In my darkest nights I still remember that day. The day when I declined a track that a rookie Rohaan at the beginning of his career that was sent to the Collective I managed at that time. Years have passed since then, I’ve never forgiven myself but luckily Rohaan’s star has never ceased to shine and instead has risen to the status of supernova in the bass community. From Crown Collective to MAD ZOO may sound like a title of some “how-to-build-a career” handbook, but it’s nothing but the truth about his fantastic journey during these years, featuring countless cameos along the road on Phuture Collective, Jadu Dala, Saturate, Circus Records, Moving Castle, Quality Goods, Deadbeats and many more. I’m proud to have been spectator of this entire ride and with this perspective I feel free to say that I’ve never seen Rohaan in such good shape.
Since the beginning of his Drum & Bass diet, the quality of his releases have been sublime to say the least and his debut LP, titled Bleach, project the Manchester producer in the 160-BPM circuit with a first class ticket. As I expect from a proper album, Bleach lays its foundations on a core concept and, through the seven tracks, it branches out exploring its multiple declinations. The bind of all the different layers (album’s musical legacy, Rohaan’s vision, our interpretations) shape Bleach as three-dimensional opus that goes way beyond just the dancefloor nature which could be attributed to the LP at the first listen. To dig deeper into the creation of the album and the momentum around its release I reached out Rohaan for some insights. Expect the unexpected!
This album has come with a specific aesthetic direction. Can you explain how it’s tied to the music and the title?
The project Bleach is both audio and visual, the art doesn’t work without the sound and vice versa.
The project is based around ‘cults’ and me washing away my old sound and starting a fresh, hence the name ‘Bleach’. I went to see the film ‘Midsommar’ and it changed everything for me! I went home and that’s when ‘City of Ezra’ was made. The project then started to embody a cult like feel.
You have always been quite close to its vibes, but only in the last year have you started to regularly release Drum & Bass. Was there a specific episode that influenced this process or it has been just a natural progression of your sound?
It’s been in my routes since I was young, my Mum would introduce me to so much good music. So I have naturally always been in that ecosystem. The main sway point for me was the club. After I played the debut Unchained show in London I could clearly see a path for my new sound, so pushed harder than ever to create some original sounding club music!
Our time is often described as the era ruled by velocity and low attention. Working on a single project for a whole year has been a stressing or refreshing experience?
Great question! This is actually the second LP for Mad Zoo. We scrapped the first one! Then Bleach was born from the ashes hahah. It was a pleasure but also very stressful as I am extremely anal about the visual aspect and feel of releases. It’s SO damn important get it right to make sure the project sticks around for longer! A LOT of hours went into the visual aspect of this release! Big up Pad.mc for being a wizard graphic designer and Melcpics for taking the best damn photos. Also big up to Matan and Andrew at Mad Zoo for being patient! So happy to have the project be released on such a label.
Since I’m a long time fan too I have to ask this: How does it feel to be supported by such iconic players like Drum&BassArena and Hospital Records?
It’s insane man. I actually had a few moments recently where i was in my room listening to the LP just overwhelmed with joy at the fact its getting supported by so many big players. I can vividly remember buying Drum&BassArena compilation albums when I was like 16. And now to be a part of it is something I’m very grateful for. It reinforces the path I am trying to pave.
Let’s see how 2020-Rohaan rates his own track ‘Veteran‘ from 2017 (yes, the one I mentioned at the beginning of the article).
hahaha that damn song. Mate I’m honestly not a fan at all of that track. Back when I made stuff I thought would be big but I was 3 years behind as I was making what was already out there.
In a normal review this would be the moment where I spill my preferences about certain tracks, rating my favourites and why I like them. This time instead, the only thing I can do here is to fairly admit that I think they are impeccable. All of them, without a single exception. Enjoy Bleach on your favourite platform, buy it, play it in your streaming or dj sets and don’t forget to support Rohaan on his channels!