‘Behind The Track’ is a new series kicking off on Stoney Roads that looks to help fans connect with an artist on a personal level. How often can you find out the idea, production and tech behind you’re favourite original or remix?
The first in the series is from current Australian tourer Sampology and his collaborative track “Dancehall Queen” with tough fellow Brisbane producer DJ Butcher, a modern-classic club thumper if you will. Although longtime friends the pair finally crossed musical paths working on a heavier reggae infused stomper based around Beanie Man’s mid 90’s hit ‘Dancehall Queen’ .
Sampology’s live shows alone are worthy of a pitch as he syncs popular culture movie snippets with his jumpy Hip-Hop and dancey sets while DJ Butchers claims are many taking out Red Bulls Thre3style Australian championchips and production duties on 360’s forthcoming album.
For now, click ‘play’ and read how the pair finished such a radical track.
What was the idea?
Butcher : I was digging through a bunch of reggae/dancehall acapellas and came across the original Dancehall Queen track. I pitched it a little bit and started feeling a more up beat track which could drop into something a bit heavier. I played around with some bongos and 808s and immediately thought of Sampology and sent it on to get some of his flavour on it. I think once the bongo sounds and 808 bass kick on every beat was put in place it set the mood for the whole track.
Sampology : I carried on from where Butcher started the track, my idea was to replace alot of the drum sounds with reggae samples and the synths with some outboard gear I have in my set up, and then extend the track into a fully arranged song as the first version was 1:46 in length. I wanted to keep the arrangement & energy of the trap vibe that it was in, but i didn’t want the final track to have any of the same textures or sounds that would make it sound like a trap track. Essentially the intention was to make a hybrid between something club friendly but with alot more warm textures throughout.
How about the composition/production?
Butcher : I started the song in Ableton using various plug-ins and drum samples (e.g. The bongos) and once I sent it onto Sam I believe he put it into Logic and brought the track to life.
Sampology : I’m using Logic as my main sequencer at the moment so I actually re created his Ableton session in Logic on my computer. That was kind of fun now that I think back on it as the process of recreating it gave me a bit of a springboard to do what I wanted to do.
Give us an insight into the Tech behind it?
Butcher : I purely used Ableton and some secondary plug ins like Massive before I sent it on to Sam. Then once he put it together we bounced ideas around and after a few back and forth emails Sam finished the final mixdown.
Sampology : The synthey octave thing is from a Moog Little Phatty with a pretty intense notch in the higher eq to give it more presence. I have used that 808 tone before for the sub hits, its a 808 kick with a pitched down guitar sample from vinyl, layered over the top to give it my presence as well. I think the most important thing about finishing the track was keeping it simple, but choosing the right sounds to use.
I sent the track back to Butcher to check it out and he seemed to be really stoked with what I had done. By the time the track was complete we were both really happy and looking forward to playing it in each of our sets. It then ended up turning into an official feature because either Beenie Man directly or his management loved it so much, it was a super fun process.
So there you have it, the making of “Dancehall Queen”. Be sure to check out Sampology’s current Australian dates including a set at FBI Radio’s 10th birthday celebrations this Sunday and his recent A/V show in Bali below.