There are few artists in the world who can say their debut release got a wheel at Mala and VIVEK’s System. There are even fewer artists who can say they’ve been supported by the likes of Joe Nice, BunZer0, Kryptic Minds, Biome, Kaiju, Killawatt, Perverse and N-Type with a single release under their belt.
That list is indicative – and justification – of the hype around Wayfarer, a young producer from Nottingham injecting a truly startling energy into 140. Taking the more roots sound and flipping its focus from bass to percussion, without losing either’s force, Wayfarer is a breath of much-needed fresh air in a sometimes tired genre.
Announcing himself with the truly astounding ‘Fall of the Zulu‘ on Tribe12, with a selection of his trademark percussive monstrosities forthcoming on digital and 12″ on some of the best labels in dubstep, it’s safe to say Wayfarer has thrown the towel down and jumped in at the deep end.
This is most definitely an artist to watch…
Wayfarer! What you doing with yourself? Sup, just chillin’, bear grillin’!
For those that don’t know, introduce Wayfarer? Wayfarer is an alias that I have been producing dark 140 tunes under since January 2012.
First question, because it’s something we’ve joked about before, but it’s always good to get a detailed answer. How on earth do you describe the sounds only you seem to be able to produce? Haha Wil, please! Well, everyone has their own way of working and it’s difficult to differentiate how I make tunes compared to others. From what I gather, it tends to be that an artist has their own way of writing and I’ve never really been exposed to anyone else’s.
I guess I started writing with the intention of creating big, raw vibes – a bit dirty and not too clinical. I don’t record anything myself, there’s nothing special going on there. I’m pretty naive technically so when I started out the focus was on the ideas behind the tunes.
I never really used to worry too much about making tunes that sat well in the mix either but that’s something that’s changing a bit more as the bookings come in and things like that. Obviously I realise that most people will listen my tunes in a mix but I struggle to sit and write beats that aren’t a bit wonky.
How did you get into dubstep? When did you decide you wanted to make as well as listen? How on earth did you develop your sound? I’ve not heard anyone making music like you! I started listening to DnB around 14 and picked up on dubstep not longer after, so probably late 2007 when a friend sent me a bunch of tunes and guys like Skream, Mala, Peverelist and D1 stood out. Also I remember listening to Burials first album, rinsing it for about two months then ‘Untrue’ came out. I think those albums really hooked me on the sound. Given that, I only started properly making tunes this year, I took my time with getting round to producing really but I guess
that was because I was hung up on so many genres of music.
I love the earlier dubstep sound, how no one really knew what they were doing and were making tunes their own way. I kind of wanted to emulate that mentally and just make angry, unadulterated, organic energy.
How do you go about building your tunes? What’s your production setup like? I run a Macbook Pro with Logic 9 with Yamaha HS80s – no hardware unfortunately. I actually use my HD25s quite a lot whilst building tunes, just because I kind of know how they translate to other speakers (and it means can crash on the sofa and make noises). As far as synths go I don’t really venture much further than Massive and Alchemy. I draw for Kontakt a lot too, perfect piece of kit for me. Izotope, PSP vintage warmer and Shaack Audio’s Transient Shaper are all pretty standard.
When I’m making a beat I tend to start with a 16 bar drum loop and just keep adding elements until I get somewhere close to what I had in mind for when the tune is in full flow. I’ll then strip it back out and add in some structure.
Another standard question you’re probably bored to death of. Do you prefer turntables or CDJs for playing out? Does it matter? I love vinyl and used to buy the occasional release if it was special but I just couldn’t afford to buy it all the time. I recently swapped my 1210s for a pair of Pioneers with a mate, which I’m kind of regretting now but they are generally less of a pain.
There is a certain hypocrisy (that I’m guilty of) with wanting my music on vinyl and not really buying it myself – but it’s something I want to start collecting properly when I’m not a miserable pikey student anymore.
How long have you been playing out? If you could pick any of your recent bookings, what would be your favourite – and why? I’ve played a few times up in Aberdeen but there isn’t a very strong scene for dark dance music here – so was mostly playing to empty to rooms. I’ve only played two out of town bookings so far both were wicked but for different reasons. Hit&Run was great as it was pretty busy. I was warming up for Enei and Kasra so there were some nutjob DnB heads in the crowd and the system was lovely. The FKOF vs. M.U.D night on the other hand was really wicked for meeting other producers on a similar tip.
There’s been a pretty decent return to the roots, with good support of Wayfarer productions (I remember ‘…Zulu’ destroying System for example).
I, and a few others, have bemoaned the (perceived/) lack of innovative producers out there at the moment; do you see your sound as something that can set an example? Bringing something fresh back to dubstep? Ha, that’s some compliment – thank you! I don’t really sit around constantly analysing what I’m doing as a producer so I’ve never really thought about whether I’m bringing anything new to the table every time I sit down to write. If thats how people see my tunes then I’m succeeding. It’s nice to think you might have your own little niche but I don’t think of it as innovation.
Other than the recent releases on T12 and one or two special tunes in the pipeline, have you got any tunes forthcoming we should be looking out for? Anything physical? Everything has been a bit up in the air as far as releases go. I’ve recently signed to Uprise Audio which I’m really happy about. I’m pencilled in for some nice releases next year on a couple of labels, that’s about as much as I can say. I’m toying with the idea of an album, probably not dancefloor material so that’s something way off in the future but definitely something I want to pursue.
In terms of advice, what are your top points for new producers and DJs looking to get heard or signed? I don’t feel like I should be giving out any advice – I’m making mistakes and learning every day. If I had to though I’d just tell people find their own palette of sounds and be a pleasant person.
Tell us about your MIG x FKOF mix… Sort of what you’d expect to hear me playing out really; half my tunes, half contributions from other artists I’m feeling.
Any shoutouts? There are really too many people to mention who have been a support over the past year. Out to Seven, Verity, Will from Hedmuk and Rich Reason for getting me to Manchester recently and of course yourself, Wil.
3 producers we should be following are…? Gantz, Cauze and Taiko. These boys will be running things soon.
Best dubstep track ever produced is…? Urgh, I hate this question. Loefah’s ‘The Goat Stare‘.
Best label in dubstep is…? Obviously Deep Medi.
It is time…
Click to DOWNLOAD
1. Wayfarer – Yezo [dub]
2. Kaiju – Ice [dub]
3. Wayfarer – Shiro Ishii [forthcoming Tribe12]
4. Wayfarer – Iris [dub]
5. Taiko – Unrest [dub]
6. Wayfarer ft. Beezy – Diminished Nation [dub]
7. Wayfarer – Chandra [dub]
8. Wayfarer & Konvex – Omertà [dub]
9. Taiko – Levels [dub]
10. Wayfarer – Kendo [dub]
11. Kanjira – Ojama Black [dub]
12. J.Robinson & Gantz – Misread [dub]
13. Perverse & Gantz – Seismic [dub]
14. Wayfarer & Taiko – Untitled [dub]
15. Perverse – Resistance (Wayfarer remix) [dub]
16. J.Robinson & Shima – Tundra [dub]
17. Wayfarer – Shaman [forthcoming Tribe12]
18. Asylum – Blindfold [forthcoming Uprise Audio]
19. Taiko – Hands [dub]
20. Wayfarer – Untitled [dub]