Interview Projekt 22 / Groundwork Recordings Interview

Hi Projekt 22 hope you are good! So let’s start at the present day and your most recent release… Your next release will be on Cuelocks – Literature Recordings. You feature as a solo track and a collaboration with OWL, loving the whole EP BTW, how did the release with Literature Recs come about?

Yo yo thanks for having me, so me and OWL started making the title track (Bodiless Interception) just over a year ago and slowly sent it back and forth until it is what it is now, then Jamie Cuelock hit me up quite a while back (I think at the first Clashmouth Record fair) for a release. So yeah, me and OWL built the EP together, Jamie liked it and thats about it really.

Do you think the creative process flows quite well working with other producers, for instance OWL?

Depends who I am working with to be honest. Me and OWL share similar styles in ways but at the same time its completely different so we get nice fresh ideas out of doing it. We also both have a clear vision of what we want so that makes it easier.

So after a string of solo releases on various labels, at the beginning of 2017 you launched your own label-Groundworks Recordings. Looking at the effort in branding/artwork and the quality of music thus far, its obvious this isn’t a project you took lightly. How long did it take to plan all the details of the label?

I always had a plan for a label because there wasn’t many labels releasing what I wanted to release so it sort of came naturally really. In the beginning of 2016 I was sat on a few tunes I had made and a few other artists and friends were sending me stuff that really fitted a theme. I had a name that I really liked and I had a artwork theme too so put out a few white labels and tapes, now here we are.

So it sounds to me like starting a label was a very organic direction for you in regards to freedom of music. How have you found it so far being a “label boss”?

It’s great, I love putting releases together, there is something about picking certain tunes to be on a release that I really enjoy, but as you said its a very natural process as I’m never rushing to get things out and the music that I release always comes about in a similar way too.

Do you now find yourself making more music for your label given that musical freedom it allows you to have? Or are you still sending out music as regularly as you did before?

I don’t really send bits to labels as much, I have a few releases lined up on and off the label and the stuff off the label is on imprints that I really admire and am really glad to be involved in, but I’m sure you will see that when it comes around.

As well as the standard digital/vinyl releases you are also releasing music exclusive to cassette tape. The whole craze of releasing tapes again we find rather interesting as a format, considering it was deemed to be a redundant format for so long now it seems to be coming back again. What was it that made you want to release on the tape format?

I’ve always been a big fan of tapes and the fx it can give and wanted to do a cassette originally to push the more ambient side of the label, and then when Ryuu Kogan sent me a load of tunes they were perfect to release on tape, so it just sounded right and I thought it was a good way to start the series.

A perfect way to start the series. So the tape aspect of the label will solely be pushing the more ambient side then?

I am not too sure anymore it seems that its all going in a kind of ambient/experimental way.

So let’s talk about NOID. We have been lucky to see these guys a few times do their live thing, once at a ONE.SEVENTY event and also at a random gig in south east London… That if I remember rightly you put us onto! Thanks man! Ha ha.
We really enjoy that eerie and raw electronica that you generally you expect from NOID and the release off the label was a great example of what we have experienced from them in the past. How did you discover them?

With NoiD I saw this random video on facebook of a preview of one of their tracks and instantly was like “what is this?” so I hit them up for some tunes and they sent me some very impressive live performances. That was around the time of the first or second ONE.SEVENTY event so we met there, got on well so planned a release.

“What is this”… Love that reaction to music! Knowing the music you like and also the music you and the label are pushing, I would imagine you get that reaction to new music a lot right?

I wouldn’t say a lot, I mean it takes something to stand out to impress me. There are a few artists that send me stuff and every time I’m really blown away but they are constantly changing in their sound not doing the same thing every time which is what I like.

So away from the label for a bit and onto you as a producer, let’s talk about your set up. What equipment are you working with in the studio?

My setup is fairly straight forward at the moment, I have a moog sub phatty, 4 track tape recorder, 1210 deck for sampling vinyl , a load of guitar pedals delay/ distortion etc, some Adam monitors, mics and a field recorder and I also use Ableton amongst other software.

Did you name your monitors after yourself?

Yeah they are my baby Adams.

We can hear from the music you produce and also the output of the label that you are obviously influenced by a range of different music. Prior to becoming Projekt 22, talk us through your musical influences growing up?

My family have always been really musical and my mum and dad were both musicians and in a range of bands from funk/jazz/soul/rock and they would always play loads of different music around me growing up, including drum and bass, so me and my brothers were heavily into drum and bass in the early 2000’s. It was mostly the jazz/soul influenced stuff like Ltj Bukem, Blu Mar Ten or London Elektricity but I fell away from drum and bass for a good while until all the deeper stuff came around again, around 2008, artists like Synkro and Alix Perez led me to want to make music and get into sound design.
Other than that I listen to a lot of styles of music, mainly jazz, soul and of course a lot of electronic music mainly ambient. 

Sounds like a great mixing pot of musical influences! Do you think if your parents hadn’t of been such a massive musical influence during your up childhood that you would still have the same tastes and attitudes towards music?

Who knows! I would like to think that I would be doing something musical but it definitely had a role in my taste. 

With all of the different loves of music, have you ever considered or do you plan to make different genres outside of what we know you for?

Yeah I would be quite open to do some stuff in a band and do some jazz stuff, but I am quite happy making the stuff I do at the moment as long as it stays exciting and fresh. 

Now outside of the industry I know we both attend similar gigs, you have great taste in music! Away from the 170bpm realm and label stuff, who are you currently listening and liking?

Out side of electronic music I’m listening to artists like: Nick Hakim , D’angelo, Robert Glasper and a lot of hip hop but the list goes on and on…

So you grew up and still live in north Devon I’m right in thinking?

Yeah I grew up in various towns in Devon and live in a little seaside town called Lynton. There is nothing going on here but its a great place to make music and is a beautiful place to live.

So growing up I actually used to holiday in north Devon every year, do you know Combe Martin and Ilfracombe? Banging little holiday spot as a child! Ha ha

Yeah I know them I live around 15 miles from Combe Martin. 

That’s really close! I can confirm it’s lovely down there, I’m jealous!
I noticed you spend a lot of time visiting Bristol and London for gigs etc, ever been tempted to move away then?

Not really I don’t enjoy the city much it’s a very fast place. I like the music scene aspects of the city but that`s about it. I like living in the countryside, its good for your soul and is more chilled out. 

We were chatting to Dom Ridgeway the other day about his proposed live set at the next NOISE TEST… That got me thinking about other people who would suit that set up. I’ve always thought the music you make would always be great translated through a live set up, where you could have the freedom the build a complete track at your own speed and make even more of a journey out of it (if that’s even possible). Is this anything you have ever thought about?

I have thought about it, but it would have to be something that I`d have to master over time. My productions that I make now take me a lot more time than most and that’s the way I like it. Building the tunes over long periods it lets them stand the test of time so you know its a good piece of work. I think if I made an album I would like to perform it in a different way than a DJ set but not quite sure what that would be. Maybe one day. 

Lets talk about the future, what can we expect from you moving forward?… Any thing you can reveal?

Not much I can reveal for me personally as I said earlier I have a few releases planned on other imprints and as far as Groundwork goes we have a compilation LP coming out next month called “Metaphysics”. It has been so fun putting this album together, it`s a real ambient journey. Also we have Ruido’s EP shortly after which is a set of blissful experiments. 

Finally talk us through the mix, how did it come together and what can we expect?

The mix is a collection of the tracks on Groundwork, forthcoming bits and some old ones, and also a few of my own productions. I recorded this in Traktor with a controller and then edited it slightly in Ableton. Look out for the forthcoming LP-Metaphysics Volume 1 which will drop on Groundwork Recordings on the 12th of June. Featuring artist’s include-
Ruido, Akira Neroli, Owl, Dyl, Elaine, Clearlight, DB1, Entire, Fossadelrumore, Monolith & Paragon.
In addition we would like to add that all proceeds of the album will be very kindly donated to the charity-Help musicians UK.
( https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/ )

By Groundwork Recordings

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