Broken Audio _ Interview with Mslwte.
Mslwte lives in Northampton, UK & makes Techno. Part of the subsekt crew, he has just finished a cracking set of all the old Stigmata tunes for our first monthly mix. To find out more, we spoke to the man himself.
Since this interview was first published, James has done 2 classic mixes for us. First he did a mix of all the old stigmata tracks.. and later, a classic Regis set, both of which are now available from our mix archive: http://subsekt.com/mixes/
James has also got a track on the TrusT: Remembrance album, and has has been fortunate enough to have his track played by the likes of Casual Violence & Ontal. Fair play!
Hey James, how are you? Tell us a bit about yourself? Are you a techno skiver or a full time grafter?
I wish I was full time techno. Unfortunately I have to work full time. I’m a Field Service Engineer for an Ophthalmic Company, but I think about techno full time though! 🙂
How did you get interested in Music? Tell us about your background..
My mum used to listen to a lot of music when I was a kid. New Romantic, Soul and dance music from the 80’s. I really liked the synths sounds in the music she was listening too.
I was introduced to Hardcore in the early 90’s and that’s where it really began for me. I’ve been listening to a wide range of dance music ever since.
What was the last club night you were at?
I went and saw Regis and Surgeon @ House of God in Birmingham. It was a blindingly good night.
What was the very 1st single / album you bought?
I can’t remember the first single; it was probably “Everybody in the place” or “Out of space” by the prodigy. Michael Jackson’s “Bad” was the first album I can remember asking for when I was a kid. The last records I bought were some old molecular loops from Discogs. I think it was the first 3 in the catalogue from around 99/00. The last cd was Regis complete works 99/01.
Have you ever robbed someone’s record at a party? And if so what was it? 😉
Hmm not at a party.. I may have borrowed some old tapes/cd’s in the past lol!! But I remember guarding my vinyl with my life at parties!
You play proper techno in your sets.. Did you ever get caught up in the minimal craze?
Not really.. but I did try it though. I bought a Circo Loco cd from around 2005. Only ever played it once. I’ve always preferred a faster, heavier sound. I’m really getting back into the loopier stuff at the moment.
How does the old stuff compare to modern techno?
I think the term “techno” has been hijacked to be honest. A lot of what I hear isn’t really techno. It’s more a cross breed of the progressive and minimal sounds. Proper techno is still about though, it’s just harder to find. If you dig deep enough though it’s there. Techno is definitely a lot cleaner more refined than it used to be. Personally, I’m always trying to create that old school analogue distortion vibe in my music.
Will you tell us how you approached the Stigmata mix James? I cant stop listening to it to be honest, its so raw & relentless..
Yeah, well I have been using Traktor for about a year, but without the timecoded vinyl. Recently I’ve started using my decks again and playing a bit of vinyl. The Stigmata mix was all wax but run through Traktor to make use of the effects etc. it was so much fun mixing with records again.
What tracks from the last couple of years are future classics?
I think everything that has come out on Vault series in last couple of years has been exceptional, especially “untitled 2”. Makaton “endless revolt” is definitely up there for me.
I thought Tommy Four Seven’s album “Primate” was superb.
Who do you admire as a producer / DJ?
There are 3 guys that have set the standard: Jeff Mills, Regis and Surgeon.
Which is a better way to promote yourself? Spam the life out of everyone? Or let things develop gradually and naturally?
For me right now I’m just concentrating on making the best music I can. I fell into the whole Facebook and Soundcloud friend grabbing and spamming. I don’t think its right for an artist to push their music on to people, adding stuff to your own Facebook, Soundcloud etc.. is fine. Mass spamming groups/people is not right.If your music is good enough it will get picked up. Building relationships with a few people is far more rewarding long term.
Tell us about making music James? How long have you been producing for?
My original tracks were really me trying to do my own thing and find myself as a producer. It was really just an experiment to see what I could achieve. I have been properly producing and finishing tracks for a couple of years now, I used to hang around the sonic academy forums. Those guys really got me started! I have no musical training, can’t play an instrument or read music. I can’t really describe my sound. There’s no real formula. I suppose it’s just heavy. I don’t want to be pigeonholed. Just want to create a crazy sound haha!
There are many layers to your tracks. How long typically does it take for you to complete something? Does it come easy for you?
I actually really love the creative process. It’s probably more fun than having the track to listen to at the end. It’s all about experimenting with different processes and ideas. I don’t really follow a set pattern. It can take a week to several months to complete something. I think time apart from a track to reflect is a good idea. I’m not going to rush stuff out anymore.
What are you using to produce?
I use Ableton on a pc and mostly use the built in plugs. I really like using hardware and recording sounds into my daw. My audio recorder is my secret weapon.. and I really like the hands on approach with hardware. Recording it into your daw kinda forces you into something. I use a Roland TB303, Elektron Machinedrum, Roland MC202, Korg Poly mk2 amongst others.
What’s the one piece of software / hardware that you use the most?
Ableton.. and probably my audio recorder. I must have used it on every track on my latest Ep.
You are producing under the name of Mslwte.. any releases coming up?
Yeah I have a few bits coming very soon. I have a track coming out on a secret album that’s soon to be announced. My industry track is being released by Momentvm. There’s also an EP with 3 tracks coming out called Anamorphic Distortion on Noctambular. It’s already getting great support from DJ’s and Producers that I respect.. so I’m delighted about that.
You have your own radio show on Fnoob – ALT.Noize? How did that come about?
I actually lost touch with the scene for a few years at the height of minimal as I couldn’t really find the sound that I liked and I had stop mixing and buying tracks for a while. When I started to learn how to produce I met a few guys online who were introducing me to a heavier sound and I got the buzz back and started uploading some new and old mixes to Soundcloud.
I then got invited to do a show on fnoob.com. The ALT.noize podcast has been running for around a year and a half now. We’ve had guests such as Komabase, Subspace, Nomad Spectrum, Cush, Face Down and Jake Conlon.
What are your passions outside of music?
I love formula one, have done for years. It’s my favourite sport and it gives me a real buzz, Last year took my audio recorder with me to the British GP.. And of course my family. I have two young daughters and I’m engaged to get married next year.
Techno Cats or Dogs?
Yes I have a cat. He’s a proper little lion! He seems to catch a mouse every week at the moment.
What’s been your biggest achievement to date? What makes you proud Mate?
Becoming a dad. If you had of said to me ten years ago I would be settled down with 2 children I wouldn’t have believed you lol
If you could go back in time & make yourself listen to one good piece of advice – what would you say?
Fucking go for it and don’t worry about shit!