Great to have you on the site for a chat, we have been a fan of your productions for a while, but for those who don’t yet know. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Cheers, thanks for having me 🙂 Sure thing; I’m a DJ, producer based in London. I also run a club night Play at The Waiting Room and an eclectic/downtempo night Downplay at Brilliant Corners. Both are currently on hold at the moment because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Your recent records on Uncage and RFR are brilliant, this compelling cross between House grooves, great synth work and a more edgy Techno production. How do you see your sound?
Although most of what I’ve released so far does fall within the domain of house and techno, I would prefer to be associated with a wider sound spectrum as that’s a more true representative of who I am as a DJ. I spend a great deal of time digging for records and that inspires me to create all kinds of music whether it’s dub techno, Chicago house, Detroit techno, 80’s synth music, experimental, the list goes on.
Digging is important for sure, any great pandemic finds you can share?
Universal Indicator – Monobloc [Dirty Mac]
OZ Artists – Oh, God [AE Recordings]
Farafina – Fasa Desou (full album) [Real World]
Moonbow – BNND WDTH [West Friends]
Tor Lundvall – July Evening [Dais Records]
Who are your inspirations? and how have they helped mould your sound?
My inspirations tend to be selectors like Andrew Weatherall, Joe Hart, Scott Fraser, Andy Blake, Ricardo Villalobos, Young Marco and many more.
Having seen all of them play on numerous occasions in London, I’m always blown away by the quality of music I hear and the diverse collection of records they bring with them. All of them have inspired the music that I make and definitely helped in shaping my sound as a selector and producer. There are lots of DJ’s and producers who’ve made a name for themselves by just sticking to one genre or one sub genre of dance music and that’s great but that’s not for me. Andrew Weatherall is a prime example of a DJ who played and created almost every kind of music out there and managed to carve a long lasting and fruitful career out of it, always staying relevant. I’d love to be able to do that.
How do you see your sound changing in recent years?
My palette of sounds is constantly getting wider and I’m spending more time exploring creating different kinds of music. I constantly bombard myself with so much music whether it’s through my addiction of digging and collecting vinyl or finding music online. And all of this influences the the music I make and the production process. Eventually I feel my music is gonna become more and more of an amalgamation of different sounds and genres and to avoid confusion I might create aliases to release music which is radically different to what I’ve put out so far.
Tell us a bit about your studio? Are you all analogue or all digital? or a bit of both?
I have a small digital set up at the moment, it’s so small that I make all my music on the bed haha. I use Maschine Mikro MK1 to program my drums, NI Massive Version 1.0 to design my sounds, Akai MPK mini midi keyboard controller and Logic Pro X as my DAW. I did buy an analog drum machine and a few guitar pedals a few years back but never got around to using them. For me, the focus has always been on generating and translating ideas into a finished product and I feel like you can do that with almost any piece of gear nowadays, analog or digital.
Is there any gear you find yourself using more than everything else?
Massive was a huge turning point for me. It came free with Maschine Mikro when I bought it around 7 years ago. 3 oscillators, 2 filters, 4 envelope modulators and 4 LFO/Performance modulators, that’s very powerful and you can design any sound you want from that. The modulators are just amazing, it really allows you to shape the sound and come up with some really unique synth grooves and melodies. I also I found using Massive much more intuitive compared to other soft synths I had used it in the past. It doesn’t have a very steep learning curve, relatively speaking.
I noticed you specified Massive 1, not a fan of the new Massive X?
I think Massive X is really cool especially the 170 wavetables that you have available in the oscillator section, not to mention 10 different ways you can read them. You also have the ability to add up to 7 oscillators if need be which is great. However there is a lack of interesting waveforms and graphical feedback in the LFO section; and since using a chain of LFO’s is often a crucial part to my sound design process, I found this a little disappointing. The graphical feedback for the LFO’s in Massive 1 allows me to relatively easily create a mental picture of what’s happening to the overall sound and that’s important for me. I am still tempted to cross grade at some point though, we’ll see.
When it comes to sound design, the LFOs / modulation is important to keep things moving, can you share with us any unusual way you use it?
Massive 1 allows you to combine interesting waveforms to modulate a sound and then you can go on to modulate that sound further with 3 more LFO’s. I’m not sure if it’s unusual but I often use a chain of 2 LFO’s to design and shape a sound, a 3rd LFO to add movement to this sound and sometimes a 4th LFO to add further movement but at a different rate. I could be modulating any parameter; sometimes I know exactly which one I need to modulate and other times it’s trial and error. I also often use a single LFO to modulate multiple parameters to come up with interesting textures that evolve over time.
What would you say is the most important factor in getting your sound?
I’m not sure if I have a certain sound really to be honest haha. I like to be a little all over the place. But tool wise, maybe it’s the LFO’s on Massive that allow me to create hypnotic synth grooves. Or maybe it’s the processing of the sounds. There is always some saturation (sometimes too much) on a lot of my records. That probably stems from my love for older dance records.
Can you clue us into any acts you are loving that other people might not know?
Here are a few that are based in London:
Keeping things fresh during lockdown?
Well for the most part I’ve been using the time to make a lot of new music. I’ve been giving myself goals to learn how to produce different genres I’m really into such as early jungle/uk hardcore, tribal/percussive house, ambient, minimal house and most recently electro. I’m taking my time with each of them trying to learn the specific production techniques involved. Eventually the idea is to apply a fusion of these techniques to create something new and maybe come up with own bag of tricks. The remainder of my free time is spent digging for music.
What’s next for you?
I’ve got a mid tempo (98-107 bpm) cosmic themed EP coming out on Funnuvojere Records in September, 4 track dub techno EP to be released on Cymawax in 2021 and lastly an EP coming out on E2-E8 in 2021.
Gig wise, we’ll just have to wait and see how the pandemic pans out for music venues. Hope to be back behind the decks at some point soon when it’s safe enough for everyone.