Toasty Boy – Knowledge is Power

Toasty Boy is the name behind some of the biggest tracks in 2004. Unanimous support for Toasty’s tunes have seen dancefloors across the UK being torn to shreads, and these vibes are on their way to Australia too. With support from Hotflush Recordings as well as some of the biggest DJs in the business, it won’t be long before Toasty Boy makes his mark around the globe. I had the chance to see what the man has been up to recently and just a tiny bit of what makes Toasty tick.

Kodama: There are wild accusations being thrown around that you have some sort of connection to Australia. Care to comment?

Toasty Boy: Yeah there is a vague link! Basically my brother lives out there, loads of my mates live out there, and I used to go there every year with my old job, so over the last 5 or 6 years i’ve spent quite a bit of time out there! So big up all Glebe, Bondi, Adelaide and St Kilda crew yeah 😉 It’s a nice country man, need to reach again soon!

K: What led you down the dark road of grimey beats?

TB: Bwwoooooyyyyy… it’s just how it rolled out. Since time i’ve been into beats, started listening to electro/rap, got into hardcore, then jungle, and just when i was losing a bit of interest in drum and bass around 2000, I started picking up little bits of mashy garage. 4 years later and boom, i’m deep in it. Basically UK always seems to come up with interesting takes on my 2 favourite elements, breakbeats and bassage. So it’s hard not to get sucked in.

K: Your tune “Knowledge” is being rated by many as one of their top tracks from 2004. Obviously it must be great to get that kind of feedback, but does it put you under any pressure to continue producing tracks with a similar sound to Knowledge, or is there something else that drives the thinking behind your music?

TB: Well first got to big up everybody for supporting Knowledge… everybody, Hotflush, the DJs supporting it, the ravers going silly to it! I never seen anything like it, witnessing your tune bus up a rave is amazing mate! Has it put me under pressure… mmmh well not really… obviously it would be wicked to have another killler in the bag but realistically, I dont think it’s a good idea to roll out another 5 variations on that theme. When I make a beat, it can go any number of ways depending on whatever i’m feeling, bottom line is I try and put enough effort into a tune so that it has enough depth to have some longevity. I want people to be checking this music out in 20 years time and still be feeling it!

K: Is it hard to still love producing music when to a certain degree you need to live off it?

TB: Yeah! It’s easy to forget why you started making music when you’re eating beans on toast every night, and you cant sleep because you’re worried about how you’re going to pay the rent. I gave up ‘work’ 2 years ago in order to give beats 100%, it’s paid off on a level, but I can’t deny that it’s got to a point now where i’m a bit sick of being skint! And the trouble is that can get in the way of your creativity… I might drive the 10 miles to my studio, sit in the hotseat, and then spend half an hour darking out about what i’m gonna tell the landlord of my studio space who wants this months rent. It aint a good look mate! But you’ve got to try and remember the real reasons why you make beats – to tear down the rave!! – to do peoples heads in haha! If you want to make some change, this is the wrong game to be in! I’m coming to terms with the fact that i’m going to have to go back to work very shortly and take some shit job… got to be done…

K: Do you feel as though there are demands on a forward-thinking music genre such as garage to consistently outdo itself in order to survive?

TB: I dont know about demands, but it seems to be the way with underground dance music that a music style will have a period of a few years where it’s consistently developing and changing up, and then it will kind of reach a plateau where it levels out, and there isn’t so much innovation, things will roll out like this for a while, at which point along comes a whole new sound, which usually alienates half of the older scene, this sound will have massive development and innovation over a period of time, then it will level out, and then along comes a new style and so on and so on and so on… I think it’s a good thing man, you know I had nearly fallen out of love with music back in 2000, nearly sold my sampler and everything! And then the cycle hits and all of a sudden i’m inspired again.

K: How do you see garage within the confines of the music industry?

TB: Ermmm…. niche? underground?… Personally I think the music is some of the most forward thinking, inspiring stuff i’ve ever heard, and a lot of the time i’m really confused why the fuck the industry and people in general don’t recognise! I would like to see this sound gather more weight within the ‘industry’.

K: In 5 words, describe yourself within the music scene.

TB: Pass.

K: Where do you think your production is heading in terms of sound? In other words, do you have a goal for your music, or does inspiration come from different areas of your life all the time?

TB: I’ve got kind of an idea where i’m going with my sound, but you never know I could easily be drawing a totally different angle in a years time, depends what happens in that year! But at the moment i’ve got my little thing going on, i’m trying to draw more dubsteppy patterns, but still using breaks, some moody string action, abstract textures, some different bass noises, you know the deal!

K: Current Top 5.

TB: DJ Distance – Empire
DJ Distance – Taipan
Digital Mystikz – 10 Dread Commandments remix
Digital Mystikz – Some mad terminator strings thing i dont know the name of – BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG!
Toasty Boy – Dibble

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