Tuesday, 21 July 2009

INTERVIEW: Brackles [Applepips/Planet Mu]

Rob Kemp, a superlative DJ and producer who goes under the moniker Brackles, has a name that’s been spoken by more or less everyone with some kind of passing interest in dubstep over the last 2 or 3 months. Whether it’s been to pass comment on his mixes for FACT, Mary Anne Hobbs or Sinden or his jaw dropping DJing technique and highly stylized synthesized production, the general consensus has been positive to say the least.

With his own label, Blunted Robots (co-run by sometime production partner and friend Shortstuff), just springing into action with its first release, a split 12” between Mickey Pearce and his brother Martin Kemp, we caught up with him for a *quick chit chat.

Sonic Router: Can you give us a short history of how you got into making tunes?

Brackles: I never really set out to be a producer, I just downloaded a demo of fruity loops out of curiosity because that was what people at school were saying you needed to make tunes, so I thought I'd have a go.

It wasn't until I got Reason that I started to take it seriously.

What got you into dubstep?

I was buying garage from the Big Apple Website and bought all the early Big Apple release like Artwork and Benga coz they were garage records really… When I went to uni it was quite hard to keep up with (not being near London) but J da Flex's show on 1Xtra was really good for hearing new bits. I guess I properly got into it after hearing Paul Rose's Hotflush mix CD from 2005 which had Kode 9's ‘Sign of the Times’ on it. I used to play that to mates and they'd say I was listening to nightmare music!

Brackles – Get A Job [Applepips]

What do you enjoy more, producing or DJing?

DJing without a doubt… You're in a club, everyone is dancing and by the end of a set you know if you've done a good job. Sometimes I can sit and spend a few hours on the beats and then listen to what I've done and think "this is shit" and then not bother saving it. That's really depressing.

Where the fuck did you learn to mix like that?

Haha… I thought I was pretty good at mixing when I was at school but then I saw DJ EZ and I had to eat humble pie. I'd never even thought it was possible to beatmatch something in a couple seconds! It's all in the pitch fader - you shouldn't need to touch the record.

You've got a bit of a Notts connection going on, through University, and there’s a lot of music bubbling through from the NG postcodes of late. What is it about the area that seems to make it so prolific of late?

I think Geiom and Spamchop are responsible for a lot of it. Geiom brought me and Shortstuff through by releasing our first tunes and Spamchop running Wigflex and releasing all his crew like Hizatron and Metaphi really helps give Notts a bit of an identity. Anyone in Notts who is coming through now will definitely have been sending there stuff to one of those two and they'll always listen, give advice and let you know if they're feeling.

What else is coming up for you in the future?

My ‘Next Hype' Remix is gonna be dropping very soon and I've got another 12" on Planet Mu dropping in September with ‘Rawkus’ and ‘Air Pie’ on it. I've done a remix of MSTRKRFT and John Legend which is gonna be on the official release and me and Shortstuff are looking to put some more of our collabs out on Blunted Robots.

Oh and I'm doing a b2b set with Ramadanman at the Big Chill [Festival] which I'm well excited about!


*Please note: this interview was originally conducted for use on our July Quietus column. You can read the whole thing here:

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