Monty: New Zealand has "One of the Best Scenes for D&B" in the World

We chat with 1985 Music affiliate Monty about his connection to the label, his productions, and his love for drum & bass down under.

6 min
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Dec 14, 2021
Cameron Holbrook

Hailing from Toulouse in France, DJ/producer Monty has become widely revered as one of the drum & bass scene’s most impressive acts. His arsenal of gritty rollers and wonky halftime tunes has caught the attention of respected labels like The North Quarter, Critical Music, Flexout Audio, and most notably, Alix Perez’s 1985 Music, which just released the artist’s debut album, Hit The Lights.

A comprehensive 16-track long-player, the LP teeming with vigorous bass music variety and features heavyweight collaborations with artists like Strategy, Chimpo, Visages, and more. Check it out below.

“If you deep listen to the album and take the time, you’ll notice that every track is connected,” Monty says. “I really enjoy albums like this. It tells more of a story as if the transitions are like turning a page in a book or chapters. It was a challenge to do but worth it in the end. The album was built from everything I love and learned in the last ten years about bass music.”

We caught up with Monty to learn more about this highly-anticipated release, France’s drum & bass scene, his planned tour in New Zealand, and more.

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Thanks for joining us, Monty! Now that the year is coming to a close, what were some of your highlights of 2021?

Hi, thanks for having me. I’d say the show at the bikini club in Toulouse. I hadn’t played for a good year-and-a-half, so it felt good to be back with everyone in Toulouse. The London show at Fold in London was sick as well.

Bring us back to your first drum & bass party at Bikini club in Toulouse. Was there a particular track or set you heard that night that stuck with you the most?

Seeing Break for the first time without actually knowing who he was or what music he made — he’s still one of my favorite producers of all time.

How would you compare the drum & bass scene in France to the various D&B scenes found in other places worldwide?

Hmmm, I’d say small in general, most shows are in Toulouse or Paris, but we have a solid community with great French artists, many passionate people, and lots of new artists.

On top of your drum & bass productions, you’re also widely revered for your 140-plus deep dubstep and halftime tracks. How would you characterize your personal relationship and studio approach with these two differing genres?

Pretty much the same as D&B. I produce it in the same way, with the same plugins and techniques. It’s the tempo that makes it different for me, not the actual sound design. For example, I could turn one of my D&B tracks into a 140 thing.

How did you first link with Alix Perez to release on his 1985 Music label?

I sent him the track “Spongy Conversation” then met him at the Bikini Club. He asked for more tracks and eventually released the Hold Me Back EP. We’ve become friends ever since.

Tell us about your forthcoming album, Hit The Lights. How long has it been in the works, what inspired the name behind the LP, and how does the work on your debut album compare to your past productions?

It took me about 6 months. I was producing a track one day, and under my desk there’s a light switch that switches off the main light in my bedroom — it’s kinda weirdly placed under my desk, on the wall where my feet are. I switched it off accidentally and I was like “Huh, yeah, hit the lights.” So there’s where the title track name came from. Not very interesting!

You’re currently gearing up to embark on a tour through New Zealand! Have you ever been before? Do you have any thoughts or predictions on what kind of experience it will be?

I am and I can’t wait as my last tour got canceled. I already toured there once back in 2019. I absolutely love it there, one of the best scenes for D&B. There is something in the air over there that makes everything special.

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