Leeds based dnb producer Stray talks about his studio, heroes,house parties in Leeds and shows us a bunch of naked ladies hitting water...
Hey J, thanks for chatting to Core today ;o)
Can you introduce yourself...
My name is J and I produce music under the name Stray :)
You're originally from London, now based in Leeds - is there a big difference in the scenes?
There isn't a great deal of difference since they they are both massive cities and each have a lot going on musically. There is a slightly stronger feeling though in Leeds of knowing 'everyone' - the scene is a bit smaller and cosier - where in London you have to really be particularly well connected in order to know the ins and outs of every corner of the scene in quite the same way.
How do you describe your music?
That is difficult to answer, because often I will write one tune and then write another that will sound in many ways completely different to the first. I think something that could link most of the things I do together however is a search for some hook or idea in every tune that is melodically or rhythmically gratifying for someone who might be weary of hearing the same ideas rinsed over and over again in different ways in most the music that is pushed on them.
Where does your influence/inspiration come from?
My main influence and inspiration is my brother, he plays the piano and got me into music in the first place. Other than that? Well you know, hit the water, hit the water..
Ha ha! That's amazing! Who's your all time favourite DJ hero?
Probably Luke Vibert - I've always had a great deal of love for his live sets both from recordings and when I've seen him play. He covers a broad range of styles and has a magic and untouchable ability to infuse humour with darkness, which creates a set that seems to satisfy every corner of your brain as a result.
If you could meet up with them, where would you go and what would you do?
I'd go round to his house for tea and meet his wife and kids. We'd talk for a bit and then go and write a tune. Honestly couldn't say that there was anything that would be more ideal than that...
You've got a studio in your bedroom - what set up have you got and why?
Macbook Pro, Fireface 800 interface, two 22" Samsung monitors, a pair of Mackie HR-824 mk1s, a pair of Adam A7s for reference, a Novation keyboard, Logic Pro 9 and Reason 4. Some acoustic treatment done to some of the walls and corners of the room.
What's on your studio wish list?
I'd like to get some decent monitoring headphones soon, for those times you want to produce loudly but you can't because you live in a flat with other people who don't like hearing your repetitive clunks and beeps over and over again all evening.
What does the future hold for you? Gigs/releases etc
There will be a lot of stuff coming from me, Sabre and Halogenix. I also have another 12" coming up soon on Blu Mar Ten's BMTM label, which will feature a collaboration between me and Frederic Robinson. You can catch me playing at Fabric this friday in London in Room 3, which is being hosted by Med School.
Best gig ever and why?
House parties in Leeds, when they are at their best, can be some of the best places to play in the world in my experience!
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