TFword In Conversation With Coki

One of the most influential names in dubstep music has released a new EP with Trixx, and we had a chat with him to know more about his latest release.

Standing as one of the most influential names in dubstep and underground club music for more than two decades, Coki exemplifies the raw and aggressive side of the genre that he operates in. With a catalog that spans two decades, Coki’s meditative reggae-centric music has influenced not just one but two generations of budding dubstep producers.

Regarded as “creatively one of the sickest producers of all time” by dubstep pioneer Mala, Coki has been releasing game-changing records through his solo alias and through his Digital Mystikz project with Mala and Loefah. With so many styles and sounds explored over the years, Coki has developed and expanded into new areas in the past few years; and his recent EP with Trixx is a prime example of that.

‘Coki Meets Trixx Part 2‘ EP is a cross-continental partnership with Trixx working from the confines of his home studio in Jamaica, while Coki is based in London. Thousands of miles apart, the pair have intertwined sonically to create one harmonious body of work that pays tribute to their deeply connected and personal memories of Jamaica.

Following the release of the EP, we had a chance to speak with the dubstep pioneer about his latest release, the dubwise aesthetics of his latest offering, and here is what he had to say:

TFword: First of all, how are things on your end, it’s been a little while since we last heard a project from you.
COKI: I’m good and thanks for asking. Well, things have picked up for me over the last year or so work wise which has helped in creating new projects financially. Obviously Covid was a big set back with no bookings coming in but I still tried to write and be constructive.

TF: How did you and Trixx get together and how did the EP come about?
COKI: I first met Trixx outside a studio around the corner from me. My cousin knew him and introduced us and from there we linked up (and) got in the studio. So I played Trixx a few tunes and he really liked a track called Celestial Dub. We decided that we might as well put out an E.P. together around Celestial Dub which was the first part to Coki Meets Trixx. 

Last year I spoke to him just to see how he was. At the time he was living in Jamaica, in a part I’m familiar with due to staying there whilst visiting with my parents and my grandmother. I decided that we should produce another E.P. as I felt inspired by the memories I had from there. Savanna La Mar was the first track off the E.P which is the name of a place in Westmoreland and from that track onwards I just caught a vibe.

TF: This one takes a much more dubwise route than let’s say the typically synthetic dubstep approach more casual fans may associate with your sound, although it’s always been a part of your sound, how was this put together process wise?
COKI: Well I started off by choosing a scale – preferably one where the root key is E to A. I played two chords which most of the time is inverted. I would then maybe extend the 2 bar or 4 bar loops to make 8 or 16 bars. A couple of the tracks I sent had too many chord changes which can be a nightmare so I kept it to one or two scales.

Anyway, Trixx would write his own melody or just play the one I sent. He then sent me back his version. I would then arrange the track around the trumpet. After that, it was just a case of mixing it down.

TF: Did you prefer working in this much more dubwise space?
COKI: To be honest, I go through moods or my environment dictates my thought process. I love being dubwise as I feel, spiritually, it’s closer to home.

TF: How long was the project in the works, given that you were presumably sending it back and forth for a while?
COKI: It didn’t take us long at all to get the ideas together. I think I sent him a loop every day; in total it took just over a week. The problem was mixing and mastering. That takes most of my time.

TF: How have you found the response to this more dubwise direction?
COKI: Yeah, people that are into dubwise music respect it for sure. Obviously, it’s not straight forward reggae or dub but for years there has been a pocket of people that can appreciate it for what it is.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

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