Artsweek caught up with rising drum ‘n’ bass artist Troels Knudson, aka Pyro, between tracks at his home studio. The 20-year-old Denmark native has been busy in the world of DnB, with recent gigs in Norway and Estonia as well as releases on such labels as Deeper Realms, Perspective, Flex and Trouble on Vinyl. Pyro has become a full-time producer only recently, after hitting #3 on “The Five Mighty Rollers” drum ‘n’ bass chart for the UK’s Kiss FM. Amazingly, Pyro supports himself purely from production, a true feat for such a young artist.
“I’m pretty surprised at how well things are coming together since I started doing DnB full time,” Pyro said. “More bookings have come around and more people are taking my tunes. It’s definitely easier writing tunes without a day job since you can hit the studio whenever the inspiration is there.” The new commercial buzz has indeed been rewarding, but his commitment to his music has not wavered.
“I got into DnB in about ’95-’96,” he said, “when stuff like UK Apache and M Beat started reaching the charts. I was making music at that time, and quickly started producing DnB as well.” Pyro’s involvement in music production let him move from writing music to deejaying, and not vice versa like most DnB artists. Pyro is doing plenty of spinning now, with gigs all over Europe including a solo night in Copenhagen, Denmark, titled “Dynamics.” Yet his true love is making music in the studio. “I get a great buzz when I’m working a crowd … but I find it more interesting creating something from scratch.”
Pyro’s studio exists entirely in his computer; he creates DnB using software, like fellow artists Kemal and Optical, instead of utilizing a studio. Software production has always been a part of Pyro’s modus operandi. “I like the way you have everything at your fingertips,” he said.
Pyro describes his style of DnB as “fast paced and squarely aimed at the dance floor, but still deep and atmospheric.” He also explains that in making his tracks he attempts to integrate a sci-fi and anime-inspired feel. “I love futurism, which I’m sure you can easily tell by listening to my tunes.” He is currently working with such DnB artists as Carben, Shiraz and Paul Reset, with whom Pyro runs the label Nerve Productions. Nerve, known for “techier” DnB, gave Pyro an opportunity to spotlight all of the great, unreleased DnB artists.
In addition to his usual techno-style drum ‘n’ bass, Pyro’s future output may feature more mellow and vocal tunes, fronted by singers like Philly native Kimera. His release plans include a 12″ of “Starlight” b/w “Eyes Open,” coming out in July on Killahertz. To check it out, go to www.killahertz.com. He is also doing a remix for the Atlanta based Evol Intent imprint in September, as well as some forthcoming songs on DJ Trace’s Disc 4 label He also plans to do an EP for Nerve Recordings. For Pyro’s live appearances in L.A. and San Francisco, look for the Killahertz Recordings tour this coming September, which will also include Vector Burn, Infiltrata, Psidream, Kiko, and Hochi Minh.