The INSTINCT project was started by the young veteran James Burnham who wanted to take himself in a different direction in the studio. He is also known under the alias of Burnski, where his trademark house grooves have been found on his other esteemed label Constant Sound amongst many others. His inspired take on garage has given rise to a new scene, with productions selling out instantly and DJ sets capturing the attention of audiences across Europe. DMCWORLD checks in as he releases new album ‘Point of View’…
Welcome James and thank you for speaking with us today! To start off, how are you doing at the moment and whereabouts in the world are you based right now?
Hey thanks for having me. I’m up north by the sea at the moment visiting family but these days I live in the lovely Leeds.
We’re super excited to hear of your upcoming album ‘Point Of View’. It’s the second album from your INSTINCT moniker and it follows less than a year after the successful predecessor ‘Still Life’. Tell us, what was the idea behind this album?
I just go through folders of tracks I have done now and again and decide what to do with them. I find it’s 2 different processes making music, and deciding what to do with it when done. I’ve always struggled with the latter as it can sometimes start to confuse me that bit but I am getting better at it these days.
You start building up banks of tracks then a theme comes together with certain tracks so with this album I just found I had a selection of music that I thought worked well together which also tied in nicely with the previous eps.
I have always made loads of different styles and after feeling the need for a change I decided to take a step back from everything and began releasing some different sounding work under different names. INSTINCT was the one that started on a bit of a ukg tip and I just kept it up with the releases.
Given the quick turnaround of this second album and the continued output via your Burnski and James Solace aliases, you must have an efficient creative process! How do you keep the ideas flowing so freely in the studio?
I think just having a more quiet mind has helped so much. When you’re in the studio tracks can flow so much quicker when you’re almost just going along with it, not thinking much at all. When doing that you’re not getting in your own way all the time. I don’t try and control everything, or make big plans like before. I just go in and enjoy making the music and it seems to flow well.
Now and again I will go through the folders of tracks outside the studio and work out what to do with them. If you’re trying to do both at the same time it’s just creating noise in your head most of the time so it’s better for me keeping them seperate.
What bits of gear/software were most essential to the ‘Point Of View’ album?
I didn’t have any of my external kit when making the album as it was in storage but I used loads of samples I have recorded over the years and also collected. I have everything really well organised which helps loads with work flow.
Do you have a favorite track off the album? Or perhaps one that you enjoyed making the most?
Pistolwhip was a big one that got a lot of support. It was a single before the album and surprised me with how far it travelled. I can’t actually remember making any of these tunes, it all just merges into one. I’m constantly at it so it’s just one big process.
We find ourselves in a time where the scene is under a lot of pressure due to Covid circumstances and we’d like to try and draw some attention to why this sector is so important to look after. As an artist who has been relentlessly dedicated to the scene throughout their career; what does nightlife culture and music mean to you?
It’s imperative to have them. It brings people from all over the world together in unity. I can’t think of many other things that really connects people in that way. You feel a part of something, it can give you a real sense of purpose and a way to express yourself.
It’s worrying when you look at the rules that seem to keep coming out as it’s crippling a lot of club businesses.
James thanks again for speaking with us today, it has been a pleasure! To round things off, is there anything else from yourself that we can look forward to in the near future?