Pessimist // Samurai Music Group Official Podcast #23


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Kristian Jabs aka Pessimist feels somewhat under rated, but for those that really know their deep, minimal drum and bass, it's clear that he has a very singular talent that influences those around him musically.  As Pessimist he has been sculpting some of the most immaculately hypnotic rhythm tracks which have helped change the course of this music's sound since around 2009. His work with Ruffhouse has brought a different kind of attention with their tunes altogether more dancefloor focused, but underneath every Ruffhouse piece is a clever rhythm that bares the trademark Pessimist touch. 

Pessimist first appeared on Samurai Music in a collaboration with Arma, but we have been working at a solo single from him ever since. Out now is 'The Woods' / 'Lead Foot' on Samurai Music and to accompany his Samurai Podcast and release we had a quick chat with him.

Pessimist on Samurai: NZ016: Digital SMG004: Vinyl / Digital



How have things changed for Pessimist as a producer with the popularity of Ruffhouse? Has this given you freedom to go even deeper into your individual style?

It's good, it's made people more aware of the music i make. There's a lot of people that probably wouldn't have heard my music if it wasn't for the music we have released as Ruffhouse. When it comes to writing music by myself it's much more me making music just for me and if other people like it then that's a bonus. When writing solo tracks i tend to make much more stripped back, rhythmic tracks, its a lot easier to put a vibe that's in your head down when its just yourself because you know exactly what you want.


How do you separate music made solo and music made for Ruffhouse?

Quite simple really, if I'm in my room and fancy making music I'll write a Pessimist track. Whereas with Ruffhouse we all have to be in the same place at the same time which takes some organizing.


The Woods was made in November 2012 but has lost none of it's vibe and sounds contemporary with a lot of what is around at present. Are you surprised at how well it has lasted?

It's good to see and nice to hear you acknowledge that, to be honest i was confident that would be the case. I think a track like that, which is quite simply a few percussion rhythms isn't going to go out of date quickly providing the aesthetic of the track doesn't sound too tacky or sceney. It's not a track that's been rinsed by DJ's also, so that's another reason why it's probably stayed fresh this long.


There seems to be a great musical cross section of DnB producers living in Bristol now. Is there a sense of community there that provides inspiration?

It's only really the other day that i realized, shit there's loads of Drum & Bass producers living here now (not that i was worried, it's just surprising). There could be a sense of community but at present there isn't really a staple night pushing the sort of stuff I do. It's been a few years since I've played a Drum & Bass set in Bristol and trust when i say we've been busy gigging lately. We're in the process of starting up a night towards the end of the year which will be somewhere for us to test out some beats and get all the people we feel are making good music in and outside of Bristol. Also I suppose hopping on the National Express with Clarity now and again contributes to a sense of community.  


We know you are dipping into producing other tempo's at present and have had radio support from the Livity Sound guys. Is there a particular sound that is inspiring you, any particular BPM you are finding conducive to what you want to produce outside of DnB as Pessimist? Do you find your work approach as Pessimist a help with this new style or is it a case of having to drop all your normal working methods and start again?

I'm a fan of almost everything, not psy-trance or gypsy swing though. I really like some of the music that's being made here in Bristol from the likes of Hodge, Asusu, Facta, Rhythmic Theory, Lurka and of course Pev, its fresh & local. I've been writing 130 but I'm not really bothered whether its this or that I just write music in the style i write music whether its Drum & Bass, Techno or trip-hop, it's healthy to write a range of music, if i was too write the same thing day in day out it would feel too robotic.


Does a Pessimist solo DJ set differentiate radically from a b2b Ruffhouse DJ set? If so what do you think is the difference?

Not radically but it there are differences. When all three of us are playing a one hour set it we all want to use our weapons, whereas if I'm playing by myself i tend to take my time a bit more and play less hard beats. At the end of the day we all have different tastes so if any of us would do solo sets they would sound quite different.

What's your next project as Pessimist?

There's a 12" I've signed to a new label run by a couple of Bristol producers which is a 130 thing. Apart from that I'm working on some more Drum & Bass which i cant really shed too much light on and of course I'm working on more stuff with the Ruffhouse lads.


Tell us about the mix, what's the vibe in your head when putting it together?

I wanted to play some deeper vibes for this mix. I've included tracks from all the boys I'm feeling at the moment. There's a strange 86bpm track at the end that i made a while ago, an unsigned track by myself and also the new 12" 'The Woods b/w Lead Foot'

Big thanks to everyone who's bought my music over the years & to those who have supported me. Hope you enjoy the mix.


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