GHC Interview: The Outside Agency

Tijd voor een interview, ditmaal met The Outside Agency, afgenomen door onze vrienden van Benieuwd wat Eye-D en Hidden te melden hebben over hun recente bezigheden?

Hey fellas, we know it’s long time ago we did an interview last but I hope we can let you forgive us with this. We had the opportunity to interview perhaps the best act in the Industrial Scene. I also want to say thanks to both of them seperately because they answered back really quick.

1. Hi, Hidden and Eye-D. Thanks for accepting our interview. How have you been lately?

No problem. We’ve been doing quite well, thank you. The both of us are currently working on a project for PRSPCT Recordings and we’ve just finished several releases for our labels Genosha, Genosha One Seven Five as well as some guest releases and new tracks for Smackdown Recordings, Freak Recordings and Independenza – to name a few. We’ve also recently finished all mastering and compiling of our second album as The Outside Agency, entitled Scenocide 202.

2. Both of you individually are drum & bass producers, but how did you guys both agree on becoming industrial hardcore producers?

We released our first record as The Outside Agency in 1996. This record contained four hardcore tracks, so, technically… we released hardcore first and added drum & bass to our repertoire later. This actually happened around 1999, when hardcore become too happy for us. We found drum & bass a lot more mature as a genre, and there was still room for darkness there. Therefore that genre appealed to us greatly. We still produced hardcore tracks at that time, but they were released years later. After this brief “nervous breakdown” in the hardcore scene, it picked itself up again. People started experimenting more in their production, or maybe “the experiments were finally appreciated” sounds more right. It immediately became interesting again. So, as a consequence, we decided to do both drum & bass and hardcore. The hardcore we then started to release was quickly labeled “industrial hardcore” – although we always simply considered it “the hardcore we like to hear”. Our philosophy has always been to make the music that we would like to listen to, buy and spin ourselves. So that’s what we were doing, are doing and will be doing.

3. How do you guys view the industrial vs. mainstream scene? Would you say there is competition between the two?

The industrial scene has always been about dark music. It does not necessarily have to be distorted all the time, although some people might only consider the music industrial if it actually is harsh or distorted. Mainstream hardcore, on the other hand, has slowly turned happier – so essentially, it has increasingly distanced itself from industrial hardcore. It does not seem like the two genres are rivaling – they are merely different interpretations of hard dance music. We believe that the only competitiveness there might be is thought up by people on the internet who can find nothing better to do than squabble about which sub-genre is better this week. In the end, it simply comes down to personal preference. We would like to mention that in 1993 a track like Fuckin’ Hostile was a hit.

4. Why do you think people enjoy your tracks and even say that you’re the best industrial hardcore producers?

Since we try to do our own thing within the world of hardcore and drum & bass, it of course makes us happy when other people enjoy our music as well. Usually, these people also share a fondness for other artists we think are great – and the sum of this all results in some sort of “alternative, progressive hardcore scene” in which open-mindedness with regards to both hardcore and other genres is encouraged. Whether we are “best” is up to other people to decide – we just do what we feel like doing and we hope that people keep tagging along for the ride. We are pretty good, too, though.

5. Your tracks can be called dark and atmospheric. Why create that kind of mood?

Simply because we like it. We’re not doing it to be hip, cool, or overly emotional about how hip or cool we are. Just like any other mature genre, hardcore and drum & bass provide artists with a means to express themselves. Some people prefer to do this by making happy music, other people like dark and atmospheric sounds to convert certain thoughts, ideas and emotions to music.

6. What kind of hardware and software do you guys use?

We use Cubase (Eye-D) and Renoise (DJ Hidden) as our main DAWs, but we can also handle FL Studio, Reason and Ableton Live. We use VSTs by Waves, Sonnox, East West and various others. We both have powerful super computers ready to become sentient at the drop of a hat, and use KRK V8 (Eye-D) and Adam A7s (DJ Hidden) as monitors.

7. Is there any reason in particular why you guys produce separately, or do you actually work more together?

We hardly ever write a track together. The tracks we wrote together and actually have been released can be counted on one hand. Apart from that, we both work individually in our separate studios.

8. We know you guys recently started Genosha One Seven Five, what was the point of creating that sublabel? Why not just release more on Genosha?

Genosha One Seven Five is a label meant for our hardcore/drum & bass hybrids. Genosha is an experimental hardcore label. We felt that by separating these two concepts, we could release more records and at the same time would not alienate certain parts of our audience.

9. We noticed that Genosha Records doesn’t release digitally yet. Genosha One Seven Five does. Will we see Genosha Records releasing digitally in the future?


10. What is the best part about DJ’ing and producing as a group and invidually?

DJing as a team is less stressful and since we know each other very well, we are on the same page with regards to where we would like to go when spinning a set. Producing as a “group” allows you a similar kind of freedom. If one of us has some fast material that is ready for release that mean that the other could focus on some slower stuff, if so desired. So, yes, less stressful.

11. Are you guys interested in producing other music besides hardcore and drum & bass?

We are both interested in producing anything electronic, actually. Consequently, we have been writing dubstep, techno, IDM, electro and more.

12. Thanks for letting us interview you guys! As a final question… Any upcoming releases and gigs we should know about?

As we mentioned early on, we are currently working on a big project for PRSPCT. One we did not mention yet is a TOA release on Killing Sheep. Apart from that, we are also writing new tracks for our own labels and various others – but we are going to keep those a secret for now. What is not a secret is that DJ Hidden is also working on an IDM/Experimental/Classical album as Semiomime for Ad Noiseam. Besides lots of studio work, we also have a lot of gigs coming up. You can check our dates on our various interwebs. So, we’re hoping to run into a lot of people reading this some time in the near future! Come say hello!