Drum & Bass was the game and since their inception Noisia have become the name on the lips of every drum and bass aficionado as ones to watch. Since their innovative, technically precise music was first included as staples of every established Drum & Bass artists’ playlist, Noisia have proven themselves capable of coining material guaranteed to decimate dancefloors worldwide. Thijs de Vlieger, Martijn van Sonderen and Nik Roos are part of a new breed of producers heralding new directions not only for Drum & Bass but many other genres in which they dabble, such as Breaks, House and Downtempo. Having achieved levels of success within certain genres of dance music, now they aim to expand their reach beyond the confines of Drum & Bass and move into producing and engineering music in broader senses. Considering their abundant skill in sound design, Noisia have come to captivate, leaving no doubt in the mind of the beholder how far-reaching their ability and influence could spread in any kind of music their turn their attention to.
In the late Nineties two young boys driven by boredom and a longing to know more began their forays into sonic manipulation. They grew up in Groningen, a town dominated by higher education and isolated from the hustle and bustle of the music scenes whose sounds inspired. In their northern corner of Holland, Thijs De Vlieger and Nik Roos were caught by the work of artists such as Ed Rush and Optical and decided to create their own sound, forging themselves as artists in their own right. Bit by bit and time after time the boys refined their skills as engineers and musicians, even gaining another partner-in-crime, Martijn van Sonderen, another childhood friend whose musical ability in more traditional forms was already established. Together the three boys were captured by a desire to make music they wanted to hear the way they wanted to hear it and so the mighty Noisia machine was born, although at this point they remained nameless. After spying a Vision videotape upside down their name was coined, the word ‘Vision’ rotated 180 degrees makes Noisia and speaks of their core belief in what they do and intend.
The machine started in earnest when Mayhem of Shadow Law Recordings struck up a friendship through the colossal networking haven that is the internet. His encouragement lead the three to take their music to the next level and become the signature sound Drum & Bass fans know and love today. Tomahawk was their first collaboration with Mayhem and together with Silicon became their first release, dropping on Nerve Recordings in 2003.Since that first release the machine went into overdrive, with Noisia becoming a part of the Subtitles stables and having several major releases under its banner [alongside several high-profile collaborations with Subtitles head honcho TeeBee]. Noisia also count themselves as Renegade Hardware residents, having had both releases on the label [including a remix of the seminal work ‘Messiah’ of Konflict fame] and a DJ slot at all Renegade Hardware events. They count among high-profile artists with whom they have collaborated people such as Calyx and Phace & outfits such as Cause4Concern, Bad Company UK and fellow Dutch compatriots Black Sun Empire. The labels on which they have featured include Moving Shadow [featuring the Block Control EP], Virus Recordings [Endgame and Unveil w/ Phace on the flip], RAM Records [the massive ‘Moonway Renegade' w/ Mayhem], Shogun Audio [Brainstitch w/ Deeper Love on the flip], Obsessions, Shadow Law Recordings and have featured on a Metalheadz CD release.
Now Noisia have begun their own record label entitled Vision Recordings to bring their music to the masses. With 3 releases to date [including the stormer 12” Vision 01: ‘The Tide’ with ‘Concussion’ on the flipside, Vision 02: ‘Lost Cause’ w/ TeeBee and ‘Choke’ w/ Mayhem featuring MC Verse on the flip, Vision 03: ‘Bad Dreams’ and ‘Ommissions’ and a cd including ‘The Tide’, ‘Concussion’, ‘Lekker’ and a short documentary] and an emphasis on both style and substance [as can be seen in both the music and artwork accompanying the records], Vision is proving itself to be the label to watch for the freshest, finest Noisia cuts. Recently Noisia have also been extending their body of work by including remixes for artists such as Pendulum and The Freestylers [Painkiller remix available on Against The Grain Records] and Skynet [the massive ‘Carbon Shock’ remix available on Sudden Def ]. They have also had tunes remixed by the likes of Mindscape, Chris.Su and Break.
Noisia’s catalogue isn’t limited to the confines of Drum & Bass. The trio had operated under several aliases and released music in other genres before deciding to amalgamate all work under the Noisia banner. These aliases included Hustle Athletics for Breaks, Frizz for House and Drifter for more ambient styles of Drum & Bass. Under the Hustle Athletics name they released an E.P of Breaks on the Love Breaks label including well-known tunes such as Lekker & Fearless Funk. Under the Drifter aliases they have had several releases including the gorgeous ‘She Gives Me Forever’ [out on Timewave Audio with a Matrix remix of Drifter’s ‘Close To Me’ on the flip] and ‘Leola’ [on Horizons Music, with ‘Come True’ on the flip]. Aquasky also picked up a Breaks creation entitled ‘Gutterpump’ for their label Passenger, which has been remixed by Tom Real & The Rogue Element and was released on single 12” in November 2006.
In 2006 Noisia began a new phase of their careers by undertaking the roles of producers for the debut album of South African vocalist/songwriter Tasha Baxter. Tasha, an artist with a considerable body of work behind her, may take credit for the haunting vocals behind Roger Goode’s In The Beginning, which by itself and remixed by Ferry Corsten became one of the biggest Trance numbers to drop in 2002. She featured on numerous tracks on Goode’s album ‘Coming Up For Air’ and after completing a demo of her songs created in De Noisia Kantoor [Noisia’s studio] in early 2006, was promptly signed to major label EMI. After an intense process the album ‘Color Of Me’ was completed in the latter half of 2006 and is being readied for release in South Africa in February 2007 with international release to follow.
It would be unjust to reduce this story to a clichéd line, a short sharp snappy sentence that drives home the fact that this is the future, right here, embodied in the heads, hearts and hands of three Dutchmen who’ve only their whole lives ahead of them; only more time to grow greater and stronger. Noisia have become more than Drum & Bass princes and as accomplished as they are, still remain with feet firmly on the ground, contemplating all the directions they could turn to next. Easy to adore, difficult to ignore, there is no option but to watch this space and watch them go from strength to strength in whatever they put their hand to.
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