For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, can you tell us a bit about what you do?
I’m a music producer from Manchester, England. I also DJ. I’ve been writing music now for five years and have played DJ sets around the world, and I’m signed to Mala’s Deep Medi Musik label, along with having released records on other labels such as Boka Records, Kokeshi and Lion Charge Records.
Can you tell us a bit about your studio set up?
My studio setup is modest, I’ve tried to keep it this way because to limit the equipment I have to interact with aids in my creative process. I use a Mac, Yamaha HS8 monitors through a Focusrite Saffire Pro and an Alesis MiDi keyboard and work soley ‘in the box’.
When working on a track, what is your process?
I have a few ways of working. I’ll either start with a synth like Circle for example, in which case I’ll dig in and experiment until I can write a synth line and then build up a track around that, usually by adding drums and then bass and pads and an atmosphere and so on, or I’ll start with a vocal if I’m building a vocal track or a remix and build the track around the vocal, or I’ll start with a sample, be that a sample taken from another track, off a record I own, or from a synth I’ve sampled from online, or… Well, a sample can come from anywhere, and then I’ll build up a track around that sample. Basically, I try to find a source of inspiration that sets off ideas in my head which I then translate into a piece of music.
How do you normally go about sourcing and designing sounds for your music?
I have a few ways of sourcing sounds, I’ll either sample existing records or scour YouTube for a sound that sets off ideas in my head as two ways of working, or I’ll simply open a synth, Circle for example, and just dig through it twisting knobs and playing in different notations until something clicks and, again, sets ideas running in my head.
If you experience a creative block in the studio, do you have any particular rituals that get the inspiration flowing again?
Sampling, without a doubt. I start by listening to records whether that is those in my physical collection here at home or online until I hear something that inspires me. At that point, I’ll either sample that sound that inspires me and begin playing with it in Logic, manipulating it and just making it my own sound and then writing with it, or I’ll try to create my own version of it using a synth and go from there.
Mixing down can often be frustrating when starting out in production, what advice would you give for getting tracks ready for the club?
This, in my experience at least, is a game of trial and error. Mixing down is an art, a very personal art. A mix is different for every track depending on where it’s going to be played and where an artist wants that music to be heard. For the club, at least for me, the focus is on the low-end, the bass. I always make sure my low-end packs a big punch on a sound system, but then again it’s important to make sure the rest of the mix is balanced. I learned by playing my music in clubs, as well as hearing my music being played in clubs, and just listening, thinking; Does this sound right? Does it stand up to the following track in terms of weight and clarity? If not, I try to listen to what is lacking, fix the mistakes and most importantly learn from the mistakes going forward. It’s all a case of trying, failing and learning. I’m still learning as I think everyone is. There’s no definitive answers when it comes to mixing a piece of music.
What’s up next for you, any releases in the pipeline?
Next up I’m releasing my second record on Mala’s Deep Medi Musik label which will be a four-track 12″ and my biggest body of work so far which is coming out early next year, followed by a 7″ single on the well-respected Dub music label Zam Zam Sounds based out of Portland, Oregon in North America. I’m also launching my own label next year, along with making a big effort to carry on touring all over the world, so a lot is happening. I’m increasingly busy!