30 Nov In:Focus / Problem Central
Dance music was pioneered by individuals, solo acts who were often bedroom producers building tracks through the night and spending weekends locked away in windowless studios or in DJ booths. Frankie Knuckles brought us house music, Larry Levan had his Paradise Garage, Aphex Twin crafted madcap electronica from a tiny spot in Cornwall and Juan Atkins brought us the techno sound from the Motor City. But what happens when innovators come together as one? You get an act like PROBLEM CENTRAL.
PROBLEM CENTRAL is formed of Majistrate and Logan D, Eksman and Evil B, a supergroup of DnB royalty who, together, become a force to be reckoned with. They’ve been heralded as DnB’s next big thing, an act of stadium-sized proportions but before they touch down at In:Motion on 1st December alongside DJ Hype, Hazard, Annix and more we speak with them to see where it all began.
How and why were you all drawn to DnB in the beginning? What did DnB do differently to other forms of dance music, and why do you think that resonated with you all?
Dnb obviously developed from the Jungle years and this is where it all began for all of us. It just has that pace and energy you can’t find elsewhere and there has always been a bond with the beats and bars which is unparalleled!
Would you call yourselves a supergroup? And why is now the time for you all to come together as one?
I don’t know if we come under the ‘supergroup’ category just yet, but if you look at it all four of us have been top of our game individually for a while now. This kinda leads on to one of the reasons why it was the right time for us to come together. Individually we have all had our own paths and brands, but combining we have a wealth of different talent where we can challenge each other and develop new ideas. It’s been like starting from scratch again, creating a show and feeling the excitement as it all comes together.
How long was Problem Central in the making? And how did it all come together?
Collectively we’ve all been talking about and wanting this to happen for a couple of years now, but with busy workloads and schedules between us timing was always the issue. But, we got booked for a big show in Manchester as Problem Central and the rest is history. Everything happens for a reason and this show just bought it all together and we haven’t looked back since.
As individual DJs, producers, MCs and music heads, what do you think you all bring to Problem Central that you just couldn’t achieve as solo artists?
As solo artists obviously it can be hard to control who you are performing with during sets, so you are only showcasing your individual skill. With Problem Central this is a show not a set, so we have built a journey incorporating so many aspects of all our talents. Bar wise Eks & Evil can actually write together, and it’s the same for Maji & Logan where they are collaborating on new material for the shows and releases. When we bring all this together it’s pretty powerful!
For Majistrate and Logan D, how do you work together as DJs? Are you trying to outmatch each other like you’re in a battle to bring the best out of each other?
As dj’s we’ve never tried to battle each other when we’ve been b2b, and I think that’s why our sets have been so popular over the years. It’s been more about just playing a banging set, so with Problem Central things have now been taken to a different level than usual. We can now construct in advance between us both and as our shows have different styles in them its about making a performance rather than just a dj set. It’s been a complete change for both of us but we are loving it!
Similar question for Eksman & Evil B, how do you work together on the mics?
We 100% work together and as a unit. When working in a group it’s not about competing against each other or trying to look better then your partner. To the public we are percieved as Problem Central not Eksman & Evil B so it’s very important that we work as a team and produce the best performance collectively.
Are there any particular collectives or crews you took inspiration off for Problem Central? The collective is like a sound system crew in a way, did sound system culture perhaps play a part in the group’s development?
Sound system culture is still very apparent. It may have evolved and changed over the years but it’s still right at the core of the style of music and performance we share. We are constantly inspired by great artists we respect, Chase & Status, Boy Better Know to name a couple. What they have done with their sound, imagery, and their movements as a collective are definitely crews we aspire to. I think what they have brought to the table over the years is originality and that is something as PROBLEM CENTRAL we are 100% doing. Not trying to copy or emulate, just bring our particular tool set to the main stage.
Data Transmission described you as ‘the freshest Drum and Bass outfit to take the world by storm,’ and Best Drum and Bass mag have said that Problem Central is giving dance music the “attention Drum And Bass needs.” Do you see Problem Central in a similar way? Or are you more humbled by that attention given your collective years in the game?
To be honest it’s great to hear recognition in any form, especially when you’re a new outfit and have been putting in so much work to get this off the ground. Although as individuals we have been regular names within the dnb scene with Problem Central its different as it takes time for people to recognise who we are and what we are collectively doing. On top of that Problem Central is taking us to completely different places and we are now mixing with acts from different musical genres.
What do you want Problem Central to become in the future? And what do you want to achieve with it?
The sky is the limit for Problem Central! The journey has only just begun so it’s early days but we are already starting to achieve some of our goals. We’ve been busy planning a progression path since day one, so tours, albums, videos and full branding is core to our progression. Some of the ideas we’ve got for the future are really exciting and with 4 different minds with ideas you can imagine some of the goals. Being recognised globally is a dream for any group starting out, and we’ve defiantly the drive to achieve it!
You can catch PROBLEM CENTRAL playing RUN x Playaz x Dimension: UK Tour x V Recordings and Logan D and Eksman at SASASAS Presents NXT LVL / Boxing Day