For this 12th podcast we have the pleasure to invite you to visit the universe of System Status. A set showing the raw influences and likes of this new and upcoming producer. Soon releasing his second EP titled ‘The Detroit Urban Gardening Ensemble’ this is definitely an artist to keep an eye on in the future.
Your concept projet ‘The Detroit Urban Gardening Ensemble’ took inspiration and samples from the documentary ‘Requiem for Detroit’. Could you tell is a bit more about this process?
I actually laid down an idea for the drums, bass and some other samples prior to watching ‘Requiem for Detroit’. I used a sample from a Vangelis track of a car skidding which I thought quite cliche and cheesy at first, but upon seeing the documentary that explored Detroit’s history and feeling very inspired by it, the car skidding sample started to make sense. So I made the decision to commit to finishing the track using more samples from the narrative of the film, focussing on the positive future Detroit faces from being a forgotten major American city that now has a new lease of life via large expanses of urban gardening projects. It was the first track I’d ever completed and sent out into the world and have been amazed at the response it has received. Look out for a vinyl release very soon with a special edit by prolific UK producer.
How has the Detroit scene influenced you? Which part of the scene? And which periods?
Detroit music has always just been there, I never got into a particular part of it or a period, I’ve just always been aware of it and enjoyed it’s musical heritage. George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic were probably my first major influence from Detroit and of course later on Moodymann, Dilla and the other usual suspects. There are plenty of others but I think really it’s just the rawness of the music that I love.
You haven’t released anything before the Downtime release on Untracked Recordings in 2010. How did the deal and contact with Untracked Records happen? How was it recieved by the public? Can you tell us anything about the making of this track? Any anecdotes? How did it feel to get your first production on wax?
The deal with Untracked was a big surprise, I’d just put the track up on Soundcloud and sent it to Red Rack’em to play on his radio show and it immediately had some great feedback. Fortunately Tubbs from Untracked heard it, loved it and wanted to release it. As this was only the second track I’d ever completed I didn’t really have a B-side, which is how ‘Montparnasse’ happened, we needed something and I pretty much nailed it first time with hardly any A&R required. It was obviously a life long goal to put something out on wax and to have one of the best selling releases on Untracked. The track also fulfilled another life long goal when Gilles Peterson played it on his radio show, not a bad effort for a first twelve!
Let’s get a bit techical. How is your studio setup? Which machines do you use for producing? Any software involved?
I’ll get this one over quickly. I use Logic 8, Fostex PM1 monitors, Focusrite midi/audio interface, Akai MPD 24, MicroKorg, Arp Axxe, turntables and loads of old records for sampling.
You’re living in Cambridge. How long have you been living there? Could you tell us a bit about the music- and clubbing scene? How it was back in the days, and how it is today. Do you have any regular gigs in Cambridge or elsewhere in the UK?
Cambridge is pretty lame for clubs and parties, the kind I like anyway! There are some passionate like-minded music fans in the city that I sometimes DJ with but not often these days. It doesn’t bother me as London is just 45 minutes away and the best parties I’ve been too lately are the Soul Buggin’ ones in Nottingham run by DJ Beane and his crew. Cambridge has some great musical heritage with regards clubbing and parties but not much happens here now. I’m really just into the production these days but would never say no to spinning out now and again.
There is a lot of mid-tempo and deep-house coming out these days. What’s your view on the scene and it’s releases right now? Any artists or labels in particular who have caught your attention? How is the scene evolving in the UK?
I don’t really follow a scene, I have been listening to more mid-tempo and deep-house lately but my tastes span all good music. I listen to a few podcasts that always deliver the goods, Red Rack’ems Smugglers Inn, Hold Box Flat, Soul Searching with Michael Rutten, Beats in Space, The Noodle Hotpot with Dj Beane amongst others. Two records that I love right now are the new Raphael Saadiq LP and the Step Kids new twelve. In summary anyone who switches up the styles is always interesting to me.
So, are you soon to have any new releases coming out? Any special plans for the future?
The Detroit Urban Gardening Ensemble ‘Take Root’ is due for a release the 28th of July. I just need to find some time to make more music as work/family has been hectic lately. I think a solid 4 track EP will be my next project to define my style/sound a bit.