Audeze speaks with Drum & Bass artist Rémi Jorquera of Redpill
Redpill is the Drum & Bass alias of Rémi Jorquera, a name under which he balances a myriad set of influences both past and present in the creation of high tech Drum & Bass that folds both aggressive bassweight & enrapturing melodies into its sonic spectrum.
Rémi launched this solo alias in 2016 and has since seen a number of releases across some of the largest labels in Drum & Bass including Blackout, Eatbrain, Neosignal, Virus, Cause4Concern, ProgRAM & the since closed Invisible.
"I have been using my beloved LCD-X since 2015 as main listening gear, thanks to them I was able to improve my mixdowns a lot and hear everything happening and all the details in the music." -Rémi Jorquera
Here's our talk with Rémi:
Can you pick out any favorites from your work that you're particularly proud of?
I think my favorite track I made would be Flesh & Blood
, released on Blackout in 2019. It could be the end result of a signature sound I developed through years which has been described by my peers and fans alike as being at once “both clean and dirty.” It coats heavy bassweight and syncopated rhythms with a high tech sheen born of deftly crafted high ends and often computerized vocal segments.
How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?
Since we can't tour anymore due to covid I spend most of the time in my studio to prepare for after! I really look forward to traveling again to see my friends and to reconnect with listeners!
How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?
I started playing guitar and electric bass in funk and rock bands, I was listening to bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Jamiroquai, Primus and finally dove into drum and bass listening to the music of now genre defining artists including Pendulum, Black Sun Empire, & Noisia. I then learned how to create music with a new instrument, an instrument to rule them all, a computer! I am mainly autodidact and have been learning with online resources such as YouTube and from experimentation and practice.
Can you name any factors you feel majorly influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?
I have been a massive fan boy of world stars bassists such as Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, and Steve Harris (Iron Maiden). When I got introduced to Drum and Bass, listening to Pendulum's Hold Your Colour debut album and it was a revelation, a no turning back point, I wanted to make music like this. I am so glad having been playlisted by Pendulum themselves ten years after on their Spitbank return live set, such an amazing reward for all that hard work!
Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?
Drum and bass music is highly focused on the technical side of music production and it's sometimes frustrating to not manage to achieve a mixdown quality you are aiming to. I am glad to have been learning enough skills during these 10 years of intensive Drum and Bass production to spend more time now on creating interesting music than losing myself in mixdown questions. It's mainly about liking the journey more than the destination!
Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?
I am now mainly producing “in the box” so not using external hardware so much. I have been using a Dave Smith Instruments Pro2
synth for years before and I still love it so much. I think having a powerful computer, a good soundcard, a DAW and selected plugins are enough for me to make what I want to make. I have been working with headphones since the beginning as I never had the opportunity to build a proper studio.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?
I think It requires a lot of patience as Drum and Bass production is very hard to master and there is not so much tutorials online as it's a small scene, but people here are really friendly, helpful, passionate and open minded and the rewards when you work hard are definitely worth the investments. It's like being part of a big family. I never stopped learning and discovering new ways to do, as technology is improving every day.
How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?
I have been using my beloved LCD-X since 2015 as main listening gear, thanks to them I was able to improve my mixdowns a lot and hear everything happening and all the details in the music. Having an Audeze is like having professional listening conditions immediately for half of the price of studio monitors, and I don't even speak of room treatment costs.
I was looking for a similar but scaled-down and lighter weight model. The Audeze team advised me to take a look at the LCD-1 and that was exactly what I needed! I would definitely recommend these headphones! I use them everyday at work.