7th Dec 2011 | 11:35
The Scottish DJ and Producer tells us about his studio and how he got started
His album Heartbeats was a favourite of 2010 and he's been a staple artist on the most hyped blogs for years. We caught up with him after a London show to find out, how he got started and his favourite studio kit.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the Electro Pop game.
"I've always been fascinated by the process of creating music and have dabbled in loads of different electronic genres. It had always seemed a challenge to make more commercial music, since I'm not a lyricist or vocalist.
"Anyway, a couple of years ago I really got into sampling a bit more creatively. Of course we've all heard the Eric Prydz Call On Me-style crossover pop dance stuff, but I wanted to do something more interesting and use these samples to write my own music. I think it's magical when you can turn something obscure into a catchy riff or hook."
What was your break?
"This must have been when the Discodust blog picked up on what I was doing and featured my track Go Back for free download. This really spread my name about and got people interested. Blogs are just brilliant for this type of thing."
Tell us about the kit in your studio?
"There's not much to it really – I'm running a dinky laptop with Cubase, a Novation nio USB soundcard and some Yamaha HS50m monitors. It's a really small setup as I work mostly in the box. I also have an Alesis Picoverb that I absolutely love – it's so simple but sounds lush while being extremely cheap.
"I'm loving [GForce] Minimonsta and the Korg M1 plug-in from the Legacy Collection right now. I'm not really a massive technical wizard. I actually quite enjoy music when it's a bit rough around the edges and not overly maximised."
You've covered David Bowie's Fashion – why that particular track?
"This actually started out as a remix for another act called The Death Kit, who covered it in a more traditional style. I had wanted to use an adaptation of the riff from Stevie Nicks' Stand Back for ages and the remix opportunity came at the perfect time. I put the vocals and riff together and fortunately it worked pretty well."
Any bits of studio gear you'd like to purchase in the future?
"I try not to purchase too much gear as from past experience, I'll use it for a little while then it'll sit gathering dust in my studio. For the writing process I love just creating stuff on my laptop. Maybe in the future I'll get some nice old analogue EQs and compressors or something. It almost seems pointless though, when the main source of music for most people is via iPod headphones."