Wednesday, 5 August 2009
INTERVIEW: Martin Kemp [Blunted Robots]
Martin Kemp has pedigree. Both as a name thanks to the Spandau Ballet link up and as a producer thanks to the fact that his brother, Brackles, has recently broken through into the ranks of those 'must buy' producers currently infiltrating the Boomkat wishlists of so many. With his first physical release occupying a side of the excellent first Blunted Robots release and after hearing his unique reworking of Royal T's Nintendo infused '1UP' we knew it would only be a matter of time till he broke out of his chrysalis and flapped off into the ether painted up like a tye dye daydream.
Yep, we're super chuffed to be able to bring you his contribution to our exclusive mix series and you're damn straight, it just so happens to be a blinder...
Sonic Router: Can you provide those who may not know you with a bit of background info?
Martin Kemp: I have been DJing for 8 years and producing for 3 of those. I recently had a tune out on Blunted Robots…
Outside of music who are you? What do you do on the daily?
I finished University a year ago and I’m doing random jobs. At the moment I install PCs which is a strange job for me considering my knowledge of computers is minimal.
How did you first get into making music? What was it that infected you to do produce?
I really liked Tuff Jam and Todd Edwards tracks and tried to make those shuffley four four drums on Reason. It didn’t really work out. Later on, I got into dubstep through Mala, Loefah, Skream, Benga etc. and the tracks were simpler and there was more experimentation, rather than trying to make a particular type of music, or searching for particular drum hits so that it fitted into a genre.
What aspects of it [dubstep] connect with you and spur you on to continue producing?
Weird noises and bongos.
What’s your production set up like? Has it changed a lot since day dot?
I started on Fruity loops, moved onto Reason and I’ve been using Nuendo with some VSTs for the last couple of years. I use a synth called Massive a lot and I’ve got a Dr-sample 202 that can be useful.
Oh and, you must get this a little bit, what’s the big idea behind the moniker? I get that it’s your name and all, but some might ask why you didn’t opt for an irrelevant production alias when it has such overt connotations to Spandau Ballet… and latterly Eastenders bastard Steve character?
I really got tired of choosing a name. It was wasting a lot of my time so I decided to go with Martin Kemp… for now.
Your first tune ‘No Charisma’ is out now on your brother’s label, Blunted Robots. Does it fully rep your style do you think? Like what can the adoring public expect from other Martin Kemp tracks?
I’m not sure. I think at the moment I’m still finding my style. The newer stuff that I have made is just as weird as ‘No Charisma’ but darker and maybe closer to dubstep.
Your myspace is incredibly bare, no info, no pictures etc... Is it intentional for people to not know you? Do you think it adds to your music’s mystique in a way?
I’m quite a lazy person. I created the myspace so that people could listen to my tunes, I’m not so interested in writing about myself. I think it’s better if people don’t know who you are and all they get from you is your music.
What else have you got coming up this year?
‘Bowser’ is coming out in the next couple of months on Hold Box Flat, a new label from The Bpm, I’ve got a remix of a track by Royal T called ‘1 Up’ coming out soon on No Hats No Hoods and the next Blunted Robots release is going to be ‘Aztec’ and ‘After The Night.’
I’m playing in Bristol in September and hopefully again in October.
Tell us a little about the mix you have done for us... what tracks just had to be in there?
It’s got a bit of funky, garage and some of my tunes on it. I just had to select a Horsepower tune for the mix and I really like the Roska remix of ‘Just For You’ by Untold as well as Brackles’ remix of MSTRKRFT ft. John Legend.
What is the thing that is most exciting you at the moment in the bass music scene?
Artists that are making tunes influenced by funky, garage and dubstep… I really like Greena’s music, obviously Mickey Pearce, Brackles, Shortstuff and Cooly G. I find that crossover area really interesting.
Have you got anything else you want to tell us, words of wisdom for our readers?
DOWNLOAD: Martin Kemp - Sonic Router Mix
MSTRKRFT - Heartbreaker ft John Legend (Brackles Remix) (Free DL via Discobelle)
Cooly G – Narst (Hyperdub)
Scratcha – God Made Me Funky (Fantastic 4)
Martin Kemp – No Charisma (Blunted Robots)
Horsepower – When You Hold Me (Tempa)
Zed Bias – Neighbourhood [El- B Remix] (Tempa)
Perempay and Dee - Buss It (White)
Martin Kemp – Bowser (forthcoming on Hold Box Flat)
M Dubs – For Real (Babyshack)
Lee Perry vs. Kode 9 - Yellow Tongue ft. Samia Farah (On U Sound)
Mickey Pearce – Inammi (Blunted Robots)
Untold – Just For You [Roska Remix] (Hotflush)
Martin Kemp – Aztec (forthcoming on Blunted Robots)
Brackles – Air Pie (forthcoming on Planet Mu)
Brackles & Shortstuff – Sutorito Faita (Planet Mu)
Tuff Jam - Key Dub (i! Records)
Altered Natives – Rass Out (Fresh Minute Music)
Royal T – 1 Up [Martin Kemp Remix] (forthcoming No Hats No Hoods)
Brackles & Martin Kemp – Graffiti (unreleased)
Emvee – Glitch Dub (Wireblock)