Recently you unveiled a new alias In the form of “Vex Seven”. Can we start with why you chose the name?
Honestly, the name doesn’t have any particular meaning. I think it has a nice flow to it. This project started out as more of a techno thing so I wanted something dark and techical sounding. I also had to think of something no other producer was already using and was available on social media. Sadly I forgot to grab the Instagram page and some guy snatched it up a few months ago. It’s a page that reposts cosplay pictures! Haha!
When exactly did you conceive the idea of the new alias? In addition, will it predominantly be focusing on the darker side of your D&B productions?
It actually began back at the end of 2017 when I was finishing my debut Akuratyde album Past Lives. I was feeling really stressed and overwhelmed and I think I just needed a break from writing that style of music. I began writing a lot of techno, which I’d never written before, and it felt liberating. I was listening to a lot of Lemna and ASC at the time and was able to channel my frustrations into the music.
I wrote about 20 sketches but I was having a hard time finishing the songs. Eventually I needed to refocus my efforts on finishing the album so the music got shelved. When I did come back to the Vex Seven project I was feeling less confident about the techno I had written and wanted to start doing some darker D&B as well. I guess I wanted to start with something I knew I could do well. I still want to release techno under this alias but I felt more confident starting with D&B. Now I can establish this alias a bit more and start branching out into other genres.
When you revisited the tracks that had originally started as techno did you keep the initial framework/elements of the tracks and change the tempo to 170 bpm?
The songs on this EP were all written after that initial period. I did try adapting some of the techno songs to 170 bpm but I felt that they worked better at their original tempo. I definitely brought some of those influences to this EP though, especially with “Knives In The Dark”. The techno material will get out there eventually, it’s just a matter of finding the right label for it.
Coming from being established as Akuratyde, and quite frankly making some beautiful music under that moniker and associated groups (most recently 3VS), it must be a nice switch up to have an outlet for the darker side of the productions.
Absolutely. I’ve been into dark and heavy music since I was a teenager so harsh, abrasive sounds are very familiar to me. There are a lot of upsetting things happening in the world right now and it feels as though it’s getting more difficult to make sense of things. I’m not planning on slowing down my Akuratyde output but sometimes I don’t feel like writing beautiful music. Having this alias gives me a place to channel my frustrations, and also provides me with the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally try under my other aliases.
Has your approach to producing tracks changed under the Vex Seven alias? What’s your mindset when making the tracks?
The approach has definitely changed. With Akuratyde or 3VS I always start with the chords and melodies. There aren’t really any melodies with my Vex Seven songs so I’m typically starting with either drums or atmospherics and just trying to build a vibe.
I have to be in a specific mindset to write this kind of music. Melodies are what I do best so leaving them out presents an extra challenge for me. It’s also hard for me to switch gears with musical projects. I can’t easily jump back-and-forth between Akuratyde, 3VS, and Vex Seven. I need to spend several days straight working on one project so I can really delve in and focus.
That said, it’s been a very rewarding challenge to change my workflow and put the main focus on certain elements that maybe, in the past, didn’t always get my full attention. Everything I’m learning is being brought forward to my other projects so it’s making me a more well-rounded producer.
Can you talk us through how the “Prisoners EP” came about being released on Onset Audio?
Seth has wanted to do a release with me since my Embrace EP came out on BMTM back in 2015. Onset specializes in dark textural D&B so it was a natural choice, I didn’t even shop the songs around to any other labels! He was very supportive from the beginning. I sent him early demos of the Vex Seven material and he was really enthusiastic about it. That gave me the extra push I needed to finish the music. He also helped me develop the logo and he absolutely nailed the artwork.
From the sound of it Seth’s support was well-founded as the finished product (music and art) is awesome. Cheers Seth It’s exciting that it’s going to open up other doors of opportunity with new labels now with Vex Seven and future material I assume.
Yeah, Seth has been so supportive and helpful. His enthusiasm for the project has kept me motivated. I’m definitely keen to expand the possibilities of my releases.I’d really like to line up some remixes and more collaborations under this alias.
Considering the events happening globally caused by the pandemic, do you think this new alias will give you more motivation to make music In this vein? Will the darker element of production reflect this situation?
Maybe, it’s hard to say. I’ve actually been pouring a lot of my energy into my Akuratyde alias right now. I think with the current situation being as bad as it is, especially here in the US, I wanted to channel that energy into something more positive and hopeful. I’ve actually just finished my second album! I’m hoping to have it out by the end of the year, and I’m also starting a record label which will focus on deep and melodic music at 170 bpm.
I’m committed to this alias though. I’m not the type of person to start something and let it fall by the wayside. Now that my second album is finished I can focus my attention back on Vex Seven, and having my own label gives me one more place where I can release music under that alias.
You mentioned a new label? Exciting! Can you give us some more info on that please?
The label is called Modern Conveniences. The first release is called Redesigned Vol. 1 and will be out on August 28th. It’s an EP of my songs remixed by some of my favorite artists. I’ve got remixes from Kid Drama, Silent Dust, Jaskin & Uneven, and more. It’s not a vanity label though, I already have releases lined up from Tellus, Eusebeia, and Jaskin & Uneven. The main focus will be music at 170 but the label won’t be limited to that. I’m hoping to do some ambient releases and other genres outside of drum & bass. I’ve been planning this for awhile and I’m really excited to finally unveil it!
Moving forward how do you intend on managing the Vex Seven alias? Can we expect regular releases?
That’s a good question. It’s already starting to get tricky managing 3 aliases and I have a 4th one in the works as well! I have a difficult time finishing songs too. Only 10% of the songs I start actually get finished, though I have been getting better in that department recently. I wouldn’t expect the releases to be too frequent, but my goal is to have at least one Vex Seven release per year. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity, if I can put out one high-quality release per year under each alias I’d be happy with that.