Last month we introduced our EARMILK community to Sydney-based producer Reggie Banks' and his new single "Hold On Me," which was a swift R&B electronic jam-filled with etheric bliss. Today the young producer debuts his 5-track EP called 'Love at the Pass' featuring previously released singles like "Hold On Me" and "Steady", the lead track off the project.
Reggie is an electronic musician driven by nostalgia and melodic beauty, which he uses as inspiration to craft old school hip-hop style beats paired with more modern dance rhythms, enticing listeners into his world of smooth soul and his own love language. Overall, the project from start to finish brings fans into a relaxed state of being while still giving you the desire to put a bounce and bop into your step. Reggie Banks' shares with us that his records come together using different beat machines, samplers and synths live, all while weaving intricate melodic riffs over strong and choppy beats. Having just come across the producer we wanted to go deeper into each single with Reggie and below he provides an exclusive track-by-track breakdown behind the inspiration and creation of each record off the EP. Enjoy!
I used to rent this tiny little studio space in the heart of the city in Sydney. It wasn't technically a music studio space either, just a basic room, so the sound of cars, trucks, buses, people, bars etc would always permeate into the room (so yes, in most of my recordings you can hear city ambience). I was by myself one night and the creative juices weren't flowing so I switched off all the light and sat in my dark studio, lit up only by the city glow. I was feeling a bit adventurous, so after the chords were created for 'Steady' I wrote a really wonky bass line that almost seemed to bounce.
I had met Keelan Mak after my GF has remixed one of the songs he was featured on, Wouldn't be the Same by Tora. He stayed at our tiny 1 bedroom apartment and we recorded the track over 2 days. We actually recorded this shoebox of a bedroom. We couldn't fit two chairs in the room so Keelan had to sit and record on my bed (soz K Mak!). We all hit it off so well during that time that we ended up moving into a bigger house later that year. It's safe to say, although the song was created in a couple dingy confined spaces, I think the track came out sounding great.
"Love at the Pass"
I randomly landed a job where I represented a health insurance company inside a huge bank. In short, the job entailed me standing up with an iPad playing games and reading Stephen King books for hours on end. Job aside though, during my "30 mins breaks" which wound up being an hour everyday, I'd go to a bar/cafe and produce music time while having a coffee.
Love at the Pass came about after a found an older song with a beautiful harp throughout. I cut the intro loop up and put these trippy delays and reverbs on the harp snippet. I wanted to keep the track really stripped back and raw so the drums turned out to have a really dry "boom bap" feel. I have a handful of real recorded elements in the track as well – I spent a day with a friend doing a DIY drum kit recording in his garage. The second "drop" that comes in has those drums pitched down, these drums also feature on the track "Clear" on the EP. I ended up using ping pong balls as a percussion loop and also the sound of his creaky bedroom door in the first break.
Clear came off the back of the DIY drum recording session. I used sampled pianos and added the drum recordings to create the groove of the song. The start of the song was written back when Soundcloud was booming. I'd follow these dope underground (at that time) trap artists like Oshi, Sam Gellaitry, Mr Carmack etc. Their sound really influenced the beginning of the song. From there, the rapper Ban Micha was put forward to feature through a mutual friend. On the day of recording, we actually worked out we randomly went to the same primary school (small world eh?). His vocals completely took the track a new direction. What he'd written for the second verse felt less hip/hop and more "house-ish". I changed the groove and ended on a 4×4 beat with the weird filtered chords. I went heavy on filling the track with really obscure talking samples I found on random YouTube videos. These included people counting, talk show jingles, old R&B song etc.
My GF and I both spend 1 day a week where we do a "sample off". We send a random samples we find online and have a few hours to come up with a track. She had found a website with really old archival music. The track came about by cutting the song into a looping snippet. I felt stuck unsure what to do with it, so I pitched the song down and slowed the BPM. This created the intro but the track overall felt slow and boring. I was inspired by an old electro house track Lyposuct by D.I.M & Tai to create a really long drawn out build. The drop itself is the same loop as the intro but with a handful of different effects; things like gates, phasers, distortions etc. "Guitar Rig" played a big part in the drop. The bassline was then also heavily influenced by the man himself, Kaytranada. I wanted the bass to have that bouncy house feel.