There are a handful of labels really carving a name for themselves in the dubstep genre – a few of whom I discussed in my recent ‘What is dubstep?’ article.
Innamind is one of these labels; as you may have noticed given the number of their artists who have featured in the MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire series (you’ll find links to some of them throughout the feature below).
Percept is one of those artists. James’ tunes and mixing skills have been on my radar for a long while so I’m properly excited to get him down for the MIG x FKOF series. With a brilliant FKOF free download and an equally good 35m mix, Percept is definitely making his mark…
Who is Percept?
Percept is a 22 year old bass music producer from Milton Keynes.
What got you into mixing and producing dubstep? How would you describe your production style? The first dubstep track that I remember hearing was Benga & Coki’s ‘Night’ in a well-known nightclub. I didn’t know what I was listening to, but something just drew me in.
I had an interest in music production before then, but it was mainly messing around on hard synths and grooveboxes recorded into Audcacity so I had no idea about what production truly entailed. It just grew from there, and I recently graduated with a degree in Audio & Music Production.
How long have you both been producing and DJing? ‘Producing’ in its purest form, since about 2008. Dubstep since 2009, and music that I’ve actually been happy to show people, 2011. It’s a longer process than people realise, producers seem to be too eager to show their friends that they can make music instead of slaving away behind their computer. I’m fairly new to the DJ scene, I intended on being purely a producer but after several calls and emails asking to play shows I thought it’d be stupid not to.
How do you go about building your tunes; is there a process behind each one? What software do you use? The starting point changes with every new track, but it’s generally the ‘focal point’. That could be the percussion, the melody, even a spoken sample. I just find that if I start with the most important part of THAT track, it’s easier to fit other elements around it. I mix as I go too, which makes the final process easier. The most daunting thing you can have as a producer is a track that needs mixing down with levels and frequencies all over the place, I don’t understand how some people work that way.
I’m producing on Logic Pro, mainly using the stock plugins – they’re incredibly underrated. I’m slowly starting to build up a collection of third party plugs though. Hardware-wise, KRK RP5’s, Audio Kontrol 1, Axiom49, BCF2000 and a few hardware synths.
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out? I’d love to be able to spin vinyl, but unfortunately I feel I came into it at the wrong time. As I previously said, I’m new to the DJ side of music and it’d be counter productive, and costly, to go back and purchase all the music from the past that I’d want to play. I’d love to but it just isn’t feasible, especially with all the fantastic unreleased music I’m being sent.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be? I played in Oxford a few weeks back and that was a great night, good sound system, good people and cheap drinks. All you can ask for really.
I’d actually love to play alongside Innamind label mate Gantz, I can imagine we’d have a ridiculous blend of music but unfortunately he’s all the way over in Istanbul.
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why? Any labels you’re feeling? This is difficult.
Label-wise, I’m so happy that Innamind have moved onto vinyl. I know it’s been Jeremy’s vision from the start and they’re currently going from strength to strength. Huge first vinyl release too, Perverse & Beezy.
M.U.D are another one, a local label too which helps. Incredible talent. Tribe12 are doing things the right way, I rinsed their recent release in my mix. Disquiet Mind is a label with a solid artist roster too.
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going? Has dungeon had its time? Tribal too? To be honest I’ve distanced myself from this sort of discussion, I just make what I enjoy making and other people can make what they enjoy making.
As long as I have people that appreciate what I’m doing then I’m happy. I do think it’ll be a lot harder for the ‘tribal’ side to get stale though, there’s just so much that can be done with that side of percussion that it’s seemingly never-ending.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? I’m in talks at the moment, but you may see a limited edition 12” from myself coming very soon.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ producers looking to get their music heard or signed? Keep quiet; don’t be too keen to send your music out. Every one starts off sub-par, it takes time. Keep making music until you have several tracks you’re happy with and then send them around to the right people.
The artists that people notice are those that come out of nowhere with incredible music, it’s what creates a hype.
3 people (dead or alive) you’d have a pizza with (and why)?
Bobby Moore, Johnny Cash and whoever invented Pizza Hut.
Best streetwear store (web or brick & mortar) right now? There’s too many. Oi Polloi, Size, End are my normal haunts. Anywhere that sells a good mountain parka or fisherman jacket!
Adidas or Nike? Adidas. I’m heavily into my football culture, so you can’t go wrong with a trust pair of Adi’s. I got a pair of Tobaccos a few weeks back which I love.
Any shoutouts? Everyone involved with Innamind Recordings, especially Jeremy (see you soon mate!), Joe Nice, Bunzer0, Perverse, Gantz, Demon, Anex, Occult, Inkarv, Wayfarer, Deesee, P-Note and all the rest of the usual suspects. I won’t make the list too big, as I’ll only miss people out. You know who you are.
Percept’s mix for MIG x FKOF is a 35m, 15 track tribal behemoth that’ll grab you by the face and relentlessly beat you around the ears. An amazing introduction to the sub-genre if you needed one.
The FKOF free download is a minimal number, with Percept’s trademark weight that’s guaranteed to test even the best of systems.
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Camu – Lying Entombed [dub]
- Perverse – Charade [Tribe12]
- BunZer0 & ARtroniks – Vocabulary [dub]
- Percept – Reality [dub]
- Wayfarer – Meiji [dub]
- Gantz – Lifebound [forthcoming Aquatic Lab]
- Twisted & Rakoon – The One [dub]
- Percept – Khalka [dub]
- Compa – Xiaar [dub]
- Konvex – Pangea [dub]
- Lurka – Return [Box Clever]
- Dubapes – Africa Calling [forthcoming PORK007]
- Wayfarer – Fall of the Zulu [Tribe12]
- BunZer0 – Liana [dub]
- Gantz vs Collision – Chant [Tribe12]
Click to DOWNLOAD
Korrupt’s review of Percept’s ‘Blood Feud’:
“Marvellous layered pads at the intro of the track, setting a deep and mellow vibe. It contains a lot of soul and emotion, it sounds quite enthralling in my opinion, definitely well chosen elements. You’re immediately confronted with a really crisp hi-hat, the kick sounds great (got a lot of punch too it but it’s not overpowering) – the way it should be in a track like this. The snare sounds nicely reverb’d and I love that snappy finger sample, the voice sample used sounds deep and coincides with the track’s title.
The drop sounds deep and has some serious minimal vibe attached to it. Really impressed with the drum patterns, with this I mean the composition, they’re not standard beats. The percussion is amazing, layered real nicely and the elements sound real clear and are all in their own place. Great variations in the djembees and the other elements are reverb’d to perfection. And don’t forget to focus on those amazing hi-hats working away up top. The low-end is fabulous, just because it’s very deep and warm – real goosebump material. Works really well with the other basslines! Sick how the pads keep flowing through the mix, coming back from time to time, including in the short break. Second drop is as beautiful as the first, some nice extension towards the end of the track. Loving how the track fades out..
This is what I call a quality track, full with emotion and a dark touch. Great how the voice sample is only used once, instead of recreating the intro. Percept kept it minimal and steps up yet again, delivering another beautiful piece – showing he’s capable of setting different vibes. A spot-on production I’ve been repeating over and over again already, you should too. Big shouts to Percept and the rest of the InnaMind crew!”
If you have any thoughts on what Percept had to say, or anything else you’ve seen – maybe you’ve got someone to recommend to FKOF or seen something you think we’d like? Get in touch via email, Twitter, or Facebook.