Ten years ago, a drum & bass powerhouse was born in London when Ben Hall and Simon James joined forces to form Delta Heavy. They quickly signed with Andy C's RAM Records imprint and the duo have dominated the bass music scene ever since.
Ten years after their first RAM release, "Space Time / Take The Stairs," Delta Heavy have now reimagined the two classic tracks for 2020 in celebration of the momentous anniversary. It's their first release since the pair teamed up with MUZZ for "Higher Ground" after their Only In Dreams Remixes album.
"'Space Time' and 'Take The Stairs' will always hold a special place in our hearts as two of the records we are most proud of, and they represent the pivotal moment when a dream became a reality," said the duo in a statement. "We will never forget the moment we were in the crowd with a group of our mates at a RAM night at Matter, and Andy C intro'd his set with Space Time. A cherished memory that feels ever more special given the challenging times we are all facing in 2020."
"These VIP versions have taken a long time to get right," they continued. "We wanted to update the production to our current levels whilst giving them both a new twist that still felt respectful to the original tracks. We're excited to share them with the world as a way of thanking everyone who has helped us get to where we are today."
Delta Heavy took some time to chat with EDM.com about the "Space Time (VIP) / Take The Stairs (VIP)" release, the imminent "Delta Heavy: 10" celebratory livestream from Fabric London, and more.
EDM.com: After ten years, how much would you say you have grown as producers and DJs?
Delta Heavy: While we've obviously learnt so much and matured as producers over the past ten years, in many ways it feels like we're only just getting started. I personally spend a lot of time dedicated to the technical aspects of music production, the craft of mixing and mastering, so every single track we do feels like we take a step forward sonically.
When we started out our main aim really was making bangers for the dance floor, but over the years, song writing and working with different types of vocalists have become far more important to us. In recent times, especially toward the heavier end of electronic bass music, the focus has mainly been about sound design and production levels.
As we've gained more experience with what works musically in a variety of environments, we've looked to take a more holistic approach to production - thinking primarily about arrangement, melody, musicality and quite simply, "vibe."
E: What are some of your favorite collaborations you've worked on over the years?
DH: We've only started collaborating regularly with other artists relatively recently, and collaborations became more of a theme in our second album Only In Dreams. We have a great relationship with a few vocalists such as Jem Cooke, who we've worked with tracks like "Take Me Home" and "Nobody But You."
We really enjoyed getting in the studio with MUZZ a few times over the past year or so. He's a really talented young producer and writing both "Revenge" and "Higher Ground" was both a fun and a fairly effortless process. You'll definitely see some future collaborations between the three of us.
E: What are some of your biggest inspirations outside of electronic music?
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DH: We tend to draw a lot of inspiration from film and TV soundtracks. Our love of Hans Zimmer has been well journaled, but we're also big fans of the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ramin Djiwadi, Michael Giachinno and Cliff Martinez.
We're similarly influenced by certain classical music, but also by plenty of pop, indie, electronica, rock and hip-hop both new and old. It would actually be harder to find a genre of music we haven't been influenced by, which would probably be something like country!
E: Your celebratory livestream DJ set at Fabric is approaching. What are some of the special production elements you have planned?
DH: We brought in our own signature lighting rig, as well as hiring in a very sizable video wall. Over the past 18 months we've been planning our next production show—"Beyond"—which will be the successor to our Paradise Lost production. We were to set to debut the show at Rampage early this year which obviously was cancelled due to the pandemic.
As the show is effectively on pause at the moment, we thought we would introduce certain key elements of the production for the Fabric stream. While there is a lot more to the actual "Beyond" performance, it's been really good to make the best of the current situation, reunite with our team and give our fans a little preview of what is hopefully to come next year.
E: Any new VIPs or originals outside of "Space Time / Take The Stairs" on the way? How about a third album?
DH: We have quite a few more VIPs and tracks updates done, several of which will be featured in the Fabric stream. These will most likely stay as live exclusives for out sets at this point. As well as the new VIPs release, we also contributed a couple of reworks to our Only In Dreams remix album which came out at the beginning of the year, so moving forward we really want to focus on releasing purely original material for a bit.
E: Who are some of your favorite rising drum & bass producers at the moment?
DH: Justin Hawkes (fka Flite), Reaper, Bensley, Joe Ford, Kanine and Imanu are a few names who we've been really into over the past year or so.
E: What's your favorite memory DJing over the last ten years, whether a club gig or a festival?
DH: Obviously over ten years there have been a lot of incredible highlights. We've been very fortunate to play shows all across the world, and explore countries such as Japan, Argentina and New Zealand. Some of the particular shows that stand out in our memories would be our debut set at EDC Las Vegas in 2012; our debut Paradise Lost show at Electric Brixton in London in 2017; and our sold out Only In Dreams album tour in Australia and New Zealand last year.
"Space Time (VIP) / Take The Stairs (VIP)" is out now and can be found here.
The "Delta Heavy: 10" livestream can be viewed on UKF's YouTube channel or Delta Heavy's Facebook Live this Friday at 19:00 GMT (11AM PT, 2PM ET).