Some of the greatest records of all time have been created within the sub-universe of a bedroom. Four walls within four larger walls that represent an escape to a world where the soundtrack is entirely your own. Craftsmanship can often go unnoticed, but the bedroom producer ploughs on, creating their own brand of art through a searing passion for sound and creative immunity.
We have another squad of chamber creatives ready to illuminate. From the dark atmospheres of experimental techno to the laid back romance of funk, here are a few pieces of music we feel you’re really going to enjoy.
Robots Can’t Dance
Robots Can’t Dance is the alias of County Antrim bred producer Conor Duggan. The 24 year old has been making music since he left education, channelling inspiration from early 80’s disco and boogie into the creation of low energy, funk driven pieces of music.
The Belfast based artist’s approach to music is wonderfully refreshing. Instead of embarking on a lengthy endeavour to get his music released on a label, the producer would rather finish a track in the morning and have it out that evening. The results are romantically imaginative. His smooth chords and hip hop influenced drums have seen him gather quite the reputation online, particularly through Soundcloud, where tracks regularly hit thousands of plays.
“I always start by laying down drums, as I can’t vibe to a tune without a beat down first. I also always start by dropping in a sample to get the ball rolling creatively. A lot of the time I’ll eventually take this out, but I’ve came to terms with not being able to sit down and romantically write something from a blank canvas, that’s just not how I work. If I don’t finish a tune within the first 2 days I’ll rarely finish it, as once that initial excitement goes I’ll stop enjoying the process, after which point what’s the point? Lastly, I work in the box with Ableton Live, in addition to Spire for synths, Kontakt for strings/piano and Valhalla for reverb.”
Belfast producer Joel McMordie began making music under his trap and club orientated alias of Howler before producing under his own birth name moniker. A sense of boredom inspired the artist to venture out of his comfort zone, wandering into the world of noise music after attending a blackened noise band (Unyielding Love) gig.
McMordie is inspired by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and the sounds of Clipping and Death Grips. Performances are completely improvised, adding another element of creativity to his imaginative work. The artist uses a variety of equipment such as guitar effects pedals and a modified Fisher Price tape player to add flexibility and distortion to his sound.
Topia is the name of an experimental music event that is the brainchild of McMordie and close friend David Forsythe. The night looks to shine a light on the ‘weirder’ genres of music, ranging from chiptune to industrial. They’re next outing takes place on February 24th in Yard 101 and feature performances from Berlin based Swamp Intelligence, Belfast based experimental electronic collective RESIST, Paragon and Forsythe’s v4ts alias.
“My Bandcamp has a live tape improvisation I recorded with limited equipment focusing on the Fischer Price tape player affecting an Unyielding Love tape. A few months back I happened to be without equipment to rehearse some live noise so tried to figure out how to recreate my live set up digitally within Ableton and ended up making my first album “experiments in digital feedback.” I created feedback loops as I would live and applied digital effects to each channel and created a different patch for each track recorded. The album features no synths and no samples and was produced entirely using digital feedback from within Ableton’s environment. It will be out later this month on Belfast label Unrelenting Noise with remixes from v4ts and Paragon.”
Charlie Tilley grew up in London before relocating to Leeds to join the Leeds College of Music. Tilley has been producing since he was 14 years old and later adopted the Cuil moniker. First exposure to the electronic world of music came from a babysitter who used to look after the young artist. Now inspiration is drawn from a variety of electronic artists such as Lobster Theremin affiliated artist Grant and Hyperdub’s Burial.
Tilley has illustrated his inventiveness through the launch of his Pinnacle Sound, a project co-founded alongside Leeds producer Breaka. Here Cuil showcases his wide pallet of sound, dipping his toes in the sounds of dub, jazz and shoe-gaze to create distinctive pieces of house and techno.
“I produce tracks in Ableton and Logic X, usually starting with samples which I either record myself or find on Youtube/Soundcloud then write with that. The start of Solitude is a mess of different places recorded in Leeds things like train stations and lifts. Often I find myself producing as soon as I wake up, that’s definitely my most productive time.”
David Forsythe has always maintained a keen desire for musicianship, but never did he imagine he’d be crafting the brand of music that radiates from within him presently. The producer shares a romance for all things dark and industrial with fellow Topia representative Joel McMordie. His influences vary from Belfast label DSNT to Ilian Tape artist Skee Mask, inspired by the lack of structural boundary within their music.
Forsythe plans on collaborating with McMordie in the future, on both live acts and producing tracks based on his close friend’s noise samples, thus adding a different perspective on the track. His eerie brand of techno shares an oxymoron of chaos and tranquillity with dark noise.
“Personally, I like to space my productions out to give me time to get inspired. I feel the longer I take between my productions the more emotion I put back into them. I then throw myself into Ableton and will work on an idea for several days at a time. I often start off chopping up samples I’ve been collecting for a couple of weeks and tweak them for a few hours, followed by the inevitable stomping distorted percussion.”
Louis T Fitton lives between London and Leeds whilst he studies at Leeds Beckett University. He’s recently crafted a project for fresh emerging label Valby Rotary, an imprint that is certainly worth keeping tabs on. The lo-fi but club friendly sound that Louf creates ties in perfectly with the emotionally euphoric vibe that the label is so fond of.
Fitton started producing hip hop instruments under the alias low res from the age of 15. Inspired by artists such as Traumprinz and Ross From Friends, he now creates driving house vibes that are setting illustrated great things to come from himself and Valby Rotary.
“In terms of making tracks I start using mainly hardware, I sequence various synths and samples using my MPC 2000 and then process them later in my computer. I find that during the early parts of making tunes I benefit from not staring at the computer screen or using a mouse, and hitting pads/turning knobs instead. I will usually begin crafting a synth sound before making any beats, because my songs often revolve around the synth and melody.”