Welcome to Two Hungry Ghosts, a blog that concentrates on 90’s drum and bass plus the different musical styles that helped influence and mould its creation. Learn more about rare or unreleased tracks from the original producers, listen to previously unheard mixes from the early days of hardcore and drum and bass plus discover new music (in an old style) via free downloads and exclusive streams.

Each month we post a series of interviews and articles exploring old tracks, producers and DJ’s. We also talk to modern artists that are inspired by that golden era or share those same core values of expression, community and experimental music production.

An Introduction To The World Of DYL

To celebrate the release of the “Hybridization EP” on re:st we chatted to Romanian producer DYL about his mutated vision of drum and bass. We also discuss early inspiration and how at almost thirty years old there is still room for fresh experimentation at 170 beats per minute.

What I love about your sound is its rich feeling of texture. I hear all kinds of styles and influences in your music, do you consider yourself a drum and bass producer?

Thank you, I’m glad to hear it. Sometimes I’m a drum and bass producer, sometimes I’m not. One thing is certain, everything I do moves around 170 bpm. I have a love that will last forever for drum and bass, pushing the limits started from inside this music.

So what were you listening to before drum and bass?

Back then I was inspired by the likes of Autechre, Massive Attack and Joy Division. Time passed and I discovered drum and bass.

How did those non drum and bass artists help shape your sound?

Well, Aphex Twin and Autechre are responsible for teaching me to be much more creative and how being a producer isn’t limited to a certain view. I’ve learnt from them that you can express your music in many ways. Joy Division and The Cure taught me how to talk through my music to people.

So when did you start to produce and what did you use?

When I discovered drum and bass I said “enough!” and I started to learn more about music and began to produce. My first attempts were in Fruity Loops.

How about now?

I’m using Cubase and field recordings. Sometimes a MS-20 mini, for example if I’m feeling the noise produced by a bus while I’m going home from work, that might be the beginning of a track. I find music everywhere.

It’s interesting to hear about your field recordings, do you ever use commercial sample packs as well beside breaks? I don’t think you could make music any more personal than recording your daily surroundings!

I used to at the begining, not anymore. I’m very obssesed with manipulating the sounds. Tracks for me are like Lego, I start building them with a lot of enthusiasm… sort of like Christmas time. It’s just amazing how my fridge can be a spaceship.

Your style seems much more rooted in atmosphere and tone than it does genre. How would you describe your productions?

I’m an introverted person, I’m a lonely wolf that always tries to do his own thing. I try at every ocassion to do something a bit different, something that isn’t repetitive. That’s why I don’t believe in this “cage” called musical genre because it generates limits, why don’t you just leave your imagination free and try to do things a bit different without that fear of being judged, without fear of failure?

I have to be honest and say when I first heard some of this new lo-fi 170 stuff I didn’t quite understand its relationship to drum and bass other than beats per minute but then it dawned on me. I think it’s natural evolution. I see what you guys are doing is tapping back into that early 90’s creative spirit that was centred around pushing boundaries and experimenting. That’s what that golden era was to me… It’s wasn’t just about amens, 808’s and ambient FX. Where do you see this style going and what feedback do you get when you play traditional drum and bass heads your more abstract material?

It’s not something for everybody but step by step we’re moving in a good direction. My thing is to mix the 170 hybrids with other genres that have similarities, then I’m adding more drum and bass tracks and the result is a trip with variety that keeps everybody happy. The reaction has been good because most of the people are open to new sounds.

You’ve had a string of releases on a variety of labels over the last few years that are really pushing boundaries, who’ve you worked with so far?

I’ve had the luck to work with people like Sub (Syncopathic Rec), Simon (Nord Label), LXC (Alphacut), Lcp (re:st), Alien Pimp (Dubkraft), Thomas (Minor), Raica (Further Rec), Hangout Music crew and many more that believed in my vision from the start and always helped me. I’ve been lucky to meet the right people, I just want to thank them all for helping me!

Are there any highlights from your back catalogue that you’re particularly proud of?

I’m proud of every release, every single one has a special meaning for me. They’re like my children. I love them all, good or bad! Haha…

How about for people that are just discovering your music?

Check these:

DYL – 22 (Hangout Music)
DYL – Monoceros (Nord Label)
DYL – Concept 1 (Minor Label)
DYL – Reductio Ad Absurdum (re:st)
DYL – PPXXPP (re:st)

Your latest EP consists of five wildly different tracks that remain cohesive along side each other. Can you talk us through the production process of the Hybridization EP?

I talked with Lcp about doing a new EP for re:st and started to work on it enthusiastically as I always do. The EP also contains a collaboration with DB1 which I’m very proud of, Dylan is a great producer and I really enjoy working with him, so expect more! Also keep your eyes on the label for more!

You mentioned earlier about being introverted and a lone wolf, how did this effect your collaboration with Dylan? How did you work on this track together?

We have a very good flow when we work together, same thing happened with my previous collaborations, do you know why?

No. Why?

Because being a lone wolf and introverted doesn’t mean or necessarily refer to working alone. It’s more about reworking those certain rules that a musical genre comes with and trying to make them more creative, letting them float around other influences and assimilating new sounds.

Minds that think in the same way but with a different style of expression should work together because this is how you get evolution in music. There are a lot of artists in the 170 spectrum with this kind of thinking.

I hear a lot of Photek influence in your Drum And Bass tracks, especially on “The Veil Of Ignorance” (the collaboration with Dylan AKA DB1). Was he an important inspiration and which other Drum And Bass producers have inspired you?

Yes! Photek made one of the first impacts on me within drum and bass, also Dillinja and Jonny L were the influences that made me say “This is it! I have to start produce music!”

You want to recommend any other modern day artists to check in a similar style?

Here are a few that come to mind right now: Projekt 22, Entire, Paragon, DB1, DAAT, Nic TVG, Jalex, Pessimist, Overlook, ILL_K, OWL, Blanca, LXC, Alien Pimp, Stavrogin, Neurosplit, there are more to discover.

There seems to be a real return to vinyl releases at the minute that are often dogged with delays, criticisms of poor product or expensive second hand sales via Discogs etc. What does it mean for you to have your tracks on vinyl and have you had any bad experiences with releases in the past?

Well, having vinyl releases is great as I’m a big fan of the format and because it’s a great feeling to touch your music physically. Something more personal, I haven’t had big problems with releases in the past, thats just life though.

Finally, what’s next for DYL and where can people find out more about you and your music?

I’m not saying much but just to keep your eyes on soundcloud.com/dyl170 and facebook.com/dyldnb for more info as everything at the moment is still processing.

Anything you want to say?

I want to thank everyone that helped me all these years, much love and respect!

As A Tribe Called Quest said “We do it all for the love y’all, yeah, we do it all for the love y’all.”


Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/dyl170
Facebook: facebook.com/dyldnb
re:st: relationreset.com

Getting To Know T.R.A.C And His Life In Motion

V Records recently released the debut Liquid LP by US MC T.R.A.C (To Rule And Conquer) titled “Life In Motion“. He is no stranger to releasing music having previously recorded an album for the legendary disco, soul and hip hop label B.B.E Records who have been responsible for classic releases from DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinna and J Dilla.

“Life In Motion” features productions by a range of highly respected Liquid producers including Calibre, Paul SG and Submorphics.

We caught up with T.R.A.C to talk Hip Hop, influences and working with V Records.

Stream: T.R.A.C – Pursuit (Featuring Paul SG and MC Conrad)


Before we get into the album and Hip Hop influenced Drum and Bass can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how an MC from Brooklyn got involved in the Liquid scene?

It’s the million dollar question nowadays. I’ve always been open to different styles of music, be it popular or underground. DJ I-CUE, a good friend of mine who I met through Hip Hop, was already deep into the breaks and breakbeat culture putting out some singles before I even knew what it was. He always wanted to do a Jungle/DnB tune with me and it finally happened on a label called Liquid Sky. Next thing you know I’m putting out singles and getting a little travel time in. Once I understood it, I pretty much embraced it.

Whats the Drum and Bass scene like in the States?

Well, it’s not as big when compared to what’s been going on in the UK and the rest of Europe but its been around for a pretty long time here in the States. I’ve been to (and have been part of) plenty of amazing DnB events. Kind of like soccer here. It’s a smaller market in the States but a very exciting one. Just to add, there may have been moments where people may have been liking the Drum and Bass vibe at an event but they were never aware of what they were listening to. I even saw that happen at EDM events. Funny but true.

How do your Hip Hop fans react to the Drum and Bass stuff?

Everyone’s been positive. It’s always crazy when I see someone who I know is from a Hip Hop background say they had fun at an event or they like a certain tune I did. Plenty daps to go around in that case.

You’ve just released your latest album Life In Motion on the legendary V Records. How did you originally connect with those guys and what can people expect from the LP?

I met V Boss Bryan Gee through the shopping of tunes. Paul SG from Vienna and I had sent out some demos which got into Bryan’s hand. He liked what he heard and eventually put a tune on one of his “Club Sessions” compilations. I ended up hosting for a few of those. Then later on a visit to Brooklyn we finally linked up and did a few gigs together. It’s been good ever since.

You’ve previously made a string of singles for V, how is the process of working on an LP different?

The difference with the album is I’m trying to tell a story of sorts, an underlying one about whats been going on with me and life. Most of the journey I’m talking to myself and trying to figure things out. Even the current favorite “Step Tune” has a third person perspective about it. Not enough guts to dance with the girl but he tries anyway. There are some funny and some serious moments along the way but all of it is drawn from experiences, it’s well thought out. That being said, doing the singles was a great way of getting some added exposure and creating a buzz.

The album is a real tight blend of Hip Hop and Liquid. Am I right in saying the first track features a subtle homage to “Supa Star” by Group Home? How did you approach fusing these two genres?

On the nail! That tune is one of many double-entendres on the album. It’s a song of new beginnings and getting ready for whats in store, as well as a way of sending a quiet salute to Group Home and DJ Premier (waddup Jeru!). When it comes to me doing these kind of records I just stay in my Hip Hop lane and drive. In my opinion music needs to be natural and consistent so that’s usually my approach.

The album features a range of guests including Calibre, Conrad and Lenzman. Can you run us through the process of collaborating across genres and countries?

Man! It was a humbling thing to get all of the artists involved in this project. I’ve been around for quite a while so I had some established relationships with some of the producers I reached out to. Lots of back forth talking ideas, going thru emails and such. Bryan also reached out to some artists I’ve been wanting to work with, we then brought all our marbles to the table and did what we could. In the end it feels like we completed Mission Impossible or something. I mean, this album has twenty one different artists (producers and vocalists) from three continents and seven countries. It was two years in the making but the end result was worth it.

For me the stand out tracks are the hip hop ones. I’ve not kept up with V over the years but I was a massive fan of the early Krush and Roni Size releases when they where breaking the mold of what was considered Drum and Bass, they didn’t seem afraid to take a few risks. I never thought I’d see the day the label would release hip hop though… Whose idea was this?

Ha! I think it’s the V way of letting the artist be who they are. Let’s not forget that both Jungle and DnB are just as close relatives to Hip Hop as they are Reggae. It’s all in the DNA if you really look at it.

As much as it’s a Drum and Bass album with Hip Hop lyrics it’s also a Hip Hop LP crafted by Drum and Bass producers. There’s an amazing little downtempo EP hidden away on the album that deserves to be heard by the hip hop crowd, are they any plans to release the hip hop tracks separately?

We’re looking for a way to bounce and balance within the different genres. It feels new to be in this kind of thing. A Hip Hop EP idea would have been nice but I would still want everyone to check it all out. I’m glad I did a good job with the records, especially with the style of rap I like to do. In all, I want people to get away for a sec, from all the labeling and terms out there, and just take the album in as a good plate of music.

Your debut album “The Network” on BBE records was produced by Marc Mac from Reinforced Records a label I have a lot of love for. How did you guys meet and start working together?

I knew of his collaborative 4hero works for a while, and even knew some of the stuff they had done in the early days, but I was never really aware of the aliases and pseudonyms he used over the years. Eventually a friend of mine got me to listen to the first Visioneers album. I was so encouraged by the music at the time that I sought and reached out to Marc back when Myspace was the thing. The rest is history…. I’m grateful.

4hero were one of the original pioneers of Hip Hop fusion with their remixes for DJ Krush and Scarface. What’s it like working with the original Dollis Hill Crew?

The memories I have working with Marc are simple. It was partly an internet thing which is how we came up with the name of The Network. He’d let me check the vaults of his in the works instrumentals and I had the privilege of picking and choosing what worked for me. Due to the fact we live countries apart we chatted mostly online. This year I got the chance of meeting him and his lovely family, as well as part of the Reinforced team, right where the Dollis studio use to be. To say the least it’s a day I wont forget anytime soon.

Can you name any other Hip Hop/Drum and Bass fusions you love or have been inspired by? A few others have tried it in the past, people like Goldie and DJ Crystl.

There are some obscure joints that I’d love for heads to check such as “Elevation” of the Zion I’s “Mind Over Matter” album. Another record that was an influence and maybe hard to find is a Choclair remix for “Just A Second”. Both of those came out mid to late 90’s so were a bit ahead of their time. Add Goldies “Inner City Life”, Roni Size “Brown Paper Bag”, and Shy FX’s album “Diary of Mad Soundbwoy” to the list and you’ll get an idea of where “Life In Motion” is coming from musically.

You got the chance to work with probably my all time favourite Drum and Bass MC on “Pursuit” produced by Paul SG. What was it like working with MC Conrad and can you tell us a bit about that track?

Conrad is a good friend. He is very intricate and meticulous when it comes to music. On “Pursuit” I got to experience all the workings firsthand as the vibe he brought felt like a dream come true. There were certain things I had a hard time explaining and yet somehow he understood. It’s a proper compliment and one of my favorites as well.

Did his album “The Vocalist” influence you whilst making “Life In Motion”? It’s the closet thing I can think of comparing it to!

Pardon my ignorance but I have never heard it in it’s entirety. I was too stuck on “Soul Patrol” and “Golden Girl.” Hoping he doesn’t freak out when he sees this! Haha…

Going forward what does the future look like for T.R.A.C? What’s next?

It never stops man. Some surprising features on DnB tunes and a new Hip Hop album in the works with Marc once again.

Anything you’d like to mention or anyone you want to give a shout to?

Thanks for the interview and a big up to all for the love and support.


Spotify: spoti.fi/2Hq7R54
Facebook: Fb.com/tracmuzik
V Recordings: vrecordings.com