Icicle Shows Us The Meaning Of Entropy With New Album [Interview]
EDM: Is there a particular track on this LP that stands out for you personally, or one that resonates with you the most?
IC: I guess certain tracks resonate for certain reasons. One that I’m happiest with is probably 'Entropy 4,' it was one of the earliest tracks I completed and also still embodies my early ideal of ‘futuristic super music’ most (excuse the term).
EDM: One track in particular on this album has been receiving a lot of attention in the drum & bass community and beyond. Having been featured on the album sampler back in October, “Problems” ft. Skittles also offers an unabridged and unabashed music video to accompany the song. How did you find the experience of making the video, and how much influence did you have in making sure that the video concept matched that of the song?
IC: A lot of credit goes to our director Jack Chute, we had a good meeting and told him what we were looking for in terms of direction and style. He really took that to an other level, built a 360° green screen studio with a camera on circular rails and was in there filming two 16 hour days.
EDM: As we approach a New Year we cannot help but ask; what does 2015 hold for Icicle?
IC: I’ve got a new couple of releases already waiting and some remixes coming too. We are also currently spending a lot of time developing a hardware based electronic live show with synced visuals, to be toured in the first half of next year.
Written & Conducted by Steve Brown
In the realm of heavy bass, there are few djs or producers that have receive such critical acclaim as Jeroen Snik, or Icicle. Since his earliest productions in dubstep and drum & bass, the technologically-advanced wunderkind has demolished boundaries left and right, leaving a trail of fans and peers frozen in shock at his sound design and compositional skills.
2014 served as a milestone year for the already-established producer, as we saw the release of his long-awaited album Entropy, a 16-track journey through black holes of bass and thornbushes of percussion and effects. We got a chance to speak with the bass-maestro about his 4-part album and future plans for the new year. Check out our interview below and take a listen to some of the tracks off of his newest album!
[EDM.com = EDM, Icicle = IC]
EDM: Your first LP Under The Ice came out in 2011. What has been the timeframe for the creation of Entropy? After completion, did it take long for the album to reach public hands?
IC: I started work on Entropy pretty much right after Under The Ice was released. We released the album about 2/3 months after completion, but certain songs were finished much earlier than others obviously.
EDM: Do you encounter any complications in the creative process for releases like Entropy?
IC: I would say we have that down pretty well these days and we don’t experience too many complications, but it is still a lot of work to balance the preparing of the final masters, the finished art work, the marketing plan, etc. and make sure it all works well!
EDM: It's quite clear that you are constantly touring. How do you find the time to release a full length album while simultaneously travelling the world?
IC: It’s definitely hard and it's not without reason - it took me about 2 years to get the album finished. Touring takes a toll and reduces the amount of time you can spend in the studio massively. Nevertheless touring is fun and hard to turn down sometimes, plus it pays the bills!
EDM: In an earlier interview with Kmag back in 2010, you mentioned that Under The Ice was your opportunity to highlight your musical influences beyond drum n' bass, and express yourself without the boundaries often imposed when trying to sell singles. How was the source of inspiration for the second album different from the first?
IC: Those things are still true for Entropy. I think with any electronic music album, it’s really important not end up with just a collection of tunes that could have also been released as a series of singles. You can go much deeper and more varied with an album in my opinion. Entropy though, compared to Under The Ice, has been much more of a focus on developing my technique dynamically, and in sound design, to explore a more futuristic sound. Under The Ice was more of a homage to my early influences and a summation of my musical ‘upbringing’.
EDM: Can you explain the meaning behind the album title?
IC: Entropy means measure of chaos or state of disorder and the way that relates to my music is in the process in the studio for me. Things seem to get more complicated, more chaotic and out of hand as I go along and learn more and try more, despite my best efforts to control my music. Its natural and indicative of progress.
EDM: There are four interludes, each entitled "Entropy," that seem to help break up the album and highlight particular tracks. What is the purpose of the interludes and how do you feel they affect the progression of the album as a whole?
IC: They are a sort of red thread though the album and are definitely intended to structure the flow track by track. Also they are my way of including more sonic little experiments as they don’t have to be ‘DJ friendly’ or properly structured etc. So it’s a bit of fun too.
EDM: How was the creative process for this album different from Under The Ice, and how do you think your style has evolved since?
IC: I think I’ve become much more attracted to developing techniques that are really of this time, types of synthesis and dynamic processing, sound design that’s new. That’s definitely different from Under the Ice as that really was still made in a 90’s type tradition more based on samplers and less control over every element.
EDM: Looking back, is there anything you wish you knew in 2011 when working on Under The Ice that you knew going into this current project? Is there anything in particular that you have learned through the production and release of this second album?
IC: Haha, a million things! I guess there is no point in that though, as making music is a process through which you become better. Certain things you have to experience rather than be told!
EDM: Many producers will admit that working with vocals can be very challenging, yet you seem to be consistently working with some of the best vocalists and lyricists in the scene. In fact, “Entropy” boasts four top-notch vocal tunes that really shine. How did you come about working with these particular individuals and how did the tracks differ in their production process? (Shout outs Skittles, SPMC, Sarah Hezen, and Metropolis)
IC: We took some time thinking about which vocalists to use and did demos with various people. The people that we ended up using were the ones that fit the best and added the most. Sp and metropolis are friends and so where very straightforward getting involved. Skittles was a real spur of the moment thing and just worked instantly. Alex Evans, a friend of mine and engineer tipped Sarah to us and she blew us away with her first demo.