What’s your musical background? How did you get started?
“I grew up playing piano and drums, and obsessed with synths – kind of ideal training to end up writing electronic music I guess! Did a degree in Music, Acoustics and Recording at Uni, which pretty much taught me that acoustics is dull, and that working in a traditional studio would be hell… But cos it was in Manchester, it also introduced me to the joy of rave in a way I hadn’t really experienced before.”
How do you approach creating a track? Do you start with beats, bass or a sample?
“Generally I start with the drums, cos I am a drum freak – I find it really hard to enjoy a piece of dance music if the drums aren’t good. And to be fair, I probably like a lot of quite dull music that has amazing drums heheh!
“Having said that, recently I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone in terms of the writing process, so I’ve been trying to work on melodic ideas and chord progressions first and build stuff around that. I’ve never really got into working around big samples – but it’s something I’d like to try more.”
Are there any productions or remixes of yours that you’re particularly proud of?
“I really like the A side of the last Build release – N.S.G. – which I did with Mensah, cos it came together really quickly and just does it’s thing with no messing around. And it goes off as well.
“I also like the Riddim Team EP I did for Steak House earlier this year was pretty bout it – I wanted to basically make dancehall at 130bpm with big vocals, and I think not too many people have done that in the same way that release does.”
What software/equipment did you use?
“Logic 8 on a MacBook pro, plus whatever hardware I can get my hands on. I also use a microphone quite a lot – if you can record yourself hitting things, or playing tambourine in a cupboard or something, you can come up with unique sounds that no one else has.”
What advice would you offer up and coming producers trying to get their music noticed?
“1. Network like mad. Go to every event you can, get to know everyone in the scene in your town and beyond, and back that up with quality music.
“2. Speaking of which, just cos your mates like your tunes doesn’t mean they cut the mustard. Listen to them back to back against your favourite records – they need to sound as good as they do. They also need to have their own twist – there’s enough copyists out there already.
“3. Ideally, have a mate who is good at graphic design and marketing who can help give you a cohesive identity. And this can’t be forced – think about what makes you unique and interesting as a producer or DJ – are you an 80s obsessive? Do you love New Jack Swing? How do these things influence your sound and your overall identity?”
Do you think the internet is making it harder for good producers to get noticed?
“Yes, probably. But at the same time, once you have been noticed, there’s a lot more ways to stay noticed, so it’s kind of swings and roundabouts.”
Is there anything that new producers should avoid?
“Like I said above, don’t think your non-musician mates being into your tunes means they are any good. You need to train your ears and develop the ability to analyse sound until you can hear the mistakes in what you are doing. Until you are 100% sure, don’t send stuff out – competition is fierce, so you have to come with top notch stuff from the start.”
Which artists are exciting you at the minute?
“DJ wise, the Butterz crew are consistently playing inspiring music. Obviously Ramadanman has been on a run of rare form this year, Joker too… And I think Hyetal will surprise a lot of people next year as well. Not least on the next Build, which is a collaborative 12 between us both.”
What does the future hold for Baobinga?
“BUILD005 is two collaborative tracks with Hyetal, which are getting early love from Modeselektor, Brackles, Pinch, Shortstuff and Simbad, amongst others…
“2011 should hopefully see a big project from Build hit the streets, which I’m pretty excited about. Can’t say too much just yet though!
“I’d also like to move into producing for vocalists more – and I’m making some moves in this direction.
“Finally I guess I’d like to keep touring and playing interesting places around the world – something I really enjoy about this job!”