One of the most exciting talents in today’s underground music scene is Nottingham-born producer, Inxec. He spent many of his early years attending music factories such as The Bomb where he would catch monthly residents Tyrant write their way into dance music, and Nottingham’s history.
After getting to grips with production and flirting with numerous formats, Chris was gifted the opportunity to play ‘live’ under his more progressive sounding alter ego, Sound Alliance. This very alter ego saw him release tracks on labels such as Renaissance and Distinctive Breaks alongside his production partner Lee Spicknell.
Chris later met a certain Matt Tolfrey and a friendship blossomed that would later become a very strong production partnership. With new opportunities beckoning Inxec was born and in 2006 his first release under that very name would be made available to the masses. Between 2006 and 2008 Inxec saw 5 releases on Jay Haze’s label Contexterrior including ‘Fix Shit Up’, ‘Flip Beat’, and ‘Pesto Pasta’. Inxec also saw his remixes released on labels such as Tuning Spork, Barraca, Esperanza and Kismet.
The aforementioned provided kudos for Inxec and Tolfrey to begin there reign with releases on Murmur, Sven Vath’s Cocoon Recordings and Radio Slave’s Rekids. It was evident that the natural DJ in Tolfrey helped Inxec develop an increasingly stripped dance floor-destined sound. Remixes followed for the likes of CR2, Culprit, Kismet and Great Stuff.
Inxec has since collaborated with the likes of Droog, Mark Chambers, Leks, Mark Jenkyns and most recently, Julia Govor, which has culminated in releases for Crosstown Rebels, Culprit, Last Night on Earth, Leftroom, Superfreq, and Get Physical. The list goes on and on. It therefore comes as no surprise that he has since been invited to play some of the world’s most famous parties ranging from Harry Klein (Munich), and the Panorama Bar (Berlin), to Eleven (Tokyo), and Fabric (London).
With a live tour, his first full-length studio album and more collaborations expected in 2014, it will be without a doubt another year of stellar proportions for this very talented producer.
Hi Chris, many thanks for talking the time to speak to us today. So, what have you been up to with your day so far?
Well, I normally head straight for the coffee, it’s a labour of love and hopefully one day I can employ someone so I can stay in bed an extra half hour. In my opinion it’s all about the quinic acid level, you have to be careful not to over boil. I aim for around 92c, makes the perfect cup of Joe, re-watch an episode of Breaking Bad, then a shower, a bit of grooming etc to follow, get the creams on the go, and then more coffee, more breaking bad and Jeremy Kyle. I have been tinkering with an Aidan Lavelle remix for Culprit and now I am sat answering these in depth questions for you lovely folk.
Can you tell us a little about your upbringing and how you first became interested in music? Do you come from a musical family?
My dad was a big lover of music and played the drums as a kid, but there’s no one really in my immediate family that I’d say are musical. We used to listen to pretty much everything in my house; as far back as I can remember Sundays were strictly a music day. When I was 5 or 6 this sucked and I wanted to watch cartoons, but a few years on and it became something to look forward to. Both myself and my younger brother are deep into electronic music. Craig is quite the engineer but just has the dreaded loop syndrome (can never get past it).
You were born and raised in Nottingham and openly mention your passion for The Bomb and Tyrant who used to play on a monthly basis. What was it you loved about the night and when did you first hear Tyrant play?
Around then I was all about Sasha, and still am a bit… kind of. So I would go to see him. Sometimes you’d wait in line for hours. Anyway, every time would be totally different, those three guys at that time were so in tune and the club was perfect for such an exhibition of skill… dark, sweaty and sounded great. People talk about Twilo and Fabric but I dare say anyone who got to experience Tyrant at the bomb would put it in those rankings.
Besides the likes of Sasha, Lee Burridge and Craig Richards can you talk us through some of your other musical influences?
William Orbit, Pink Floyd, Cream (the band), Tangerine Dream, Rabbit In The Moon, Boards of Canada. All those artists helped sculpt my early years into music. Layering and feeling, dare I say emotion, have been the fundamentals of my musical structure. Sometimes I get very carried away and sometimes I have to be reminded I’m not writing a film score and 5 chords is perhaps a bit much for the average listener. But yeah, deep influences for sure.
If we compare your sound with Sound Alliance with the sound of Inxec there is a definite shift to a housier sound. What made you stop producing under the Sound Alliance name, and what do you feel was an influence in your change in sound?
It’s all house really, and to be fair Inxec was full blown minimal in the beginning. That’s basically why SA finished, a difference of opinion between myself and Lee (Spicknell) though I do miss those days occasionally.
After Sound Alliance was no more you met, and became good friends with Matt Tolfrey. How did the meeting come about?
I met Matt actually very early into SA on a university radio show he presented at the time. Back then we just hung out and had fun as you do when your 20. The good old days.
You first began working with Matt in 2007 when you both remixed ‘Tewa’ by Adultnapper. Where was the track produced, and how did you find your first studio experience with Matt?
I think it was in Matt’s flat, on some budget speakers and I had a dodgy PC back then to boot. The way we work hasn’t changed much at all really. Matt throws ideas at me and together we make it happen. We always try to keep things as simple as possible.
Since your first release with Matt you have gone on to release tracks together on labels such like Cocoon, Rekids, CR2, Kismet, Yoshitoshi, Saved, and Great Stuff Recordings. Your last release together was in October 2013. Do you have any plans to work with Matt again in the future?
We are currently wrapping up a few things, which is taking a bit longer than expected. I am not keen on trying to make music over the internet. I am sure it works for some people but I am more of a sit down and rattle something out kind of guy. Hopefully we will have it done by the end of this month though.
You have worked with a number of artists in the studio such as Droog, Mark Chambers, Leks, Mark Jenkyns and most recently, Julia Govor. Do you prefer working with someone in the studio? What do you feel working with a production partner brings to final track?
Simply put, you motivate each other. I’ve been lucky with the people I work with in the understanding of who’s in the driving seat and who keeps me in check. I have a habit of running away with an idea and it’s perfect to have someone to tune you down sometimes.
Let’s turn out attention to your studio for a bit. What is your current studio setup, and what are some of your favourite toys in the studio?
Apart from a decent set of Monitors and a high end sound interface I am all software based. I like playing with synths etc but computers are so far advanced now there isn’t anything a program can’t emulate a real piece of gear. That’s going to rive a few folk but it’s how I feel.
What do you feel is the most important element when you are constructing an Inxec track?
Inxec’s (third person styles) music is about the whole package, harmonic balance I suppose, there’s never really one element that’s the focus.
If you are finding it hard work in the studio, what do you do to try and relieve the dreaded ‘writers block’?
Stepping away for a bit and then coming back to things. I try to never force things; you run the risk of stripping a good idea down then changing it at least a thousand times otherwise.
Your current release ‘Remember’ was released on Extravaganza. Is there a particular work flow you adopt when producing your own work or do you just see what happens on the day in the studio?
Yeah see what happens really, there’s a fairly large gap in those tracks and well I can tell so. There’s always a progression in my music both musically and technically. That’s THE greatest things about music, its endless possibilities.
You have recently returned from some amazing gigs across the globe including, Panama and Costa Rica. Can you tell us about the South American crowds and how you found playing them?
Ufff, yeah it was fantastic probably my favourite tour to date, met some incredible people, ate the most insane food as well. It just went smoothly, which is down to my most awesome team at Air London and my management, Silent Machine. The crowds were great, there’s a real appreciation in South America; people take music seriously. If you play bad they fuck off and if you rock it they love you forever.
You are due to play a ‘5 Years Of Culprit’ party in September at Studio 338 alongside Droog, Maxxi Soundystem and Bambook. Do you have anything special planned for the night?
Well I was hoping everyone else is it’s my birthday after all!
In today’s digital world there appears to be labels, DJs and producers popping up all over the place. What are your thoughts on the digital music platforms out there and the entry to the market place for DJs and producers?
A necessary evil! It’s much harder to cut through all the shit these days.
You often spend time on Beatport hunting for classic tracks that have now been made available in MP3 format. Do you find some of the older MP3s lack the quality needed to play out? Do you run any of them through your studio to improve the sound?
An MP3 is the same shitty quality now as it was 10 years ago. Perhaps the vinyl rip wasn’t as good as it could be but you can’t make something that sounds shit sound any better. Like the old proverb… you can’t polish a turd.
Finally is there anything else you want to tell us about that you have planned for 2014/15?
Yeah I am planning not to eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s whilst answering interview questions. Release wise, I am currently wrapping up a few new original tracks, hope to have them out there soon.
01. A capella – Problems
02. Marcel Dettmann – Light
03. Lowtec – A1.1
04. Cassegrain & Tin Man – Sex Kit
05. Nick Solé – Children
06. Borrowed Identity – Leave Me
07. Lowtec – A1
08. Tobias – If (Matt Jonson & The Mole remix)
09. The Oliverwho Factory – Take it Slow
10. Lounge 44 – Good for Soul
11. Rick Wilhite – Get On Up!! (Theo Parish Late Dub)
12. Stefan GoldMann – Rigid Chain (Dub Mix)
13. Josh Milan – Electro Dreams
14. Roman Flügel – Occult Levitation
15. Woo York – Come Closer
16. Agoria – Singing (Dixon)
17. Oake – Erjag Nur Dwfa
18. Awanto 3 – CowBelgian
19. Komon – Astir
20. Deep Problems