Second Nature

Second Nature

“We all met up at Amsterdam Dance Event last year,” says Boris Daenen—aka Netsky. “And decided to do a one-off drum ’n’ bass album again and get back to the roots of where it all began for me.” The Belgian producer is talking about his return to Hospital Records for a one-off album—a decade after the iconic British drum ’n’ bass label introduced him to the world. “I tried to make this album the same way I made music when I was 20, so a decade ago,” he tells Apple Music. “And for me, making music all started with my dad’s record collection and cutting up all these soul and jazz records and putting a d’n’b beat under them.” Across the album, tracks including Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You” and Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” are given the liquid funk treatment and there’s an overriding, joyful sense that Netsky is reminding himself why he fell in love with making music in the first place. “On this album I’m looking back with a smile,” he says. “There’s a few tracks that are deeper and about isolation, coming during lockdown, but overall it’s a big celebration of life.” Here’s his track-by-track guide.
Hold On (feat. Becky Hill) “I’ve known Becky for about 10 years and she absolutely loves drum ’n’ bass and was into raving at Hospital events around 2008 and 2009. I sent her these really simple piano chords and once she started writing, we realized we had something in common in that we were both missing somebody that we couldn’t see.”
Mixed Emotions (feat. Montell2099) “I made this with Montell2099 who’s a really talented producer from New Zealand. He’s the first Kiwi I’ve worked with and I have a big love for New Zealand. His grandma is a really famous Māori activist.”
Destiny (feat. Sub Focus & Jozzy) “We tried to marry a UK sound with more of a Euro dance feel. My friend Jozzy features on it too. She’s a big songwriter in LA and co-wrote ‘Old Town Road.’”
I Choose You “I sampled the Willie Hutch record of the same name for this. It’s a record my dad used to play a lot. It’s got that classic Hospital Records liquid vibe. Just a great soul sample with a beat underneath it.”
Broken Bottles “I wrote this in LA with a songwriter called Danny Shah the day after we’d been on a big bender. We were working on it two hours before my flight out of there and I nearly missed it! It’s about trying to drink away your feelings.”
Blend (feat. Rudimental & Afronaut Zu) “This was a lot of fun to work on with Rudimental as we recorded a lot of live instrumentation. It’s got that skanky bass vibe with the really uplifting trumpet.”
Let Me Hold You (feat. Hybrid Minds) “This is a feel-good pop song with a really beautiful uplifting melody. I wanted to work with Hybrid Minds as they’re so good at those rolling drums.”
Look at Me Go (feat. Darren Styles) “I’ve always had this secret love of hardstyle and have flirted with it in quite a few DJ sets. I’ve been a fan of Darren’s for years and hit him up on Instagram and he worked his magic on it. I can’t wait to hear this at a festival.”
Don’t Care What People Say “This has an old Zapp & Roger sample that I’ve always wanted to use. They’re the kings of talk-box. It’s got a real disco feel and is a good after-party track.”
Complicated “I’ve always loved UK garage but missed the golden years growing up in Belgium. All the R&B influences in garage always intrigued me and this a homage to all of that.”
Free “This is a take on ‘Free’ by Deniece Williams, another classic ’70s soul track. I recreated all the elements and we got Natalie Williams—who’s no relation to Deniece—to sing it and her voice is just perfect for the song.”
I See the Future in Your Eyes “I started work on the melody for this after hearing ‘Gosh’ by Jamie xx. I loved that track and this has a similar flow. It’s a bit of a throwback to a style I was known for at the start of my career and we used it as a teaser when we announced I was back on Hospital for a one-off album.”
Waiting All Day to Get to You “This is almost a pop-punk tune with a bit of a blink-182 influence. There’s a hip-hop vibe in there too. It’s a bit all over the place but I love it.”
Power (feat. Urbandawn) “Urbandawn is an amazing technical producer from Brazil. I’ve played a version of this loads but he took it to the next level. I can’t wait to play this at a festival. It’s all about hitting people in the chest with the bass.”
Float “This is quite Mura Masa-influenced and another track I worked with Jozzy on. People will either love or hate it.”
Dreaming of You (feat. Elias) “Elias is an amazing and very technical singer-songwriter from Sweden. People compare him to Bon Iver and James Blake and this is the only kind of leftfield, indie-sounding track on the record.”
Everybody Loves the Sunshine (feat. Daddy Waku & Chantal Kashala) “The Roy Ayers original is a track my dad always played and that scene in Straight Outta Compton where Dr. Dre is lying on the floor listening to it really sticks in my mind. We recreated the whole track rather than sample it so we had freedom to play with the elements. The band must have been so high when they originally made it as it goes against so many rules of music but sounds amazing.”
Basic Instinct “I began this on my old iMac about six years ago and dusted it off to try and finish. It kept crashing all the time! I really wanted something that was an unfinished project from years back.”


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