Synthetic Epiphany Interview

This Is Progressive have been huge fans of your work over the past year with your “The Archives” album being a personal favourite. Where do you gain your inspiration for such futuristic driven music?

I find that inspiration can come from a multitude of different places. Sometimes a specific event or place can trigger creativity, sometimes listening to other artists music inspires me. My melody ideas usually come out of doodling around on the piano until I come out with something I like. Sometimes I will come out with nothing, and in that case I just turn the keyboard off; there is no point trying to force creativity.

It is very hard to categorise your style of music (which is a good thing) because you seem to cross a fair number of genres. Who has been your main influences over the years and how have they influenced you?

I seem to have a ridiculously wide musical taste. I love anything from the Jazz of people like Chet Baker, to the Post-Rock of Explosions In The Sky, to Hip-Hop, classical, blues, and many different places in between. Electronically speaking, I was first inspired by the proper old school Dubstep of people like Mala and Ruckspin. I love the atmospheric sounds of Burial, the glitchyness of Eskmo, and the energy of Netsky. Recently I have also got really into artists like Dauwd, Mount Kimbie and stuff like that. Bonobo has also been a massive influence on me over the years.

We noticed you are currently a student at York University. York is fantastic city that is full of history. Has this helped you when writing music or inspired you to write any particular tracks? If so why?

The Synthetic Epiphany project actually began when I was living near Bristol, but in York I have started a new project with my friend Alex, which is actually named after a large hill and tower here in York that we have drunkenly tumbled down numerous times. The project is called Clifford’s Tower, and we produce atmospheric dance music inspired by the music of people like Mount Kimbie, and long wanders around the city at night. Check us out on Soundcloud!

Your new album Rebirth is due out in late June. Which of the tracks is your personal favourite and why?

I would have to say ‘Rebirth’, the title track. The track just feels like such an uplifting journey, and was one of the most exciting tracks to produce. It was also completed just as I finished the exams I was sitting at the time, so it reminds me of that feeling of freedom.

If you were to pick a track from your whole catalogue that meant the most to you emotionally, which track would you choose and why?

This is a tough one, but I would probably say my track, ‘Visiting Hours’. It was written around the time I was in and out of hospital a fair bit, after I was diagnosed with a heart condition called ‘Sudden Death Syndrome (Long QT)’, and as such reminds me of the multitude of emotions I felt at the time.

We noticed you tend to release a lot of your music on Bandcamp.com. Do you prefer this to other music platforms and if so why?

I love the freedom that Bandcamp allows, it gives me complete control of my music, prices, and just allows me to constantly adapt to my fans.

Which DJs/Producers have caught your eye of late?

Temporal, who is a good friend of mine has been on fire lately, and actually produced a remix for me which will be out soon. So many good albums have come out lately. I have been absolutely rinsing the new Bonobo album, and the new Author album contains the best Dubstep I have heard in recent years.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in production?

What I would say to beginners is that tutorials can be a great help, as can trying to replicate and break down other peoples sounds, but in my opinion, the best thing to do is just to fiddle around until you learn your way around the programme you are using. Figuring things out for yourself is a great way to insure that what you produce is unique. That being said, there are a lot of production tips that everyone should know, especially in terms of levels and equalization. So essentially what I would say is just stick at it, but also remember that music isn’t for everyone, and to some extent I do think that there is an element of natural ability involved. Just as I am atrocious at maths, not everyone has a musical ear, and there is no point trying to force that. Good luck on your musical journeys, and thanks for your support.

Can you describe what you use in your studio and which hardware/software is your favourite toy when producing?

Right, so I am producing on FL Studio (snigger all you want haters, I think it is a fantastic piece of software), using a huge amount of plugins including Alchemy, Massive, Absynth, Colossus, Kontact, and many more. I use a Xiosynth 49 keyboard and audio interface, with a Behringer C1 microphone for live recordings, KRK Rokit 8 monitors, and a Maschine. I find that Machine is very useful in terms of working out beats, and just generally having fun, though I must admit I rarely actually use it when making tracks,

What was the weirdest/funniest thing that’s happened to you at a gig?

Nothing particularly odd has really happened to me at a gig, but my favourite memory has to be my very intoxicated friend Carlos’s dancing, and screaming every single time I dropped a new track at a recent gig in York.

Lastly, is there anything in the pipeline that you can tell us about? Any new exciting projects?

Yeah, I have work to finish with Soundnet and Alexa Burton, a track with Temporal, and a whole new EP with CoMa that is almost finished. Clifford’s Tower are also working on a new EP, and I plan to attempt to launch my own label in the summer.