For the 11th1 More Mix edition we slide into something very woozy, deliciously vast, wavy and occasionally trippy courtesy of HØST. With releases on the likes of Unchained, Hooversound, Plasma Audio and, most recently, Rockwell’s Obsolete Medium, the young UK beatsmith is no stranger to any bass fan who leans on the more experimental 140-ish side of bass.
Flexing between a wide array of genres, any given HØST excursion can go in any given direction: from the more uncompromising dubstep swagger to a more strutting leftfield house vibe via a sleeker, emotional drum & bass perspective, all bass bases are covered. He’s not shy of a few cheeky flips either. Wearing his musical influences and inspirations on his sleeve, over the years everyone from Chase & Status to Biggie via Idles have gone under his crafty scalpel.
That’s barely scratching the surface of this man’s signature or vision. Hell, he’s so prolific, he wrote tunes specifically for this exclusive 1 More Mix session. More of a showcase or presentation than a DJ mix per se, this is HØST in his most natural form, revealing himself to the world with an honesty, a heaviness and a brazen disregard for typical dancefloor arrangement or form.
Enjoy the mix and read on to find out where HØST is at, where he’s come from, what he has coming up and why he’s not averse to playing pre-recorded mix in the club!
I think we need to start with the HØST origin story…
I honestly can’t remember the first time I started playing around with music. I know I was super young and I remember my dad coming back from a work and one of his friends had loaded Reason on it. It was either Reason 1 or 2, so we’re going back a long way but at some point I do remember having a fiddle and being like ‘yeah this is cool’.
I wasn’t crazy into computer-made music, though. I was really into metal and hip-hop. Whenever I did play on a DAW I’d be trying to make metal beats. But one of the main things that got me into electronic music was a Shogun Audio podcast. I’d heard a bit of D&B but hadn’t delved into it properly, then I heard Rockwell’s Underpass on the podcast and that really got me into making music. I also got really into dubstep, Caspa & Rusko Fabriclive.
Was that in real time? You seem too young to have picked that up on the first wave…
Yeah it had been out for a while. I think I found it in the library. They also had Dizzee Rascal’s Boy Da Corner and Stand Up Tall. That was a real, ‘Oh shit, I love this music!’ moment. But seriously making it? That’s only been recently.
Maybe from 2019 with releases on Unchained and ESC?
That’s right. Prior to that I was releasing under a different alias Rinsin which was kinda full screech dubstep, but that was only half lived. You know, it’s funny. It feels like I’ve been producing forever but when I look back the first HØST release I was really comfortable with was only 2019.
You got the screeches out of your system
They still come out but maybe my monitoring system has got better and there’s only so much high frequency you can take? I’m not as high energy as I used to be. Previously I just wanted to go out and rave all the time. Tastes changes don’t they?
They do. So you just said HØST like ‘h-oh-st’ but as anyone who listens to Vision Radio will know, I’ve been saying HØST like H-er-st. I feel so stupid now!
I do say it like H-oh-st. But I don’t specify what it should be and I’m happy for it to be open to interpretation. I like the ambiguity of it to be honest.
Phew! Cool you mentioned hip-hop as a big influence. You can really hear that in everything you do! I’m not surprised at the metal influence either to be honest…
Definitely. I used to have guitar lessons when I was younger. He’d come round and give me a lesson but we’d spend most of that time listening to music. He showed me Ready To Die, the Biggie album and all stuff like that. I already liked hip-hop but it was very mainstream. A lot of 50 Cent and a lot of Eminem. What pushed me really into hip-hop, though, was the Linkin Park and Jay-Z album, Collision Course.
Yeah man. That rap/metal crossover has been so strong for decades. Bands like Rage joined the dots for me and made me realise how close all the genres are. You can take that back the Aerosmith and Run DMC or the Beastie Boys.
Totally. I think stuff like that is the reason why I love such a wide range of music. I always remember going to the CD shop. I used to love that and live for it and during my spare time I’d watch music videos. I never had Sky TV but some of my friends did and all we’d do is watch music videos. Back when it wasn’t just the same old mainstream shit. A lot of my love of music comes from that eta. Slipknot’s Iowa was a big album for me. I remember going into town and getting it then being in the car with my nan driving back and she said, ‘Stick the CD on…’
Yeah. People = Shit came on, she turned the car around and made me take the CD back!
Haha. My mate’s mum did the same with a Red Hot Chilli Peppers album! Hearing swearing in music as a kid was like a right of passage for me. Like ‘Wow, okay this is how you curse.’
The whole thing was very exciting wasn’t it? I don’t get that from music now. Maybe it’s because I make it, but I don’t tend to listen to it like I did. If I’m not making it I’m often listening to podcasts or something far removed from what people might know me for.
You’re not alone! I don’t read much other music journalism to be honest. I either get annoyed because it’s better than mine. Or I get annoyed because it’s rubbish and could be better. Or, more often than not, I’ve got music writing fatigue and need to refresh.
I think that’s what it is. It’s hard not to be judgy of your own shit when you’re indulging in the same media. It’s very easy to pull influences from different fields. You don’t want to pollute your brain with the same stuff to what you do. And yes, you can get depressed when you start comparing yourself.
It’s the human condition
It really is. So that’s why I don’t listen to music in the same way. But I do very fondly recall being excited for certain albums to come out. I was really into Placebo for a bit and when their album came out I couldn’t stop listening to it.
I think the last album I might have been really excited about coming out was either Radiohead Moon Shaped Pool or Idles’ Crawler. Stuff that’s very removed from the 24/7 bass tunnel I live in.
I’ve actually done a flip of Idles’ Model Village.
Oh wow, I need to hear that.
I played it in on the Moog so it goes with the same energy as a fast strum and it’s got footwork drums. It’s very weird. It’ll see the light of day eventually. I love that tune, though.
Did you grow up in a model village?
Oh man for sure. When I heard it I was like, ‘Oh wow that’s where I live!’
I love Idles so much. They reminded me just how much euphoria can be unleashed through aggression!
Absolutely. I had a similar experience with them. I don’t check many bands much in the same way as I did but I do keep coming back to them.
How about your music? Now hearing about Rockwell’s influence on you, being the first artist he’s signed music from for his label Obsolete Medium is a nice little touch!
Yeah that’s mad isn’t it? I’d sent him music over the years and one day he hit me up and said about doing a release. It’s a right pleasure and he’s a really nice guy to work with. You never envision yourself getting to work with someone like that. So yeah, I’m really happy with how that’s gone. I have to be honest, I go very hot and cold with writing drum & bass. I love writing it but I become a bit disenfranchised with the wider drum & bass scene.
I think it can be very conservative and the whole production over vibe thing has left a real mark. I also think a lot drum & bass is released that shouldn’t be and should just remain as DJ tools. It’s not as creatively free-spirited as the stuff going on around the fringes or a little slower in tempo…
Yeah I think you’re right. And I never want to stick in one genre too. I love writing music – I’m not doing it for any reason besides the pure enjoyment. The idea of music being my job is terrifying to be honest. Making music relaxes me and I think the pressure of having to make a living off it would be far too much for me to handle!
A lot of people – really well respected producers – have other careers and are much happier because of it. No pressure on the music.
Yeah that’s it. Plus there’s the touring factor. I’ve been very fortunate to play my music in some beautiful places around the world but I’ve never seen myself as a DJ. I think about this a lot. So take Ivy Lab’s new A/V concept.
Yeah man, that looks amazing!
It does. I’d love to do something like that further down the track. Having other mediums in the show and collaborating with other artistic disciplines would be something I’d be much more into. I saw this amazing live show in a record store with Mura Masa doing a live set playing the drums and keyboard. That was sick. Actually seeing live performances is very inspiring.
What’s the difference between what a HØST set at midnight in a club and a mix like you’ve done for 1 More Thing?
I was thinking about this type of thing the other day! I’ve been asked to play gigs but I don’t have decks. I go my friend Rizzle’s house and practice on his. So I could go to a club and rinse out a D&B set or a 140 set, but my music is all over the shop tempo wise. You know I was actually thinking of pre-recording a set…
I know it’s a bit taboo! If I was doing a showcase of my own music then it would be pre-recorded. I watch a lot of videos of artists in America who do things like I do musically and they do more active hosting which is something I’d like to do more.
Like G Jones or Eprom…
Yeah it’s a showcase more than a performance in that way. It’s delivered in the way you want it to be heard. Actually I’ve just completed this 10 track project for Renraku. While I was making it I was envisioning that as a continuous mixtape. Essentially I don’t want to be mixing out after the second phase because I’ll be missing out on a whole chunk of song that I’ve spent a long time writing. My partner suggest to me that I create a live concept and run the event myself, that way I build it around what I would like to happen in that type of scenario.
Like an evening with HØST
Hosted by HØST!
I think that’s what I’d like to do so it’s working out that vision.
I’d love to see that. Keep us posted. Or pØsted. So yeah big up on the mix…
I spent a lot of time think about how I wanted it to flow. It’s like a semi-circle shape in terms of how it flows. There are some songs I’ve written specifically for it, and the last song is a promo of some tunes I have forthcoming on Overview. It ranges from 120 to 140. Very heavy, lots of 808s.
Amazing. You mentioned a 10 track project earlier… Is that the next HØST release coming out?
Yeah probably. It’s coming on Renraku and I’ve been meaning to put a longer project with them for a long time. I’d been saying to Kaya who runs it that I’ve wanted to write a longer project and it’s great to see it come together. I’ve been writing the music for about two years now. For me personally it’s my favourite thing I’ve ever written. Then from next year I’ll be doing a lot more independent releases. I’ve done some D&B which I want to get out there, I’ve written a lot of house music too – late night, deeper house music. I want to branch into doing more melodic things. I think a lot of music I’ve put out so far has come from a place of being not in a good mindset mentally and not being very happy with my life. But things are very different now and I’m in a much better mindset now.
Happy music from a happy HØST!
Hahah. We’ll see. But yeah, I am a happy HØST. Enjoy the mix…