Monday, 16 February 2009

INTERVIEW: Vista [BoomBap!]

With several hard copy releases to his name on labels such as 3.5, 10 Bag and Rottun Records, Vista is casting a very watchable shadow about now. The man’s newer productions have a undeniable swing and appear to have mellowed and spread out into essential listens. He’s got numerous releases in the pipeline, his own productions and 12”s on his brand spanking new label. Sonic Router pinned him down to pick apart the pixels.

Sonic Router: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?

Vista: I’m Vista, I’m 20 years old and have been producing dubstep for about 2 years.

Outside of music who are you? What do you do on the daily?

Not much! I’m stuck in a stale, purgatory state as I’m moving to Budapest tomorrow so my days of recent have been filled with silly AIM conversations and Xbox, besides the music of course.

How did you get into recording music?

I started when I was about 16/17, I found a copy of Fruity Loops and started trying to write hip hop beats, I was really into my backpacker stuff (Madlib, LB, PUTS, Jehst) at the time so tried to emulate them and failed miserably. I slowly started to write DnB and getting into synthesis more so once I came across dubstep, it seemed to be the perfect medium to marry the sample based stuff with the synthesis stuff… at least in theory.

I’ve continued to learn my trade writing dubstep, but persisted with other genres as well, this is definitely something I’d endorse as you’re pushed to learn about different things which you can later adapt to your dubstep productions.

What’s your production set up like?

Pretty basic, just a laptop and a pair of Alesis M1 Active monitors, I don’t even have a midi keyboard, I just use my QWERTY one. The only piece hardware I own is my microkorg, which more often than not is counterproductive as I just loop what I’ve sttarted and jam for an hour pretending I’m Bobby Worrell instead; but it is useful tapping out melodies.

Do you have any regular processes you go through when making music? Any go-to synths etc?

Unless the catalyst is a synth patch or a sample, I usually start with my drums, then work on a melody, chords or a bassline, once I’ve got the basis of that penned, I work on more musical elements for the intro, then I look for effects to fill the sound… Then I work on keeping the main motif interesting and work on edits and switches.

My go-to synth is the z3ta; I love it to bits and use it for most tracks. It’s so versatile but has a strong and distinctive sound, the modulation matrix and effects offer a lot of manipulation. I have about 600 patches of z3ta sounds I’ve made over the years, so usually if I’m after a sound I can draw from the z3ta folder and find what I’m looking for quite quickly.

Can you name 3 artists/albums/whatevs that have most influenced your production to date?

This is tough, I can’t think of a certain artist or album at has influenced me throughout my oeuvre, it changes constantly but right now these are influencing me to write tunes…

Metro Area
Sugardaddy – ‘Love Honey’

Your label, Boombap! Records, is it a solo thing? Who else is behind it? What’s the ethos behind the label? What/Who can we expect on the label?

It’s just me behind it, even though I sometimes refer to the label as a “we”, as it’s the artists who make up its identity. It started because of ‘Numbers’ really, I mentioned to THC that I wanted to eventually start a label, so he kept asking if I was ready but nothing was taking my fancy. Then I heard ‘Numbers’ by Madd and I was blown away; it had a such a unique sound so from there I kicked on with the label. I’ve signed Desto for 002 which should be out soon once I get the artwork back, then we have releases forthcoming from myself, None (bop) as well as a remix EP coming out.

The ethos behind the label was to focus on quality, to push new and unique music with a shelf-life and just generally stuff that I like. I didn’t want to do upfront party stuff, more chilled home listening. My musical output is generally quite varied, so I am using the label as a vehicle to focus on more chilled sounds.

What’s coming up from you in ’09?

I’ve got a whole bunch of tracks coming out which probably should have been out about a year or so ago but have taken ages to come to fruition, tracks like ‘Lounge Dub’, ‘Neptune’, ‘Dulivan’ etc.

My next release is the ‘Scruffy Hoodlum EP’ with Force field, Guess Work and Ripple. I have a whole bunch of new stuff I’m working on and will spend the next few months kicking on with the production, so I hope to have a new batch of tunes for the summer.

Can you leave us with some words of wisdom?

Anyone that knows me knows I am in no position to offer out wisdom.

Vista is playing Innovation @ SE One in London on the 14th March.

DOWNLOAD: Vista - 102 Transititions Mix


1. None - Twilight (forthcoming Boombap! Records)
2. Simon/off - Escape (forthcoming Surface Tension)
3. Simon/off - That Night (forthcoming Surface Tension)
4. Hxdb - Showdown at the Cinema (forthcoming Mindset)
5. Vista - Udokus (unreleased)
6. Vista - Carouse (unreleased)
7. Sully - Duke st. Dub (forthcoming Mata-Syn)
8. DJ Madd - Flex'd (unreleased)
9. Vista - Guess Work (forthcoming Scruffy Hoodlem)
10. Desto - Bounce (forthcoming Boombap! Records)
11. Vista - Poupée (forthcoming Boombap! Records)
12. None - Winter Mood (forthcoming Boombap! Records)


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