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Real Names: Drew Cochran, Rob Mason, Muhammad At- Tauhidi
Stage Name: Swarm (Dstar, Mason, Trust)
Place of Residence: Philadelphia
Affiliations: Gasm, L13, MMI
Labels signed to: Gasm, Freak, Eastside, Gain, Bad Habits, Intasounds, Amess, Fuze

What role do you play in the scene?
Collectively our role in the scene is writing and producing hard-hitting drum and bass, which includes many elements of our diverse musical backgrounds. Our second role is performing and dj'ing parties (primarily consisting of originals tunes from the Gasm collective), and bringing our own style of mastery of the dance floor. Thirdly, our role has been collaborating with other artists to expand the sound of drum and bass, and its audience. And lastly, our role is partying with all DnB lovers; meeting people all over the world who have taken a love to this genre and having fun!

How long have you been in the scene?
Musically our backgrounds go back to playing instruments as early as 9 years old; we all started DJing, producing, and partying in the mid to late 90's, and the three of us starting working together in 2000.

What other styles of music are you into?
Hip hop goes without saying, but between the three of us we have love for several different genres. Our backgrounds stem back to jazz, techno, metal, trip hop, funk, oldies, classic rock, experimental, punk,: pretty much all forms of music with depth, breaks, and/or heavy emotion.

Do you think the music (drum and bass) has progressed as a whole?
Drum and bass has the fastest rate of change than any other genre. When comparing records from 93' and 94' to records coming out in 2003 anyone can distinctively hear major differences in sound quality, structure, technical details, and even the speed. Even with most hip hop, rock, house, reggae, and most other genre's the progression is hardly noticeable to the everyday listener. That's why the shelf life of a drum and bass record is so short! We DnB producers pride ourselves in being the most meticulous, tedious, and anal with sound quality- and pushing the limits of our speakers with frequencies not yet identified by N.A.S.A.

Do you write music? If so what makes up your studio and please tell us your favorite pieces of production equipment.
PCs (yea, eat it MAC lovers), Monitors: Tanoys, Mackie HR824, Behringer Truths, Mackie 24 x 8 board, Aleses Studio 32, E5000 Ultra, a few outboard compressors and effects, Logic, Wavelab, Cubase SX, and a shit load of plug-ins and soft-synths.

Which DJs do you rate highly?
Some current and past inspirations are: Dieselboy, Ming + FS, Craze, J-Smooth, Andy Sine, Bailey, Mampi Swift, Richie Hawtin, Swamp, Q-Bert (I.S.P.) and more we can't think of.

Which producers do you rate highly?
Digital, Hive, Alpha Omega, Photek, Dilliinja, Aphex Twin, Danny C., A-Sides, Dylan, Klute, Goldie, D-Kay, Pieter K., Neptunes, and of course SWARM beyatch!!!

Which MCs do you rate highly?
Armanni and Sharpness; okay, other props to G.Q., Dett, Dub 2, J. Messinian…

Any rising stars to look out for?
Besides us, MC's Armanni and Sharpness, Breakage, Kaos, Jae K.ennedy, Karl K., Fuzzy Logic, Sirus/ Basic Operations, Guerrilla, Alien, Evol Intent, Focus, Sileni and a bunch more we're forgetting!

Describe your most exciting and satisfying experience in the scene.
Hearing some of our favorite, and most respected dj's drop our tune at a party and watch the crowd go wild, as well as performing ourselves and really feeling the reciprocal energy from the crowd when we drop tracks we've spend hours on. It's all about the music and how the people respond to it, and it's just dope as hell when someone comes up to you after your done and told you how much fun they had brockin out, and asks where and when can I get that tune, that's what's satisfying about the whole scene, the appreciation you get from what you work so hard doing.

Describe a not so pleasant experience in the jungle scene.
14 hours of traveling, get there 5 minutes before we have to play, the party it gets shut down…driving a total of 9 hours to north bumblefuck CT and finding the ‘party' consists of 5 kids dressed up like ninjas to a bar full of Hell's Angel's (who were cooler than the kids)…things like that.

Where do you see yourself in a year?
A year ahead of where we are now (more releases, pushing new limits, collaborating on new projects, meeting more great people and influential artists, etc.)

What are your current projects? Please describe in some detail.
Currently we are putting out a mix cd for full distribution. It's a SWARM mix of 23 original Gasm recording artist's tunes. We are also rounding off some tunes to be released as a Gasm Recordings /Swarm double-pack. When not in the studio together, we are all working on tunes in our own labs.

How do you think the vocal realm of music can be better used in drum and bass?
Most vocal tracks that have come out recently either clutter the mix of a good tune, or cover up boring production. We also think DnB producers need to start building their tracks around the vocals more, rather than slapping the vocals over any beat just for the sake of having a vocal track. However, the likes of a newer breed of producers such as Concord Dawn, D-Kay, Pendulum, and High Contrast, have brought refreshing new approaches to doing tracks with vocals.

Any plans for the near future?
To take the momentum we have built up and use it to get our music to more ears and opening up more doors of opportunity in the music world. We will also be touring to promote our new mix cd, 'Enter the Hive' (including a slot at this years Starscape), and to continue with our successful Gasm monthly 'Response'.

Contact Information
http://www.gasmrecordings.com
http://www.mystermason.com
http://www.djdstar.com
http://www.mmillc.org