1991 Broadens his Musical Horizons on Debut Album ‘Odyssey’

We chat with the unstoppable UK drum & bass achiever 1991 about his dynamic debut album, Odyssey.

6 min
1991
Jul 26, 2022
·
By
Will Gulseven

Since breaking out in 2016 with a string of releases on Chase & Status’ MTA Records, UK producer 1991 has become one of the most distinctive and in-demand artists working in drum & bass. With his debut album Odyssey, which just dropped via his own eponymous label, he’s taken things a step further with a 12-track statement of intent that positions him not just as a drum & bass producer but as an all-round dance music artist — touching on a series of different genres and featuring contributions from a host of vocalists and artists.

We caught up with 1991 in the midst of a busy festival season to talk about all things Odyssey and get the background on how the project came together.

1991 Beatport 2

Hey 1991! Firstly, congrats on the new album — how does it feel having your debut album out in the world, and what made you decide the time was right for a 1991 album?

Hey there, and thank you very much! It’s a real mix of emotions because I’ve wanted to get an album out since I started making music. I’m super excited and relieved to get it out, a bit nervous, maybe, but I also feel like it’s about time it finally happened, and I can tick it off my career bucket list.

How did you find the process of writing and releasing an album compared to an EP or single?

In all honesty, it came very naturally. I love trying my hand at different themes with every track I make, which lends itself to a project like an album. You have an opportunity to showcase multiple aspects of your sound and to take some risks. It’s important to take risks in art.

Most people will know you for your drum & bass productions, but on Odyssey, you also touch on house, breaks, and garage. Was it challenging to work outside of your comfort zone on those tracks?

I absolutely loved it. It’s a challenge, but as I said before, I really love to try my hand at different styles and genres of music — and if you enjoy what you’re doing creatively, then the results will usually reflect that regardless of genre. That has always inspired me when other producers branch out of whatever they are known for and show diversity in their craft.

Tell us about some of the collabs on Odyssey — how did you pick which artists you wanted to appear on the album? Were you able to get in the studio with the artists in person, or were they mostly done remotely?

In most cases, I already knew of the featuring artists. Typically the way I work is I’ll write instrumentals and then have a vision for what a vocal should sound like, and so I’ll find someone that has the right style for the track I’m working on. Then, my management helps me get them into a studio session to write something together — it’s tough to get on the same wavelength unless you’re face to face in the same room, so all the vocals were written and recorded in person. Everyone that features on the album was incredible to work with, and those sessions are true highlights of the whole album process for me!

We’ve caught you right in the middle of a stacked festival season that’s already taken in EDC Las Vegas and Rampage, with a lot more to come. What’s been your highlight so far, and which gigs are you looking forward to most over the summer?

EDC Las Vegas and Rampage were amazing, to be honest, as well as a few shows I’ve done in LA recently. It gets mentioned a lot lately, but there’s something very exciting happening with D&B in the USA right now, and I can’t wait to get back out there.

Any other shoutouts or anything else to mention?

All I really need to say is an enormous thank you to all the people that have contributed to creating and putting out this album. It’s a huge privilege to do this, and I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it!

1991’s debut album ‘Odyssey’ is out now via his 1991 imprint. Listen below or check it out on Beatport.

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