Will Knighton, AKA Dismantle is surely one of the fastest rising figures in the UK Bass scene. At nineteen years old he emerged as a hotly tipped producer who expertly blended the myriad of sounds produced in the post-dubstep world.
After mentoring form heroes Skream and Benga, Dismantle had a number of high profile releases on Fools Gold and Rinse before signing to Flux Pavilion's Digital Soundboy. After releases such as "Computation" and "Warp" catapulted his work into every bass DJ's set lists, extensive tours on both the foreign and domestic festival circuit followed.
In the three years since his breakthrough, he's managed to maintain a unique, recognizable sound whilst experimenting with a number of different genres. He's set up his own label, worked with everyone from Major Lazer to Zinc and become known for his high energy back-to-back sets with BFF Breakage.
He'll be supporting Shir Khan in The 103 at Drum&BassArena's 18th Brithday this Saturday, but before that we got him in for an exclusive bass-heavy Spotlight mix.
First of all thanks for doing an exclusive mix for us, what did you go for in the mix? Is this a representation of what you play out now or more what you listen to at home?
Not to worry! Thank's for getting me involved. It's a mixture of both really. The start of the mix has a couple of tracks I've been into recently and the sort of stuff I would play when I had my Rinse FM show. I think when doing a mix, even if it's an hour and it's going up online or broadcasted, I like to try and fit in as many of the different sounds I like to listen to along with the stuff I play out. I do tend to play a bit harder when I play as apposed to what I play on radio or in mixes but putting a mix together I feel gives you more of an opportunity to put other stuff in. So it's a mixture of what you'll here me play out in the club with a few tracks that fit into what is (I hope) a listenable mix.
For those who may be new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
This has always been quite a difficult question for me but to keep it short without too much waffle I would say energetic, funky with an occasional bleep haha! Although saying that, I have been making all sorts of stuff at the moment. I'm really looking forward to getting some of the newer things out there.
How did you first get in to music, when did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
Got into drum & bass when I was around 11/12, I used to buy all the first Drum&BassArena CDs from HMV with birthday or Christmas money. The Andy C and Fabio & Grooverider ones and the first Nightlife CDs too. I actually sometimes listen back to them now, some old bangers on there! So after that I wanted to become a DJ and my dad got me a set of turntables when I was 13. I didn't have a clue how to DJ! After a while I think I caught on to it.
What have you got coming up on the horizon?
Just finishing up an EP with Jus Now & Champion called X Tempo. It's 6 tracks with collaborations with all of us. We're all very excited to get this one out! Working on new DieMantle material with Die. I've been writing lots of solo stuff too. A lot of dance floor stuff which I'm currently testing out at the moment in clubs and going back in on mixes to get them sounding nice and weighty. Just recently moved to Bristol, so I think working down here and writing lots will be a big inspiration. Who knows what will happen!
What can the Ministry of Sound crowd expect from your set at Drum&BassArena?
Some new material, some bangers and a lot of fun!
You’re known for blurring the lines between house and dubstep, do you think we’ll ever see a resurgence in that iconic dubstep sound from 07-10?
Dubstep has had an amazing year this year and there has always been people keeping that sound alive, more than ever, recently. If you dig through some of the stuff coming out now, there are some real gems. I still love to play dubstep. It really does go off still and probably more so now than a few years back. I'm going to make some 140 stuff again soon - it'd be rude not too! I've been really feeling the urge to write some again. I personally start finding it a bit difficult to keep writing the same thing that you're known for after awhile but recently I've been feeling to try and give that sound another go.
What do you think of the state of dance music at the minute?
A hard question which has no real answer as everyone has their own opinions. Recently, a lot of stuff has started to sound the same and I've been seeing promos going out that have 3 or 4 slightly different remixes, all sounding a bit the same. Saying that, having times where music gets saturated means there's a lot of exciting stuff out and new sounds emerging too. You have to sometimes dig a bit deeper and dedicate a day to finding new artists and sounds that aren't too familiar. There's a lot of great events, festivals and nights going on at the moment and dance music has dominated the charts for the last year. So it can't be doing too badly!
Who are the most exciting underground artists that our readers might not have heard of but who you think will be big names to come?
A guy called Kinzy who's making wicked stuff on Stanza's label Stripes Records. He's doing some cool 130 bits which I'm hearing everywhere now. He will have a very good year next year. A guy called Pote who does a lot of tribally stuff around the 130/140 bpm range. They are two people to look out for. Check out anything that comes out on Stripes, they are set for amazing things next year. They have releases from Monkey Wrench, who are another group, and very close friends of mine, who are making noise.
Who are your biggest influences?
My family, friends and Larry David… Musically, there really are too many to mention. I'm being influenced heavily by more the more soulful and broken beat type stuff. People like Atjazz, Bugz in the Attic (and all the producers in the collective), Kojo Akusa and people making that type of stuff. Great music to listen to.
What do you like to do on your day off, what’s a typical Sunday like for you?
I'm usually in bed getting ready for the week ahead haha. Either that or round the corner at the pub who do the best Caribbean Sunday roast.
How do you prepare for a gig?
I've been driving myself to all my gigs recently so lots of water and coffee. And I'll check the promos and look for new music during the week if I have a particularly busy weekend ahead and see where the tracks can fit into my set.
Who are your dream collaborators, past or present?
At the moment probably the people I mentioned earlier.
Tell us something we don’t know about Dismantle...
I put chilli sauce on everything. I'm currently in the process of finding the best ones..