Delta Heavy (or DELTΔ HEΔVY) are a dubstep and drum and bass production duo from London, comprising of Ben Hall and Simon James.
Gearing up to drop their debut album early next year, the boys have released a spawn of singles, including ‘Get By’ (which entered the UK Dance Chart at #37 in 2012), the hard and fast ‘Empire’, and the ethereally stunning ‘Ghost’.
In fact, we loved ‘Ghost’ so much that we described its ‘sparse, ethereal lyrics, and hard in-your-face beats’ as ‘completely mindfucking the listener into oblivion’. If you’re wanting a new song to party to, ‘Ghost’ is it. It’s impeccable.
Barry Quinn recently caught up with the duo to chat about their approach to music, their influences, and when fans can expect new music.
Vada: The basics first – who are you, and where do you hail from?
Delta Heavy: Ben Hall and Simon James, hailing from London UK
How would you describe your sound for those that haven’t heard of you?
Hard-edged, futuristic bass music with a cinematic twist.
How did you come together?
We met in Nottingham where we were both at university. Shortly after that time we both found ourselves learning the ropes of music production from scratch and decided to attempt to make some music together. After those formative steps the rest is history.
You’ve released a few singles now – do you have a favourite, and if so, why?
If we had to pick one favourite it would probably still be ‘Space Time’. It was our debut single on RAM Records and the impact it made really gave our musical career a kick start and turned a hobby into a full time job. It is the one track that we have played in every single DJ set over the past four years.
‘Get By’ in particular received a lot of recognition. Are you pleased with the reception that that, and your other released songs have received? It reached 37 on the UK Dance Chart.
Much of the recognition that ‘Get By’ received was down to the incredible video that was directed by Ian Robertson, which needs to be mentioned before anything else!
Musically ‘Get By’ seemed to work well when it was released as it combined hints of classic UK garage with the more aggressive dubstep sound that was taking off all over the globe especially in the US. The response to the track and the video was amazing and very humbling.
Your new single ‘Ghost’ has also received recognition, after it premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show. The fan reaction on Twitter has been immense. Are you pleased with the reception it’s received so far?
The response to ‘Ghost’ has been incredible, and better than we could have hoped for. It has picked up a lot of DJ support from our peers and the video – courtesy of the remarkable Chris Bristow – has gone viral in the same manner the ‘Get By’ video did. We also had a couple of superb remixes by Infuze and Zomboy which have gone down great too. All in all team DH are very proud of how the release has been received.
Where did the inspiration for ‘Ghost’ come from? What is it’s meaning to you guys?
We were fortunate enough to be working with a singer and writer duo who will remain nameless for now and the vocal came from working closely with them. It was originally written for a very different sounding backing track but we decided to sit it over a darker idea which spiralled into ‘Ghost’. There were several different versions of the arrangement before we cracked the final formula. It’s ended up becoming one of favourite singles and it encapsulates a lot of the sound we were trying to achieve with our debut album.
It’s taken from the new EP, Ghost / Tremors, which will be your second EP, following 2012’s Down The Rabbit Hole EP. Surely there’s an album on the horizon?
Indeed there is, it is finally finished and will be released early next year.
Can you give us any exclusives about the album? Does it have a name or release date yet?
It will be released early next year and the next single ‘White Flag’ is coming in October.
You’ve supported Sub Focus in America, and Example in the UK. Do you cite these acts as influences? Who else are you influenced by?
We’ve been fortunate enough to accompany some of our good friends on tour such as Sub Focus and Feed Me. They are certainly major influences to us. Overall we are influenced by so many different sources, within electronic music and outside, as well as film and TV. Too many to mention!
What is the ultimate dream for Delta Heavy?
At the moment to keep developing our sound as we begin working on our second album, and at the same time touring as much as possible in as many places as we can!
And finally, what’s next?
We’ll be appearing on five shows of the Safe In Sound Festival across various major US cities, and our next single ‘White Flag’ is coming soon.
Thanks to Ben and Simon for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Giuditta Panzieri and Soraya Sobh for making the interview happen.