We’re going to keep the introduction to this MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire feature brief, purely because the next interviewee/ mix doesn’t need much of one – that and we still have sh!tloads to do before tomorrow.
We’ve been digging the sound coming out of the islands on the southern hemisphere for a good few months now, and tonight we have the pleasure of sitting down with Boot – one of the best of the bunch. Don’t believe us? Read the interview and listen to the mix, you’ll understand what we mean!
Who is Boot? My name is Tim, I live on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia (about an hour north of Sydney). I enjoy video games, reading sci-fi, fantasy & Al Jazeera and cooking killer vegetarian meals.
I’m also hopelessly addicted to writing music.
What got you into mixing and producing dubstep? What’s your style – big, dark basslines or as filthy as possible? Well I’ve always been playing and writing music, I’ve played the violin since I was 6, have played guitar for about 15 years now and was in all sorts of bands growing up.
I got into DnB around 2000; the really techy sh!t like Konflict, Stakka & Skynet, Teebee etc. It was through a local weekly DnB night that I first heard dubstep in 2005.
We used to have a different crew running the night every week and once every few weeks a dubstep crew would run it, either Southern Steppa or Garage Pressure (which included Paul & Farj who run Aquatic Lab, as well as Moving Ninja). I always enjoyed it but it was only really after I started hearing some Distance, Vex’d, Milanese – that I realised the potential that was there. So yeah, the vibe I’m on is dark techy business; but I try to make it my music stand out by using interesting instrumentation, harmonic techniques, my own mixdown style etc.
What software do you use to produce your tracks? I’m in Cubase 5, I’ve always been a Cubase head. I’ve dabbled in things like Live & Logic – which are fantastic programs, but I can just work so quickly in Cubase. I work mainly in audio and that’s where it really shines.
I have a Virus TI Snow that gets used on everything I do and I’m also a big fan of Omnisphere & Reaktor.
As far as go to plugsins for mixing, I love all the Waves stuff especially the LA2A and 1176 emulations, H-Comp as well as the good old L2, Sonnox EQ and Dynamics, Voxengo Elephant and SPAN, SPL Transient Designer, Sound Toys Decapitator for saturation, Sound Toys Filter Freak and Fabfilter Volcano for filters and the Lexicon PCM Reverbs.
With regards to monitoring, I’m currently using a pair of Samson R8As which I’ve had for about 5 years now. It’s definitely time to upgrade.
Turntables or CDJs? CDJs, just for convenience sake. I don’t get caught up in the Vinyl vs CD vs whatever else debates, it’s all just music at the end of the day.
How long have you producing and DJing? I’ve been producing seriously since 2005 (although I started playing around with Cubase since about 2000), and I started writing dubstep in 2008. I’ve been DJing since 2006.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be? We’ve played some pretty awesome shows, but the ones that always stand out for me are the warehouse parties my mates used to run. Just the intensity of those, nothing can match it. We’ve played in huge hangar-sized steel fabrication workshops, 3 story carpet warehouses, under motorways, huge open areas cleared for construction.
Unfortunately they started getting a 100% hit rate with Sydney’s finest, the Public Order & Riot Squad, so they’re a rare occurrence these days.
I’ve played alongside alot of my favourite artists within both DnB and dubstep, but there’s a few I’m yet to play with. I’ve got some sets lined up with Phaeleh in December which I’m really looking forward to as he’s been pushing my tunes for a couple of years now. Another artist I’d like to play alongside is Youngsta, there’ve been rumours for years that he’s coming out here but it’s yet to happen.
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why? That’s a tough one, there’s so many talented cats out there and I don’t want to leave anyone out, but if I have to narrow it down to five:
- Sook: My brother from another. This guy’s mixdowns have always been amazing and just get better and better. Always has interesting melodic and textural ideas.
- Chewie: The synth king! He’s more known for his dancefloor tunes but he’s got some seriously evil dark business on the boil as well.
- TZR: Been a fan of Tom’s tune for a while now, but the past 6 months he’s really upped his game. Deep techy tribal biz
- Biome: Pretty much everything I like about dubstep condensed into one sound. Dark as you please, ridiculously detailed, techy as all hell. All whilst maintaining the groove.
- Kryptic Minds: These guys have been favourites of mine since they were releasing on Metalheadz. You can absolutely tell that they are masters of what they do, there’s just so much maturity in their production.
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going? I’m a bit worried that the dark sound that we’re all digging on at the moment is going to become very generic very quickly. I think it’s up to us, as producers, to experiment not only with the timbres themselves, but with song structure, harmony, rhythmic complexity, essentially becoming better song writers, not just bashing out a groove. I mean sure it’s dance music and it’s important to tailor it to a DJ set, but I think if that’s the driving focus behind the structure things are going to go the way drum and bass did for a couple of years.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? I’m working on an EP for Paradise Lost (double 12″/digi) currently, will be in the stages of finalising the tracklist for that soon.
I’ve got alot of other tunes sitting here that I’ll be hustling once I’ve locked in the tunes for my EP so stay tuned!
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers? Just do it. Make time for writing/production/engineering every day, it’s just like an instrument, you need to practice to improve and if you’re on there every day you’re keeping your chops up.
Another thing, be unique! I mean, none of us live in a vacuum so of course there is going to be influence from what we listen to, but aim to develop a distinct sound, be that through your mixdown style, instrumentation, use of harmony etc etc.
Oh yeah and another invaluable piece of advise I got from Martijn Noisia is make sure your tune can stand up by itself, so essentially it’s a piece of music as it is and doesn’t require a DJ set for it to shine. Sounds simple but it’s amazing how many people don’t look at it that way.
Any shoutouts? Absolutely! Shouts to my Australian crew Sook, Droid Sector, Chewie, 3rdeye, J. Nitrous, Westernsynthetics, Shredexx (honorary Australian!), Spherix, Phonetic System, Flippo, Paul & Farj, Low Society crew, the Heavy Innit boys, Void crew. US crew Geoff Subdivision, TZR, Dubtek, Triage, Mikey Antiserum, SPL, Babylon System. From neuro euro and the motherland Phaeleh, Eddie Seven, Killawatt, Rob Robotic, TKR, Twisted, Joel Riskotheque. From across the Tasman NZ crew Perverse, Tallan and Ghost Note. And of course my beautiful fiance Kass & son Asher for putting up with mid range sounds and snares on loop for hours.
To go with his hugely detailed and thought out interview, Tim was kind enough to throw an hour’s mix our way. It’s rare we go with a mix this long (we’re hitting the upload limit on the FatKidOnFire Soundcloud account) but this one was worth it. An amazing mix of deep and dark riddims from our favourite producers, mixed to perfection by one of Australia’s finest. Beaut!
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Secret Chiefs 3 – Knights Of Damcar [Mimicry]
- Boot & TZR – Across Oceans [dub]
- Sook – Dead Star [dub]
- Formless – Forgotten Promises [dub]
- Boot – Structural Function [dub]
- TZR – Headhunter [forthcoming Watt Hz]
- Droid Sector – Sarcophagus [forthcoming Subway]
- YLEM – Night Shade [Gamma Audio]
- Tallan – Torment [dub]
- Boot – Reeducation VIP [dub]
- Olie Bassweight – The Void (3rdeye’s Negative Space remix) [dub]
- Boot – Methods Of Control [forthcoming Paradise Lost]
- Aeolho – Unique Conscience [forthcoming Paradise Lost]
- Sook & Actuator – The Wren [forthcoming Paradise Lost]
- Killawatt – Conflict [forthcoming Requiem Audio]
- TKR – Scowling [dub]
- Ghost Note – Deception [forthcoming Innamind]
- Shredexx – Silence [dub]
- Boot & TZR – Chiaroscuro [dub]
- Dubtek – No More [dub]
- TKR – Fallout [dub]
- Sook – Never Knows Best (Boot remix) [dub]
- Formless – The Subtle Winds [dub]
- Perverse & Olie Bassweight – Shaded [Bassweight Recs]
- Boot – Colder Now [dub]
- Talvin Singh – Dubla [Island]
If you have any thoughts on what Boot has 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, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.