I recently spoke with Optiv fresh off his June release with BTK, Dirty Tricks LP. He has been a staple in the drum and bass scene as part of Pressure Rise, Cause4Concern and also releasing solo work for over 10 years. This new full length Optiv and BTK collaboration delivers grimy tech beats and heavy bass that makes me make the “O” face. Below, we catch up on the album, living in Switzerland and over a decade of collaborations.
Optiv: I was DJing here in Switzerland and met my wife, I never went back home really. It’s a beautiful place to live and being in the centre of Europe it’s also very useful for getting around as a DJ.
Scrabbit: Talk to us about working with BTK on the Dirty Tricks LP.
Optiv: Although from Brazil, BTK is also living here in Switzerland. I met him at a few parties and we soon started working in the studio together. For the album Vinnie (BTK) would stay at my place for a couple of nights a week so we could just concentrate and get on with making the album. It fell together quite quickly and was a lot of fun.
Scrabbit: During the months that you were making the album, what non-DNB albums were you listening to? Do you think they influenced the making of Dirty Tricks and if so, how?
Optiv: I don’t really watch TV that much these days, I usually just listen to the radio. I listen to all sorts of music whether it is commercial or underground. To be honest I don’t think it had much influence on the writing process, perhaps only in a subliminal way.
Scrabbit: Going back to your early days in Pressure Rise, through your many productions with Cause4Concern, leading into this new album with BTK, how has your production style changed over the years?
Optiv: Well a lot has changed. When I started out I was just using hardware to make tunes. Computers were not then capable of running software instruments or effects, unless you had a lot of money to spend and even then it was no comparison to today’s software. Over the years I have moved with the technology and that has had a great influence on my production style, however today my studio is a mixture of hardware and software.
Scrabbit: What techniques have you learned or honed from working with your previous partners over the years?
Optiv: Working with Pressure Rise I learnt a lot about working with Vocals and live instruments, it was very early on in my career and was a steep learning curve. Working with C4C I learnt most of my skills as we have been writing tunes together for so long, a lot of trial and error. With BTK I have learnt a lot about audio manipulation, he is a master at it, I am more of a synth and sampler user so it has been refreshing to work with him.
Scrabbit:You have just finished a tune, how do you decide whether to release it on your own label or someone else’s?
Optiv: We usually sort our friends out with the tunes; many run their own labels or are involved in a label in one way or another. If they want it to release it then it’s usually ok for them to do so unless we are working to a schedule for our own labels.
Scrabbit: There are plenty of bands out there that have healthy rivalries with other bands. Is there another DJ or producer that you find yourself competing with? Is there a DJ that you measure yourself up to when either of you release tracks?
Optiv: No, I don’t think it’s the same for Drum & Bass. Personally I don’t look at any other producers as rivals.
Scrabbit: For everyone catching your shows on your current tour, what can we expect?
Optiv: A lot of hard, dirty and funky beats and sick basses to go mad to :)
You can purchase the album at the links below: