I’m always one for trying new stuff here on FatKidOnFire, there are a few oddities or new series I’ve attempted to start littered throughout the 475-odd articles, features and ramblings that make up the blog.
Today’s next interview is another one of those experiments. If you’ve got a relevant article you think would be a good fit on FKOF and you’d like it published to a global audience, drop me an email!
I’ve been talking to Benjy for bloody ages (can’t quite remember how we first got talking but it was around beats) and he hit me up a week back with an interview he recently did with epoch. I’ve long been a fan of Scott’s music (he’s from New Zealand, that surely says it all) and so was stoked to give Benjy to publish said interview…
As an introduction, what’s your name and where do you hail from?
My name is Scott, I produce under Epoch and I hail from the dusty city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
I’ve been hearing lots of different styles of bass music coming out from New Zealand, how would you define your sound?
Yeah there are a few quality producers starting to come out of the woodwork in NZ, especially in the last couple of years.
Haha that’s a hard question! I’d say my influences can vary pretty wildly depending on the tune in question, but one of the constant themes seems to be writing stuff that would make people lose their sh!t on the dancefloor. And unreasonable amounts of bass. And vocals. I can’t seem to write a tune without vocals. I blame LV for that.
I generally like to keep things simple sound-design wise.
You mentioned vocals are a big influence on the way you write a tune – do you come from a musical background?
Not really in terms of actual musical training… But music has been a big part of my life as long as I can remember. I’ve been listening to hip-hop since I was a kid. I have distinct memories of hearing my older brother singing along to Ol’ Dirty Bastard loudly in his bedroom and thinking “this music sounds awesome”.
I’ve always been in love with those early/mid 90’s boom bap tunes – Wu, Nas, Big L, KRS, Kool G Rap etc.. I guess when I make a beat I subconciously just want to hear a vocal on it or it doesn’t sound finished.
I have to agree with you on the classic hip-hop (it’s also a big part of my musical background), you get so used to hearing someone rap over tunes it feel wrong without it. I’m going to put you on the point here, what’s your favourite hip-hop tune? Mine is ‘MCs Act Like They Don’t Know‘ by KRS-One.
Ohhhhhhhhhh big one. I had that CD, who knows where it is now. Out to my CD wallet that I left in Shuffle’s broken down Honda on the way to DMZ in Dunedin.
Gang Starr’s ‘Hard To Earn‘ has to be the favourite.
Guru’s garms in that video are off the damn chain aswell!
I’ve been checking out your tunes for quite a while now and it’s come to my attention that you are starting up a label. Could you tell me about that and if there is are forthcoming releases?
Yes I am. It’s called Egyptian Avenue.
Basically, trying to get signed was too difficult so I thought “I’ve got heaps of weird tunes I should just put them out myself”.
I linked up with a producer called Wen who I met through Jeremy who runs Innamind Recordings (hold tight Kursk) and we did this collab called ‘Hydraulics‘. I remixed it and got Josh Idehen on vocals. That is the first release. It’s coming out digitally on October 31st [next Wednesday – FKOF]. You can get it on Juno.
Stoked to have Wen and Josh involved in the label, been a fan of both of them for a while now.
There’s a few other things in the works, but nothing concrete just yet.
That sounds incredible! A label is the best way to push the sound you love. I’ve been feeling Wen’s tunes as well, you and Wen are bringing this new age of tunes bringing back the beats and space. Who are you feeling at the moment in the expansive world of bass music – I know you mentioned Innamind?
Yeah IMR is a big label, Jeremy has a proper vision of what he wants to do, which I really respect. He’s put out some huge releases already.
Current producers I would have to say Wen (obviously), Gantz, Etch, RQ, Lefty, FIS, LHF, Dusk, Blackdown and LV. Off the top of my head..
Thats a very strong list of some amazing producers! Having spoken, I can see you like the deeper & darker sound of bass music – with all these producers pushing deep sounds, do you think there’s a future for deeper & darker music?
I’m still discovering tunes from 8 years ago that are sounding fresher than a lot of stuff that’s coming out now!
I think there is a future for any type of music really, as long as there are producers that are pushing the envelope in whatever style they’re involved in, and trying to take it somewhere new. So yeah, it could have a bright future.
It won’t if people stick to the same old tricks though, it’s already happened a bit with the deeper end of dubstep. Producers getting stuck on the same sound and not really going anywhere with it.
But I wouldn’t call my tunes deep so maybe I’m not the best judge of that haha!
I have to agree with you on that. Things get stale after they get overplayed – that’s what made me latch on to your tunes, they’re pretty different to most of the stuff I’ve been hearing lately… Do you DJ as well as producing?
I don’t know if it’s so much the tunes getting overplayed, but more of a lot of them are all sounding the same in the first place.
Yeah I dabble. I play out occassionally, but I don’t own decks or anything. I still enjoy buying records and getting dubplates cut though.
I get you, I think it’s because whenever something works everyone feels the need to copy that but there aren’t enough people pushing the boundaries…?
I think the record culture is something that’s just as fundamental as producing or DJing – it’s something that can bring people together chilling in a record shop chatting about music. I’ve met some great people in record shops!
Do you also think that vinyl is essential? What do you prefer to play on; vinyl or CDJs?
Yeah I love vinyl, I don’t know if it is really essential, but it should be.
I’ve had some great moments flipping through second hand bins in record shops. You can find the sort of tunes that you wouldn’t find anywhere else!
I’ll play wax usually, and CDJs for my own tunes/ dubs from people. But a dubplate cutting house just opened up in CHCH so I‘m looking forward to getting more dubplates cut. They won’t be able to replace my CDs completely but there is something special about playing them out.
And wheelups sound way better – which is crucial to the epoch DJ experience haha!
It’s more fun wheeling a dubplate up! There is definitely something special about searching through crates and discovering a classic bit.
So we’ve mentioned the label and its debut release, do you have any forthcoming releases that people should be on the look out for?
Actually not really, I’ve been putting most of my energy into the label lately – I haven’t really been trying to get anything signed elsewhere.
Something might happen with The Steppenwolf. And some people may be remixing it. But I can’t really say more than that haha!
I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say I can’t wait to see what’s in store for epoch and Egyptian Avenue! To round things off, any shoutouts you would like to give?
Yeah. Kursk + Reach, and the whole IMR gang. Wen, Gantz, Perverse, RQ, Lefty, ETCH, Ducks + Quackdown, the Brisbane fammo, Will LV, and Josh.
Benjy had also sneaked a cheeky 23m mix from epoch, featuring 8 dubs from himself and a few other awesome producers and a sample from a Burial release. The sample set off SoundCloud’s copyright filter (along with Skream’s ‘Irie’ – but FKOF if we can find it, Scott swears it’s not sampled/ included in the mix anywhere) – so it’s ended up on the FKOF Mixcloud.
Click to DOWNLOAD
Peace, love and respect.