Tell us about your home production setup
Most things start at a Technics turntable and a Stanton SA8 DJ Focus Signature, which is the most underrated scratch/production mixer I know of. Over the years I’ve used various software and hardware, but at the moment I’ve settled for using an AKAI MPC3000 for most of my production and an SP-404SX for making beats on the road. At home the 404 is generally used for FX and percussion. I’ve sold my hardware synths and use a variety of soft synths for my production. Everything is heavily mixed and edited in Ableton Live. I have a number of software plug-ins which are uber important to my sound.
What is your preferred software and hardware?
I try not to get too hung up on what I’m using. I’ve moved and travelled so much that I am forever having to reinvent and try new things because of necessity. I don’t allow anything to hold me back, but my favourite software is definitely Ableton Live. It is almost limitless in what it can do, but I’ve used it so long that I know exactly how to use it without getting bogged down with all its options. I’ve been using it since the second edition when I lived in Japan. I like MPCs and samplers of all kinds and have used a lot, but the MPC3000 mentioned above takes the cake for my needs. I love that is uses no waveform and has limited memory, plus its sound is second to none.
Who are some of your favourite Melbourne beat makers? Why do they impress you?
Pound for pound I’d rate Aoi the best beakmaker in Aus. There isn’t anything he can’t do when he puts his mind to it. I’ve heard so much of his unreleased material and know exactly what he is capable of. He’s crazy creative – too creative almost –and a massive inspiration to me. I’d call him Australia’s answer to Oh No. He isn’t one to labour over a beat too much; his style is pure inspiration and creation. It’s almost like a stream of consciousness. His music has a real raw edge. He celebrates the imperfections and the obtuse and that is pretty much going against the grain of current trends. Too much of today’s music is clinical; too polished. Life isn’t clinical and polished, it’s haphazard and accidental for the most part. Music should reflect life and I feel Aoi’s music does this.
Dizz1 on the other hand inspires me similarly but in different ways. His live sets always show that he’s a notch above the rest and his Nod Navigators EP from a few years back is one of the best releases of the modern beat era as far as I’m concerned. His live shows are interesting because he is up there actually engaging with the audience, not just standing at his laptop “sending emails”. Dizz was a mad scratch DJ beforehand and also a great drummer, so I think this live performance aspect comes through in his live set and separates him from others.