Studio Talk with Jackmaster K

Jackmaster K Interview

This time on Studio Talk, we have one of our new artists and all round talented guy Kiran aka Jackmaster K.  If you are into jackin house music this one might be of interest for you. We will be bringing you more info about our vinyl release from this guy very soon, until then enjoy the interview.

Welcome to the site Kiran it’s good to have you on here. Can you tell us a bit about where you came from, What are your musical roots?

I started playing Drums at a very young age and am self taught on the Piano / Keys.  I also used to DJ from a young age.  My interest in music grew in the mid nineties when tracks like Global communications- the way were out, House and Dance music in general was still vibing.  I produced a bit during my teens but didn’t really put anything proper together and was on hold after starting a year in.  I took it up again a couple of years ago and have been hooked since. The ability to make tracks with a decent sound quality just in you’re bedroom is essential to me. My musical roots span many different genres. In my teens I was heavily influenced by the early house sound ( predominantly Acid house ( and the warriors dance stuff) and Chicago house), but was heavily into all styles of music from classical to indie, hip hop, to funk,soul to reggae and to House and a whole bunch of hip stuff from those days that people wouldn’t know about unless they were vinyl heads.  Massive tunes of my youth include the Tom tom club’s genius of love, David Bowie’s let’s dance, everything by Public Enemy, and Sterling Void’s alright. A couple of years back i rediscovered  Proto House ,New York House and House form the nineties.

My productions started becoming really proto House and stayed that way until I rediscovered my love for Nervous records, Strictly rhythm, and Murk records, and the general quality, on every level of House music from this period. I decided to up my game and decided to bring my music up to a level that matched the standards exemplified in that era.  Off the back of that I became more focused on quality production  techniques and solid mixing, and was one of the first few people that started bringing classic vibes back into dance music.  This came in the form of my tune Missing you which is out at the moment on Killax records.

 What inspires you, what direction are you looking to take your music in?

My emotions inspire me the most, the way I feel about something can be crucial to motivate me to get involved in a song in the first place. I’m a big believer that the vibes in the room are cut to record. If you’re feeling it, people can subtly detect it in you’re music, and obviously I take a lot of inspiration from all of those great producers,mixers, and musicians from the past and what they achieved back then.

How do you view the music scene at the moment? is it healthy? where do you see things going?

I think the House scene at the moment is really alive and kicking, productions are getting more advanced and using techniques that were there when House had hit it’s peak. So in this aspect it’s healthy, but on the other hand there are a whole bunch of people out there using loops for their beats and melodies who don’t program anything in the track. This can still work in some instances but in most it doesn’t because the mix techniques used aren’t there and the flavour you get from programming and the emotions they can code for don’t tend to exist.  It’s so nice though – that we have got away from souless minimal machine music. That was a really dark time for Dance music and it’s great to see more soul in House tracks these days and people on the underground circuit appreciating it. People have spirits and I believe people’s spirits should be uplifted when they’re on a dancefloor.

Do you work in the box, or with hardware? or a bit of both? What do you find are the most important considerations in getting a great sound out of your tools? What kind of elements are you listening for? 

First and foremost, know what you’re doing. I’ve spent a hell of a lot of time learning my craft, experience counts for everything in this business and it is a business guys. You’re competing with guys with serious experience, talent, and knowledge. The most important thing is to up you’re game everyday. The modern producer has to be a great producer, a great mixer, a great musician, a great DJ, a great businessman, and his own PR company !

It doesn’t matter whether you mix in or out of the box, what plugins or hardware you use, none of this matters as much as how well you do what you do! Having particular plugins, sequencers, hardware is not as important as what you do with them.

Lets dig into how you get a track going, could you tell us a little bit about how you start a track and what you feel is the most important factor for you? 

A Hook is the most important thing for me. There is no particular order or important factor I think about, apart from that every sound in solo should sound good, and should be relevant and important to my track.  It’s not so much about what tools we use, what I use is a pretty simple set up, but I know it inside out.  Music production is incredibly complex, lots of science, math, and that’s just the side order lol.  Learn properly and work hard, these are best pieces of advice I can give to anyone.

What are your views on mastering? There is a burgioning group of home producers working on home pcs and not in studios who regularly self master. Would you master you own work? How important do you consider mastering in the big picture of creating a great record?

Mastering is an incredibly important process. Only ever master at home if you truly know what you’re doing. I do master my own stuff, but also provide pre-mastered versions to labels who wish to use their own mastering engineer.  So it’s definitely possible to master you’re own material, but as I say, only if you truly know what you’re doing, otherwise you can ruin you’re tune incredibly quickly lol.

If there was one bit of advice, that you could give to improve most of the music you hear nowadays, what would that tip be?  What would you say is an important element you find great tracks always get right?

You got to get the mix right, and the best advice advice  I could give on how to achieve this is –  Frequency balance of sounds. – Stereo placement, – Dynamic understanding i.e. compression, balancing – The depth of the piece of music/mix.  Bear in mind that you need space in the mix too, you need have some sounds that are placed closer to the listener than others.

What’s next for you? Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming releases, and any notable points in there production?

There is loads of stuff coming outing he next few months, with some great labels.  No Dough music, Skylax records, Killax records, Made Fresh Daily, Alma Soul Music, and loads more getting blessed with a lot of play form some amazing DJ’s like Graeme Park, Hardrock Striker, James Johnston, Kid Mark, Loud Minority DJ’s, Mica Fish, DJCaspa,  so sorry to those for the names I haven’t written here. Production wise it’s really interesting for me because I’m musically open minded but there seem to be a few trends going on in the House scene at the moment, and I seem to be in the middle of a bunch of them lol. But I’m continuing to explore new avenues so stay tuned folks.

What’s inspiring you right now? Any particular artists you are enjoying more than most?

I’m loving all the House music coming out at the moment. People like Alex Agore, Nick Beringer, James Johnston, Washerman, Rosenhaft, Kid Mark, Simoncino, Loud Minority DJ’s, Hardrock Striker, Mike Sharon, Rio Padice, and a whole bunch of great producers and DJ’s from the last few decades.The artists I tend to enjoy most are the ones that come and work with me in my lab lol I.e. Robert Owens, but as I don’t wanna keep you here all day, I should leave it at that.  Really nice talking to you, and remember, Luck= Labour under correct knowledge, so if you’re ever feeling like you ain’t getting enough luck, labour a bit harder, and make sure your working correct lol. Peace

You can also check out the podcast Kiran put together for us the other day…HERE

Written By

Co-owner at NoDoughMusic & Mastering Engineer