Phuture Shock Musik is getting ready to prep for an upcoming EP that delves into the strange worlds of electronic music that ranges from the likes of dance to bass to god-knows-what. While genres continue to bend and lines continue to blur, we managed to snag some great words from each producer into the thoughts and emotions that go into making a track. From the likes of the UK based OPR8 to Appian, each one has an unique connection to their music that helps us remember why we all have emotional connections to their songs.
The words from each artist are beautiful, and we here at EARMILK are super excited to present this to you. Check out the exclusive below and purchase the EP come June 9th. Frm the likes of the UK based OPR8 to Appian,
OPR8 – ‘Call To Riddle’
The track started life as a jam in my studio. I was messing around with a broken Roland JV-1080 module I had borrowed, which was glitching out and cutting notes off really sharply as I played them, so I routed it through my Vesta Fire delay and had the repeats build up over each other creating a rhythm. I then notched in the hold function which created a sort of clunky loop that had this real slinky groove, so I hit record and laid down a few minutes. I messed with the speed and rate of the modulation on the delay to add some variation. I then hooked up more bits of hardware, old Yamaha sound modules, Roland TR505, Novation BassStation, an old Peavey reverb and some guitar pedals to my mixer.
I laid down the drums all initially triggered off of the 505, and put through various routing in my effects chain, and mapped out a beat based around the groove of the clunky loop. I then spent a couple of hours recording all sorts of sounds, blips, clicks, bleeps, crashes the main melody and the bassline – all run through the effects chain to make up a batch of material I was going to use to build the tune with. I then took all the material I had jammed in and condensed it down into an arrangement and ran a few things back through the effects to add more noise and crunch.
The vocal came about with Rosi (Autumn Music) after we'd worked in office together for a while, always discussing music, and one time I got to see her perform live at local Bristol venue 'The Fleece'. She was doing a live loop station set with vocals, guitar and some percussion building these lush sound-scapes and haunting melodies. It was round about the time I had made the tune and the spontaneity of her show was reminiscent of the rawness and immediacy I had been looking to capture in 'Call to Riddle'. I sent her the track and she wrote the lyrics which ended up being recorded in one take at the end of a session she was doing for a mate.
As for inspiration at the time I remember I was digging tracks like, Burial and Four Tet – Moth, Hyetal – Pixel rainbow sequence, Peverelist – Dance Till the Police Come, and Henry & Louis Love Like – (Pinch Remix)
Psyah – ‘The Coolidge Effect’
The track came about on a spontaneous one, just through experimenting with different sounds, tempos and rhythms etc. It’s arranged in a familiar verse-chorus song structure – so pretty much stands as an instrumental tailored for a singer to write to.
Having listened back to the tune enough times, It seems like a few of my favourite artists and musical influences subconsciously came into play during the creative process, as I could pick out a few of the possible influences that may have inspired some of my own ideas and the vibe I was going for. I guess at the time of writing it I was trying to capture a dreamy kind of cosmic vibe. I’m really into unusual chord changes or at least ones that evoke an instant feeling, so in hindsight some of the likely inspiration behind the chord progression and feel-good vibe I tried to create, goes back to people like Roy Ayers. I’d also say Stereolab – circa ‘Dots and Loops’ – came to mind for the dreamy chords and playful melodies, considering the track turned out as a kind of repetitive loop driven by these woozy sustained chords for a hypnotic effect. Overall I wanted to keep things heavily synthesized and sample-free to achieve an otherworldly effect which is where the Neptune’s influence came in.
I recall working on the beat last which I tried to avoid making too drum-heavy, and instead focus more on the groove, so played around with a syncopated rhythm, allowing space for the other subtle percussive hits and notes to create a funky feeling in contrast to everything else going on. I’ve always highly rated and found inspiration in 4hero’s approach to experimenting with different rhythms and tempos. For instance the ‘broken beat’ stuff around the early 00’is likely to have been another reference point. The track doesn’t come anywhere near to the sound or genius of any of above artists or producers mentioned, but it was fun experimenting with a melting pot of styles and influences all the same.
Roof Light – ‘Gal Costa’s Headband’
This is a piece I recorded a number of years ago. It pays homage to the iconic Brazilian vocalist; Gal Costa as the title suggests, who was a leading protagonist in the ‘Tropicalia’ movement – a subversive and eclectic style which came about during the late 60’s in Brazil.
I played the guitar riff live in a tropicalia-inspired style, looped it, and recorded it all. I also added some effects and recorded field sounds to give the piece some extra atmosphere and warmth.
Appian – ‘If Only’
I was in a course at the University of Michigan with a bunch of other students who were working on music for various media projects. My mentor and instructor all year had been telling me something along the lines of 'you don't always need to rely on the beat' for much of material that I had brought to him so far.
For this project, I was finally like, ok, yeah, maybe I don't need to always make a dance track, and tried a couple of different approaches without getting anywhere. It was pretty late when I ended up making progress, and at that point there was a kind of soft glow to the night sky outside… From there I pretty much went linearly and kept everything pretty loose, trying to match the mood I was feeling.
- Phuture Shock
- June 9, 2014