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Chris Lorenzo 'For me garage will never die'

Becca Frankland caught up with production mastermind Chris Lorenzo following the release of his collaboration track with Hannah Wants, 'Rhymes'.

Jimmy Coultas

Last updated: 10th Feb 2015

Image: Chris Lorenzo

Chris Lorenzo is synonymous with the rise in popularity of bass house, his unprecedented production skills are behind some of the most recognisable tracks that have shaken up the current dance music scene. Those rubbery basslines and hefty drops are his signature creation, and even when he's co-producing alongside fellow artists, Lorenzo's touch is always glaringly apparent.

One collaboration in particular has catapulted his career to another level and has took him to a consequential artist milestone - having a track in the UK Top 40. We're talking about the infectious 'Rhymes' (listen below) produced alongside Hannah Wants, which currently sits triumphantly at number 13 in the chart. 

The Birmingham native also makes up one half of Dirtybird signed duo Cause & Affect alongside mononymous Kane. After years of ghostwriting, he's finally receiving full recognition for the next level music talent he possess. 

Hi Chris, cheers for taking the time to speak to us. First up we need to talk about Rhymes! After months of it doing the rounds it's finally been released and the response so far has been next level. Did you have a feeling it was going to take off like this when producing it?

Thanks for having me. If someone would have said this track will go into the Top 20, there's no way I would have ever believed them. Honestly it all boils down to Annie Mac giving it the super push, we cant thank her enough!

There's a Daft Punk 'Technologic'-esque sample which frames Rhymes, why did you chose to work with this iconic vocal?

This was something Hannah chose, she has a good ear for what will work, she is very 'current' with the times, the proof has certainly prevailed.

How has the club circuit developed in Birmingham?

Over the last eight years it's certainly flipped on itself, Broad Street and Arcadian used to be where it was at, they were considered the more commercial parts of Birmingham.

Now Digbeth has taken over everything pretty much, Rainbow Venues, Lab 11 and Gibb Street Warehouse, I think the majority of Birmingham ravers prefer the warehouse vibe over the glamorous.

There's been a bit of a bassline house and garage revival as of late, what's your view on this style of music hitting the mainstream?

For me garage will never die, it will slip on and off the radar for a long time in my opinion. It seems that everything that hits the mainstream these days becomes disregarded very quickly - in all honesty I would prefer it to stay underground, it's in a good place with some good producers behind it, as soon as it becomes better well known everyone starts producing it then it becomes over saturated and falls in on itself.

You've been behind a tonne of bass house tracks that we know and love, and you've openly spoken about ghostwriting in the past, is it something you're still doing a lot of?

Not any more, I felt it was the right time to put the majority of work in to myself and Cause & Affect, so recently I've really slowed down with the producing.

It's been great to do some normal day to day things and I've been travelling around and seeing some wonderful places. I'll be looking forward to getting back in to the studio this year as I'm feeling pretty inspired as of recent.

What makes you decide to put your name next to some tracks and not others?

Not everything I have produced I would be proud to stand up and put my name too it. I think when you are processing other peoples ideas you cant piss them off and be like this is shit, but I do have the option to hold my name back on the record.

Another reason is I may have a release due out at the same time which conflicts with another so I have to choose which one I want to roll with, otherwise you end up competing against yourself.

We know Skrillex turned up at your gig at Sound in Hollywood and whisked you away to the studio to collaborate. What was that like?

It was pretty fucking cool. That's probably an understatement, I don't think it sunk in until I left to be honest, he's such a chilled out humble dude. It's almost like he's one of the lads you know, fame hasn't breached his ego at all.

You've got some solo gigs coming up including Treatment in Cardiff and Bournemouth and Kooky's opening party in Manchester. What are the pros and cons of playing on your own as opposed to with Kane?

I love playing with Kane, he showed me the ropes and when it comes to mixing he is an absolute don. We've got some serious vibes behind the decks, we always surprise each other, nothing pre planned - it keeps us on our toes too. If one of us messes up we make sure we know about it.

Its nice to be able to play solo as it's a complete representation of myself. You can really get into the set when you play solo, sometimes I'll be thinking four or five tracks ahead but as a duo you gotta rack your brain a bit more, he might play a track that won't mix too well in to what I was thinking of playing so you gotta be on the ball and switch it up quick. We never ever plan a set so we don't get bored, its more of a challenge to yourself.

What's next for Cause & Affect?

The same as per. We're pretty laid back with our approach, no pressure no stress, it's the best way to produce music. We are actually looking for vocalists to work with right now so if you’re reading this and you or you know someone who thinks they got it send us some demos to www.soundcloud.com/causenaffect

Last up, if you could have been responsible for producing any track from past or present, what would it be and why?

Not an easy question, probably Lovebirds ft Stee Downes 'Want You In My Soul'. If you take a listen (above) to it, you will know why.

For more on Chris Lorenzo including upcoming gigs, head here.