The process of combining heavy bass synths and quick BPM’s into a beautiful collision of sound and creative energy has birthed London-based duo Delta Heavy; whom of which made their way to Beta Nightclub in Denver this last Friday.
Delta Heavy (often times stylized as DELTΔ HEΔVY) has been a heavy name in the electronic music market for years now, with singles such as “Space Time” (as a non-album single) debuting as early as 2010 and “Ghost” from 2015. With constant firepower production in their released remixes of popular dance anthems, including “Deep Down Low” by Valentino Khan and “Earthquake” by Diplo, their dance room successes don’t stop.
Their newest track, “Kill Room” was released about a month ago on RAM Records (the world’s leading and most renowned drum n’ bass label) and is absolute firepower. Filled with heavy influences from classic drum n’ bass style tunes while incorporating dub-like tones and intro patterns, the track stands alone, easily, as one of the best dance tunes on the EP.
We had the opportunity to interview Ben from Delta Heavy this last weekend and talk RAM, Kill Room, and much more. Check out the interview below:
You just recently completed your first Essential Mix for Radio 1, what was going through your mind when you were asked to do this?
It was kind of like "finally!" because we've been trying to do it for about a year. Since our album has come out our management has really been trying to pitch for it, so our first thought was just "yes!". Growing up in the UK, the Essential Mix is all I used to download when I was a teenager. It was always kind of the 'pinnacle thing' and it was like "you made it" if you had an Essential Mix, so it's been one of those career goals that we've been aiming for. Just like playing EDC Vegas first time or playing Glastonbury the first time, you do your first Essential Mix.. so it was really kind of satisfying when we first heard the news! Then also just like "shit, we have so much to do!" because it is quite the mix.
[The mix can be found here]
Yeah, two hours!
Yeah! And you want it to be good and have longevity and stand out and be a bit different from just a two hour club set. So yeah, it was exciting!
Do you have anything planned outside the realm of DnB again?
Well we've always made other genres since we've started out. Our album is a bit more drum and based focused but I think it's good because it was our first album and because it was signed to a predominantly drum and bass label. But yeah, we've always liked other genres and have been making lots of other stuff too. Kind of 150 stuff-- more bass house. But yeah, probably more than ever we're looking at other things. I think people are really feeling the mix, especially in America.
Any RAM family collabs that are in the works?
No, we've been talking to several of the artists for ages about doing one but we just haven't gotten around to it. I'd like to think that it would happen...we're really socially close with a lot of the guys--Culture Shock, Loadstar, Wilkinson. We've actually started a collab with Wilkinson a couple years ago and I've always talked about doing something with Culture Shock, so hopefully. It's just getting people in the same place at the same time and getting people's schedules to align. But yeah, I'd like to think that it would happen sometime in the future.
Speaking of RAM, are you excited about the return of Bad Company UK?
Yes, absolutely. They were probably the biggest influence when we were first getting into drum and bass. I remember their tracks from when I was like sixteen or seventeen and their tracks literally blew my mind. There was literally that moment where I was just like "What the hell is this?!". They were a huge influence on a lot of producers so it is really exciting. They're new stuff sounds really cool and the aesthetic they're approaching it with is making it sound like it is from back then and not trying to make it sound like it was from 2016/2017. We've actually done a remix of one of their own tunes, which is coming out next year.
So you just moved to LA within this last year, what has been your favorite part about living in L.A and how has it been adjusting from the UK?
The big difference is the traffic *laughs*. I've lived in London my whole life and I guess in London you can get public transport or walk everywhere, but in LA that's not possible. As soon as I realized I was staying there I literally went out and bought a car the next day. That's how necessary it is! I still can’t get my head around that, but it's cool, it's just very different. I'd like to say it’s a bit more laid back than London, but because of the driving and traffic it really isn't to me. If you don't drive anywhere then it’s chill *laughs*.
Musically, I haven't really gone out to a huge amount of nights. I saw my friend Feed Me a couple weeks ago and I've seen a few friends that have come into town but I just always seem to be DJing somewhere else when there’s a big night going on. But it really just seems to be a hub for music, bass music especially. Even if you're not going out to all the nights and hanging out it still feels like there’s a buzz from all of the events going on. I live in downtown and there’s always loads of stuff happening all the time.
I did a thing for Mix Mag in the Arts District and that's just a cool space. Obviously with what's going on with London nightlife and those places getting shut down. LA, there's loads of new venues opening up and that compared to London that aspect is really exciting.
Your music videos have always set the bar very high in realm of dnb. Might there be one on the way for Kill Room?
Any reason why?
We don't really make videos for the purely underground dance floor tracks. Honestly, if the budgets were limitless--if I had $500,000 to spend on music videos-- then yes, we would make a music video for everything that we've done. Just nobody has that kind of money to spend on music videos, even in the world of pop. So we kind of have to choose certain songs for music videos. For Kill Room we thought that it was just purely an underground club thing and we didn't really see it having an appeal outside of drum and bass or even bass music world. The tracks we make videos for are the ones that maybe 'cross over' to other areas and maybe a bit more accessible.
We should be doing one for a single that we've got coming next year. Not our next single, but the one following. Just because that one is slightly more pop-y and it's got a bit more commercial appeal so doing a video makes sense--especially when you're putting it on VEVO and stuff.
What would you consider your first “big break”?
I'd say getting our track 'Space Time' signed to RAM was definitely the first big break. Getting signed to RAM was a big ambition for us. That track in particular too was one of the biggest tracks that year and biggest selling tracks too. ANDY C intro'd with it for like eight months, so that really got us going.
Lastly, how did you create your stage name?
I was really into Sasha & John Digweed--these older progressive house djs--when I was like 15. They did a North American tour in the year 2000, called the Delta Heavy tour and I thought that it was really cool. When we were looking for a name I was like "what about Delta Heavy?" and it ended up sticking. They [Sasha & Digweed] are aware of it and they've given it their blessing! When Pete Tong intro'd our Essential Mix referenced it and was kind of like "It was kind of a full circle" and that that was real---I had goosebumps and everything. It was really cool. We were actually talking about trying to get Sasha to remix one of our tracks but it hasn't happened. They're dance music legends so it's pretty crazy.
CC credit: Maddi Shea, Chris Becker