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Spotlight 002: Shelley Parker

Starting out on her journey as a DJ in East London’s Shoreditch in the mid 00’s, Shelley Parker quickly became part of the then booming underground club circuit’s framework, becoming resident at Haywire where she regularly shared billing with the likes of Magda and fellow Haywire residents Andrew Weatherall and Radioactive Man with her rave edged techno and electro collection. She didn’t actually come onto null+void’s radar some years later with the launch of her label Structure and a 11 track compilation of of shearing experimental sounds from herself, Cursor Miner, Scan One and Kansas City Prophets, prompting us to pay close attention to the label’s activities.

After being a platform for this curated venture the next two releases homed Parker’s own works releasing her debut album Spurn Point in 2014 where her experimental roots in sound design were melded with her experience as a techno DJ. Parker’s sound is one of power, looking to field recordings to create dynamics instead of quick fix plug ins or effects her productions her sonic fingerprint stands out thanks to a special balance of space and weight brought about by this approach to production, traits that we find wholly unique and compelling.

Being an individual who has been on our radar for sometime we looked to her for our next spotlight mix, looking to the club and flooring us with her atmospheric and cutting selections.

I became more familiar with your production during more recent years, I know you’ve been producing for much longer can you fill us in on how you got started out DJing initially?

In 2001 the gallery artist Seb Patane set up the night Nerd at the Shoreditch Electricity Showrooms and asked me to become one of the resident DJs alongside Marco Shuttle and Nicky Verber who now runs Herald Street gallery. We were pretty much all students doing our Masters at the time – none of us were “professional DJ’s”. I used to play a lot of acid house bangers, dark out electro, 80s stuff and the beginnings of grime/dubstep. Andrew Weatherall came down a fair bit and after playing a couple of their parties I was taken on by the Haywire agency.

You were on the Haywire agency, played their parties and part of a very hedonistic rave based world initially, how were you drawn into the more experimental practice and world you work in now?

The experimental practice came from studying a fine art degree at Central Saint Martins. I experimented with sound a lot and so working with this medium wasn’t really something new after DJing – it was more of a return to what I’d been interested in previously.

That time feels like the scene in east London was thriving, and Shoreditch was more musically active especially with techno and house – what was your experience of it?

There was a kind of scene of art and fashion students and also events like Haywire, City Rockers, Nag Nag Nag, Trash and lots of others I can’t remember the name of! The music then seemed to be focused on the broadening of “electro”. Thinking back there was this small window of time when certain club nights were similar in spirit I suppose to “raves” and 80’s style nights which was then in stark contrast to the mainstream nights happening at the time.

Can you talk us through your production process, I know that you base a lot of your sounds on field recordings but more often than not it really feels like you’re getting a lot of power out of machines…

The MPC 2500 which I play my live sets on puts out a fair amount of power but equally I suppose the aesthetic which I’m drawn to is always going to sound a bit more pumped after my experiences of Djing on big sound systems. I use effects now less frequently. I can’t remember the last time I put reverb on anything – probably about 4 years ago! I spend a lot of time working with samples and continually try to find different ways to create dynamics without having to rely on plug-ins or hardware effects units. A lot of my recordings of found sounds are distorted and have their own sense of “space” anyway and I like that. I’m not interested in clean, polished production.

You started up Structure some years ago now, starting with a compilation of various remixes and original tracks from a variety of artists – how did you go about curating the sound for that first release?

I really enjoy the process of sequencing tracks together especially combinations you’d might not expect. I think it’s this aspect I still enjoy about making DJ mixes and this also inspired the selection for the CD. I’ve always been very impressed by the productions of Scanone, Cursor Miner, Kansas City Prophets – their music had this edge to it that was different to a lot of the “electro house” of the time. It was more experimental and darker and for me I will always be drawn to that type of music. Also in around 2009 I was beginning to work again with sound installations so, for example, one of the tracks “Cast” from the CD was a remix by Julian Doyle (Filter Feeder) of the audio I used for the “Cast” sound commission I produced for the Victoria & Albert Museum.

It was also where you released your first album, do you have any future plans for a second long player or more releases for yourself on Structure?

The label is always a funny one as I constantly change my mind about what I want to do with it! I’d like to do a vinyl release at some point but I also really like the CD format ie roughly an hour of music. It feels much more like a body of work rather than the limitations of 2 or 3 tracks. Also again it’s closer to the duration of a DJ mix so I feel comfortable working within this timeframe.

Can you tell us a bit about this mix, how did you go about the selection and recording it for us?

Some of my recent DJ mixes have been very kind of noisy and industrial but this mix immediately felt like it had a different atmosphere. Also sometimes I feel it’s a bit silly trying to do a “let’s have it” club mix when essentially you’re recording it at home and people will mainly listen to it on headphones. So this mix I guess roughly goes from noise to house to drum and bass. Like all my DJ mixes I recorded it live in one take – no edits, using CDs and vinyl.

What other projects are you currently working on?

I have two remixes coming out in the next month or so and a second album and dance 12” coming out later in the year. Also I’m working on two new music commissions which are completely unrelated to club or dance music in territories I’ve never worked in before. Sorry I can’t say any names or give details yet! Obviously I’ve DJed a lot and performed live in all manner of spaces but not really played live sets in clubs that much yet so that’s also one of my goals for this year.

Tracklist:

Chra – A dark country (Unreleased)
Untold – The water carrier (Hemlock)
LCC – Airys (Comfortzone)
Trinkkets – Lace (Don’t Fret)
U – Our place (Phantasy)
Monoloc – Trysome (Hotflush)
Anxiety Support Group – Drug Dealers Lullaby (Opal Tapes)
Ploy – Move yourself (Hessle Audio)
Intrusion – Velocity in A minor (Intrusion)
Spooky – Concussion (Generic)
Ploy – Sala One Five (Hessle Audio)
Dronelock & Ontal – Parallax (Shadow Story)
Elementz of Noize – Law of the Jungle (M Ocean)
Ruffhouse – UVB-76 (Samurai)

Shelley Parker Website // Shelley Parker Soundcloud // Structure Recordings Website

Spotlight 001: Spaces

As our podcasts have developed into something more than a mix series, going deeper into getting the creator’s back story in the interviews we have started to present alongside the music, we felt it appropriate to rename the podcast series to better represent this idea. The first subject for Spotlight is Bleep’s Spaces aka John Flynn.

Discovered by Bleep as part of their Filtered production talent competition nearly 5 years ago, Spaces stood out among the reams of applicants for his off kilter approach that he takes when putting beats together. Paired with a set of ears trained in his professional guise as mastering engineer for Balance Mastering the sounds that Flynn achieves with his computer based set up raise the bar for what is expected of digitally produced music. Since the original Filtered compilation Bleep went on to sign him as their first unknown artist to the label and has released two EP’s to date as well as collaborated with Bjork on her last album Vulnicura and remixed fellow Irish techno innovators Lakker.

Spaces is that rare type of producer that comes with a sound that is challenging in an original way but wholly affective when heard on a suitably weighted rig.

Download: null+void Spotlight 001: Spaces

null+void: You’re a mastering engineer by trade what do you think is the importance of knowledge and understanding of sound engineering in your own creativity?

Spaces: For my own music I think it contributes quite a bit because it’s electronic and uses a lot of synthetic sounds. I’m drawn to learning, I’ve always been curious about sound design so mastering seems to take that to its logical conclusion. Although it can be a bit of a curse too as sometimes you can get lost in that tweaky world, changing little tiny elements that you’ll only hear on fantastically expensive speakers. It’s taken a bit of getting used to but the balance is quite good now, I’m doing mastering work and my own music about fifty-fifty. So with the mastering I get to be as tweaky as I want in getting other people’s songs to sound as good as possible, and when making my own tracks I just switch all that off, just churn through ideas and then build upon some of the good ones, as quickly as possible. I think it would be great if the whole process of writing, recording and releasing a track was entirely in realtime, actually maybe not releasing. Let’s say you get a day to sleep on it!

It really feels like you push yourself to play around with constructions and rhythmic templates in your music, is this something you have in mind while producing?

I guess the tracks are awkward, I should probably be a bit nicer and make them straighter. But in seriousness, I think I always set out to make the Spaces project be about those kind of ideas. I’ve always liked tracks that leave a mistake in, or have something that’s way too loud in the mix, like it’s really awkward the first time you hear it but on repeat that becomes the thing you love about it. I suppose I do try and keep an overall aim or some of these kind of ideas in what I’m going for with the sounds and constructions.

I feel it’s important to have some notions of what kind of thing you want the music to be and to aim for that, but then simultaneously you have to forget about all that stuff and just experiment, have a laugh, whatever, and then assess what comes out. It’s a similar argument for whether it’s better to know lots of theory or to just have a bash as a total beginner, there’s no real answer to that as there have been amazing artists who’ve learned “the right way” to make music but also there’s lots of people who just took to an instrument one day and did things that nobody else dreamed of doing.

Can you tell us a bit about your studio setup and working process?

It’s usually always my laptop, occasionally I work some of my other bits and pieces in but mostly just the laptop and some controllers. The humble computer gets a lot of stick in some of the nerdier parts of the internet these days, people are all like ‘analogue this’ and ‘hardware that’. Don’t get me wrong analogue can sound great and hardware is lovely to work with, in mastering the analogue hardware tools are still tough to beat and I use them every day.

I find for the type of music I make as Spaces I’m much quicker using the laptop and it gives me the results that I want in terms of sound and composition that would be a much more work or plain impossible using analogue hardware. I’m quite interested in digital signal processing and the general sound of (good) digital so it’s definitely an aesthetic choice too. The laptop can be a really creative tool actually and I think that there are lots of creative things you can do to generate ideas if you just limit yourself within the softwares and maybe look at things in non-standard ways.

I’ve seen you live twice and each time it’s really grabbed me, especially at launch of your first EP at Power Lunches where your production translated so well on the turbo rig in there, it was very affecting. How do you go about preparing the live set and translating your tracks from the studio to the live set up?

Well depending on what way you make your music, creating a live set can be an easy translation or difficult one. For the Spaces project I’ve found creating the live show to be quite tough because most of the songs are made in a non-realtime way, a bit more like animation building it up sound-by-sound, it’s all done on the timeline in software rather than jamming it out live and then recording and editing. So lately what I’ve been doing in the composition of the tracks is creating the songs a lot faster so that things are closer to realtime, getting a lot of ideas going quicker with way less forethought. Then I’ll round up all the extra ideas and try and reduce them into a full song structure. To get the songs into a live set I’ve been keeping all these extra ideas and setting them up in a live system so I can then jam the song out almost exactly like the record or I have all these other alternative bits that I can trigger to take the songs in different directions if it feels right on the night.

You were discovered by Bleep as part of their Filtered project – what does it mean to you to have been signed by them?

Yeah the Filtered project was great because I’d been involved in making music for a few years before but this was the first time I sent something away and got a positive response from total strangers. I think when I was living in Ireland previously there’s a really good scene there to help musicians develop their music and ideas, but I hadn’t really done much outside of that. So it was great to get some good feedback outside of the Irish scene, having moved to London. The fact that it was Bleep who obviously understand electronic music and present it so well was also brilliant. I think that Bleep have built up a very strong identity of their own now and aren’t necessarily just Warp’s shopfront so I’m really happy to be involved at this time.

The artwork from the EPs so far has been very distinctive – how involved were you in sourcing the artwork is this a theme that will continue in your following releases?

The artwork was all done by JP Hartnett with whom I’m also in a techno act called Ordinate (we’ve just had our debut track out on Sunil Sharpe’s Earwiggle label and we’ve got a triple release just mastered so out soon). JP’s a really talented graphic designer and visual artist and I was really glad to have him on board because he approaches every project with a lot of thought and professionalism. He makes things first and foremost that serve the message of the material which was perfect as I was looking to find a strong visual representation of the music. So I let him away at it and he came back with a big bunch of stuff that I didn’t expect but instantly fit really well in my mind to the music. I think he really captured the feel of the music with the art for ‘One’, ‘Two’ and ‘Potential’.

“I’ve always liked tracks that leave a mistake in, or have something that’s way too loud in the mix, like it’s really awkward the first time you hear it but on repeat that becomes the thing you love about it.”

You’ve also worked with one of the most iconic electronic artists of our time Bjork, collaborating with her on her last album, how did that come about?

Well yeah it was really surreal actually, Björk got in touch with me in 2013 saying that she had heard my song and it really went well with one of her songs that she had recorded. She asked if I’d be up for the idea of the songs being merged and to work together on it. And obviously I was, ‘Yes, of course!’. It was such a bizarre situation, she’s somebody that I’ve admired a lot over the years as she’s managed to build an amazing body of work that’s always been relevant, not just in music but visually too, so to get an email like this was so strange for me. Strange good! So she sent me a demo of what she had and then we started swapping ideas and took it from there really.

You’ve lived in Dublin, London and Berlin what did each of these cities offer or lack in for a producer such as yourself?

Well continuing what I said before about Dublin I think it’s a really fantastic place to get involved in music as it’s a smaller city and people are really open to putting nights on. Dublin’s very inclusive so there are lots of like-minded people to start labels or parties with and you can get to know the ropes really quickly. I still love going back and playing in Ireland there’s something about the crowd atmosphere there that I’ve yet to see anywhere else. In terms of Berlin I wasn’t there for that long but I really enjoyed it and I still try and visit once a year now that I’m back in London. It’s really excellent for techno and obviously Berlin has a such a history in that genre. The nightlife also works slightly differently there and I think that the different feel may have a little to do with the European attitude towards drinking being more relaxed.

Part of me feels in Ireland and England being restricted from alcohol until 18 fosters a more aggressive attitude towards alcohol or at least more people seem to drink to ‘get wrecked’. In Berlin if you’re working late on a weeknight there are loads of nice bars that are still open at 3am. The place is chilled out and you can drop in and have a (delicious) beer or two and listen to some tunes, have a chat, you know, calmly. It’s not all full-on or off! People might dip into Panorama bar on a Sunday morning after waking and having a coffee and go dance even though the party’s been going for a day or two, I love that. But I came back to London I think it’s the place for me you’ve got obviously amazing clubs and dance music but also there’s also such a wealth of other music that I’m not sure I found in Dublin or Berlin. You can go to Cafe Oto one night, Royal Festival Hall or the Barbican the next, Fabric or Corsica then catch someone like D’Angelo on tour the next day. And that’s just the music! It’s really hard to be bored in London, there’s always something to pique your interest and get you thinking.

Can you tell us about your other projects? You’ve already touched on Ordinate with JP Hartnett but are there any others you have on the go?

So I mentioned that I’m in Ordinate with JP Hartnett we’ve had our debut track appear on ‘Eight Wigglin Ways To Die’ which is a compilation for Earwiggle’s 10th release. There’s been great feedback for that so really happy to have that out there, we did our debut live show supporting Ancient Methods late last year so looking forward to playing more of those too. We’ve got this triple release coming soon too which will be a vinyl, cassette and digital all with different music, that’s about all I can say right now on that one. I’ve another project which is actually a reincarnation of an older thing with Donal Keating. This is going to be an international project as he’s in Taiwan. I’m actually really eager to get going on this as while it can be restrictive to work so far away also it’s quite interesting and I’m fascinated in the ways that this manner of working can influence the music itself.

You developed the concept with a large scale projection and live performance recorded by Boiler Room – what inspired that?

Well I had been playing around with displacement mapping after being introduced to it by a visual artist I know, Sean Hunt (if you’re a sports fan you’ve probably seen Sean’s work without knowing it.) Initially I was thinking to create music videos but it soon changed into a super slow motion deformation, taking JP’s original artwork and morphing it very slowly into something else, imperceptibly slow. I wanted it to be something you could zone out to, and contrast the energy of the music. I’m not usually a fan of A/V livesets, especially when they’re a bit of an afterthought. Raster Noton do them well, Mark Bell’s LFO show was probably the best I’ve ever seen (luckily, twice. Still sad to think.) So I wasn’t eager to do an A/V if it didn’t have a real difference or purpose. But the idea of this deformation imagery, super-slow, projected the size of a building made me do an about turn on my ‘no visuals’ policy. I was put in touch with a great technical stage manager, Erik Nimal Perera and he made the show a reality basically. Next on the cards will be an outdoor show projected onto a real building so keep an eye out for that.

You’ve released two EPs to date now with Bleep, what have you got to follow?

Two’, is out now, I’ve just done a remix for Ricardo Donoso also out now which is a kind of shard-ey, soundsystem edit similar to my remix for Lakker. Other than that I just have my head down making more tracks for the next EP, some collaborations and potentially an album after that so, yeah plenty more, plenty more.

Buy Spaces Releases on Bleep.com // Spaces website  // Spaces Facebook // Spaces Soundcloud // Spaces Twitter

Catch Spaces alongside Kirsti from null+void next in London at Suplex at The Silver Bullet on 11th February,
more info here.

null045: Martyn Hare

Martyn Hare’s output shares the UK’s own distinct sound palette when it comes to techno, the kind supported by types like scene stalwarts Jerome Hill and Perc. Always dense, raw and packed with power, Hare’s productions for sure have caught our ear for their effectiveness on warehouse rigs. His twelve for Don’t released just earlier in the year in particular carried a devastatingly intense notion of rave that has been on heavy rotation ever since and nudged us to approach the prolific artist and Emetic label head to contribute to our podcast series and engage in a chat looking at his influences and story to date.

You’re born and raised UK – can you tell us a bit about your roots and what your first contact with the techno music you make now was?

My roots in a musical sense is from Grunge and Heavy Metal. I loved Nirvana and Pantera etc (still do), didn’t really get into techno till I was about 18 and started going to Voodoo in Liverpool, and the rest as they say, is history.

Who would you say were your biggest influences?

Not really who, but where. Coming back from nights at Voodoo, The Orbit, Atomic Jam would give me my inspiration.

Leeds in 1988 was a particularly formative time for you how long did you stay up there? Where do you base yourself now?

I was only in Leeds from 2000-2002, but loved it up there. I’m now based in the heart of Somerset, near the Glastonbury festival site.

What do you think is good about the UK scene like from your travels why do you think we have such a gritty aesthetic that’s so prevalent like with the labels you associate yourself with, Perc Trax and Don’t for example?

The UK scene has always been strong in pushing the dirty and tougher side of techno. We’re not scared of a bit of crunch. Not really sure why, never given it much thought. I don’t try to be a “UK” sound, and doubt the other producers and labels do either, it’s just what comes out of us, and a lot of clubs and promoters seems to expect it.

Who do you think is doing good stuff right now like what artists are you rating?

Beau Wanzer is doing some awesome stuff at the moment, as well as all the fresh London crew like Ansome and Manni Dee.

What’s the latest with Emetic? Why is it important to you to have your own label?

Emetic is going from strength to strength, and is something I’m really concentrating on lately to push even further and get a bunch of amazing artists on-board.

I don’t think it’s necessarily important to have your own label, it takes up a lot of time, but it’s a good outlet for your music and the music you like. I enjoy the control. As you know, I tend to do tracks a bit on the hard side, sometimes too hard and brutal for a lot of other labels to take on, so it’s always nice to be able to put that stuff out myself. That’s why I started the vinyl only Emetic DNA. Most of those tracks would scare a few people off…

Can you share a bit about your working process in the studio? What’s key to your set up?

I’m quite methodical in the studio, I’m not one of those “live jam” kinda producers. Though I usually record an analogue synth or acid-line in one live take to have that human feel. My ears are key, and knowing my room.

How does this compare to what you take out on the road with you – how do you go about translating your tracks for live performance?

I just shove a load of stems into Ableton and mess with those over my Vermona Kick Lancet. Can’t be doing with taking my studio apart every time.

What’ve you been working on more recently? What’s coming next from you release wise?

I’ve been woking on an album for new side project, working under a pseudonym but I’m not going to tell you what that is. Sorry.

I just had a release out on Leyla Records in collab with JoeFarr, and we working on more stuff. I also have a few tracks on some nice V/A releases from Autofake and Kobayashi out soon. As well as the usual remix work.

And you’ve put together a podcast for the site could you tell us a bit about how you went about putting it together?

I just walked into my studio, turned my decks on and this came out the other side.

Martyn Hare Soundcloud // Facebook // Emetic Bandcamp

null044: Love Love Records

Our latest podcast comes from a label that we have a shared a long history with, Love Love Records. Starting out as a net label in 2004 they’ve been collecting music from the widest reaches of electronics, covering ground as wide as breakcore, electronica, acid and techno from their most admired producers as well as their home grown circle of creators. We linked up during the net label years before null+void was a blog and myself (Kirsti) was putting on small nights around London when we went around calling ourselves Avoiding The Void Since 1984 hosting the label and their cast of experimental and rave focussed artists.

So it’s nice then that over 10 years on from their inception the guys behind the label are still pushing their sound and have grown it into a physical entity. Their first physical release homed Lakker’s Death Mask EP in 2012 catching the off kilter techno duo as they were on their rise before going onto release on the seminal R&S Recordings and most recently Digital Hardcore veteran Christoph De Babalon signed his latest long player to the imprint. The guys have also run their own string of raucous events, hosting other label signees Anklepants, Beatwife and Scrase to tear up success at Power lunches (we wholly recommend you head down to their next one this Friday night) over the last year further expressing their musical position.

It’s a joy to present a fresh mix from the crew alongside an in depth and honest interview about the core collective of Sam Fez, Henry Lynn, Keith Green, Vincent Vargas-Meinel story to date with an honourable nod to lost founding member Darren Kennedy (RIP).

Can we begin by chatting a bit about how the label actually started?

Sam: We started off putting on weird punk nights in Colchester that had bands and electronic acts on the same bills in 2004 and put together a couple of CDR compilations and a little EP of my own music called ‘Straight Edge Scene-Kid Sleepover’. At this time it was just me and some friends from school just putting on mostly local bands and having some fun at the infamous ‘The Cambridge Arms’. This was during the days of Myspace and we discovered a lot of amazing music through that and I ultimately fell into a more ravey electronic crowd during my first attempt at college and was completely blown away by stuff from Wrong Music and V/vm Test Records artists when they’d play at Colchester Arts Centre. As internet connections improved releasing free music online seemed like a really fresh idea and a good logical step to take.

In March 2011, Darren ‘Emo Hunter’ was murdered. I met Darren when I was 17 or so and him being a few years older meant he was not only a bit like an older brother to me, but he also really helped in terms of people taking us seriously and became a sort of front man to the label with his outgoing attitude. I played a lot of shows with him and he gigged extensively in the UK on his own with his remarkable vinyl sets with mixing so ADHD it worked completely amongst line-ups of live sets playing acid, IDM and breakcore and completely smashing it at drum’n’bass and dubstep nights. When he went missing he had about 6 or 7 shows booked, some of them quite high profile too. He had a few releases locked in his inbox as well including some bits for an amazing compilation he was putting together which had tracks from The Teknoist and early Culprate before he blew up. He was quite a chaotic guy at times so it was quite a strange time for us all when he died.

That was a really sad and shocking time, I remember when it happened and he just seemed to drop off the face of the earth and missed out on some great opportunities, undoubtedly it was the most hard to deal with for those closest to him like yourself…

Sam: I found it incredibly difficult to deal with a lot of things for quite some time and it changed a lot about how I looked at life and began to question EVERYTHING. I was finding it difficult to work on my own music and certainly for at least a year really disliked a lot of things about rave music and the lifestyle – certainly badly compressed tinny sounding breakcore that all sounded the same, had little depth conceptually and was definitely starting to damage my ears. Songs like ‘Hello, My Cock Is An Aardvark’ by Bong Ra are a pretty good example of how uninspired things were getting. I think this led to wanting to start something new, and to try a different approach with the label. I was pretty depressed back then, and had been taking a lot of drugs and it felt like most things in the 4 or 5 years previous had passed me by completely. Pop music was vastly different and the way people were digesting music changed as well after the novelty of downloading free music on the internet began to wear off. I rediscovered The KLF and began reading books by Bill Drummond which reignited my love for music in general and started making more effort to pick up music I liked on vinyl noticing how much more I cared about the music I owned on a hard copy. I also had a hard drive die on me around that time, so I lost all the music I had gathered digitally since I stopped buying CDs around the age of 15.

Scrase & Darren Emo Hunter at Avoiding The Void
Scrase & Darren Emo Hunter at Avoiding The Void

I went back to college where I got to know Henry and his pals a lot more; we had met previously through liking similar music but never really hung out properly. It was nice to meet someone else who was interested in the more forward thinking side of electronic music who also had a similar background in aggressive punk music. He and his friends were listening to more bass driven music like the Hessle audio and Planet Mu stuff that was around in about 2009/10 – and there was a shared love of Lakker which made it easy for us to gel on a collaborative level as I had spoken to Ian (Eomac) about possibly releasing some of their music….as long as it was on wax! It felt like we should put our money where our mouth is and start giving the music we love a physical release like it deserved….and then, maybe when humans are extinct and aliens or AI are discovering what our society was like, there might be small amounts of evidence of our tiny little sub culture.

Keith: Well we had had the netlabel thing going for a long time by this point, maybe like 4/5 years or so. Over that period both me and Vince were pretty young (14 – 18) and so just maintaining the website and finding good unknown artists online took up the majority of our time and I was pretty happy with how it was going, I think mainly because I was so young; I never really held deep set plans for progression of the label until I hit 18.

It’s a few years back now that you took the leap from netlabel and started doing physical releases – why did you feel that was something you wanted to do?

Keith: When Sam suggested that we do a vinyl it was just the right time. We were starting to realise that anyone with basic HTML knowledge and a couple of tracks could start up a netlabel overnight and we wanted the world to know that we were serious about this shit! As well as that, up until that point I hadn’t been responsible for that much A&R. All the artists I wanted to release were unrealistic at the time, people like Richard Devine or Luke Vibert. Vinyl seemed like a way to take us closer to being able to put out records by artists that we held in high esteem and simultaneously identify ourselves as not only a label that’s in it for the long run but also one that genuinely values new and interesting music that doesn’t necessarily get as much exposure as it should. I think releasing vinyl was an unconscious inevitability in all our minds and so when it was suggested there wasn’t a single point where we thought it was a bad idea. Especially since it was Lakker; although all four of us obviously share a lot of interests both in and outside of music, Lakker was something that we unanimously considered to be good (happens less often than you think!) so we knew it was a solid choice. Plus I was soon to be off to uni and I knew full well that student loans could be put to better use than buying top shelf cereal so financially we would be in a good position, which was (and to some extent still is) unusual to us. So yeah, I think we felt it was important to do for the growth, identity and integrity of the label but also because the tracks were fuckin killer and we knew Lakker were ace and not getting the attention that they deserved.

Vince: At the time we just wanted to provide more for the artists who we were working for. We’d looked at CDs a long time ago sort of around mid-2009 and saw it was viable financially and relatively cheap but ultimately we weren’t quite ready to make the commitment back then and our planned incarnation of our debut CD didn’t get past a conceptual stage. These early discussions played heavily in us deciding to do our first record a few years later down the line. I think for a while we were waiting for the right music to emerge and when we decided to approach Lakker and they responded with the desire of wax we collectively felt that this was something that would be foolish to pass up and a great opportunity for us to take the next step and hopefully put out the first of many physicals to come.

” It symbolized a rebirthing of our whole operation, for me it represented a complete ascension to the next level in nearly every way.” – Henry

Henry: I wasn’t really involved in any decision making side of the label until the leap into doing physical releases in 2012 but I’d known the guys for a few years up until that point. I’d always been really into what they were putting out, especially Scrase’s stuff after hearing the ‘Silo Fin’ EP and Beatwife’s ‘Lord Cornwallis’ EP, but it wasn’t until the first LOVWAX vinyl was being developed that I felt comfortable getting involved on an equal level to the others, as they’d already had their own thing going for so long. It seemed like a good opportunity to join in when the label was about to change shape a bit and embark on new endeavours and the Lakker release was a really good crossover of our individual tastes up until that time. Sam came across them just before the release of their Spider Silk release came out on Killekill so it felt like a good time to step out as, being as small an entity as we were, we didn’t want to hold out on releasing them knowing that they’d be moving onto bigger things quite quickly. It was the long term plan that we were starting to formulate at that point that got me really on board with the whole thing. The fact that there were 4 of us able to work on putting releases together and raise money for projects gave me the confidence to think that putting out 12”s and CDs could be realistic.

Do you think it’s helped to solidify the label’s profile somewhat?

Keith: Definitely, as was said part of it was just the natural next step but another part was it was our way of proving that we mean serious business. I think it was a greater solidification for us internally than it was the public. Given that we’ve taken a learn-as-we-go approach to running the label, we didn’t really do the best PR job for the record and it sold poorly. Therefore we hadn’t grown on paper, if anything we shrank due to lack of return on the record but in terms of how seriously we took the label; releasing that record was a catalyst. Before that whilst we all talked about it seriously when we met up I think it was more of a ‘just something fun that we did on the weekend’ kinda vibe, at least for me anyway. When we did that record it was a strong act of magic not just in revealing to us how much we’d grown since the days of trawling through myspace accounts and trying to blag our way into local music venues but also the idea that when we all pitched in we could make something where the result transcended the sum of the parts. I remember crystal clear when I held my first copy of the first record we’d made. Shit was electric.

Vince: It symbolized a rebirthing of our whole operation, for me it represented a complete ascension to the next level in nearly every way. Real effort was always put into the content we was putting out by our artists so by going for physical formats it was like us trying to return that favour by putting even more into making a great release, unlike digital content the risk was real but I think this only motivated us more.

Sam: It really helped us to secure a distribution deal with the State51 conspiracy, who are rare good guys and have played a large part in everything we’ve done since signing with them.

Henry: Purely as a music lover as well, it’s really gratifying to be able to have had a hand in the creation of the sort of physical artefacts I already placed a lot of value in. Slows the release schedule down a bit though.

Sam: We wanted Scrase – Heart to be LOVWAX01, but it took us until LOVWAX03 to get it out!

This year you managed to land an album from Christoph de Babalon which is out this month – how did that come about? Have you all been long time fans of Christoph’s work?

Henry: In the last couple of years I’ve found myself listening to more stuff from a decade or two ago more than music that’s being released now. I missed out on a lot of those things at the time having only starting paying proper attention to electronic music when I was about 16 in 2007ish so I’ve been finding that the older stuff I hear is often really fresh to me. When Josh (anklepants) linked us up with Christoph I went into his back catalogue retrospectively with the other guys and was really blown away by how early he was coming out with proper ground-breaking stuff. After making contact the album came together really fluidly as Christoph had loads of really good tracks to choose from and he gave us a lot of freedom in collectively putting together a really good showcase of his sound.

Sam: I had been aware of him through older friends over the years and came across things on Digital Hardcore being a bit of a goth while at school and being into Alec Empire/Atari-Teenage Riot etc but never really sat down and fully immersed myself in his work. My friends who were into him seemed REALLY into him though. We checked out his mix on Tom Ravenscroft’s Radio6 show which was really great and contained a nice interview which was quite insightful. Later we put ‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It’ on and some other bits of his on and agreed he was a really special artist with an incredibly distinctive and influential sound. Was good to get him over to London last December for the Anklepants shows where we had a chance to meet him and talk about the release. We got the tracks mastered at Springvale Studios with Mark Harwood in the same room that the infamous ‘Black Room’ by The KLF and Extreme Noise Terror was recorded in which was nice extra magick and a great day out!

 

Christoph de Babalon at Love Love London 2014
Christoph de Babalon at Love Love London 2014

 

Keith: I remember Henry was the one to introduce me to Christoph. When I heard “If You’re Into It I’m Out Of It” it was a really liberating experience; especially with the harder end of electronic music becoming much more shiny in its production values, as it has over the years. It was great to hear something with real grit to it, sounded much more warm & organic and resonated with me on a deeper level than other hard/breaky acts which were all super digital and lacked the imperfection of a human touch. Then I found out that some of the tracks were about 15 years old. Been a fan ever since.

Vince: I am actually a new fan of his too, like Keith my first taste of his material was also the 1997 ‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of It’ Album, I was pretty hooked on his sound since then. Later on I gave a lot of his stuff a thorough listen over, his more refined sound in the 2012 album ‘A Bond With Sorrow’ in particular I really enjoyed its highlighting a slower feel. It’s great to see the versatility, endurance, abundance and innovation in his sound and I think we all see it as a great honour that we’ve had the opportunity to work with him for his latest CD – it’s an endearing endeavour for us.

I know you each have really hands on roles in the label and you handle the web design, design and production yourselves – can you run us through who holds what role at the label?

Keith: I think it’s fair to say that whilst we all have specific roles we’re not confined to them completely and ideas are relatively free flowing when it comes to putting releases together. There’ll always be an element of peer review in any bit of work each of us might carry out and I think that’s an incredibly important part of the process. Having said that we do have our specific areas of expertise. I tend to work on the website more than anything. It’s funny for me to look at the website now as the creation of it was essentially Vince’s and my way of learning to code. Which was a great experience but as a result the underlying source for the site is pig ugly. I really need to rewrite the whole thing at some point but I’ll wait until I get a site redesign from Henry haha.

Henry: I’ve been finding myself doing more A&R and general comms as time has gone by and we’ve collectively had more on our plate…. The aesthetic design and presentation of the label I’ve always thought very important and I’ve probably taken the most hands-on role in that side of things. I did the artwork for a couple of releases as well as our own Love Love graphics, flyer designs etc… But more recently I’ve been loving getting into the video side of things too having done some visuals for Christoph’s new release and previously for ‘Movon’ by Scrase. I’ve taken on the role of doing DJ Love Love Records for mixes and live shows in the last year as well. As Keith mentioned, any important creative decisions have to be agreed upon by all four of us so we’re always discussing what’s happening which is a good way of ensuring that we remain passionate about what we’re doing.

“There’ll always be an element of peer review in any bit of work each of us might carry out and I think that’s an incredibly important part of the process.” – Keith

Vince: Really it’s not concrete but we’ve always tried to balance our strengths and weaknesses with regards to the workload internally – couple this philosophy with one of open discussion and democratic decision making and we’ve seemed to stay pretty productive without many hiccups in the past.

Sam: I tend to do a little more A+R but I don’t do nearly as much of the mechanical side of things as the others. I make a lot of the phone calls….and make the tea. I do make a mean cup of tea.

What’s been your biggest challenges and rewards from running a label?

Keith: Our single biggest challenge is and probably always will be money. Rewards getting to see all the cool shit we’ve made lined up and gloat over it in the mirror.

Henry: Yeah having money seems like one of the biggest challenges in doing physical releases these days. Definitely more benefits than negatives though! I’d probably always imagined a label as something I might do when I was a bit older but realising I could throw myself into something sooner surrounded by good people on the same wavelength was really great. Hearing unreleased music from people you’ve never met before. The people from all over the world you meet through the mutual appreciation of good music.

Sam: Occasionally going without luxuries or even at times decent food to make something work whilst sticking to deadlines…Rewards, where to start? Being in the loop with a lot of music I’m into, the best thing is probably the amazing people I’ve met over the years from being involved in music. I’m most grateful for this.

Vince: I think our biggest issue will be and has always been the fundamental limits of time itself. The label isn’t self-sustaining financially and our time to grow it is limited by the acquisition of capital which is needed in order to expand it. It’s a fine balance and not one an individual always has full control over, our first record was a real challenge in this department but all we could do was find the cash somehow and get it in production. The rewards of doing what we do outweigh anything though, the biggest reward for me is when we go public with something new and exciting that we are all really hyped about – its more than worth the effort every time.

The events have been going real well and you guys even hosted a room at Bangface – why do you think it’s important to represent your label in the rave?

Sam: I’ve always felt a rave environment was the perfect place for weirder electronic music….a lot of avant-garde music is confined to fairly artsy crowds and venues which I don’t mind either but I much prefer an atmosphere where anyone and everyone can let their hair down and feel comfortable enough to throw shapes and dance like a nutter, or bury their head in a bass bin if they so desire…. Rave music has always been very important to me, my parents met at raves and I was born into to a soundtrack of acid house, breakdancin’ hip-hop and jungle hardcore and always felt pretty blown away by what I’d learnt and heard of the rave movement in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Bangface seems to emulate this very well and has a rare authenticity to its regulars. To me it’s amazing that some of our acts are able to play on the same line-ups as the real dons of innovative dance music like AFX, Squarepusher, The Orb, Hellfish, The DJ Producer, Chas & Dave etc. At raves, there is also a massive emphasis placed on the crowd being part of the show that you don’t get at as much at ‘gigs’. Again Bangface makes an effort to recognise this by putting the ‘Hard Crew’ on the line-up to every party who are basically the regular attendees of the night. I’d like to do more raves to be honest as its generally only Bangface who book us consistently!

“It’s immeasurably more inspiring to experience an artist in the moment, live, on a great rig and alongside people who are equally gratified to be in the moment, than just listening for personal usage at home”

– Vince

Keith: Putting on live music is for me as important as releasing physical records. I remember pouring my 1st year student loan into Love Love nights in Brighton and then having all the producers and mates who came along back to my tiny room in halls. It was a logistical nightmare but the vibe was awesome. It wasn’t all fun though, still know one producer who will probably never work with us because he had to sleep on the floor outside my room as people still wanted to party when he crashed out. And there was definitely a couple of months where I lived on Aldi’s cheapest and got my dinner from the Christians who would hand out free toast to pissed up students on their way back to halls because we put on a night that completely flopped and basically bankrupted me. But even then I remember thinking it was worth it. As a learning experience if nothing else! Now when we plan a night it really is one of the most enjoyable aspects of job. One of, if not my favourite thing about music is that it brings people together from their various nooks and crannies of society and to have a hand in creating that scenario where people can laugh and bond and get fucked up in a relaxed atmosphere is something that I put an immense amount of value in. I just like to see people have a good time I guess, and if I’m in some way responsible for it then all the better!

Vince: It’s important because it represents a very direct connection between artist and audience. It’s immeasurably more inspiring to experience an artist in the moment, live, on a great rig and alongside people who are equally gratified to be in the moment, than just listening for personal usage at home – it’s the ultimate hugbox experience and it’s a great thing.

Henry, Sam & Keith Bangface Xmas Party 2014
Henry, Sam & Keith Bangface Xmas Party 2014

What events have you got upcoming, do you think a return to Bangface is on the cards?

Sam: We have a show at Power Lunches in London coming up real soon on the 20th of November!…with Beatwife, Scrase, The Abominable Mr Tinkler and an outrageous rapper/politician/religious leader called ‘The Prophet Zebadiah Abu-Obadiah’ from the Al-Zebabist Nation of Ooog. I’ve played a couple of jungle sets with him at Bangface this year and they were a real hellride! He’s going to be doing his grime thing at this show though. Naked noise myth-makers Jez North will also be making an appearance too which I’m very excited about. We’ll be putting on some shows in our hometown Colchester at a wicked and relatively new venue called The Waiting Room next year. It has very DIY ethics and puts on a lot of great hardcore punk, psychedelic rock, alternative comedy and other off-kilter events so it seems quite fitting to do our nights there as well now most of us are back in Essex for the time being. Our first one is an Anti-Valentines night on the 13th February. In terms of Bangface, I think there’s a chance we will be at the weekender in April :)

Henry: Yeah we really want to increase the regularity of our shows so we’re going to do some monthly pay-what-you-want nights in London as well as the ones in Colchester with cheap overheads and an emphasis on good vibes and good music!

What’s next in the release schedule can you fill us in on what we can look forward to?

Sam: We will be releasing some early works from Qebrμs [who is actually an alien]. I’m looking forward to getting this out and hopefully working on some fresh releases with him in 2016 as it’s some of most out-there music I’ve ever heard! I’m really looking forward to working with some bands next year; a lot of them will feature on a compilation with a general musical freedom theme. There’s an album from 70’s porno connoisseur Duran Duran Duran in the pipeline which should no doubt be quite bombastic! And there’s Beatwife’s third instalment of the Cornbrail Acid series which is guaranteed funky acid pop lushness! We’ve also been working with The Prophet Zebadiah on something for next year which I don’t want to talk about too much….you might have noticed we have him booked for a few shows already. If you haven’t seen him live yet, I’d thoroughly recommend it!

Me and Keith are getting a punk band together too which I’m dead excited about. We’re called ‘Sod Off!’

Henry: Christoph’s album will most likely be our last one this year but we’ve actually got 2 releases ready to go at the start of next year including the Qebrμs release Sam mentioned as well as the next very special 12” in the LOVWAX series from a drum n bass kind of producer we’ve all been big fans of for a long time! There’ll be lots of diversification next year too in our output which will mean branching out more extensively into things we’ve only touched on in the past. There will still be a lot of familiar sounds with follow ups from some of our existing artists but we’ve never wanted to sacrifice being able to release anything we want to. So alongside the predominantly electronic stuff, we’ll be introducing some bands to the roster following up from the compilation Sam mentioned and there are also plans for a chill-out focussed compilation, somewhat inspired from a few tips Mixmaster Morris gave us since he played at a couple of our nights in London.

And finally can you tell us a bit about the mix you recorded for this podcast like how did you approach the track selection and what gems from the label are included in it?

Henry: As always, the mix is pretty varied with quite a lot packed in – I made a lot of edits and rearrangements to the tracks placed in there in order to enhance the flow of it. There are a lot of producers we’re big fans of and musical friends in there as well as a broad selection of Love Love material like the more recently released Lenkemz remix of Anklepants and Dave Monolith’s remix of Scrase from last year which are both really special – but also a few older tracks that have been staples in my sets for a little while. I wanted to capture solid snapshots of the pretty wide array of stuff we put out but also include the broader field of what we’re into generally so it’s a bit schizophrenic. There’s a newer Cardopusher track from THEM who have just started releasing records but were booking Sam for shows back in 2008 and are really sound guys and a track from DJ HVAD who we’ll hopefully be working more closely with in the future. The mix leans a little more towards the jungle side of things in the second half so I could slip in a track from Christoph and a sneaky teaser of one of the tracks from the next 12” we’re doing too. There are even a few jungle tracks from Sam and Keith!

 

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null043: Brokntoys

Heading up the 43rd edition of the null+void podcast series are the two individuals behind one of the most interesting electro focussed labels to emerge over the last few years. Setting their agenda for dark edged, high grade releases leading with Pip Williams Mode#7 EP back at the tail end of 2013 they have followed up with other quality editions with Marco Bernardi, Scape One and Koova and gaining DJ support from the likes of Dave Clarke, Truss and Helena Hauff.

Here we chat about Kris and Anwar’s initial motivations for starting the label, its aesthetic and future plans set alongside a mix recorded by Kris which shares some of his recent vinyl purchases and some cuts from the label that are currently in circulation.

Take me back to that moment when the idea came into your head to start up Brokntoys? Like what was your motivation to set up a label?

Kris: It was Anwar’s idea to do a label. It took maybe a year before I felt confident it could work. We started work on getting ideas together early 2013. Our first release by Pip Williams came out November that same year. I’m a bit of a pessimist, so I was worried we would launch the label and it would fall down after a couple of releases. The main motivation for me was have my favorite artists on my label. I’m not really a massive networker and prefer to stay in the shadows, so it was a great way to be involved in the scene on my own terms.

Anwar: I was gradually getting bored of reliving the same weekend over and over and at the same time I was discovering all this amazing music so I thought I could either feed the collector’s compulsion hoarding records for myself or give something back to the scene and make records for others.

I’m a latecomer to electronic music, and Kris’ marathonian sets really shaped my taste, so I thought it’d be a good idea to do it with him

Brief us on your backgrounds how else have you been involved in music?

K: I have basically been a punter in clubs and buying records for the last 15 years. By day I work in an office in the city.

A: Very little. My brother has always been in bands so at a very young age I was introduced to a lot of great music, punk, garage, rock, 60’s stuff that kickstarted an obsession that has never stopped since. As my collection grew I was asked to play in a few local nights, mostly soul and r&b. Moving to London I fell under the spell of machines…

Who’s responsible for the artwork?

A: I do all the woodcut and a friend helps me with the screenprinting. I really like the vernacular, homemade, private press stuff so I thought it’d be great to do everything manually.

How important is it to you to have a cohesive aesthetic across your releases?

A: Stating the obvious, aesthetics only come second to the music. So, relative importance. The artwork adds character to the releases and to me is a way of thanking the producers. Also the white label, handstamped aesthetic, which I love, has become so prevalent, that we tried to detach ourselves from it. I don’t think I could have added much to the science fiction genre either since it’s been well exploited and it’s not really a visual influence for me.

How did you go about curating the roster are these artists you’ve already been connected to or is it more of a case of reaching out to individuals whose whose work you dig?

K:We basically approached artists we liked. We really did not have connections before we started the label apart from Alex Smoke, who connected us with Marco Bernardi.

Your current release is by Marco Bernardi – I’ve loved both records you’ve put out by him always puts a slightly unsettling edge on things – what do you appreciate most about what he does?

K: Marco has a unique take on electro and techno. I don’t know sometimes where the fuck he gets some of his ideas from or what goes on in his head, but he sounds completely different from any other producer I have heard. It always feels natural and not contrived. Getting Marco on the label was our long term plan, so we were over the moon when he started sending over tracks. I really hope Marco will be a regular feature on our label for years to come.

A: He seems to be reinventing himself all the time, he has such an angular take on things. Capable of doing both the sublime and deep (Octogen’s Journeyman is one of my favourite tracks ever) and the rarefied and alien. His label Take the Elevator is releasing all this unorthodox material, excellent stuff.

You hinted at a bit of a change in direction over the next year integrating a bit more four four material into your electro output – can you talk a bit more on what exactly you have planned?

K: We want the label’s output to represent us and what we like, so we are doing a couple of VA’s split between electro and more 4/4 tracks. Echo 106, Crystal Maze, Dez Williams, Junq, Albert Van Abbe, Microthol and Etcher are all confirmed. Electro will always be our core, but it’s nice to mix things up to keep things interesting.

A: Since day one, we’ve had the discussion about what we wanted the label to be, there’s been always the fear of becoming too all-over-the-way-the-place versus the comfort of sticking to an aesthetic that was narrower than our interests. It’s nothing we haven’t done before anyway, from the second release with Scape One, with tracks like Planetoid and Right Ascension. Only this time we’re reaching for producers outside the electro world.

I think my favourite track on the label that always comes out in my sets is Obergman ‘Rosetta’ I’ve never actually come across this artist before, can you shine a bit of a light on him/her?

K: Ola Bergman is a very talented producer from Stockholm, he is part of the Stilleben crew. He has also done a couple of great mini LP’s for Abstract Forms. He is doing a full EP for BT08 what will be released in a few months time.

A: Agree, such a great producer. Instantly recognisable sound.
I just love how he blends the dancefloor with emotions, all those groovy basslines with heartbreaking synths. It’s really worth tracking down his New Speak releases too.

What’s been the hardest aspect of running the label, it’s never really seen as an easy job?

K: I suppose fitting in all the admin around a day job, we are lucky to have Athene our unofficial intern to help out with admin and posting on social media etc.

A: Sometimes you work on a release for over a year and once it hits the shops it has such a short limited life span. Dance culture is pretty hysterical when it comes to consumption, a record is deemed old after 2 weeks… so if a release is overlooked can be pretty disheartening. Also there are a lot of menial chores like accounting which I can’t say add much excitement to my life.

Can you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve put together here, can we expect to listen out for any upcoming releases?

K: The new VC-118A record from Klaus at AC records arrived in the post that day, I really liked all 4 tracks from it, so thought that record could be a good basis/start for a mix. It was recorded in 1 take really with just what records were to hand. Sadly there are no forthcoming tracks from the label on it.

Brokntoys Bandcamp // Brokntoys Facebook

null042: 214

Stateside based artist 214 may have grown up in the home of Miami bass and but his own take on the bombastic electro sound draws much more from Detroit’s Drexcyian school of production and finds his support strongest among the headsy electronic outposts in Europe. His releases have been homed on Andrea Parker’s Touchin’ Bass, Rotterdam’s Frustrated Funk and most recently Amsterdam’s own electronic ambassador Shipwrec, where 214 has presented his first full length album since 2002, North Bend which is out now.

Now relocated to Twin Peaks country (yes the actual spot David Lynch based his cult series) the album draws from the artists surrounding misty panoramas in its own deep electronics, the same vistas that form the release’s stunningly presented artwork. Here we got to chat to 214 about the release as well as present his 1 and a quarter hours long podcast, recorded exclusively for null+void.

You were raised in Miami but your music definitely feels like it’s had more influence from Detroit is that a fair observation?

Both Detroit and Europe (specifically Germany, The Netherlands, and the UK) have influenced and shaped my music.

You also seem to be tightest with European based labels – were there never any home imprints that were supportive of your sound?

There just weren’t many electro labels in the states, and there’s even less now. When I started sending demos out, I sent them to labels who I thought fit my sound and they all happened to be based out of Europe.

What sounds coming from the EU have you been enjoying of late?

The majority of my mix is EU artists so that’s a good representation of some of the sounds I’ve been into.

You moved recently to a pretty beautiful spot in the country in the USA – sometimes the cities feel like the centers where producers should be but what do you think has helped your production the most or can you feel how each inspires you differently?

I’m about 40 miles outside of Seattle now in North Bend (aka Twin Peaks). While I may not have the conveniences of city living, I’m also not too far to venture back every so often. Every artist takes inspiration from their surroundings and processes it in different ways. I’ve been just as productive in both locations.

I think the difference now is things are more quiet, remote, and reserved out here. I feel I can take my time with things and not rush. I spend a lot more time outdoors taking in the scenery. There’s a lot of wildlife out here. The one big perk to living in the country is volume. Sound complaints are not anything I need to worry about now.

Can you tell us a bit about the artwork for the album?

The album artwork goes hand in hand with the album title and vibe of the tracks. I guess you could say it’s a product of moving out to the woods since a majority of the album was written after the move. The title is named after the city I live in. North Bend is where the show Twin Peaks was filmed. I feel the tracks have a similar mysterious vibe to them that the scenery portrayed in the show had. The main sleeve artwork is of Mt Si, which we live at the base of. The artwork on each of the label stickers are various shots of within the mountain. I had a local photographer take shots for me to use.

Can you tell us a bit about your the production process for the tracks on the album? how do you go about building a track and what were your main machines pieces of software that you used for it?

I used a mix of both hardware bits and digital for the album. My process for building tracks is almost always the same. I start with a blank slate and just let the mind wander. For this album I did think more about the flow of the tracks and what kind of vibe I wanted to go for.

How did you connect with Shipwrec?

The Shipwrec connection happened from Klen, who runs Frustrated Funk. I’d been sending him lots of tracks and he thought it was time for an album. He had already been working with Ferdi (Shipwrec) through Clone, who does their distribution.

Tell us about your plans to tour the album this year – are you taking a full live set up with you? can you run us through the live set?

I’ll be taking my live set on the road this September to Europe promoting both the LP on Shipwrec and EP on Frustrated Funk. Making my debut at Berghain Sept 18th, then a Rinse FM slot (Hypercolour show) for a dj set on Sept 25th, then directly after that show I’ll be playing another live set in London. Trying to finalize a couple of other EU dates while there in September. The first test of the live set is happening in the states in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 7th. My set will consist mostly of a couple of Elektron boxes, a Blofeld and Miami.

What else have you got coming up this year?

I’m working on a few things, but right now I’m just looking to play some live shows and test out some new music.

214 – North Bends is available now via Bleep here and all good record stores.

Follow 214 on Facebook // Soundcloud

Photo Credit: Ben Sandall

null041: YAPORIGAMI

The atest null+void Podcast comes from Japanese born and based artist Yu Miyashita. Also known as Yaporigami, Miyashita has come on to our radar by the way of his Grind Analysts // Fig. 1 12″ from Stray Landings which perfectly shows off the grinding industrial constructs of his ore techno focussed moniker Yaporigami as well as the more experimental leaning work he presents under his birth name, where here he employs choral samples satisfyingly amongst the noise. The whole release carries a kind of weight of grandeur that gives a sense of impressiveness not least for the depth of his production ability.

Here we present an hour long mix under the artists Yaporigami moniker with a distinct techno skew while we talked his back story about how time spent in Brighton initially engaged him with production during his school years and touch on the production process that yielded his latest record.

I picked up that you spent some time in Brighton and that’s when you were most active making breakcore – what was going on there that supported what you were doing in the studio? The city is known for having a history of experimental music with Wrong Music being active there for a time…

There was one artist in particular called CDR (on 19-t label) that inspired me to start making breakcore. I was introduced to his music by a friend who was living in Brighton at that time. He was also friends with the label owner of 19-t who lived in Brighton at the time too. It’s a very Brighton story I guess… I originally moved there to study English and A-levels. Then moved on to study Architecture at The University of Brighton and switched my course to Digital Music soon after. I used to perform at events like Instrumentality, Overkill, Wrong Music etc. Those kind of events were quite active in the town at that time.

Is it right you’re basing yourself back in Japan now – what have you got going on out there?

Yes. Luckily I started getting some sound design/soundtrack work from production companies in Tokyo. It’s been a good opportunity for me to expand my skills as it requires a different approach compared to that I’m using on my solo works. I started getting mastering offers from European labels as well recently which I feel quite happy about. Also since I’m physically in Japan, I’m more committed to the Japanese scene now and am both meeting and working with inspiring people here. Personally I feel like I’m experiencing Japan again from a Japanese point of view and non-Japanese point of view having lived in the UK for a while.

Your most recent release was with Stray Landings – how that meeting come about?

The SL team found my Soundcloud page and a track on there that moved them in some way. I then did an interview with them and that somehow led us to the idea of doing a release on SL. The whole thing was very spontaneous and synchronic I feel.

This one might be a bit obvious but for this release you’ve presented tracks from both your monikers Yaporigami and Yu Miyashita can you tell us a bit about what separates out the work you release under these different monikers?

I’m still analysing both the monikers myself. If I’m not afraid to quote Joscelyn Godwin (since I read his book in Japanese, the terms I’m using might not be appropriate) – Yaporigami is a physical/intellectual project and Yu Miyashita is more of a spiritual/intellectual project I think.

One thing that really stands out proud is a very, very keen and sharp element of production in your tracks, can you talk is through your production process a bit?

I’m gradually realising that how I am and how I feel is really crucial to the music born through me. In terms of the production process I tend to improvise with and mutate sound materials until I start to get excited about them. Then I’ll record those sounds for a while until I start to get impatient, then cut the best bits (to my ear) out of those recordings. After that I’ll start to compose an arrangement from those cuts.

What kind of artists would you say have inspired you along the way?

Two of the biggest influences on me were CDR and Aphex Twin.

Can you talk us through the mix you’ve recorded for us, how did you go about the track selection?

The T++ choice is meant to be a thank you to the Boomkat reviewer who wrote about the SL release. That person gave me a good insight into how my tracks sound by putting his/her perception of the music into text. All the other tracks were intuitive, unplanned selections from my favourite collection of Techno tracks including ones I was recommended.

Yaporigami/Yu Miyashita Grind Analysts Fig​.​1 is available to buy now on special edition 12″ vinyl and digitally via their Bandcamp store here.

Tracklisting:

01. Moin – Elsie [Confessions, 2012]
02. These Hidden Hands – Diesel [Hidden Hundred, 2013]
03. Shifted – Chrome, Canpoy & Bursting Heart [Bed Of Nails, 2013]
04. Ben Clock – Coney Island [Ostgut Ton, 2009]
05. Tommy Four Seven – Arx [Stroboscopic Artefacts, 2012]
06. Grischa Lichtenberger – Atm [Semantica Records, 2011]
07. Szare – Red Desert [Krill Music, 2012]
08. Dettmann – Argon [Ostgut Ton, 2010]
09. T++ – Voices No Bodies [Honest Jon’s Records, 2010]
10. Xhin – Link [Stroboscopic Artefacts, 2009]
11. Rrose – Worn/Scarred [Sandwell District, 2012]
12. Monolake – Excentric [Monolake / Imbalance Computer Music, 2003]
13. Akkord – Typeface [Houndstooth, 2014]
14. Errorsmith – Free For All [Errorsmith, 2002]
15. Jean Nipon – Put It In The Trunk [ClekClekBoom Recordings, 2012]
16. Karenn – Chaste Down [Works The Long Nights, 2011]
17. Objekt – Agnes Demise [Objekt, 2013]
18. Pfirter – Erosion [MindTrip Music, 2013]

Photo credit: Shunsuke Watanabe

null040: CHRIS MOSS ACID

Chris Moss Acid began his sound riffing off the IDM that was prevalent in the late 2000’s Netlabel community, finding homes for his earlier releases on Swishcotheque, Net Lab and Wrong Lab among others. At the turn of the decade CMA turned to more techno and acidic tilted realms gaining notoriety for his raucous hardware sound and taking out pretty much his full studio for his live sets around Europe. In the last few months he’s enjoyed a resurgence in releases, with the tracks he penned in 2014 being signed to respected vinyl imprints Don’t, Computer Controlled and Shipwrec that we’ve been feeling and getting pretty excited by so we dropped the Bournemouth based producer a line to ask if he’d step up to provide our latest podcast. What he’s delivered is a DJ mix containing 97% his own production which you can listen to alongside our interview where you can find out a bit more about his history, how he creates his tracks and what more he’s got forthcoming that we can look forward to in the coming months.

Kind of if you think of acid, and rave your name immediately comes to mind but where did it actually all start out for you?

Musically, my earliest memory, my brother giving me a cassette tape of GnR Lies, in about 1987/88, he kept the insert cover because it had that naked chick in the cover and he thought I was too young. I knew shortly after that I wanted to make music, even though it came like 10 years later, when I got my first 4 track, guitar and drum machine. I was lucky my family have pretty good taste in music, so I always had the KLF, Barry White, Armando, Frankie Knuckles, 808 State, The Cure, Metallica, Nirvana, Daft Punk and selected Pete Tong essential mixes playing when I visited aunties, uncles and cousins.

The earliest ”WTF is that, I have to do something like that” memory probably Pacific State by 808 state. That sax brings back the goose bumps even to this day. Also I guess, re-hearing Aphex’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92 made me want to write electronic music, then re-finding all my favourite tracks from when I was younger and re-listening to them as a producer was a great experience, still buzzing off that feeling, loads of ‘oh thats how he did that’ moments.

What does Bournemouth have to offer the average acid lover?

Absolutely nothing, I’ve given up trying to do anything here, DJ/Live sets. But it’s worth coming down in the summer just for the beach culture. It’s pretty nice, much better than the ‘’music’’ scene. While it’s shit for acid music, if you look beyond that, I do get a certain of inspiration from living and hanging out in Bournemouth, I just wouldn’t want to play here musically.

What does your studio look like? Can you run us through the full works and about what your production process looks like?

Well, let’s see, my studio literally hasn’t changed a lot since 2005! So that is mostly 10 years of the same set up. apart from buying a MPC1000 2 years ago the core basics have been pretty much: TB-303, SH101, TR707, TR606, Boss SE-70 FX, ESQ1 and a Akai MPC1000 which is broken and I only use it as a drum machine. Might as well mention my mixer too as I class it as important as anything else, it’s a Mackie DFX12 and has some pretty pointy reverbs and flanges built in.

If you listen to some of the earlier’ tracks (2005-2009) I did, there is more strings and melody, pretty much what was classed as IDM back then. I used more VST’s and computer based sequencing, around 2010 I bought a ESQ1 synth off Ed DMX and that’s when I kind of went a bit more hardware just as the mighty empire of IDM was dying and acid was showing it’s face again. Between 2010 and 2015 I’ve become more and more minimal, but harder, a massive influence for this ‘sound’ was listening to albums like ‘The Brown Album’ by Primus and stuff like The Strokes ‘Is This it’ and Big Black – ‘Atomizer’. Which brings me on to answer the next question!

When you take it out live you still bring a very extensive hardware set up with you – how different is this from the studio? What else goes into the preparation for these shows?

These days it IS pretty much my studio in a suitcase, but back in the early days I used to use **too** much gear, you know? I used to basically make a new 1 hour show up of brand new music each live set, which took me about a week to program with the drums, 303, 101 settings drawn on paper, and at these shows I used to just get lost, had too many options what to use, and as I didn’t have much music anyone knew, it was pretty much a live improvised set, sometimes it worked out fine, but more often than not, I used to leave feeling pretty heartbroken if the set didn’t go very well.
It wasn’t until I played Incubate in Holland a few years ago that I decided to use basically 2 drum machines, a 303 and a laptop, and after that, I needed to work out how to play out my live sets, so I went back to the way it should be, instead of ripping through 40 live tracks, I took my time and enjoy the acid house, listening to the Armando Gallop’s WBMX DJ set and Daft Punks’ ‘Live 97’ always gives me tons of influence, so recently it’s been a complete riot, I’ve fallen back in love with playing live, with a few records that have been coming out I’ve been able to do live versions of them and, for me at least, it’s pretty enjoyable, just got to be simple!

Of late you’ve had a really great run of releases – does this reflect a particularly fruitful time making music or has your productivity always been pretty consistent for you?

The last/next releases out on vinyl is pretty much the work I did last year (2014) Jerome Hill and Ferdi Shipwrec both approached me at the same time both wanting an EP (with Ferdi/Shipwrec, I had just recently had a co-producer credit on a Drug Cvltvre EP on the label), so from April 2014 up until October 2014 I was just smashing out tunes, the harder techno tracks went out on Don’t and the more acid house/IDM tracks went out on Shipwrec. Then i have a 12’’ out on Computer Controlled Records, which was pretty much all the tracks i really liked from all the sessions I did from the Don’t/Shipwrec sessions which didn’t get used. I really wanted them out on vinyl as I was going off releasing stuff on digital/Bandcamp. So the CCR’s 12’’ has been sent off on Monday so should be out in a few months. Which marks an incredible feat of 85% of the tracks I wrote in 2014 came out on vinyl.

It kind of feels like there’s been a nice new wave of labels rising for this kinda music – do you think that’s the case?
Yeah sure, I’m not bang up to date on everything that’s been coming out for the last few years though. Even though it’s not a new label but 030303 are always bringing some new artists though as well, which are always amazing releases, I know for a fact there has never been a BAD or disappointing 030303 release. And even though it’s not a 100% acid label i am totally in love with Mako Records (Proxy’s label), also Jerome Hill’s Super Rhythm Trax has put out some monster acid stuff recently.

Where do you feel your music is most felt like recently you had some great gigs in london for Jerome Hill at Don’t and Bangface – could you enlighten us to where else in the world people are really feeling your take on techno?

Definitely in Europe, Holland and Belgium in particular, I’ve always felt much more at ease playing in these countries. But that Don’t gig in Dalston was really special, it was the first time playing live in England for about 5 years (no one ever asks me), and it being a label night of Don’t, so, I guess there was a slightly large expectation after going on after such a fierce set by Paul Birken, but I think it was my favourite live set I’ve ever done, it was also one of the first times i played out all the new stuff live, and first time I took a slightly more techno stance in a set.

The Bangface set was also pretty nice, although I was on a stage like 5 foot above the dance floor i didn’t have such an intimate setting as I did at the Don’t party.

What’s next for you? You’ve just had EP’s released on Don’t Shipwrec and CCR are there any others signed we can look out for?
At the moment I’m having a little break for a few weeks (as of March 21) but come April, I’ll start to write some new music in a slightly newer approach for next year, but looking back at this year, I have a 10’’ vinyl coming out, though i can’t say much about it, but it’ll be amazing, by the end of the year, as well as the Computer Controlled Records 12’’ Righteous Acid Beats EP

And a cassette tape of some old tunes on Acid Waxa, I like going through my archive and hearing old tunes that i forgot about and putting them out for free on Soundcloud, you know giving something back to the people.

This mix you’ve done it’s pretty much all your own production right – what kind of exclusives can the listeners look out for?

Yeah apart from 2 or 3 tracks they’re all my own tracks. There is a few italo tracks I’ve been working on and off for a few years, some brand new stuff as well, which I’m not sure if they’ll end up being released, too soon to tell. But it’s been 7 years since i last did a mix of all my own productions, so it was pretty fun.

null039: SHINRA

Heading up the null+void Podcast #39 is Shinra (real name James Clarke) an artist felt pretty closely to this site, he’s set to be the first producer on our soon to be launched label with the record set to drop this year.

In the mean time he’s been busy in the studio feeling a sense of rejuvenation after a latent period and has produced over an hour’s worth of new material that he first tried out in support of Anklepants at a Love Love Records gig at the end of last year, a set he’s reworked to present today.

With something special coming from him in the way of a four tracker EP and null001 it was a pleasure to speak to Clarke and talk back through his recording and production history while also touching on how he’s found a new sense of productivity that has spurned all the fresh production that you can hear in this mix.

It’s funny I can actually remember the night I first met you at one of our mutual friend’s house parties which was probably over ten years ago now, he’d taken all the furniture out of his bedroom and you were the first DJ ever to be known (by me) to be playing on Traktor – how long back did you start playing and making music?

I’ve played the piano ever since I was a child, and my first memories of making electronic music are using a copy of Octamed which came free with a magazine on the Amiga 600 when I was about 10 years old. I can vaguely remember that it came with some rave samples (stabs and vocals and drum loops) and I had a lot of fun playing them, pitched up and down, using the computer keyboard. It was just messing about, really. I have no idea what kind of music I made, or even if I was particularly aware of musical genres at that age! After that, for some reason, a friend and I both bought some decks when we were about 13 and taught ourselves how to DJ.

Looking back, that seems like a strange thing to do, but it seemed to make sense at the time. I’ve still got quite a random vinyl collection of French house music (I was really into Thomas Bangalter) and slightly incongrously, Paul van Dyk-style trance from about 1997-2001. In about 2000, I discovered Aphex and Warp records, and my musical tastes changed (I’m still fond of the French house, the trance – not so much).

The first tracks that I finished properly were done when I was about 18 or 19. They were mostly hyperactive breakcore/drum and bass. I’d moved to London around that time, so I speculatively sent off a CD to Saint Acid, who offered me my first ever gig, an hour set at Bang Face in March 2005. I think I’d sent off the CD a bit prematurely because I only had about 45 minutes of music to play! So before the big day came I had to write some more tunes to make up the full hour. That gig went really well, and between 2005-2010 I played various gigs around the UK (and also in Belgium). Since 2010 I’ve not really been active, so now I’ve got to build a following from the ground up…but I’m ready to get out there and start playing live again.

What kind of artists did you first get to know that inspired you to get involved yourself?

Fairly soon after getting into electronica through Aphex and Squarepusher, I bought the Braindance Coincidence, which introduced me to lots of Rephlex artists like Bodgan Raczynski, Ovuca, DMX Krew. It’s such a great album, and there’s a distinctive homemade sound to a lot of it which inspired me to try and make some similar music myself. So I think it’s probably those artists which initially sparked my interest in making my own music.

Can you tell us a bit about what you actually use to produce, how has it developed over the years?

When I started making music properly, I used a tracker program – Renoise. I still think that Renoise, and trackers in general, are probably the best tools to chop up breaks and make jungle/breakcore with. But I found it awkward to sequence whole songs with Renoise, so I started to use Cubase.

Since then (like everyone else!) I’ve migrated to Ableton which I think is a fantastic piece of software. I mostly work just with a Nord Lead synth and samples/soft synths in Ableton. I’d love to get some more hardware, but haven’t really got the room.

In the past you’ve released for the likes of Love Love and Wide Records can you tell us about your involvement with these crews?

My involvement with Wide Records began pretty simply – I’d stopped making breakcore and had got more into electro, and was looking for somewhere to release my new music, so I sent some demos to them. They got back to me asking to release an EP, which ended up being “1986”. After that I did several remixes (I’m particularly proud of my one for Chrissy Murderbot) and another EP. Alan (DJ Cutlass Supreme) and John (Debasser) who ran the label were great – they were really supportive of me. It’s a shame that the label has wound down now, but I’m really grateful to them for putting out those EPs.

I’ve only been involved a little bit with Love Love records – I first met Sam (Fez) at a night we both played at in Reading called Fractals. He ended up asking me for a track for their first compilation which was “1985”. We’ve kept in touch since and I played at their recent Anklepants night, which went really well. They’ve been putting out some excellent music – I particularly liked Scrase’s 2 recent EPs.

Like the tracks that are going to be on null+void’s first release by yourself are a few years old now – but you’ve made a hefty weight of pretty great new material that features in the mix what kind of stuff have you been feeling over the last year in the studio?

This past year, after a long period of very low productivity, I’ve been making myself finish a lot more music, and have been working on trying to build up momentum, which seems to be working, so I’ve been feeling pretty positive and the ideas have been coming pretty fast. Influence-wise, I’m not quite sure what I’ve been feeling when I’m actually in the studio – I try not to be too obviously influenced by other things, but I suppose that whatever I listen to seeps into the unconscious and will come out somehow. Stuff that I’ve been listening to a lot recently includes Shadow Dancer, Clark, Jodey Kendrick, Objekt, Bill Youngman, Stephan Bodzin, Lazer Sword, Datasette…lots of different stuff.

This set was also recorded at a party for Love Love Records is it a kind of hybrid DJ / live set? can you tell us how you put your sets together when you play out?

This set started off as the Love Love set, but I’ve since gone in and changed about half the tracks, so it’s pretty different now! This was done mostly as an Ableton DJ set, with a few extra loops – since the music is unknown anyway, I didn’t see the need to deconstruct it live. So this set was done as a showcase of the different types of music I’ve been working on recently, just to get it out there and heard. For future gigs, I’m working on a new hybrid DJ / live set at the moment – I’m collecting and creating a load of pretty stripped down, relentless electro, with some techno thrown in. A bit like DJ Stingray but a bit slower and with a bit more of a UK sound rather than all Detroit. My favourite kinds of live set all have some kind of mystique to them (like Dopplereffekt in their masks, or Stingray in his balaclava), so I’m going for a similar thing – I often find it a bit off putting to see a laptop DJ just staring at a screen, so the set I’m putting together is designed to be experienced in a darkened/smoke-filled room – I’d rather not have stage lights on me so that the focus is on the music rather than me…

In the future, I might work on a full live set, but I’m not that convinced that it’s a great idea to spend a lot of time in the studio perfecting tracks, only to deconstruct them and make a slightly less polished version live just for the sake of doing something on a stage. If there’s hardware involved, that’s another story, and is much more exciting to watch – but since I don’t use much hardware, for the moment I’ll be sticking to DJing my own and other suitable tracks, with some extra loops thrown in, and a midi controlled 303 emulator for some acid squelchiness.

Your record is going into production now but what else have you coming up release wise you’d like to share here? Any other releases or remixes due out?

Coming up this year after the Null+Void release, I’ve got an EP of quirky melodic electro/electronica coming out on Lifecycle’s Ricochet records. I’ve also completed an acid electro remix for Chevron which should be coming out soon when his album drops on Balkan. And another new acid track will hopefully be getting a release on Balkan a bit later in the year, which I’m really excited about…

Shinra Facebook /// Shinra Soundcloud

null038: BEN PEST

I’ve witnessed Ben Pest in many live forms over the years rocking out on a Nintendo DS, in full hardware synergy with Cristian Vogel under their Black E moniker and also playing all reams of electronic funk in a DJ capacity. He’s also an artist comfortable creating on pretty much any platform you throw at him and under a huge range of collaborations – as keyboardist for Ninja Tune’s Pest or in the studio with Luke’s Anger as Bebop & Rocksteady even finding himself most recently in the studio alongside Keith Tenniswood (Radioactive Man). There’s a common thread before his work this off kilter funk that’s pleasingly odd – I’ve been a fan for quite some years now so finally nailing a mix from Mr. Pest is quite the score for the null+void podcast series.

So Ben when exactly did music start for you?

Hard to say exactly. I remember my dad having one of those stacking / changer vinyl players from the 60s. bought my first 7″ from woolies in Collier Row, Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer.. but always loved it for the b side ‘shoot out’.

What were your early influences was there a particular musical scene that got you involved?

After metal it was techno early/mid 90s. I met Tom Fedka/Pest at Sabersonic in about ‘96 or something and he gave me a fresh take on music. Jazz got massive for me suddenly a bit after then. Its nice coz iv known all the Pest band for so long, we’ve been through a lot together over the years and we’re still doing it. Shouts also to Vinnie, Matt ‘porn’, Wayne ‘slap’, Tenderlonious and ‘slick’ Nick!

How did you get started in producing? What kind of gear was available then for you?

My school had an Atari with Cubase 1.0 and a Roland s-550 in the music stock cupboard, so there, I suppose. I worked in a music shop for a bit after that so got myself various keyboards. Eventually I had keyboards plus Tascam 4 track cassette thing and an FX box or two, loads of fun. Couple of years later I spent the entirety of my first student loan on a Nord 1 rack and an Akai S950 running off an Amiga.

I remember many a set with your DS Korg – what do you like about performing on those? It seems so old school now with ipads but I guess then they were some of the only touch screen technologies available…

Still love that Nintendo for the DS-10! I first saw Michael Forshaw bang a set with two DS’s and I said “fucksake I play Mario Kart on mine! what was THAT?!” – he thought I was taking the piss but I wasn’t. It’s limited, and only does 1 bar loops but it excels at industrial sounding techno and there are some lfo tricks to make em sound like 2 bars, even though they aint. I’ve got so many patterns on there have never seen the light of day I still need to get out of it. The horror boogie 12” I did earlier this year has 2 tracks which are purely DS-10 sounds sorta ‘produced up’ as it were.

Exactly how much and in what ways has working with Logic’s latest version changed how you work and the outcome?

I just shoved Komplete 10 in there so that number of options is now exponentially ridiculous.. Almost too many! It’s all completely brilliant, natch, but I have to set myself some arbitrary limits at the beginning or my music making goes nowhere fast. That South Park episode where they show Randy using Logic just made me laugh! Yeah it’s ‘almost too easy’ but only if you want to go down some predetermined route, which i never do. to me it’s all just an extended writing tool. Hardware is all about the limits though, and generally that stuff gets messed with very little compared to the tracks I start from scratch in Logic. I’ve been getting really into making tunes with a tb303, tr808 & tr909 recently & just letting them roll, jam it out. Sometimes I have better results when I make life difficult for myself. It’s all random.

Obviously over the years you’ve collaborated with a number of people – Luke’s Anger, Cristian Vogel and more recently Radioactive Man what do you like about working with others in the studio? can you tell us anything about these individuals in particular?

Collaboration is one if the best things about music. It’s just so fun and satisfying when it works. It’s also great to have someone else around who even if they aren’t doing any of the actual production stuff, they are still contributing on an integral vibe level type thing. To me that’s still 50/50 collaboration. Anyway, if you go into it with that attitude then everyone does their bit, I find. Collabs with Luke are great because they’re are no rules, as such. Can be in person or remotely. Its more just like a very protracted and ever-ongoing conversation which happens to yield tracks I love. Result! With Cristian we spent 4 or 5 days in his studio in Barcelona, and made a whole EP from scratch. Pretty good going. With Keith Tenniswood it’s been few ideas developed over this last year and now coming together into an EP. Some tracks have come together more quickly though. As I say, there are no rules as such. The Pest boys are my longest running collaborators. Oh yeah and I didn’t name the band after me by the way! I was asked if that was the case, once. No my mate Grant aka Sikaflex suggested Ben Pest is what everyone called me anyway, so there you go.

In this mix who’s on it – what other artists are you listening to at the moment?

The mix is all my stuff apart from some Bebop & Rocksteady tracks, which I wrote with Luke’s Anger. I’m far from ignorant to other music, though. My sound is fairly distinctive for better or worse, iv made loads of tunes, and they seem to make sense to me mixed together on Traktor. What can I say. Been listening to Phatworld vs Squire of Gothos on my tube journeys, big smiley music. Loads of the electronica I love is made by my mates but I’m always grabbing various other bits and bobs – I’m less of an artist follower generally, I’m more about certain tracks. But rules are there to be broken etc. Luke Vibert is consistently great. Gutted about Mark Bell too, loved so much of his music and saw him live a few years ago. amazing.

There’s quite a few releases you have coming up can you give us a quick run down what’s forthcoming?

Fun in The Murky 02 which I’ve got a track on is dropping this week. There’s a 5 track EP on Balkan Recordings very soon and a track on the next Balkan Vinyl 12″, an Off Me Nut EP and a couple of tracks on new vinyl label The Beyond. And a Bebop & Rocksteady cassette release on Acid Waxa. Got this thing currently in production with Radioactive Man too. I’ll squeeze another EP of my tracks via my Bandcamp page in due course.