The 2nd interview for makeitgood is with renowned drum and bass producer CRYSTAL CLEAR. He is part of the playaz team and has also set up his own label called Cold Blooded Recordings to help find new talent and get more good music out there. makeitgood couldn’t be happier with this interview, and its nice to know big names are supporting music blogs! Andy’s, (Crystal Clear) track Gang Related was number 1 in Bailey’s 1Xtra DnB chart. Big stuff coming from him, so hold tight for more sick tunes. The interview is below, and the questions are in bold. Hope you guys all enjoy this as much as i did doing it all! peace
1.What age did you start producing and mixing music?
I started seriously producing about 6 or 7 years ago after years spent wanting to produce but not having any clue how to actually go about it. Before that I used to DJ on pirate radio in South London and play drums and guitar in bands, so I’ve had a hand in music for a while but it wasn’t really until then that I had the money / basic knowledge to get started.
2.How did you get into the Drum and Bass scene?
I got into Jungle really from listening to my mate’s brother’s AWOL album. From there I started raving and DJing in my bedroom on pirate radio. Then over time, when jungle became dnb, I stopped being the bloke in the crowd and became the bloke in the DJ box.
3.You’ve received a lot of loving from big names, so does this encourage you to produce more stuff?
It’s nice to know that respected DJ’s and producers are playing my stuff but these days I (selfishly) make tunes for me. I used to make tunes with people in mind (like Hype for instance) which normally tended to be the tunes that they weren’t into. So now I make tunes for me and if I like them then that’s good enough. It took me a long time to get to this point but once I realised that you can’t second guess individual DJ’s or the dnb buying crowd in general then my job as a producer became easier.
4.A number of drum and bass producers/dj’s have moved into making dubstep, do you think you will ever start producing it?
I’ve been messing around with bits of dubstep as well as a few housey things which you may start to hear in my sets in the not too distant future. They still need a few tweaks though before I’ll be happy to air them in public! I’m keen just to make solid music of all genres but my main focus still remains dnb.
5.As Cold Blooded Recordings was set up by yourself, what would you be looking for in new talent?
There’s no hard or fast rules about what I’m looking for……just people with a solid sound that want to work with me I guess. I want to try and help artists develop but from the word go I would be looking for a basic understanding of “sound” and the “spectrum”. A similar view on what’s good and what isn’t is always a plus. As is a decent attitude…I don’t work with primadonnas or people I don’t like. I’ve signed one artist already and am working with another duo so when they’re tunes are ready you’ll start to see them making an appearance on Cold Blooded. Mum’s the word until then though.
6.Any plans to take Cold Blooded on the road?
Yes actually, I’m looking round at potential venues at the moment in London and South East but I want it to be “right” before I kick anything off. Right size venue in the right place with the right line up and the right sound system! As soon as plans are finalised I’ll be sure to post something on our label website: www.coldbloodedrecordings.com
7.Turntables or CDJ’s?
CDJ’s…you can’t fight technology! I made the switch when I started playing abroad more and haven’t looked back. I do like the idea of Serato and having your entire music collection available on a laptop though so I might look into that soon. I love the precise nature of CDJ’s though. No jumpy needles or busted pitch controls!
8.What software do you use to produce your tracks?
I’ve been a Cubase man from the start. Am now on Cubase 5.5 with a bundle of plug ins. The Sony Oxford Eq is my most valued and highly recommended tool. If I could give one piece of advice to new producers out there, it’s to start learning on a decent bit of software like Cubase, Nuendo or Logic from the word go. I know of so many cases of people starting on Mickey Mouse bits of software because they are supposedly easy to pick up, then 18 months down the line they have to learn a totally new bit of proper software because the crappy software they started on doesn’t measure up any more.
9.What DnB music are you listening to at the moment?
Where production is concerned I’m actually trying to listen to less at the moment so I’m less influenced by current trends within the scene. There are tunes within the full dnb spectrum that I like and will drop in my sets though, so you’re as likely to hear a Lenzman tune in my set as you are a Hazard tune. As long as the tune is well made and has a solid hook then I am open to playing it.
10.Any new releases coming soon that we should be looking out for?
Gang Related / City Lights by me and Zen is out on Monday (2nd Aug) on Cold Blooded (http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/servlet/Info?Track=CB3 MP3’s online from Monday). Gang Related was recently number 1 in Bailey’s 1xtra dnb chart and featured in the Pendulum Essential Mix.
There’s also a bunch of dubs floating around that will form part of the Dubplate Killaz 3 album on Playaz set for October release. See www.playazonline.co.uk for more info.