Deft is the alias of Yip Wong. Born in Croydon, he has a expertise for loping, refined beats which, in case you didn’t know in any other case, may trick you into lumping him in along with his fellow Croydon-based, dubstep pioneers. In actuality, he tells DJ Mag that he “grew up listening to pop-punk and business hip-hop” and, when performed some early Digital Mystikz by his brother-in-law, he “simply didn’t actually perceive it”. That similar brother-in-law labored at Croydon’s legendary Black Sheep venue and, after getting maintain of a duplicate of Fruity Loops, handed it onto Deft, who was drumming on the time. He tried to simply replicate his drumming however shortly “realised that I might truly do much more”. This germinated right into a ardour for dance music while at college in Brighton, the place he met experimental producer Ital Tek and commenced repeatedly hitting the native golf equipment.
His college expertise additionally solidified one thing already inherent to Deft as an artist: a capability to mix atmosphere with toughness. “I’ve at all times struggled to make straight, purely purposeful dancefloor music,” he tells DJ Mag. “I believe I’ve at all times hit the stability of creating music that’s for the headphones, however that you may additionally play out in a membership.” This is vital for understanding Deft’s distinctive stylistic location, one which straddles halftime, jungle, footwork, ambient and cinematic scoring. He describes it as “influenced by dance music, IDM, hip-hop and soundscapes”, however this sells brief what appears extra like skilful, style cherry-picking: the broad sweeps of cinema, the snapping drums of halftime, the gargled warps of acid techno. This cross-genre strategy has seen him work with a various vary of labels, together with Project Mooncircle, WotNot and Hypercolour sibling Space Hardware, in addition to having the opening monitor for Maya Jane Coles’ ‘DJ-Kicks’ combine.
An already contemplative strategy to music has been given additional impetus forward of his forthcoming debut album ‘Cracks’ for Ivy Lab’s 20/20 LDN. Written largely throughout his sister’s terminal sickness, Deft explains, “An enormous a part of it was simply me escaping every little thing that was happening and I sort of shut myself off for a bit. It performed an enormous half in serving to me deal with every little thing that occurred.” It’s given Deft a transparent narrative, a narrative that conceptualises his sound. Nowhere is that extra obvious than on ‘In Passing’, an ambient monitor which ends on a house recording, one of many final voice notes Deft had on his cellphone of his sister. It’s a sensational album, and one thing deeply private. Deft describes it as “a reaffirmation to myself of what I can now do sooner or later”. And what of that future? “I’d like to strive one thing completely different, change my strategy within the studio, change my set-up and my workflow.” Deft appears extra centered on the method reasonably than the top outcome, an perspective which appears wholesome in our present age of social media, excessive expectations and unhealthy psychological well being. By his personal admission, he prefers sitting at residence writing music to DJing at massive exhibits — though he’s completed loads of that too. Deft is a disciple of the inventive course of, not only a slave to the vacation spot, and his new album may simply be his finest vacation spot but.