Back Track 01 _ Paul Mac _ Another Escape EP
Great – so fast forwarding now to the new album – Hotel Insomnia – has any of the old equipment and technique survived?
Surprisingly I still have a couple of bits from back then although none of it is plugged in. I think they’re more or less just there for nostalgia now.
Technique wise it’s completely different as I’m basically completely ITB now. I don’t even own a mixer anymore, so things couldn’t be any more different. The bare bones of the whole thing remain quite similar though. There are just fundamental rules of sound that make for a good sounding record. No matter how good the idea; if it sounds like shit then basically that’s what it is. Obviously now you can make a great record just using a laptop and Ableton, Reason or whatever and that’s a great thing! But the ease of which a person can make a shitty record is way higher also which isn’t such a good thing – Ha-ha!.
For me personally, in terms of sound.. My tracks are much better now than ever, but that’s what comes with 15 years more experience. More than anything, it’s a subject you’ll never know everything about and you have to want to keep learning and moving on. Especially as the technology is moving so fast..
And you haven’t released an album since Defined by Association, which was 7 years ago, so why was there such a gap? What’s the feedback been like for the new one?
Just felt like the right time to do another album. To me, the concept of an album itself is essentially dead now. Most people buy their music – if at all – in download format, so only buy the tracks that they like and not the whole thing.. So I wanted to do one more before it was all over – Ha-ha!
Have you decided what’s going to be released from it? Any interesting remixes to look out for?
And I guess that you’ll be going out DJ’ing to support it etc.. What’s next in store?
Well, I’m relaunching my own Stimulus label and going back to doing vinyl. For that I could honestly do without the cost, but it gives the label a certain legitimacy.. Plus I miss having records when something comes out. Other than that some other releases and remixes planned on other labels like normal. Yeah definitely, I’ll be getting out and DJ’ing to support the release.. Plus the usual DJ schedule.
It’s Interesting that you are talking about the cost there.. Did you think when you started off that you would have been able to achieve a career in music? There must be a massive ratio of people who never “make” it? What advice would you give them? Would you recommend it?
No never for a second did I think I’d make a living from it. It’s always been just about making my beats and hopefully someone would enjoy them enough to buy them and hoping people would like to hear me DJ enough to come and see me play somewhere.
In terms of recommending trying it.. That’s not for me to say. If it’s what you really want and you’re doing it because it’s what you love doing; then you might have a chance. If you’re doing it for any other reason, then you’re basically fucked and I have little to no sympathy for you. Personally I’ve been fortunate to have been in the right place a couple of times, but it’s been struggle along the way. I’m not going to pretend otherwise, but it’s what I love doing – so on I go!
The amount of people who actually “make it” is minuscule. To even make it to a place where you make the most basic living is very very hard to do indeed. If anything, it’s even harder now. The digital revolution may have leveled the playing field but it has also been catastrophic for the income of labels in general.
In saying all that though we’re in a very good era right now. New people are breaking through all the time. That’s something that hasn’t happened in a long time, so I do see better times ahead. It’s just matter of keeping going as always.