Our march Dubplate marks the beginning of a much anticipated association with one of most beautiful countries with an equally loving music community - Sri Lanka. We have Sasith Gamage, who has been producing Drum and Bass for about six years now, under the alias 'iClown'. The only artist from the country pushing the sound, he already has four EPs, some singles apart from a few remixes too. Currently signed with Heavy Artillery Recordings and High Chai Recordings from LA and NY, Sasith also is the man behind 'Mad Scientist', a live DnB act from the island. Read on, to know more about this uber talented man.
And yes, hit play and don't forget to share this terrific mix he has put together for us, featuring a bunch of his originals.
1. You have successfully ventured into different genres but how did it all start for you at such a tender age? A - My primary genre so to speak right now is Drum and Bass, but I have ventured into genres such as Trap, Fusion, Retro and Progressive Metal. I was originally a metal head, until I started getting exposed to genres such as Dubstep and Brostep (Skrillex era) where I realized that Electronic music is an entirely different world on its own, and that there’s ample possibilities to be creative and unique. Prior to that, my upbringing in a musical friendly environment at home as well as at school provided me with a platform to expose myself to different genres such as classical music. I studied Western Music at a very young age which provided me a basis to understand and deconstruct different genres as and when I hear them. I guess I’m pretty good at deconstruction of genres, where I manage to grasp the fundamentals of the identities of each of those genres. How I came across Drum and Bass was when I first heard Pendulum. I was immediately hooked to the genre and ever since then, my primary genre is Drum and Bass. My personal goals as a producer revolves around Drum and Bass.
2. We’re certainly digging your stage name. How did it come about?
A - ‘iClown’ is basically the letter I and Clown, as in I joke around or clown around. Clowns can be funny and scary at the same time. Clowning puts everybody in a good mood, no matter what mood the clown is in. He is supposed to entertain the people. Also, it stems down to a hard time I was going through at the time, and I swore to myself that I will make others happy through my music, hence iClown made perfect sense at the time. I also feel as if it’s a unique name in the dnb scene. Has a cool and a catchy vibe to it. 3. Having explored an array of styles and genres, which genre would you like to regard as your standout genre? A - Drum and Bass. I have ventured in to the unknown in terms of the genre in Sri Lanka. Being the only signed act for the genre, I have pushed myself day by day with each record. I’m also good at experimenting and coming up with unique elements. I always try to keep my identity in all those records but influences across genres certainly does help in making music, dnb or otherwise. I have bigger goals set for the coming years and I hope to further push myself and achieve more and more with dnb. 4. Being a producer and a bassist for two different aliases. Tell us more about your experience with them so far. A - Being a producer makes you a better bassist, and being a bassist makes you a better producer. I firmly believe that the low end brings the songs to life. With this learning as a producer, I was able to better focus on my time as the bassist for my band ‘Constellation’. Since I understood how important the low end is, I was able to create a unique sound in terms of live play and as well as on record. I also ensured that my band sounds the best when we play live, with the knowledge I have gained as a producer. Vise versa, I was able to understand how instruments coexist in a live environment and on a studio environment which in return helps me to better produce music. 5. How would you like to define the bass scene in Sri Lanka? A - Still in it's infant stage. There’s few of us. We have an enthusiastic EDM community, but for genres as Drum and Bass, there’s very limited backing. It’s definitely much better than the years I started, but there’s room for further improvement. I have been instrumental in making the genre popular in the country with a cult following, but a dnb scene right now seems far away. I’m hopeful though, things will soon catch up. 6. What can we expect from iClown in 2020? A - I intend on getting signed to a tier one label this year, and to play live more and more. I’m already planning on my next EP, and I’ve also started following courses exclusively for Drum and bass production, which will help me to push myself further. I’m determined, and I hope to work towards my end goal. I have also started working in collaboration with a few pop and rap artists in the country and I hope to make a few commercially viable tunes as well. It all counts when you spell ‘EXPERIENCE’.
7. tunes you are digging at the moment? A - I’ve been digging ‘Don’t wait – by Mohican Sun, ‘Sinkhole’ by Noisia, ‘Said’ by Joe Ford, ‘Juno’ by a metal band called TesseracT, and ‘Blinding Lights’ by the Weeknd. Blinding lights caught me off guard with so much nostalgia, and man those vibes. • Follow iClown - Facebook | Soundcloud | Spotify | Instagram
Tracklist 1] iClown - 3 x F Intro - (Heavy Artillery Recordings) 2] iClown - Democracy Can Wait - (Heavy Artillery Recordings) 3] iClown - Emotions Integrate - (Heavy Artillery Recordings) 4] iClowm - Oh My - (Highchai Recordings) 5] iClown - Retrograde (Highchai Recordings) 6] iClown - Imperium (Highchai Recordings) 7] iClown - Love and a freak condition ft. Maria Soysa (Heavy Artillery Recordings) 8] Charitha Attalage ft. Ravi Jay - Galana Ganga (iClown Remix) (Charitha Attalage) 9] Muzzy - Lost Forever - (Monstercat) 10] Noisia - Decloak - (Vision Recordings) 11] Gorgon City - Ready for Your Love (feat. MNEK) (Etherwood Remix) (Med school Music) 12] London Elektricity - Why Are We Here (feat. Liane Carroll) (S.P.Y Remix) (Med School Music) 13] The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy (Bad Company UK Remix) (RAM Records) 14] June Miller - Hide & Seek (RAM Records) 15] Noisia - My World (Ft. Giovanca) (Vision Recordings) 16] Teddys Song (RAM Recordings) 17] Skylark & DOT. - Synthetic Pursuit (MethLab Records) 18] Hold Your Colour (Noisia Remix) (Pendulum) 19] Joe Ford - Transpose (Shogun Audio) 20] Hyroglifics - Persuade (feat. Foreign Beggars) (Critical Music) 21] Mohican Sun - Don't Wait (Integral Records) 22] Netsky - Thunder (ft. Emeli Sandé) (Hospital Records) 23] Jazz Landa - Nuwandi ft Ravi Jay & Charitha Attalage - (iClown Remix) (Charitha Attalage) 24] Camo & Krooked - If I Could (feat. Joe Killington) (RAM Records) 25] Forbidden Society - Outlaw (Forbidden Society Recordings) 26] icicle - The Nothing (Original mix) (Shogun Audio) 27] iClown - Serpopard (Self released) 28] Watercolour (Matrix & Futurebound Remix) (Pendulum) 29] Pendulum - Tarantula (Pendulum vs Fresh ft Spyda & Tenor Fly) (Breakbeat Records) 30] Pendulum - Axle Grinder (Breakbeat Records) 31] Signal & Teddy Killerz - Funky Feeling (RAM Records) 32] Mohican Sun - Where Did You Go (Integral Records)