DSCNTD 001 Podcast Part A: Chocky & Hugh Pascall

DSCNTD 001 Podcast

To mark the release of DSCNTD 001 we have asked each of the artitst to create a mix that showcases their influences and music they play out.

Right then chaps, how’s it going?

Hugh: Ok thanks.

Chocky: Alright.

Tell me a bit about yourselves…

Chocky: I make tunes and it’s always amazing to me when other people appreciate them too.

Hugh: I’m Hugh and I’m a jazz musician. I play trumpet in all kinds of groups, compose, arrange, transcribe all sorts of things and produce electronic music.

What’s with the name Chocky?

It was inspired/influenced by John Wyndam’s novel ‘Chocky’. The alien in it (Chocky) takes sound clips, constructs soundscapes that humans can identify with. She uses this as a form of communication. Worth a read or you can just watch the tv series of the same name. You tube has it all, I think.

How did you get into music?

Hugh: I started playing the piano when I was four and then trumpet when I was nine. My Dad is a well known musician and academic himself so I was given all the opportunity I could cope with. Also, everyone in my family is a musician. When there’s that much music going on in the house you grow up in, you don’t really think that there might be other jobs out there. But I’m doing what I love which I’m very happy about.

Chocky: I’m extremely lucky in the way that I was exposed to, what I deem good music from an early age.Talking heads, Otis Redding, Prince, Michael Jackson, The Police etc quite mainstream, but I seemed to lock onto their rhythmical structure and groove. I loved outros to tracks (The Jacksons ‘Your Ways’ for example) or the workouts where a groove was created. In hindsight, it was probably the foundation for my love for the groove. Also, the producers on these all artists albums were pretty heavy weight, Quincy Jones, Martin Hannett, Brian Eno and of course, the One Band, and music god, Prince.

I’m going to fast forward a few years to 1990. My sisters boyfriend of the time told me about a radio station, rave fm101.7. He had a tape in his car or something like that. Anyway, I tuned in and never tuned out. Long story shorter. I took up a night shift at the factory where my Dad worked and saved up for some decks as the need to mix had become a addiction. Mixing tape decks at parties wasn’t cutting it anymore. I started on belt drive turntables, say no more. So after hours and hours and hours and hours of practice listening to mixtapes, I got to a point where I felt I could, maybe, just pull off being a dj out and about. That’s enough, isn’t it?

Yes mate, thats cool, tell me about your production process:

Chocky: I sit down in front of the computer, maybe with a tempo, a record or just an open window.open up my editing program, my DAW, roll a rollie and have gulp of tea and ponder whether it’s still hot enough and should I heat it up again. that *s my process. I do think about people dancing sometimes and try to harness the feeling when your on a dance floor, beach, woods, caves and you’re locked into a shamanic like state.

Hugh: Well… I normally take a small idea or bit of inspiration and work at developing it into a thick and long loop crammed with ideas that all fit together. Then I basically deconstruct it to create different sections and develop each section further as I go. I like to get the framework of the track set up after I’ve built my loops, so I know how long each bit of the form is going to be. It gives me a clear outline and helps me know where I’m going with it. I tend to follow my rules for composition quite strictly, which some people think is boring and not very creative. For me it’s the opposite though; I need all the rules in there to give me a platform to think freely, so I don’t have to worry about all the boring bits whilst I’m creating sounds and doing all the fun stuff. Saves on the decision making! I learned one and only one very important thing from my first year music college composition teacher, who was a bit of a dick… which was that composition is 1% inspiration and 99% effort and hard work. He was talking about notated and instrumental music, but it applies to production for me too. I mean, we all know a good bunch of people who have 100 unfinished loops on their hard drives. Those loops are the 1% inspiration bit. That’s sort of why I approach it all a bit clinically, so I can get tracks finished. Some people find arranging much easier though, like my mate John, who can visualize a track from start to finish really quickly. Those people probably have to follow rules less strictly, but each to their own. Producing is such an individual thing.

So, Chocky, your doing the next DSCNTD release, can you tell us what to expect from you?

My soundcloud page gives you an idea of what might be on there. It’s coincided with the warmer side of the year which is reflective in the tracks. sunshine tunes? Just started a facebook page too. So links to other things I’m doing will be on there aswell.. plus free tunes and mixes.

And Hugh, how’s your stuff coming along? What kinda sound should we be expecting on your DSCNTD EP?

I suppose one thing that all the tracks will have in common is that they’ll be good for the dance floor. I always work with that in mind. So no matter how mental the synths are, there’s usually a big beat behind it all. I love listening to all kinds of electronic music, but I compose lots of other music and improvise too, which gives me the kind of complicated creative output that a lot of other producers need to put in to their tracks. Because I have other ways of performing and composing, I treat my production like dance music really. I think Joy Padding is quite representative of what the EP will sound like. I’m hoping people will think there’s enough variation in it all, but also that it has a defined and individual sound. Fingers crossed.

Tell me a bit about you mixes:

Chocky: I love spending a bit of time going through soundcloud and seeing what gems are about for free aswell as seeing what’s what. It’s amazing what’s given away. So there’s a bit of that on there. A few from a while back which still get me going. A message too. I hate the sound of my own voice, ranting and complaing. It’s hardly valid in relative terms. So I kind of always put in a little gripe into my mixes. It could be a happy message also, it’s just been a bit shitty recently in the world.

Hugh: It’s all stuff I like. It’s not really about one genre for me, I get so bored of listening to people go on about… ok let’s just say that I think defining who you are with one genre of music is a mistake. Annoys me. Ahem, anyway… It’s sort of a dance floor mix I suppose; that’s the kind of electronic music I listen to most these days. There was a time when it would’ve been full of Autechre and Plaid and weirdness like that, which I still love, but now it’s all about interesting, well produced, big beats for me. I did the mix in one take as well. Not that it’s something to be proud of, but I like the roughness and feeling a bit on edge all the time! I feel like I have to explain that for some reason. It’s how it sounds in the club so I like to recreate that. I was going to put more of my music in there but half an hour was over in a flash!

What’s next in store for you chaps?

Chocky: DSCNTD002 and the continuing pursuit for the groove &..oh, and a couple of other projects which may materialise.

Hugh: I’m working on a composition for a music festival who’ve commissioned me to write and perform a piece with my jazz quintet. It’s one of the coolest things to have happened in my musical career so far (except for Disconnected releasing my music of course), so I’m excited and honored to be doing it. I’m recording an album of my own compositions, then trying to finish an album of electronics. Then I’ll probably just hit the booze pretty hard for a while.

Nice one.

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