Over the last few months we have played witness to immense workmanship and a refreshingly inspiring DIY attitude, such is the vast and varied abundance of bedroom producing talent throughout the UK and Ireland.
The ingenuity and resourcefulness of the boxed in creative must not be neglected. The opportunity to witness an artist discover, grow and flourish must remain an enthused segment of excitement.
Explore the art of the bedroom producer.
Heads is the alias of Belfast based producer Emmet Dougan. He first created the alias two years ago as an outlet for his house and techno productions, showcasing a great self-starting attitude by teaching himself everything he knows.
If you have been circulating the Belfast circuit recently you may have caught a performance from the producer at local event night Genesis, or you may have locked in to one of his radio shows on Queens Radio on Thursdays from 10 to half 12.
In addition to his own productions, Dougan is prepping the debut of his very own venture in the form of Vertigo, a new club night that has just arrived at Love and Death Inc in Belfast where he will be dictating the noise alongside a few of his friends. Worth keeping tabs on.
“I find it a lot easier to create a track within a day or 2 as usually after that it just goes into a backlog of uncompleted tracks. I would start with a nice sort of simple synth lead and work the track around that, layering percussions and then filling it in with a bassline and a few other synths. Recently, for the techno tracks I’m finishing, I’ve been creating my drum patterns on the tr8 and would have pre recorded a couple of synths using the jx03 or just the Ableton push which I manually play in, and live record it all at once. My favoured VSTs are probably dolphin or TAL noisemaker which can create nice acid sounds or playing about with massive until I find something I like.”
What began as a mere method of procrastination soon evolved into a serious venture of production. London born, Leeds based artist Jeigo first started making beats and messing around with logic to avoid the impending dread of GCSE’s, but around the age of 18 he began to vibe to house, techno and their family of sub genres in a more serious sense.
Detroit and Chicago artists such as Moodymann, Theo Parrish and Jesse Saunders have been massive influences on the young producer, in addition to the sounds of labels like Motown and Pampa.
Jeigo’s Detroit Wannabe EP, released on Noble People, symbolises the knowledge absorbed from his time currently writing a dissertation on the birth of house music in Chicago, all wrapped up in a warm yet club ready persona.
“I usually start a track by creating a drum loop and developing ideas from there. Im big into creating atmospheric and eerie pads for my tracks so i can spend a lot of time working on them. From there I try to find a vocal which may fit and then I just trying to figure out a way to fit it all together. I have a few bits of hardware gear which I use, including my Roland 505 groove box and my Korg electribes, but I usually end up focusing on the in the computer production using Logic, which I find increases my workflow and, being a student, it keeps everything pretty affordable.”
22 years old and hailing from Ballyclare, Mark Blair began producing two years ago after being inspired by the abundance of talent coming out of Ireland, such as Chris Hanna and Jordan. Years of attending raves have played a vital role in Blair’s sonic education, as he has now crafted and evolved a sound that has its crosshairs firmly fixated on the rowdiness of the dancefloor.
Not one to be poked and prodded into the restrictive corners of genre identity, Blair maintains a sound that floats between varied shapes and sizes of music, be it lo-fi disco or rolling techno.
“When I sit down to make a track I will usually search through 70’s or 80’s records and try to find any nice percussion or strings/brass loops that I could extract and sample. I then start to add some extra layers and start to build the tracks arrangement. To create the bassline for my tracks I will usually sample an old disco bassline and run it through a plugin such as camel crusher to give it a fresh touch, or, in my more techno-y tracks I will record a simple rolling bassline into Ableton with my korg volca bass and distort it by using camel crusher and overdrive which can help me end up with a real punchy techno track. I run all my tops and percussion through the iZotope vinyl simulator plugin and the teufelsberg reverb plugin. Most of my tracks revolve around samples as I’m still in the process of learning to use VST’s to their full potential but I am definitely a firm believer that it’s far more important to be creative rather than being skilled in an instrument or DAW software.”
The dark and experimental partnership of Nathan Craig and Kyle Cooper draw influence from across the entire spectrum of sound. Both artists are heavy into their metal, and this combined with the influence of Sunn O))), Joefarr, British Murder Boys and Swarm Intelligence makes for a deadly concoction of journey inciting noise that sounds just as great at 150 BPM as it does at 100.
The duo recently performed at the debut night of Resonance, which Swamp Intelligence headlined, as they continue to passionately push their artistically composed darkness. Their debut album was self released through Bandcamp and received warm support from techno heavyweight imprint DSNT, and there’s even more to come with a VA release on French label Messe Noire and more EP’s scheduled for later in the year.
In a city where house and techno reign supreme, Paragon breath a breathe of terror saturated air through their eerie sense of intrigue.
“We don’t really have a set approach to a track, it mainly involved ‘25 quids worth of creativity’ and getting stuck in. We use a lot of guitar for distortion noises, drones and others things, and a lot of sample percussion ran through guitar rigs to create depth, distortion and weird sounds. Just a lot of experimentation really. We draw inspiration from all over the place, in particular from mythology and lore surroundings Scottish, Irish and Norse culture. Nathan reads a lot of books on that sort of thing. Frequent trips to the Mournes too!”
Boasting thirteen years of producing experience between them, Lorcan Daly and Stephen Doherty of Loste finally decided to put their creative minds together last year to create spell binding techno that is as hard as concrete.
Closely affiliated with Newry’s Clockwork concept, the duo has evolved as the recognition of the Clockwork has grown. Skilled in visual arts, both artists maintain an ability to add a different dimension to their sound through moving shapes and images that represent the consistently morphing sound that Loste possesses.
“We are influenced by harder techno, but also draw inspiration from ambient, electro and industrial music, arranging pallet of inspiration to achieve our ideal sound. We both use Ableton so all our tracks are generally made in it with the help of a few plugins. Right now we are working on getting an e.p together and making visuals that we intend to use for some of our sets.”