A Tantrum Named Desire

29 June 2012 | 11:01 am | Jason Kenny

“Being supported by many artists outside of d’n’b is such a great thing. Hearing TV star and daytime Radio 1 presenter Fearn Cotton supporting Get With It was very unexpected.”

It's a plot worthy of a Hollywood summer flick. Two guys meet at a pirate radio station and combine their DJ and producing talents. They work on a few tunes and then one day in '05, a CD with some of those tunes gets passed around at a festival in Spain. It falls into the hands of some major players and the beat fighting duo suddenly find themselves soaring into the drum'n'bass stratosphere. They catch the attention of MC Shortston and find themselves as label mates to those same acts they were only a few weeks earlier listening to at the clubs. Truth is stranger than fiction, and that's the story of Jay Faleye and Devin Smith, AKA Tantrum Desire.

They met at a pirate radio station on one fateful day in 2004 and combined their DJing talents with Faleye handling all things on the production side. The duo have been able to enjoy the ride they found themselves on, making the most of opportunities afforded by the fondness of others. “It's been a great journey from day one, always wondering if the day would come to be constantly playing out every weekend to new audiences,” producer Jay Faleye says. “The passion for d'n'b has only increased from back then til now. Just witnessing crowds in different countries going crazy for d'n'b is so inspirational. It's so good to see how d'n'b these days is being supported on all types of media, and is accepted as the main genre at many big events around the world, from when it was just mainly listened to on pirate radio stations and heard in a small number of local clubs.”

Shortston signed Tantrum Desire to Heavyweight Records and over the next few years the label released The Red Pill, the Dreamscape EP, The Inner Moon and White. They placed the bootlegs they'd been working on with the sibling label Booty. And the increased attention started sending them around the world to play all number of festivals and club gigs.

“Having the pleasure of playing in all parts of the world is a pinch me moment, its so good to see that d'n'b has become quite popular all over the world now,” Faleye says. “Being supported by many artists outside of d'n'b is such a great thing. Hearing TV star and daytime Radio 1 presenter Fearn Cotton supporting Get With It was very unexpected.”

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Support from presenters like Cotton and prestigious tastemaker Zane Lowe might come as a surprise but Tantrum Desire are getting used to it. Their brand of d'n'b attracts a large amount of cross-genre support, in part to their varied influences and the way they incorporate those influences into their productions and DJ sets. Where others might see a strict guideline of what falls into drum'n'bass and what doesn't, the Tantrum Desire philosophy is more encompassing. And it works for them, both for their own production releases, and spilling over into their remix work. It also provides some sort of reprieve, a chance to see what other genres have to offer and then bring that back to d'n'b.

“Along the lines of making d'n'b,” Feleye explains, “I do and have always liked to listen to a lot of house music, which is where a lot of the tracks I write are influenced from, and also hip hop, rare groove, dubstep and a lot of other genres in the world of music. It's refreshing when always going back to producing d'n'b.”

Three years after their Spanish discovery, and delivering plenty of heavy weight tunes on Heavyweight Records, they caught the cochlear of Bassline Smith, head honch at Technique. They set up their new home with another steady stream of releases, beginning with 2008's double single Xenomorph/Last Stand 12”. It continued to please the masses, along with their trademark crowd pleasing, energy drenched DJ sets.

These days Tantrum Desire have settled into the role of world travelling DJs, getting on planes on the weekends they're not playing somewhere in the UK and heading to destinations as exotic and diverse as Los Angeles, the Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium and Germany. It's a demanding tour schedule, but who would complain when you're able to play every weekend? There's bound to be a few nights or festivals that stick out in the mind more than others. “There have been so many,” Faleye says. “One to mention would be a gig I played in Sevilla, Spain recently. The amount of movement in the crowd was so energetic, arms and legs were literally flying everywhere. Always good to see a crowd that can't stop moving!”

After seven years of solid releases, numbering over twenty-five singles and EPs, and a formidable club presence, it's time to turn attention to a longplay release. Naturally, there's anticipation. For most debut records, there's some idea of what it will sound like based on the previous singles and EPs. But with Tantrum Desire, the wide influences and divergent sounds on their releases means the expectations are less clear cut. The expectations just remain high. “It will be a d'n'b focused album and will have a diverse of electronic music, which will most probably include some previous singles,” he reveals. “The whole process will just take a lot more time than a four-track EP, whereas some tracks will be different from what you've heard before.”

For Faleye, it's about moving forward, infusing the d'n'b sounds with others, and finding new high energy ways to move the masses. The eventual album, and there's no release date yet, will take the lessons that Faleye has learnt in the studio on the production over the last decade or so and channel them into something to shake the clubs and have limbs literally flying everywhere. Last year's Foreplay EP or Play Tonight 12” might point to the direction the album will take. More recent releases have included more vocal tracks, some performed by Faleye's long time buddy Jon Reline. That's been the more recent developments in the Tantrum Desire catalogue.

It's the latest from the duo, but with divergent influences and developments in Faleye's production, all the foreplay releases might give little sign at all. There's been no 2012 release to gauge the direction of the production. For now, all things are being played close to the chest. “I do see some sort of development in the tracks,” he says. “I mean, I like to improve and better the sounds and quality each time I start a new project. To be honest, I don't ever plan music or walk down the street humming a melody or bassline in my head. When I'm in the studio, I just write what I like to write and try to have fun with it.”

What is known is that their DJ sets light up the clubs and it's not one to miss. Especially when Auckland's State Of Mind are in tow and their current live album showing just why it's a red hot date to light up the Perth winter.