(of air, especially that at high altitudes) of lower pressure than usual; thin.
distant from the lives and concerns of ordinary people.“debates about the nature of knowledge can seem very rarefied”
Amsterdammer Fuj presents a mix in conjunction with his new EP release called “Rarefied”. The release on his new label EMBODIMENT features 4 tracks that encompass ominous undertones, strewn across broken beats and hypnotic rhythms.
The multi-dimensional matrix of life and beats. We enter the realm of questions and answers via electronic mail. This was the result.
I heard some of the early pioneers of Drum and Bass in your music, how familiar are you with that era and have they influenced your sound now?
I was exposed to D&B/Jungle quite late around the mid-’90s, coming from a metal background I was heavily into playing the guitar and growing my hair as long as possible! Going to my first raves and seeing Roni Size perform in Sydney triggered my interest in the genre. I was captivated by the pace, energy, and aggression of jungle and breakbeats that seemed synonymous with metal.. somehow I could relate to it during my musical formation. I think the seeds of passion for the music was sewn then, it truly sprouted when I moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1999; I was working in a record shop and setting up raves, exposed to massive amounts of music variety and in that environment, I was influenced by good friends, promoters and producers who came to the shop.
I don’t consciously draw out the vibes from that era, maybe in an arrangement sense that I do like long thoughtful progressions and the evolving of sound/energy throughout a tune. A lot of modern D&B is arranged ‘fast’ in my opinion, changes within 16 bars or less, shorter tracks, and faster-mixing styles of DJs have all contributed to that feeling for me. It all depends what you make, of course, the world is rushed as it is, let’s take the time for it to sink in deeper I say!
I figured out that the global pandemic had a reverse effect on many producers compared to the majority of the affected global spaces because they had the ability to tap into the darkness and isolation. Has this been the case for you?
Tapping into the darkness and isolation has been the norm for me in any case, I think the feeling of isolation is familiar for most producers who have locked themselves up in studios, communicated and collaborated other than by physical means. Having more time for it has certainly increased my output and finalised projects that have been shelved along the way.
Tell me the concept of Embodiment? Will you showcase and experiment on different genres on your label or it will be strictly Drum & Bass?
Embodiment is primarily an outlet for my Drum & Bass music, explorations into different tempos and genres will be encountered for sure. I’ve recently made tunes in the 140-160bpm realms, if it’s up to standard then it will all be released at some point. I also plan to release sample packs on the platform, I’ve accumulated a lot of created sounds and would like to see others use and transform the audio for their own musical projects.
You are a transient soul. With the many countries, you have lived and visited, are you planning to inject some of those inspirations into future projects?
Living in different countries has influenced the tracks I’ve made, but I don’t purposefully go out to make a tune that draws from those countries/cultures. We are all shaped by our environment and it’s inevitable to be inspired by it somehow, whether it’s distinctly identifiable is the question; I probably do so subconsciously but I have some projects which show direct intent and the inspirations are highly evident.
They are conversations on the lack of diversity in Drum and Bass music. As a worldly man, your presence alone is making a difference ( I believe). Do you think the industry is simply doing a poor job attracting a cross-section of dance patrons from different backgrounds?
In order to answer this wholeheartedly, I’ll have to distinguish the music ‘industry’ and D&B/Jungle ‘scene’; as a genre that’s a part of the industry, I believe the diversity has always existed, the degree of diversity has ebbed and flowed in time. The scene has always felt inclusive to me in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and religion… however this is obviously drawn from personal experience. The recent conversations are important to have as it illuminates the discrepancies that exist, that people have suffered and have been excluded as such. People have forgotten and disrespected the roots of our music through inaction and elimination. We can’t be naive to the fact that these inequalities need to be exposed and confronted for the genre to attract likeminded, positive, non-discriminatory people, who are in it for the music regardless of appearance and beliefs. I believe the scene can and will do better, these scabs need to be pulled for it to heal again. The scars are for life and should serve as a reminder every time we step back in the progression of our sound and scene. The more diverse representations of people we have, the more we will attract such patrons and similar souls.
Let’s shift gears and focus on your EP. Can you describe the texture of the sounds and the process behind the production?
Inherently my productions are tinged with darkness and ominous vibes; constantly playing with tension and release. I try not to make things too complex, but enjoy making and presenting a variety of styles that I hope is evident. Creating space and dimension within a tune is important for me, not in your face but a vibe that envelops the mind and body. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone within the EP.
Can you say a curse word in Laotian?
Haha, I rather not! Lao language and people, in general, are very positive and peaceful, don’t think I’ve ever sworn in Lao!
Your choice of title for your EP led me to believe you are well-read. What are a few books you can recommend to our readers?
I probably need to read more than I should; some recent readings have been The Tao Speaks, The Power of Now, Zen and the Art of Mixing… the latter I received from a good friend and fellow producer Philth!
Since the first 2 syllables and the pronunciation of our family names match, maybe one day we will meet face to face at a cafe. Your favorite dish to order?
Oh, man! It would be a pleasure to treat you to some fine cuisine from my heritage; starting with some Japanese sushi, Lao larb, and good old fashioned Aussie BBQ!
What are your near-future plans?
I’m currently busy with building my freelance video production business, exploring musical adventures and to improve my Dutch! I hope to release music regularly on Embodiment, I also have a secret alias that is doing the rounds and would love to take that further. In general, I would like to be more content yet push myself into new challenges.
Fuj – Rarefied EP
Featuring 4 tracks; Dream Fever – Ripsaw – Rarefied – HeLa
Exclusively on Bandcamp
BMA – Meto
K-Chaos – Bored Zone
Itti & NoRules – Darkness
Last Life – Genesis
The Last Hero – Cubism
Shinbu & Tuscan – Current
Last Life & Homemade Weapons – Dagger
Shiken Hanzo – The One
Tzr – Things Left Unsaid
Fuj – Pelagic (dub)
Farz – Broken Soul
??? – ???
Okkupied – Bare
Constrict – Notice to Thieves
Fuj – HeLa
Fuj & Out Of Fuel – Altair (dub)
Antagonist – XY
Heatwave – Occult (dreadmaul Remix)
Fuj – Ripsaw
The Egg – Bad Trip (dub)
Baby T – Portra (Jungle Mix)
Fuj – Redset (dub)
Digital – Lemon
Cern – Infinite Exchange
Lynch Kingsley – Distance Between Soundwaves
Mako – Hoxton Home
Forest Drive West – Jungle Crack
??? – ???
Lynch Kingsley & Resound – Antiquity
3VS – Prescient
Wito – Hyperloop
Jason Darrell @ Unsplash