Studio Focus: Edmondson / Hugh on May 31st

Edmondson

For our readers who are not familiar with you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Hallo, I’m Sean - I produce music as Edmondson and run a little vinyl series called Lissoms. I’ve previously released stuff on Hypercolour and emf, as well as a few remixes here and there. Born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and living in Berlin.

What is your current studio set up?

I know it’s common to modestly say you have a simple set-up and then reel off a comprehensive list of gear, but I currently use just a laptop, Akai midi controller and a pair of Adams A5X’s at home. I’m lucky to also share a studio with a few others, so there’s a wide array of gear coming and going. At the moment I’m dabbling with the Elektron Analog Keys a lot.

When working on a track, what is your process?

I sample a lot so it’s usually chopping and arranging in the beginning, and I usually rely on this to set the precedent for the rest of the tune to follow. I just track out an 8 or 16 bar loop and if I can let it go for a few minutes without needing to do much I’ll progress with it. The best ones fall into place in a couple of days but most get drafted out several times and (often needlessly) tweaked over a couple of months.

How do you normally go about sourcing and designing sounds for your music?

I do a lot of searching on YouTube and in Facebook groups, there’s a load of super nice sources primarily for hip-hop producers which can lead into a YouTube vortex of sampling gold. For drums and textures I use a Zoom H1 mic, and I have a couple of go-to soft synths I run through the midi controller which I run through some effect chains for the more non sample-based projects.

If you experience a creative block in the studio, do you have any particular rituals that get the inspiration flowing again?

Do something else! I still struggle to recognise when I’m making progress or making something worse. I think I’d advise avoiding the internet in general when you’re not feeling productive - we’re almost the guinea pig generation for having this galaxy of time-wasting devices at our fingertips, and despite the plethora of tutorials and potential sources of inspiration it can be difficult to apply any of it if you’re in a rut. For me personally, exercise or drinking seems to be the best way to reset your creative approach.

Much of your work has a distinctly lo-fi aesthetic, though we’ve learned that a lot of your workflow takes place in-the-box. Do you have any tips for our readers that want to achieve this kind of sound using software?

Sourcing samples or creating sounds with plenty of character and warmth is probably the best way to start. I don’t use much in terms of plugins so I find creative filtering and distortion can throw up some of the most interesting results. I picked up a cool free thing by Klanghelm called IVGI which is really nice for treating drums too.

Lissoms

We loved the first two releases on your Lissoms imprint. Can you tell us a bit more about the concept and plans for the label?

Thanks a lot! The concept is pure self-indulgence I guess, I wanted to create an outlet for my music so that I could make the kind of records I would be excited about finding. I found myself, particularly when living in London, kind of at the 50% agreed stage with a few labels and would often end up second-guessing my ideas and instincts when trying to finish projects. I wanted to remove all of that, so even if the music itself is flawed or not quite where I want it to be at the time, it’s a pure and personal product of the time it was written.

What’s up next for you?

I have an EP coming out with Man Power’s MeMeMe imprint in Autumn, 3 tracks and a remix from someone I respect massively. I’m in the process of finishing LLL003 & LLL004 for Lissoms, and the first should be ready to go in Autumn too.

Berliners can catch me at about:blank on the 28th of June for the Hypercolour & Friends party.

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