1 - Can you tell us a Tell us little about your background? Where did you grow up, and where are you based now?
I grew up in a small town called Berkhamsted in the county of Hertfordshire. Really lovely place, I can see exactly why my folks decided to bring me and my brother up there. Its the kind of place where you never get any trouble and the worst thing that could possibly happen to you is you'll step outside your house and get hit by a frisbee.
I moved to Cambridge when I was 18 to start my undergraduate degree in Creative Music Technology. I'm currently still in Cambridge, now finishing my Masters in the same subject. Absolutely love it! Although it doesn't teach us practically anything about music production, it covers a huge range of subjects - everything from destroying kids toys to sensor technology and digital signal processing, just my cup of tea.
2 - How did you get into making music?
I got into mixing Vinyl when I was about 16 and got heavily into turntablism (scratching and beat juggling). I spent a lot of time going through my parents record collection and had a deep interest in music of all sorts from a young age. But I think one of the main things that turned me onto music production was college. I studied graphic design and absolutely hated it, it pretty much ruined the way I perceived the creation of visual art and every time I went outside for a break I'd speak to my mates on the music tech course and exchange our days activities. Often it was like "what have you done today Will?", "I designed a new type face, its shit. How about you?". "Oh I made a gabba remix of a Chris De Burgh track". I was so jealous! It made me realise how much dissatisfaction I was getting from my higher education.
So when the time came for me to go to university I proposed to my folks that I didn't want to do art anymore, despite acquiring an higher national diploma in the subject… all i wanted to do was music! And although I had no musical education prior to starting my music degree, they were hugely supportive and still are, I'm extremely lucky in that respect. So I went to uni and started dedicating my time to music production and made very VERY bad music for about 2 years before I started writing psy dub, glitch hop, downtempo and a range of non genre specific music. It was during my undergraduate degree that I met Richard 'Mouldy Soul' and we lived together for about four years, during which time he taught me how to use a sequencer. We ended up making a few tracks together and constantly shared production tips. One day my house mates took me to a Wonkey Disco night in London where I first heard Hedflux, and he literally blew me away! And just like that I dropped everything and started producing psy breaks.
3 - How would you describe the sound you produce?
A squelchy question mark covered in fuzz gravy.
4 - Where do you look for inspiration when you’re starting on a new track?
All sorts of places, I'm a huge fan of old school funk and take a lot of inspiration from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Parliament and Cymande. Just can't get enough of those rhythms and grooves.
Theres quite a few people in particular I've been drawing a lot of inspiration from recently. Bird of Prey is totally awesome, if you haven't heard of him then check his music out. Super epic down tempo psychedelia with the highest quality production, totally unreal! I'm quite into progressive psy at the moment, people like Ace Ventura, Flowjob, Grouch and Sensient are really ticking a lot of boxes for me.
5 - How long does a track typically take you to make?
Depends on the track I guess, anything from three days to three weeks. For example my most recent EP 'Enzyme and Multiverse', both different types of track with completely different work flow methods behind them. Enzyme took two weeks to make, but Multiverse took only four days. I think it depends on what my mind set is like before I start writing.
6 - When you do sample, how do you approach it? Where do you source your samples from?
I have quite a large bank of drum samples that i've accumulated over the years, and have spent many hours separating the good samples from the bad. I think its fair to say that good quality samples are crucial to solid drum grooves, but even some of the best drum samples will have undesirable artifacts, so its up to you to shape your sounds as you please and to try to make them your own.
Aside from drums and other percussion the only other thing i've been known to sample is vocals. I'm a massive film geek and have probably seen too many films for my own good. I do my best to keep my ears peeled for awesome quotes and samples that I can relate to and its kinda weird how much a good vocal sample can totally change the feel of a track.
7 - Do you play any instruments?
8 - With so much diversity in your productions, do you feel like you have a sound of your own?
I think I'm still very much searching for my sound, its a constant journey, and one that might never end. But I love experimentation and I get really excited about new ideas and where this style of music is going. I'd hate to feel like I was simply writing the same track over and over again as I think that diversity is an essential part of self development as an artist.
9 - What does your current production setup consist of?
M-Audio Fast Track Pro.
Access Virus C.
Access Virus TI Polar.
Novation Bass Station.
M-Audio Pro Keys 88.
A Flux Capacitor and a whole bunch of random bits of software that i'd be lost without.
10 - Which one record do you wish you had made?
Infucted Mushfart - Elation Station.
11 - When you’re not listening to electronic music, what do you listen to?
As I said earlier i'm a huge fan of old school funk music, I also like the odd bit of classical every here and there, but ultimately It depends on what kind of mood i'm in. I've been really loving this band called The Cat Empire, they're from Australia and are simply awesome! So full of rhythm and soul, perfect for practically any occasion.
12 - When you perform, what’s your preferred setup and how would you describe your sets? Are they different than your sounds as a producer?
I usually play off my laptop and switch between software depending on what sort of set i'm playing. I haven't gotten around to piecing together a live set yet as I'm still very much focussed on creating new tunes. But my sets will generally high light new material from myself and the other Broken Robot guys, as well as other current tracks that i'm digging at the time.
13 - What records are you currently playing out at the moment?
I'm quite picky about the tracks I choose to play out, but there will almost definitely be some Hedflux in my sets. Broken Eye and LuQas are also putting out some rather large fishy's at the moment, I've been rocking out 'Black Hole' for months, absolutely smashes pasties every time! I've also got a few new tracks myself, but I probably shouldn't say too much about them for the time being ;)
14 - How did you end up on BROKEN ROBOT?
I had been writing psy breaks for about three years before I got signed to them, and was lucky enough to meet Steve Hedflux at a Shpongle after party in 2009. I went on to play a couple of gigs alongside him and every time I saw him he was encouraging me to join the Broken Robot guys. But at that point I hadn't really started showing my tracks to people, I didn't even have a soundcloud. It was only when I started feeling confident with my tracks that I decided to start getting them out there, and in many ways Steve gave me that confidence. I'd been sending my tunes to him for ages to get feedback and one day BR head honcho Dom Neurodriver rang me up completely out of the blue and asked if i'd be interested in joining BR exclusively, and considering Broken Robot had put out a vast majority of the music that got me hooked on this style in the first place it would have been difficult to say no. Those guys have done more for me than any other label I've ever worked with and it makes me feel so proud to be a part of this scene!
15 - Where do you think you will be musically in the next few years?
I literally have no idea. I'm planning on going full time with the music very soon and I can't wait to see whats in store for the future! I will say that I'm planning on integrating more organic sounds into my productions. I'm lucky enough to know some extremely talented musicians, so I'd like to see if some conventional instrumentation can be implemented into this style of music.
16 - A last word…
Constantinople (in a Geordie accent).