Interview ✖︎ Neonlight

nic Ian Gallant

Neonlight is a name that has become synonymous with modern neurofunk Drum & Bass at it’s finest quality. The musical potential of this German duo got quickly recognised by the Black Sun Empire themselves who signed them to their Blackout Music label. Neonlight are releasing their brand new album these days and DnBPortal managed to snatch an exclusive interview that focused not only on the latest long-playing addition to their discography but also on the space age theme that is present in their music and the relationships inside the project itself.

Neonlight is a name that has been well known in the scene for many years but for those that don’t know, could you give a brief introduction about yourselves and the labels you are working with currently  or have worked with in the past?
We are a two man group (Tobi & Jakob) based in Leipzig/Germany, writing Drum & Bass music for Blackout Music – a Dutch label run by the mighty trio Black Sun Empire, and we are happy enough to DJ a lot all over Europe. During the past seven years as Neonlight we released also music on labels like Trust In Music, Eatbrain, Lifted Music, Viper and Ram to name a few. We are really good friends apart from doing music together which is pretty cool, because we can discuss a lot more about all the music stuff together in our spare time! *smile*

What made you choose the name Neonlight and what were the main interests that made you take up production in general? What DAW do you usually produce on and what advice can you give to up and coming producers looking to step up their game?
Tobi: Cubase 8 is our weapon of choice. But to start with the last part of your question. Never give up trying new things – everything is allowed! Also try not to take You Tube or Soundcloud comments about your music to seriously!

The name Neonlight came to my mind as I was reading a magazine. It was written in capital letters and literally jumped in my face. We both liked the name and started creating a logo with a good friend.

Your upfront style of “Neurofunk” has taken you to the top of the scene and we’ve been big fans for years but what influences you  in Drum & Bass and made you take this style and decide to make it your own?
Jakob: Thanks!! Well we were influenced a lot by Drum & Bass in the beginning. There was (and still is) so much cool music to discover. Gradually you start looking out for interesting stuff in other genres.
Honestly, we do not care so much about styles and names. We just do what we like since we started with producing.

Your new album “My Galactic Tale” is guaranteed to cause carnage at raves all over the world. What made you decide on the space age theme for the title? Do you enjoy trying new experimental styles that you wouldn’t usually focus on?
Jakob: We always love working with a basic idea, a concept behind our music. It keeps things together, for example soundscapes on different songs or a progression within a track. So we did with Sidus, our first EP on Blackout. When we took the decision to make an album we also wanted to continue this story or at least to have a connection to the EP. That is where the space age theme comes from.
And of course we do other music than Neurofunk or Drum & Bass in general! But we decide thoroughly which tunes we release as Neonlight to avoid dilution.

When you are not producing bangers, what do you enjoy doing?
Tobi: The normal life! Family and friends, nature and videogames!

What newcomers do you look forward to seeing how their style progresses over the next few years and do you take influence from any of these artists?
Tobi: There are loads of talented producers out there. The Clamps is one of the guys we are following for a while. His last two EP´s on Trendkill were really good. Disprove, Signal, Agressor Bunx and L 33 are also super dope producers. We are definitely holding the line when it comes to these names!

What can we expect from Neonlight over the next few months?
Tobi: We did a lot more music than the album stuff in 2015. We worked on remixes and collaboration which are ready to unleash in a few weeks. At the moment we have a little break from doing music all day! We mainly do interviews and other stuff which helps promoting the album as good as possible. Nevertheless you can be sure we will be back in the hot seat very soon.

Which gigs or festivals are you looking forward to the most, as festival season is fast approaching?
Tobi: We are really happy to play at some super cool festivals this summer, for example Let it Roll Open Air (CZ), Audioriver (PL), Dour Festival (BE), Fusion Festival (DE) and Sonne Mond Sterne Festival (DE). We also play some decent Blackout club shows again (Fabric / London, Tivoli / Utrecht and Übel & Gefährlich / Hamburg).

Anyone you want to give a special shout out to?
Thanks to “Team Blackout” who worked pretty hard for us the last two months, and our residet “Fat Bemme Crew” because they always come of badly regarding to special shouts! 😉
Last but not least, we send shouts to the huge fan base and the team of DNB Portal! You guys rock!!!