Hailing from Nottingham, producer Zoutr is one half The Elementz. Last year he released his debut album DXST. In February, exclusively released on Bandcamp Zoutr released DXST Illegal Version featuring extended beats and mixes. We caught up with Zoutr to talk about his releases.
Zoutr, welcome to File Under Hip Hop! I interviewed you years ago with Liati (The Elementz). For people reading this who may not know you, introduce yourself and tell us how you first got in the game?
Afternoon Jai, long time! I’ve been making beats since the Commodore Amiga 500 in 1990. In 1999 I was sampling tenchu and making wu type beats on the PS1 with Music 2000. Around these times I started promoting an event called Kung Fusion with Ste (Dealmaker Records) and that’s where I met Liati (The Elementz).
We opened a recording studio in Notts. Releasing Music from 2003 with Scorzayzee, Cappo, and Mr 45 was a high point. Going on to work with Wretch 32, Skinnyman, and Taskforce from outside Notts was also a high point!
In December you released your debut album ‘DXST’ featuring various artists. Tell us about the album and how it came about?
I was just doing a beat tape at first. Then chatting with some of my friends we just did it naturally. You know, when the news went all super weird.
Following on from that release you dropped the ‘DXST Illegal Version’ in February. Talk to us about the concept behind this version and how the idea came about?
Originally, I wanted to put DXST out as one continuous beat mix called The Frog And The Eagle or something with loads of weird samples. So, this version is more like that. It’s less effort in one stream and a few extra guests.
What has the response been like to these releases?
Really interesting. I’ve had some great feedback and playlist support and I’ve learned some major lessons with this release. Lots of feedback “It’s too short” but I don’t care!
How long did the projects take to put together?
It’s in no way shape or form a best-of record but that’s how it started. Some of the original beats were from 2010-11. New Day was the catalyst but I thought I had lost the file but I found it on an old G5 Cheese Grater and re-worked on that first. Then I made Dust and the rest fell into place throughout Autumn-Winter. DXST was the final beat I made in 2020 and finished the project off perfectly.
For the Illegal Version It was pretty much laid out the same. Only I added a few of the instrumentals that didn’t make the official version. With more weird samples!
What’s a day in the life of Zoutr when he’s producing a track?
Well, after homeschooling and ghost production. I’ll be working on music until very late in the evening. I hardly ever produce at the studio anymore – It’s all on-the-fly setups at home.
I usually start with samples, grow some loops and then add drums. I’ve been resampling pitched-down drums through a distressor lately which from vinyl sound amazing. Most of the bass programming is from 808 samples and synths but also I’ve played some guitar on it here and there.
Will you still be releasing / producing as The Elementz with Liati?
Yeah fully. We still work together all the time. The archive is real.
What’s next for you?
Protest for protesting I think? I want to know what’s next for us.
Where can people go and cop DXST and DXST Illegal Version from?
All streaming platforms for the original version and Bandcamp for the Illegal Version. I’ll press a few vinyl’s one day if the NFT DXST Type Beat sells. Drop a few vinyl pressing in maybe 10 years! Bandcamp is the way for now – been watching the NFT tech closely though… So there is a mintable secret beat out there somewhere.
Zoutr thanks for taking the time out to do this interview. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yes, I hope you’ve been well Jai, thanks..
Love and Light
Interview by Jai Boo