UK-born LA-based Sinden has been a name in the production and DJ-ing scene that always brings forth a sense of excitement. He's brought some of the most progressive-thinking dance music from other equally talented producers with his label, Grizzly Records, and has similarly brought forth tracks on his own as well. He released an EP on Monday as The Crystal System, and to learn a little bit more about his new project, we got to ask him a couple questions.
Check out his newest release below, and see what he's got to say about music… honestly stunned by his knowledge-base!
EARMILK: Hi Sinden! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us! First off, I’ve always found that your songs range through a broad variety of dance music, and your track “Step Back,” sounds so vastly different than your latest release. What was your motive in creating ‘The Crystal System’ as (sort-of) separate from the work you usually do as just Sinden?
SINDEN: Thanks! I've prided myself on taking risks and keeping the sound moving .. trying new things out, being more ambitious than the last project. The Crystal System was originally going to be a collective project between Fritz Helder, Starving Yet Full, and myself, but we ran into a few issues outside our control. At the time the guys were in Azari; it just wouldn't work out. That's why the first wave of tracks you're going to hear are collabs with Fritz & SYF (we did 5 altogether) and the second wave of tracks are with other vocalists. It's a rotating collaborative project which takes it's queues from a lot of old disco, boogie, early house/techno, new wave and 80s bands that dabbled with synths.
It's largely inspired by my record collection and an outlet for sounds I want to explore in greater detail. The Crystal System gives me more freedom, it's more song based, more linear in a way, more musical. Nick Hook came onboard and recorded guitars and bass for "Got Me Moving" and another joint, Sinjin Hawke helped with some extra production on one other track. I hit a dead end with some of the tracks, I think I just lived with them for too long.
EM: Along with the original track, you've gotten a variety of different producers to remix it. We’ve gotten a chance to hear the Pilo remix, which was amazing, but can you tell us a little bit about some of the other remixes you’ve got coming out? What made you decide on the artists you did for the remixes?
S: Yeah this track is perfect for club interpretations and we wanted to broaden the appeal especially for the club – house and techno floors. Sonny Fodera & Mickey Kojak are 2 Australian producers that the Sweat It Out guys recommended. I love the label & trust them a lot with A&Ring mixes. They're tapped into what's hot, not just in Australia but all over the globe.
Mickey Kojak got some good hype off of his "Feel My Pain" track and we decided to do a remix swap. Mickey's mix is more stripped and sparse, I love it. Sonny Fodera, I was familiar with from his stuff on Cajmere's label – dope producer! He turned in a great remix, got a Hot Natured vibe to it. Odysseus is a producer who put out something on my own label Grizzly, he's also put out music with the Black Butter guys and Moda Black. I met Pilo in LA and he's become a great friend of mine, I joke he's kind of like my son haha. We made a record for BNR recently and the stuff we do together is more twisted up techno. He took a darker approach, deadly subs-tuff but funky. Moiré from Actress's label, Werk Discs, did one too which is wicked, really swingy.
EM: I’ve noticed that you’ve worked quite a bit over time with the members of Azari & III. What drew you to get Starving Yet Full on vocals for this track?
S: We vibed that's really why the partnership in the studio was so fruitful. It never would have happened if we didn't meet in Japan a couple of years ago. We did a couple of shows together and hung out after. Both Starving Yet Full & Fritz were incredibly cool, very good energy. I remember them both vogueing during my set in Tokyo! Good times. I was already a big fan but it wasn't until we bonded that we had to make music. Our tracks started in London, we recorded again in Toronto and were completed in NY and LA.
EM: Were there any influential artists that brought forth this upcoming EP? Who are some of your favorite producers/lyricists/artists in general (at this moment)?
S: Stuff like Shriekback's "My Spine Is The Bassline," The Passion's "Skin Deep," Talking Heads, ZE Records, ESG, Liquid Liquid etc. It's influenced by late 70's / early 80's New York, the open mindedness of Larry Levan's DJ sets and that crossover between disco and bands that came out of the art / noise scene, also stuff like Grace Jones's work with Sly & Robbie.
I'm into tons of music at the minute, my peers in LA influence me, I love everything that Comémé, Mixpak, Soundway are doing as I'm a big fan of International music; a ton of techno, especially things that reference old electro… I love like Randomer. I'm also influenced by Mykki Blanco. We've made loads of music together that has been out. We're also talking about a project together [that] is more than rap music.
EM: The other day, I saw on twitter that you were DJ-ing with vinyl for a set in LA. What are some secret weapon vinyls out there that crate diggers, like myself, might appreciate?
S: Not a huge secret but basically everything that Patrick Adams does. You should check out Four Below Zeros My Baby Got ESP. It's a modern Northern soul record that you can play in house / disco sets. It's one of my favorite records ever. The originals are going for $150 but if you're lucky you can get a reissue from the early 2000s. It's a record impossible to not love!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mPDpKr9iP8
EM: What are your essentials in the studio (in general)?
S: Yerba Mate, vegetarian food, a collection of old & new synths & drum machines, 2 sleeping puppies, a big collection of plastic vinyl toys and superheroes.
EM: Do you have any advice for budding DJs/Producers/artists out there?
S: Don't sound like anyone else, take risks, hone your craft, go out and build bridges, use social media to your advantage.
EM: Besides this release, you’ve recently released an collaborative EP with Pilo on BoysNoize Records. Do you have any other events/music coming for fans in 2014 that you can share with us?
S: The next Crystal System single is not far away. I want to finish that in the next few weeks. "Step Back" will be on there with a heavy Sly & Robbie Padlock era dub workout as well as 2 new tracks & remixes from Chrissy & Maelstrom. Thefft & myself just dropped a track on Monki's Red Bull project that came out last week. You can check it out on the Red Bull site. Also a few things that aren't confirmed yet but will come to light in the next few months too.
Sinden Presents the Crystal System
Got Me Moving
- August 25, 2014