How are you, how has 2019 been? Busy, it seems!
Very good thank you. Busy indeed, 2019 has just been one large studio blur, all set up for a big 2020.
Do you make tunes with certain labels in mind, is that how it works?
I intentionally make a record without any intention and let the subconscious guide it, as I think that is true creative freedom. I find trying to tick boxes leads to overthinking and the ideas stop. Better to just let it flow out. Like that Sonya Spence track says –
Tell us about your new one for Last Night on Earth? What inspired it?
This track is a further expansion into the melancholic, atmospheric, sci-fi reverb acid from the dream state in my head, it’s been responsible for a lot of tracks now. It is also a love letter to my home city, one of the most creative cities on Earth – maybe it’s all the rain? No-one wants to be outside?
How do you release with so many different labels? Do they come to you or do you send music out?
I do 12 hour studio days Monday to Friday. I live this shit. Sending less music out to new labels now as I am fortunate to be close with a few and they want stuff from me, like LNOE for example. When I first finish a tune I kinda choose between who I already have dealings with and who I think might dig it the most. Still do the odd random send out though to ridiculous places like email@example.com. Why not.
You’ll release under a new alias this year, Bluematter, why is that? What kind of music will it be?
Because it is totally different music so it wouldn’t make sense. It’s dark-side jungle with sci-fi influences. One thing I learned from doing Jozef K is that it is important for people to clearly identify with the product. It’s taken me 100000 million years to create a specific sound publicly for Jozef K (which for the record is atmospheric house) and I learned from that. This Bluematter stuff fits into an exact zone and I was careful to make sure of that. It is a collab project with Thomas Ragsdale (formerly Winter Son) and it’s cool to be back writing together again.
Was it hard to learn new production skills to make jungle and rave sounds, was it like starting again?
Not as such, as compared to the house stuff I am doing as there are less elements and it’s less musical. It’s more ‘fun’ just capturing an idea in the moment and running with it – chop up a break and add a bass in there and you are well on your way, some feel like they almost write themselves. Production-wise a lot of the stuff crosses over – reverb, delay, overdrive vinyl crackle, and heavy emotion. I feel now my Jozef K stuff is in a certain place and I can’t just bang a tune out in one session but this is more instant – and it is supposed to be.
Will you DJ under that alias or will it all fall under your own name?
Not thought that far ahead, to be honest, just taking this as it comes. It would be sweet too on an occasion to blur both projects and build up from some ambient on a super long set and travel through the genres tempo-wise into a jungle finish.
What have been the most important lessons you have learn as a producer since establishing yourself?
Learning to say no…
I learned that it is essential to have a clear identity that people know you for. I have finally honed mine right in for Jozef K with the atmospheric house stuff and have been turning gigs down that aren’t fully in line with my vision for the first time. Also same goes for label releases. Just keeping clearly in my lane and learning to say no! Just say no kids!
Same deal DJing – are you always learning and evolving?
Play from the heart has always been my mantra, I keep it simple and ask myself what record on my USB do I HONESTLY believe the crowd want to hear the most, next, within context? Obviously, you might want to build into a certain record or whatever but as a general rule I stick to that.
In short I aim to play from the heart and try and not let the ego get in the way. Good advice for anything I suppose!
What else have you got coming up that you can tell us about?
Playing at Night Tales on Friday 1st November alongside DJ Pierre for ‘From Acid To Jack’. Will be cool as have never met him before since doing a record for him.
Buy tickets – https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1320946
I have also signed to the biggest label yet, can’t wait to announce it. Feels mad as I keep seeing videos and playlists of the track being played but having to shut up about it. Also 8 EPs incoming before my debut album on Nite Grooves in Spring.