DJs, producers and label owners Silas & Snare first met in Leeds. Having built their name playing residencies at nights like Subdub and Bigger than Barry, the pair’s early attraction around the 140bpm mark quickly blossomed into a fascination with all shades of bass music.
Evident in the discography of their label Brotherhood Sound System, the pair have released music from rising producers like Agrippa, Troy Gunner, Otik and Yak.
BSS’ latest release sees fresh sounds from the duo, arriving in the form of two wiggy techno workouts that come backed with a remix from Genius Of Time’s Arkajo. To honour the record, we caught up with Silas & Snare for a chat about their past, present and future.
Brotherhood Sound System has been around for a good few years now, have motives and ideas for the label changed much since its beginnings?
It sounds cliché but we genuinely started the label to release music we’re passionate about and find a home for emerging talent that we’ve supported in our sets and on radio. Every release on the label has been geared towards promoting music by artists that otherwise might not be heard (ourselves included), that’s still our plan. It’s great to see all of them doing so well and even starting up their own imprints. Shouts to Agrippa, Yak, Arkajo, Troy and the rest of the family!
Your production intro came via Madam X’s Kaizen label, why did you feel the need to start a label? Do you think that’s quite a vital step now for new producers wanting to make their mark in the game by their own means?
Our first vinyl release came on our own label just before Crissi signed a record to Kaizen (big up Madam X), but we’ve been producing for almost 10 years individually and maybe 6 as a duo. It’s definitely not ‘vital’ for producers to start labels, it needs to be done in the right way and it’s been a huge learning curve for us and it definitely isn’t easy or cost effective all the time! Having said that, we’re both vinyl heads and always wanted to put our music out on 12”, so thought why not do it ourselves whilst bringing through other emerging artists.
You’ve released music from a wealth of talent and some of our favourites like rising producers, how do you go about releasing and finding music that fits with the BSS aesthetic?
A lot of the music we’ve released has come direct through networks of DJs, producers, friends of friends etc. The music we release, UK-teshno-bass-dubstep-club-music or call it what you will, still feels quite niche in a way so it often gravitates towards us. The Arkajo release was a bit different as Nils is Swedish but we literally hit him up on Facebook chat and he’s now a good friend of ours and the label! Sometimes it’s that easy. All the artists we’ve worked with have been very down to earth, a lot of them also understand the trials and tribulations of putting music out on vinyl. Their understanding has definitely made the sometimes bumpy ride a bit more manageable.
You both earned your rep DJing across the country at parties like Vagabondz, Subdub and Hit&Run, has your DJ style always echoed the sound of your production?
We both grew up on a diet of D&B/Jungle which then transitioned into Dubstep, Grime, UKG, Techno and so on and our DJ style has often been about quick fire mixes of anything and everything across a range of BPMs. Our production style has definitely echoed elements of our sets but they still used to be quite distinct as we often got booked based on our previous sets not our productions. Now that our DJing and production are more closely linked, our sets are definitely filled with more tracks in a similar vein to our productions… plus a little bit of D&B!
Talking on your production and DJ partnership, are you both quite different? Do you always have the same vision or is it a means of finding the perfect balance?
Broadly our taste is similar, our vision for the music we make is pretty similar as well. We’ve known each other long enough to know what gets each other going. Naturally there will be disagreements, but that keeps it interesting, obviously no two people are the same. What’s important is that we both value each other’s input and listen (most of the time). In terms of DJing we both enjoy quick mixing and high energy, most of all we just enjoy having a good time behind the decks and never take ourselves too seriously.
Run us through your latest EP…
This EP is definitely more along the lines of tracks like ‘Organic Textures’ from our first release, long atmospheric build ups with a lot of percussive elements before the vibe switches. The unexpectedness of both ‘Tree Of Idleness’ and ‘Paimpols Theme’ as they progress is what makes them interesting. Hopefully they make good listening music but also good club tools. ‘Paimpols Theme’ has a decent amount of analogue from our Prophet 6 too which is always fun!
What’s 2019 looking like for Silas and Snare?
2019 is looking good! We’ve got another release on the horizon, keep your eyes peeled for info on that. We’ll be back at Gottwood Festival for our annual Brotherhood stage takeover with Skee Mask and The Zenker Brothers already confirmed which should be sick! Maybe a trip out to Croatia in the latter half of the year…
Tree of Idleness is out now on Brotherhood Sound System.
Buy it here.