Silky is up next on [02 BULLETCAST]. We chatted with him last week to see what he's been up to and what the future has in store.
You have a background in piano that has enhanced your skill as a producer. Can you tell us what got you into piano and how that evolved into producing?
I started playing when I was around nine-years-old. In fact, my parents made my younger brother, sister and I all take piano lessons from a young age. We all continued with it for a few years although funnily enough, at that time, I wasn’t really that into it. I much preferred being outdoors and playing sports. I started dabbling into producing music when I was at university. I studied 3D computer animation and one of the modules was sound design for film. However, I had pretty much forgotten most of music theory and my playing skill was terrible!
Coincidentally, at this time, I had started DJ’ing in local bars and clubs in my university town to earn some extra cash and I met (my now lifelong friend) Jim Sykes who had a passion for producing music. He basically showed me the ropes. I sat for hours watching and learning from him, asking questions and making a lot of horrible sounding music! I then realized I knew what I wanted to play, but it was so difficult for me to get it down, I would fumble around for hours trying to find the right notes in the scales, the correct chords, etc. I decided to take lessons again. I basically started playing from scratch around six years ago and that changed everything. Now I don’t have to think about what I want to play, I just play!
What energy and emotions do you try to communicate when creating tracks or playing a set?
Both writing a song and playing a set go hand in hand with me. I know this will sound cliche, but I do really believe in having a start, middle and end. Like a good book or a three course meal! I like my music to be hypnotic, but that shouldn’t be confused with repetitiveness. Being hypnotic locks you in, being repetitive is boring! The middle for me is always the chunky part. The mix I have recorded for you I believe does just that.
When coming across the challenges that come with producing, running a label, and playing at shows, how do you re-center yourself and maintain a positive state of mind?
I do copious amounts of Yoga! (laughs). No, laughing aside, i’m a workaholic and I love doing what I do, so I always tend to have a positive state of mind in any case. However, I do say that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key. This industry can be hard on your mind and body especially when touring and I noticed that a lot during the last few years. I moved to Los Angeles, California about a year ago, and this has helped me greatly. I’m way more active and in turn way more productive. In the last year, I’ve really got into doing Yoga seriously and for me it’s truly amazing as I can do it anywhere without the need of a large space or equipment. It really is a full mind and body medicine.
What is the story behind the beginnings of Faceless Recordings? What have been your biggest accomplishments with the label?
Faceless was set up about three years ago now. Myself and one of my best friends, Neil Barber (aka Barber - Viva Warriors/Elrow), run it with the help of our label manager Leon Clarkson. We’ve only had 12 releases out so we are super pleased by the support and exposure the label has had considering. I guess our biggest accomplishment was having Frankie Knuckles remix our first release. Frankie was one of my oldest and closest friends and when I told him about the label he offered to do the remix and sadly passed away not soon after. Other than that, we’ve seen some of the artists that we supported at the start of their career really grow and establish themselves like Bambook, Raw District, etc.
What are some upcoming projects you would like to share with the world?
Well, we have a new Faceless release due out on May 30 by MONITORS from Montreal, Canada. The package has two great originals and remixes from myself, Droog, Stefan Z and OminouS (Jonny Cruz & Ricardo Dominguez). Actually the mix I recorded for you starts off with the OminouS remix of MONITORS “J’Adore”. Our first vinyl release will be ready for later this year also, it’s a re-release of Bambook’s "Give It Up" with exclusive vinyl only remixes from Audiofly, Chaim and The Needle.
I also have a number of remix projects i’m finishing up right now. One for Solemn Eye forthcoming on Dilate Records and another for Javier Orduna (Jeudi, Visionquest). I have a 3 track EP featuring Cari Golden I’m finishing for Alex Flatner's Circle Music label. And then I’ve done a number of tracks with my homeboy Nitin from No.19 Records and Matthew Butterworth out of Toronto which I’m super excited about getting on with. Not to mention, a number of unfinished material with my good friend Dadon. Jonny Cruz and I have also decided to produce under our alias DISCERN again after an almost two year hiatus. 2016 is looking pretty busy!