Having just released his awesome artist album, Fear Not, for Hospital Records, we managed to catch a few minutes with Logistics to chat about his early big break, production techniques and limited edition Rubik's Cubes…
The week of release for a new album must be very exciting!? Can you talk us through the last few weeks leading up to today to give us an idea of all the work that goes on behind the scenes before such a huge project hits the streets?
Yes it's definitely an exciting time, after working on the music for so long it's always nice to get it out there. Leading up to the release there is obviously all the stages of final mix downs to be done and getting the tracklisting and artwork finalised but that was all done a few months back, the last few weeks have been mainly filled with gigs and interviews. In particular the bank holiday weekend was a lot of fun playing at the big Brixton Hospitality night and also the Hospitality nights in Brighton and Bristol.
Obviously before all the marketing and promotional activity, you’ve got to create a body of work in the studio! How long did it take to produce the tracks for Fear Not and were there any particular ones that came together more quickly or slower than others?
Overall it took about two years to complete although I was still DJ-ing throughout that time. In terms of how long it took to finish some of the tracks it varied quite a lot, for example '2999 (wherever you go)' came together in a couple of days whereas something like 'Watching The World Go By' took forever to complete. It's kind of frustrating at times but it's just the nature of music, some things fall into place right away whereas others can be a labour of love.
Fear Not covers a wide range of sounds within the bass sphere from the deep dubstep of Letting Go to the charging DNB of Arpeggio with some killer future jungle tracks such as Early Again (one of our favourites!). Was this fusion of vibes intentional or something that evolved as you worked away on new beats in the studio.
It was never something I set out to do; I always just go into the studio and make what I feel like making depending on my mood. The only thing that I was keen to do with this album was to make it quite heavily synth based and stylistically quite different from my other albums.
Talking of the studio, we have a lot of budding producers here on Trackitdown.net who are always hungry for tips from heroes such as yourself! When it comes to your basslines are there any particular studio tricks or advise you can offer that might help readers hit that sweet spot?
I'm not that technical a producer but I find referencing my music to other people’s tracks who I respect really helps. Also, don't always settle for the first bass sound you use, I'll quite often end up changing the bass sound a few times before it sits right for me. I wish I had some more secret tips to share but what I do really is very basic, it's more about finding the right sound rather than using any weird production techniques.
Do you spend a lot of time road-testing your new productions and then tweaking the mix down or arrangement? We’re guessing that playing out a lot must give you plenty of opportunity to get feedback?
Yes, I've always worked like this and I think that comes from the old fashioned way of writing a track, cutting it to dubplate and then seeing how that transfers to a club system. Often though when I'm DJ-ing I find it quite hard to stand back and take note of what needs improving as I'm more focused on the actually DJ-ing so these days the club play is more for the crowd response than anything.
Aside from the music of course, we love the artwork for the new album and really want one of your limited edition Rubik's Cubes too! How involved have you been in the art direction for this project and how did you guys come up with these creative concepts?
Thanks! Chris Goss and I usually go back and forth with a few ideas in the early stages and then hand it over to Ricky Trickartt who then works on it through to completion. With this album we ended up going for the Pop Art angle, as it's something we are all fond of. I've grown up around Pop Art so I'm really pleased to have referenced that with the album artwork.
The Hospital crew are responsible for bringing through some of the most exciting new talent around. Are there any fresh faces who have been sending you tracks that have caught your ear recently?
Yes indeed, I really like what a guy called Mefjus is doing right now, it's a really techy sound that he has but the engineering is brilliant and he also has a great groove to his tracks. On the more musical side I really like what Hybrid Minds are doing right now and I also really rate the Technicolor and Komatic tracks that have been coming out recently.
How did you get your big break in the early days? Do you think it’s easier for new talent to emerge in the era of Facebook and Youtube?
I was lucky that my brother Nu:Tone was already signed up to Hospital so I was able to pass demos to them via him. I was also really lucky that Fabio and Grooverider both picked up on my tunes right as I was starting out, that was definitely a big help. I'm not sure if it's easier nowadays or not, on the one hand Facebook and YouTube are a great platform for getting people to hear your music but there are so many people making music these days I think it's probably still as competitive if not more so.
Youtube is now one of the most influential ways to secure huge amounts of exposure. In your experience does a huge amount of views of your music translate to more sales and gigs for you?
I've never worried about that too much but I'm sure it does have a knock on effect. Any kind of exposure like that is bound to help get your name out there. I did see a good thing a while back though from Annie Mac who made a good point about YouTube in that just because people have watched it doesn't necessarily mean that they like it. which I think is a really valid point.
A wise man once said ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’. You’ve obviously overcome a fear of stepping up to tear it up in front of thousands of ravers, but are there any other fears you’d like to overcome!?
I'm still quite afraid of heights actually and although I've done it loads I'm still not the best when it comes to flights. I'm usually fine until there's bad turbulence at which point I get pretty freaked out by it.
As I said in the interview Mefjus has really impressed me lately with his tracks, the engineering on this is so good. Every time I've played it out it's had the desired effect. There are about 4 of his tracks that I'm playing at the moment including his remix for Camo and Krooked, which I also love. Definitely a name to look out for!
I've been a fan of Kill The Noise for a while now especially some of his more disco-y house tracks but this came as a complete surprise when I heard it. I didn't think it was possible to better the original but in my opinion this just tops it.
This is one of my favourites from the album and has been a staple of my sets for the last six months if not more. It isn't the biggest dance floor smasher but I'm happy with the progressive style of the track.
I've loved almost everything Optiv and BTK have put out lately and for me this is the best of the bunch. The twisted bassline is what I love most about this, it's a great mixing tune as well which guarantees it'll be something I play for a long time to come.
Total Science are some of my favourite producers in drum and bass ever and it's great to see them still releasing such quality music. I loved the original Dam Funk tune that this samples so it's great to have a drum and bass version that I can drop in my sets. I hope this goes on to be the big summer tune it deserves to be.
Break with yet more rolling goodness on Critical, I love the relentless beats on this track and it has been getting a great response in the clubs when I've played it out. I've also been playing the flipside out a lot but for me this just wins as my favourite out of the two.
Something a little bit different from my album, the first drop is half time drum and bass and then it switches to straight drum and bass on the second drop so it makes it quite a useful DJ tool if you want to switch between styles.
I'm obsessed with this tune at the moment and had slept on it until I heard my brother playing it out the other week at the Brixton Hospitality. It's obviously not designed to smash a dance floor to pieces but as far as beautiful music goes this is right up there with some of the best in my opinion. I've always been a big fan of Synkro but this for me is by far his best tune to date.
This is something I wrote on the day of the earthquake that happened out in Japan last year. It has a very melancholic sound to it for obvious reasons and having been over to Japan a few times now I was really shocked and moved by what happened that day and had to go into the studio and make something that reflected that.
These guys are making some great musical drum and bass at the moment which is something there can never be too much of in my opinion. This has the same sample as another big soulful drum and bass tune out there right now and whilst I love them both, this one just has the edge for me due to the vocal, which sits so well over the sample. I can't wait to hear more from these guys!
Logistics new album
Massive thanks to Logistics for his time and selection!
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