Artist in Focus: Hidden Knowledge

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Perhaps one of the more unknown, hidden talents within the dubstep scene at the minute; Hidden Knowledge has arrived with an armoury of devastating dubs, providing the underground scene with numerous fresh and futuristic tracks. Although he has remained somewhat under the radar, he has been noticed by some of the top producers/DJ’s in the community, receiving recognition for his work from the likes of J:Kenzo, Youngsta and N-type, all of whom have played his tracks on their Rinse FM shows.

Although up until now, there hasn’t been any released material from the artist but it’s only a matter of time before labels are going to jump at the chance to release some of his tracks. His dark, tribal style matches the type of sound many labels are pushing and the quality of his productions evidently shows that a release is just over the horizon.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the man himself for a brief question and answers session, with the addition of a serious sounding mix he generously gave us. Read what he had to say:

Spectrum: To start off with, for anyone who hasn’t heard your sound, give us an explanation of what you’re about and how you’d describe the music you produce?


HK: I’m about dark, minimal and atmospheric sounds, generally 140 bpm but also 170. I like the half-step-kick-snare patterns associated with dubstep. I also like the more rhythmic, tribal kick percussion patterns. I often use samples to add extra layers of emotion or excitement.

Spectrum: What artist influenced you the most when you started producing dubstep? Were there any other genres that you draw from when crafting your music?
 
HK: I wouldn’t really say there was just one specific artist that influenced me the most, it’s more a case of watching the UK scene evolve over so many years of DJ’ing and running a label under a different alias. However some artists that have influenced me recently include Biome, and Kryptic Minds. I grew up listening to Jungle / dnb, then started listening to grime in about 2003, so I will always be influenced by these genres as well. I love the rawness of those styles and their simple ‘beats and bass’ approach. Big shout to my good friends Komonazmuk, Tech Itch & Ruffhouse for their influence and proaction tips. 

Spectrum: When making a track, where do you tend to begin and what’s your preference of production software?

HK: Generally, I have a clear idea in my head of what I want to achieve before I start. I’m not really one to just mess about, although there’s nothing wrong with that method. A beat is a good place to begin. Once you get a strong beat rolling, it’s easier to fit bass or whatever over it.

Usually I’ll start off by digging through my sample library, drag out any drum hits that take my fancy straight onto audio channels or into a drum machine. Otherwise I’ll start by listening to ambient or film music and sample atmospherics, and just start the track off like that. It depends what mood I’m in at the time. 

I mainly use Logic. I find Ableton Live is good too for getting ideas down quickly. I like the plugins on Logic a lot but I also use 3rd party plugins and synths; UAD plugins which I would definitely recommend. I also like to use my Virus TI quite a lot for bass and atmospheres.

Spectrum: For us here at Spectrum, you’re fairly unheard of for most people in the scene, so how’s it been trying to get noticed by bigger producers and labels?

HK: I don’t really bother trying to get noticed by other people in the scene. I tend to just do my own thing and hopefully people will like what I’m doing. If your tracks are good enough, people will notice them. I don’t think there’s much point in jumping up and down waving a banner screaming “check me out”, it can just make you look desperate.

For me music is a personal thing, I’m more bothered about making a track that I personally like, I’m proud of and enjoy listening to or playing out. Other than just making tracks I think other people want to hear. 




Spectrum: Recently, you had your track ‘It’s All a Lie’ played out by J:Kenzo on Rinse FM and have received backing from massive artists in the game such as Youngsta and N-type. How does it feel having your tracks played out on the radio and being noticed by such top producers/DJ’s in the scene? 



HK: It feels good when artists you have a lot of respect for play your music. J:Kenzo & Youngsta are definitely artists I have looked up to over recent years, so it’s good to know I’m heading in the right direction. 

Spectrum: If you had to sift through all the gems that have come out this year, what would you choose as your favourite released/unreleased track?


HK: One of my favourite tracks has got to be ‘Bodyburn’ by Asylum for the sick beat pattern. Also a forthcoming track called ‘Straight 9’s’ by Ruffhouse is really well produced. There’s a 140’ish dub by Overlook called ‘Shapes’ that I’m into. The TMSV, Ipman and Sleeper releases on Artikal were great this year, also what Tempa is doing at the moment.

Spectrum: If you had to choose any 3 artists to collaborate with, who would it be? Why do you feel your sounds would fit together?

HK: I would probably have to say J:Kenzo due the distorted 808’s and minimal beat patterns with dance floor energy. Biome because I’ve been a fan of him for such a long time. I think I was the first or second person to release a 12″ from him ages ago. A 140 track with Kryptic Minds because their production is so on point and they made one of my favourite tracks of all time ‘Six Degrees’.

Each of these artists has a dark, minimal, atmospheric sound which is exactly what I love.  I’ve got to add a fourth artist as well – Beezy due to the fact he’s such a sick vocalist and he’s been supporting my tracks ever since I started making them, definitely want to work with him in the future. 




Spectrum: No doubt all your music is your own, but recently rumours of ‘Ghost Producing’ have tainted the reputations of numerous large electronic producers. Do you think it’s right for songs to have a face/image and the creator to have simply been paid to do so, and gain no recognition?



HK: No definitely not. It wouldn’t be a good look. You wouldn’t be able to feel proud of your music which is the main reason I make tunes. It takes so long to craft your skills and get good enough to get respect.

Personally it wouldn’t work for me. There’s only really one way you can learn to make sick tracks and that’s by investing enough time and practice learning how to do it yourself. You can learn tricks and tips off people you know or just look around online but it still takes years. Like everything in life, if you do the work you will reap the rewards.

Spectrum: How would you describe the direction you’ve taken in the exclusive mix you’ve put together for Spectrum? 


HK: I played a lot of my own dubs and also tracks from producers in my close circle. Also some other bits I’m just generally feeling at the moment. It’s dark & minimal as expected, switches from half-step to more rolling tracks and then back to half-step. I didn’t really give the tracks much chance to play on their own, just quick mixes and always two or three tracks in the mix.

 

Spectrum: Finally, have you got anything forthcoming you can let us in on or any tracks you’d specifically like to get out there?

HK: I’m currently working with one of my favourite labels and have a track or two forthcoming on vinyl & digital. Can’t say much other than the tracks will be my usual dark & atmospheric style. Also, I’m working on a follow up 12″with them which is pretty exciting, really looking forward to when they drop. 


Below you will find the tracklist, the mix and the download link

Tracklist:
1. Hidden Knowledge – Mecca (Dub)
2. Gutcha ft Beezy – Lost Souls (Dub)
3. Baitface – Bloodsport (Dub)
4. Hidden Knowledge – Darkness (Dub)
5. Gatekeeper & Hidden Knowledge – Unknown (Dub)
6. Komonazmuk – The Ghoul (Subdepth Records)
7. Hidden Knowledge – Babylon System (Dub)
8. Asylum – Bodyburn (Crunch Recordings)
9. Hidden Knowledge – Etherium (Dub)
10. Hidden Knowledge – Untitled (Dub)
11. Komonazmuk – Not Enough (Subdepth Records)
12. Hidden Knowledge – Its all a lie (Forthcoming)
13. Hanover – Lily (Dub)
14. Hidden Knowledge – Devils Work (Dcult Remix)
15. Versa – Vuelvo (M.U.D)
16. Hidden Knowledge – 13 (Dub)
17. Komonazmuk – u will die (Dub)
18. Hidden Knowledge – UFO (Dub)
19. TMSV ft Beezy – Crashing (Forthcoming Boxclever)
20. Hidden Knowledge – See Fear (Dub)
21. Pheral ft Beezy – Paradox (Dub)
22. Hidden Knowledge – Pathway (Dub)
23. Hidden Knowledge – Edge of the World (Dub)
24. Ruffhouse – Unknown (Dub)

Hidden Knowledge:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hidden-Knowledge/138694116321130
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/hiddenknowledge

Written By Drew Jones

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