While catching up with Flux Pavilion at a stop in Dallas on his Freeway tour, the British beatsmith talked to VIBE about working with some big-name collaborators on his new EP and spilled some details about an album in the works. Read the one-on-one below to learn what the DJ and producer has to say about the direction of genres such as dubstep and another Steve Aoki collaboration. Stream the ‘Freeway’ EP below and purchase it on iTunes.
VIBE: Let’s talk your new EP, 'Freeway.' How did your collaboration with Dillon Francis come about and what was it like working with him?
Flux Pavilion: He lived at my house for about two and a half weeks, he came over for his tour and instead of staying at a hotel he came and stayed with me at my place. Well storage wars became quite boring after the first week so we started working on music and then we wrote that track [‘I’m The One’] pretty much. He’s a friend so it was just like working with a friend…imagine cooking dinner with your mate- it’s just kind of the same as that but working on music instead.
Did DJ Hanzel [Dillon's altar ego] ever interfere?
Well DJ Hanzel didn’t really exist then. It was last year; I think DJ Hanzel was a 2013 thing so I have yet to meet DJ Hanzel.
Aside from Dillon, the song ‘Steve French’ with Steve Aoki is a straight banger. We got to hear it when he dropped it here (Dallas, TX) a few weeks back at this stop on the Aokify tour. What was it like working with him regarding Dubstep meeting Electro-House?
I guess when it’s working with people it’s less about genres like that. It’s less about the walk of life the persons in, it’s more about creating stuff and Steve is really energetic and just wants to do things in testament to his success like the fact that he works incredibly hard so working with him was just more of an energetic exchange of ideas, sort of just hanging out, and well a snowball of what can we do- we could do this/we could do that and this came about with two tracks, another that’s coming out on his album.
With 'Freeway,' you are sort of sticking to your liquid, melodic Dubstep roots but generally, where do you think the future of Dubstep is going?
I don’t really know where it’s going; I guess that’s the thing. It’s kind of reached a plateau with Sonny [Moore, a.k.a. Skrillex] like Sonny is just kind of too good.
You both can pretty much be stated as the ‘pioneers’ of it, what would you have to say about that?
Maybe out in the States ‘cause it was like a whole new sound going on. Like Rusko was actually the champion of it.
Rusko actually told us at TomorrowWorld that he wasn’t doing dubstep anymore and is sticking to DNB, thoughts?
Yeah that’s kind of the background he comes from and is all he’s doing now. Like growing up being into drum and bass but yeah it’s kind of like rather than being Dubstep as a whole, it’s just that generally electronic music is in the lime light in the minute and I didn’t write dubstep because I thought it was a good choice and that things are right, I did it ‘cause I liked it and I write it because I like doing it- I don’t care if it’s prime time and I don’t care if it’s not popular. It’s a thing that I actually enjoy writing so it wasn’t really a choice to stick to my roots and it’s just that it’s physically the type of music that I enjoy to write.
So Skream didn't like the direction that Dubstep was going and moved on to another genre. Would you ever consider pulling a "Skream?” What are your thoughts on that?
Well it’s just a human being deciding what he wants to do with his time, which is a completely reasonable thing for any person to do. If you’re working as a chef and you don’t want to be a chef anymore then don’t be a chef anymore.
What is an essential track you like incorporating in your sets?
Other than my own, there’s a new Doctor P record called ‘The Pit’ with Method Man, which is pretty awesome. That’s a highlight definitely.
So your classic track, ‘I Can’t Stop’ was sampled by Kanye and Jay Z and then ‘Do or Die’ with Childish Gambino routed a pretty unique path for dubstep, can you shed some light on working hip hop into your beats. What made you go that way with your music per se?
See hip-hop is all about groove. The hip-hop that I like is all about just having a really good groove and that’s why I really like rap. The art of rapping is kind of adding further groove to a groove. I really like A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5 ‘cause it’s always been like really good hip-hop. It’s the same as how Dubstep isn’t just a type of music now, it’s kind of like turned into EDM and is sort of like its own whole thing. I feel like hip-hop is generally the same. Hip-hop is quite groovy and Dubstep is quite groovy so I don’t really see them as separate things.
So post 'Freeway' EP? Can we expect an album?
Yeah that’s pretty much the plan now, I’ve been constantly writing as much music as possible really. Like without the idea that I’m trying to put out a coherent project, I’ve just been writing loads of music so somehow the Freeway EP turned into actually a lot more cohesive work than Blow The Roof. Somehow all the music kind of tied in and it became quite a strong five-track piece. So after that I’m just thinking about writing loads of music and writing like 30 tracks, creating an album, and seeing what I want to do with the rest of it. So rather than my album being the next thing that I want to do- I’m just going to do loads of shit and see what that turns into.