be putting CD’s in decks that already have CDs, missing the desktop when trying to put down the drink. It can be quite entertaining.

I understand you have recently been diagnosed with a very serious eye condition which may lead to you losing your sight completely. This would be devastating news for anyone. How have you begun to come to terms with this and have you thought about how you would keep your continuously moving forward should the worse come to worse?
I suffered a detached retina in August and they haven’t been able to repair it due to the severity of it. It turns out the cause was a defection RS1 gene which runs in my family which means my retinas will degrade over time I might regain some sight in my left but it’s likely to be very distorted. I’m struggling with 1 eye, but I wil get used to it and you have to see the humour in it. Just got to hope my right eye hangs in there! It’s my left eye, so I can’t see you at the gigs if you stand to my left, means I freak myself out a lot!

Lastly, is there anything in the pipeline that you can tell us about?
If You’re Here is coming out on Hospital Records in early 2014, an EP on Spearhead, some tunes on Soul:r and hopefully lots of good music in the new year I hope you all enjoy the mix, I went a bit deep, it’s a not really a dance floor mix, just a blend of nice tunes.

Listen to LSB’s guestmix for Thisisprogressive.