Thursday, September 23, 2010
Hey folks im currently doing the rounds in Se Asia, soakin up some rays on Koh Samet island, just south of Bangkok.
But in between my travels, Ive managed to get a hold of and conduct an interview with Kentucky native and all round bass fiend Figure, those that arent to fond of his work will be after today. Exclusives all round for Smidgem readers .Giving us insight to his production methods,his views on the american dance music scene and also his whole Torture Ep for free.Read on...
Q.Figure, welcome to the Smidgem blog, for those who aren't familiar with you or your music, an introduction would be appreciated.
Im Josh Gard , aka Figure from Louisville , Kentucky and I make heavy bass music.
Q.You were scooped up by the electronic music veteran Tommie Sunshine,who is widely known throughout the industry, has life changed for you much since then?
O sure , ever since we started working together as 2 groups (Sylaxia and Ec$tacy) and for general collabs ... I have gotten tons more gigs and I travel a lot more. I get paid way more now too!!!
Q.You have been played in countless amounts of clubs across America and worldwide , surely you have some strange encounters or awkward moments ,any youd like to share?
Man ... there are tons Im not even going to mention! But , There was a guy with my name written all over evey exposed part of flesh he had (he was in shorts) and he left a big spot on his chest for me to write my name! It's always awesome when the people that are opening for you tell you how much they like your music , or that they had to cut 4 of your tracks they always play out of their set because I was playing. Stuff like that is always cool. LA always is a place to play to get some stories!
Q.Has visiting down under to play and share your music come into thought??
Man I would love to come over there. I have a couple friends over there , Blaze Tripp and Dan Aux to be more specific. Check out their music if you haven't yet , their both fucking amazing.
Q.In 3 words, how would you describe your music?
Bass , Thrash , BASS!
Q.I was firstly impressed by your production skills, and then I was later to learn that you are quite an accomplished DJ, does this come in handy in an industry where
skills behind the decks can come under some heavy scrutiny? And how long have you been doing so?
Well, I started as a turntablist when I was 16 , I traveled a bit and did some cool things around the U.S. When I was 19 I started merging into making more electronic music and soon all the turntable stuff just slowed down so I could work on production. I even got to tour with some of the Beat Junkies and some of Rhyme Sayers roster , it was fun for the time being. I still keep up on all that stuff , but practicing and coming up with routines is a life within it self , and Im already way too busy doing this. Maybe someday I'll get a set together with some routines in it , that would be sick!
Q.From an Australian's perspective, it seems that in America dance music has only hit popularity fairly recently, would this be true from your perspective?
O yea man , Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow was one of the first 'Dance' bpm songs here in a long time that got things really rolling (not that i enjoy that horrid song). I know it sounds weird to say that , but music is still super poppy that is on the radio , its just more 'house' based now. When I do some club gigs around here in my spare time , its weird for a normal everyday person to ask me for so and so's REMIX of Lady Gaga or something. LOL. With Deadmau5 playing the Vma's and A-Trak playing the Nick teen Choice awards , I'm sure that is going to help a bit with all this music breaking through here.
Q.Ok, when your sitting down to make a track or remix, whats your procedure? Do you already have in idea in your head, or do you just start from scratch and wing it?
Well , the way I have ableton set up is there is a drum loop for about 1 min always there when i start a new session that I have made (I end up using different drums , but this is so i can get my ideas rolling). So , I guess I have to say I start with drums. For a remix , I normally go through the stems and pick out what I'm going to use , find the key everything is in , then I load up 'Massive' and start making one of my basslines in the key and layout of the song I'm remixing. And from there , its just a mix and match game , cutting things in , chopping parts , automating things and all that fun stuff. When I work on originals I normally start with the build up .. and that'll lead me into the main part , the drop , and from there it always seems like there isnt a ton left to do. That route always seems to be less stressful. It normally takes me 3 hours or so to finish all these songs , I think its just because I know exactly what drums I like and that Ive been using Ableton for SO long that there isn't any confusion on how to do what I want to do.
Q.On the topic of production, what equipment do you have at your finger tips?
I use Ableton 8 , Massive for all my basslines , and I master all my own stuff with multiple vst's from the Waves bundles. Midi gear wise , I use all Akia stuff , to be more exact . I have a Mpd25 , Apc20 , Lpk25 , and Lpd8. Im on a pc that I kind of built myself with Krk Monitors and the krk sub woofer. I dj with Serato , but im currently switch over to cdjs and also to albeton for some gigs so I can do live stuff. But the main thing is my piano that you can hear in all my newer stuff , gotta get my Addams family on!
Q.Your music, could best be described as very in your face and full of energy. What musical bands/groups/artists have influenced you making the sound your making today?
This is always that weird question , because you don't want to name the obvious people to look like that guy. But , in all honestly most of my friends music is what drives me. Blaze Tripp , Hostage , Heapy , Calvertron , Udachi , Kissy sell Out and just alot of people that have the right idea , in my mind. I enjoy a lot of Kanji Kentics music. But out side of my type of music , Im always trying to listen to new drum and bass and dubstep , I try to pull some of the 'intenseness' into my stuff. If some of these dubstep guys starting making stuff at 133 bpm or something and had 4/4 drums , this whole bassline thing would blow up again.
Q.Figure,And i also understand you have an exclusive present for Smidgem readers, what would this be?
Yup! I have a couple new things for you to share with em. First off is this song 'The Phantom' I JUST finished , its kinda of ode to the overture from the Phantom of the Opera .I also letting ya post the entire first 'Torture' ep and Im annoucing the remixers for the official remix ep that's about to drop! The remixers are R!M!E , ETC!ETC! & Mr. Vega , Heapy , Kraymer , Lemi Vice , NoNewYork , Shear Gen1us , Space Laces , Subliminal , and Turbo P! HUGE REMIX PACK!!! I also have my follow up ep for Torture on Idiot House Records in the works , the originals are done , I just waiting on the remixes .Thats for another post though!
Figure- The Phantom
Q.Thank you for taking time from your day, its much appreciated.Get yourself down to Australia if you get the chance as im sure you will be welcomed anytime to destroy a dance floor or two.Peace
Make sure you keep following Figures Twitter and Soundcloud as its constantly being updated with new material for your listening pleasure.OH and dont forget to check his teams blog,
With permission from the man himself, here is all the promised sounds.
Figure- Torture EP Exclusive!
Torture (Original Mix)
Torture (Hostage Remix)
Torture (Udachi Remix)
Torture (Noise Floor Crew Remix)
Bitches (Original Mix)
And the latest chapter in his mix series.Tracklisting at the links destination!
Figure Aces Of Bass Mix Vol 3. (MediaFire link)