New Arrivals: David ForbesJanuary 29th, 2009
David Forbes is definitely not new to the game. He sure isn’t a New Arrival himself either. But he does have a new arrival in stores for us. His new duo pack ‘Beats Time/Overdose’ has just been released on 68 Recordings and is ready to destroy some floors with David’s techy sound. After more than 15 years of producing, David still knows how to handle the sound of today.
Dance away to DJ
This Scottish producer/DJ was caught by EDM ever since being a kid. David: ‘The Dance virus got me at a very young age. Tracks like ‘Voodoo Ray’, Acid rock etc. in the late 80′s. They were the tracks in the charts at the time when I was at school. Music has always played a big part of my life. I can remember listening to all my mother’s old Motown and Michael Jackson records, dancing away with her in the house.’ But things didn’t really start rolling until he reached the age of 17. Being a young DJ, he was more than lucky to gain residency at a club in Scotland. And that’s exactly where the passion to produce his own sound ranges from. David:’I Started in 1993. I was resident at the infamous club Hanger 13 in Scotland. At the time we were responsible for bringing the likes of Hardfloor to Scotland. The other resident DJ had an Ensonique Eps16+ Keyboard which was a workstation in a box, pretty much like Reason nowadays. A year later I was writing tracks for Combined Forces. So it didn’t take me that long. I was obsessed with it, and when you’re so keen to learn it doesn’t take long to get going. Although it has to consume your whole life, actually.’ It surely consumed David’s life. And well worth it. Being the young Scottish chap that he was, he worked himself up, made a name and by the age of 22 was invited to play at some of the legendary Dutch Combined Forces parties in The Hague. David looks back on the time with a great sense of pride. David: ‘It was an awesome experience for me, playing at those parties back then. There weren’t many UK DJ’s playing at those parties in the early 90′s, so it was a great achievement for me at the time. Something I will always remember. The production was an incredible something, something that I wasn’t used to. I spoke to Remy one time at a gig about the old Combined Forces parties and we had a little chuckle for him being a native in The Hague.’
Breakthroughs and aliases
With more than 100 releases under his belt, 3 top 40 UK singles and 4 releases on the 68 Recordings imprint, David has worked himself up to be a serious player in EDM. The perfect example of his success is his work in group Public Domain. He entered the group right after they scored big time with ‘Operation Blade’ and worked on their ‘Hard Hop Superstars’ album. In 2003 however, David left the group to focus on his solo productions. But that doesn’t mean he stopped working under different guises. Davie Forbes, Sebrof, Propulsion and Optimus are only just a few of his aliases. But David mostly decides to stick to his own name nowadays. David: ‘I do the majority of my productions nowadays under David Forbes, unless I’m doing a collab with another producer. My Sebrof alias is more geared to the chunky techno sound. I did a lot of house material under my Scanners guise, releasing tracks on Subliminal records and my own label Debunk. I was also involved with the million selling act Public Domain, which was more on the commercial side of things. When I release stuff under David Forbes most people associate it with trance, but it can range from 128bpm to 140. There’s so many different styles of trance music, it actually just depends what label I’m doing tracks for to be honest. When you’re producing music full time it makes sense to have a bit of depth in your productions, not stick to the one style of music. If you like a certain style, just give it a bash. That’s how new forms of music evolve: different producers from certain fields experimenting.’ And that’s exactly how we like to see it. It does make us wonder if it’s hard to keep track what’s going on in a certain scene at that time. But to David, it doesn’t matter. David: ‘To me it’s all music at the end of the day. My sets range from Sander van Doorn to John O’Callaghan tracks. To me it’s all just one scene really. The majority of the producers I really like also have depth in their productions. Sander van Doorn and John O’Callaghan for example write tracks in the techno vibe and also the trance vibe, it’ s all mashing together nowadays. Good music is good music.’ Speaking of good music, David’s breakthrough was mostly caused by his trance banger ‘Questions (Must Be Asked)’. David: ‘ I’d say my big breakthrough was my track ‘Questions’ on Serious/Universal Records. Judge Jules hammered it for about 3 months on Radio 1 and eventually got snapped up by Serious Records. Although the follow-up, ‘Answers’ was my favourite of the two.’
Battering the ears
Even though he’s got more than 15 years behind him, David still manages to keep track of the latest productions and – very important – find inspiration to make his own ones. David: ‘Inspiration for me is just hearing great music. Listening to a lot of music, for instance when I’m burning cd’s for gigs, listening to promo’s etc. Dj’ing on a weekly basis certainly helps. I try to listen to as many mixes as I can but it’s hard when you’re busy in the studio. I like to do my emails in silence, haha. My ears take enough of a battering in the studio every day.’ And what about any ‘producing blocks’? Does he suffer any? David: ‘Ahhh, producer blocks. I just go with the flow when I hit them. If nothing comes out, then fine. I’ll take a break. But that’s not always the answer. Sometimes you just have to chip away at it, even if it’s driving you nuts. The one minute you’re ready for punching the monitor, the next your playing a riff… giving it yes!’
We figure working on different styles probably helps as well. Freshly released on Remy’s 68 Recordings label is David’s ‘Beats Time/Overdose’ pack, two techy Forbes records. David: ‘Beats Time/Overdose’ is my 4th release for Remy’s label. I’m gradually going down a more techno route with the releases I’m doing for Remy. As always, the tracks are really bass and groove orientated. It’s all about the swing man! They’re 2 solid DJ friendly tracks.’
Gigwise, David probably must have seen about every club the globe has to offer. And he’s not stopping yet. David: ‘This year has started off great gig wise. I have 2 loose residency’s, one in Scotland down in a club in Glasgow and another with Woody Van Eyden at Club London. Next to these, I’m heading to Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. So it’s pretty solid until April. I’m also hoping to fit a few festivals in there.’ How about other exciting stuff then? David: ‘I’ve been working really hard in the studio of late. I’ve got new material coming up on 68 Recordings, including a Sebrof artist album which hopefully will be finished for April time. Next to that I plan to start a digital label. I’ve also just signed a new progressive trance track to Armada, ‘David Forbes Feat Antonia Lucas – Because of you’. One which I’m really looking forward to. Everything’s in place now, so 2009 is already shaping up to be a good one.’
Beats Time / Overdose
David Forbes presents Sebrof
We all know David Forbes has skills. He’s been enriching the scene with his productions for almost a decade already. With this second release pack on the 68 Recordings imprint, he proves it again. ‘Beats Time’ is a catchy, slightly techy track which makes it hard to stand still. ‘Overdose’ has a much lighter sound, where the same beats makes the listening an uplifting experience. A tasty pack with the best of two worlds.
1. Beats Time