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In Conversation: Dimension

In Conversation: Dimension

We sat down with the London-based artist to discuss his debut album, the emotional rollercoaster he experienced when playing shows in New Zealand nine months on from his previous performance and much more

Dimension has possessed a passion for music ever since a young age. 13 years on from experimenting in his bedroom and begrudgingly taking piano lessons, that pivotal moment in his career has arrived with the release of a debut album entitled Organ.

The record is a beautiful representation of his musical range as an artist and has definitely been worth biding our time. We sat down with the London-based artist to discuss the record in more detail, the emotional rollercoaster he experienced when playing shows in New Zealand nine months on from his previous performance and much more.

When asked how he was the feeling about finally unveiling his debut album the 29-year-old admitted it was fantastic to see the end result.

"I’m really excited actually it's been a long time coming," he said. "This whole thing started when I was 16-18 and I’m in my late twenties now and to have actually written an album at this stage of my career and there to be so much excitement from my fans feels great.

"I hope people can enjoy it and I hope the clubs open soon so people can enjoy it in the environment for which it was designed for."

The body of work is a comprehensive offering: there are 17 records encompassing numerous styles which provide a sumptuous representation of Dimension’s versatility and spark as a producer and songwriter.

"There are records on there with more thoughtful production as well as some stuff which has a different tempo," he opined.

"I think that’s really important as it shows that you can do all sorts of different things which is what I’m all about."

Ever since he received glowing approval from his peers back in 2014 as Chase & Status lured him to their imprint, MTA Records, the 29-year-old has continued to elevate his stature in the world of drum & bass.

Since that moment he has gone on to sell out shows and festivals around the globe and produce phenomenally successful records like 'Desire' together with Sub Focus, which recently went silver in the UK.

Fast forward six years and fans have finally been presented with a hugely anticipated debut album. Taking the appropriate care and attention to produce an LP which he was 100% satisfied with was always the plan and Dimension confessed he hoped his fans shared that view.

"I’m a one man band so I mix, produce and master everything myself," he commented. 

"Inevitably it takes time.

"There is a level of authenticity that comes with that and hopefully people agree it's worth the wait."

Ever since he first started making music Dimension confesses he's always been a "control freak" and so the process of creating an album entirely by himself from top to bottom was always a challenge he embraced.

"I like challenging myself," he said. "Song-writing and mastering for example are completely different art forms.

"It's like learning to play golf and being a swimmer. They really are extremely different. Even though they operate within the same realm."

While he may have missed out on the opportunity to road test his album at a number of prestigious festivals around the globe last year he did manage to give the record a thorough showcase during his recent tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Performing in ten locations across the two nations, Dimension was given the chance to experience all the wonderful emotions that come with playing behind the decks at a festival once more when he stepped on stage at Hidden Valley in Auckland.

Before that show he warmed up with a more intimate performance in Hamilton. It was here where his mind was working overtime; all kinds of thoughts raced through his head during that set but Dimension highlighted how quickly he felt reassured once the initial nerves had subsided. 

"It was just ridiculous to go from a loaded room into DJing on a stage," he continued. "It was pretty intense. It was kind of difficult to enjoy in terms of is my set good? What about the songs on the album? I hadn't heard a lot of them in the club.

"That whole aspect of touching, hugging and holding and members of the public asking for a photo. One thing I found encouraging is how quickly you become normalised to socialising again.”

Despite the challenges and risks associated with going to perform on tour down under in the midst of a global pandemic, in particular the two-week quarantine period which is a legal requirement for anyone entering the country from abroad, Dimension explained he would do it all again in a heartbeat. The memories were so stunning from the whole time he was over there that Dimension emphasised quite strongly his willingness to go through the incredibly solitary and difficult period of being confined to a hotel room all over again.

“I remember telling myself it would’ve been worth quarantining for three weeks or a month,” he added.

“The lifestyle out there is just so good. When I was coming back every cell in my body was telling me I was a mentalist for leaving but life continued and I had to come back, release the album and I had a couple of other things to do.”

During his tour Dimension was blown away by the love for drum & bass music in general. The scale of people’s appreciation for the genre coupled with their knowledge provoked the UK-based musician to wax lyrical about the Antipodeans.

“I would say without hesitation that it is the strongest scene for drum & bass in the world,” he added.

“By quite a long margin as well I’d say. It really is absolutely mental out there. Drum & bass all over the radio. The knowledge and appreciation for the music over there is on a scale that I’ve never seen before.”

Whilst Dimension gave the most vivid description of his gratitude to be back on stage he admitted the pandemic was a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to put the hand brakes on what had been a relentless touring schedule up to that point. During the last three months of 2018, for example, Dimension played across three continents, taking in everywhere including London, Sydney and Los Angeles.

“I’ll be honest and say I think I needed a break,” he commented.

“For me it really was nice just to relax and take some time off. I think it will slightly change the way I approach the job. I think I’m going to be more selective with the things I do.

“I think it will all be focused around making sure I put my health, both physical and mental, first.”

However Dimension wanted to stress that he is so eager to return to normality, performing at the biggest stages both on home soil and further afield and in no way is he ungrateful for the amazing opportunities which being a DJ and producer presents.

“I would never for a minute wish to have it any other way,” he added.

“Doing it again made me realise how surreal my job is. To go from making drum & bass in my bedroom as a teenager and to then go to a stage where people are parting with their money to go and see you play my records is still a mad feeling.

“I really did miss it. I’m from the UK and I’d love to play a festival in the UK. It’s amazing to fly away and do it abroad but to do it at home with your mates would just be the best feeling.”

When people think about the lifestyle of a DJ/producer the common misconception is to only recognise the tip of the iceberg, which is the success. Performing on stage to thousands for a job and seeing a different part of the world every weekend sounds like the prime definition of paradise for many. However, what fans don’t see is the incredible strain it puts on an artist’s mental and physical health. During the week they’re isolated from family and friends in the studio and at the weekend they’re normally looking at the walls of a hotel room, desperately trying to accumulate sleep in an airport terminal or waiting backstage to perform.

The point where you need to take a break as an artist comes when there is only a numb sensation as you play out to a packed festival crowd, according to Dimension.

“I think the sign comes where you become completely normalised to the act of DJing where you no longer harbour any form of emotion whatsoever,” he said.

“You’re either in a hotel or backstage and the idea of playing just extracts no emotion. For so many people it’s their dream job and frankly it’s an amazing way to live your life but it comes to a point where enough is enough and you just need a break.”

Looking ahead at what’s in store for 2021 Dimension is set to perform at a whole host of festivals, both in the UK and abroad, from Creamfields to the “drum & bass holiday” that is Hospitality on the Beach in the stunning Croatian town of Tisno.

When he was put on the spot about what he was looking forward to the most he opted for a familiar favourite amongst drum & bass lovers.

“It would be good to play Let it Roll in the Czech Republic,” he commented. “If that goes ahead it would be really nice.

“Although it’s very focused around drum & bass there’ll be a lot of friends and peers there so that will be nice to see everyone in one place.”

Dimension also has big plans to showcase the stunning live show which he debuted towards the end of 2019, featuring the most extravagant glass controller you’ve ever seen.

“To cap it off with a show at Printworks would round off what has been the most extraordinary two years,” he said.

“The album was supposed to come out last November with a view to putting tickets on sale for my Printworks show a week after so I think we will try and stick with that same schedule now that Organ is finally out there.”

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In Conversation: Dimension

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