London beatmaker Huess creates sample based music using loops and beats with principals that persist in this cut-and-paste musical climate. He was one of the first artists to personally reach out when we were first getting our shit together almost three years ago, and has since proven to be someone we should all have kept our eyes on. He just released the outstanding Discards EP on Inaudible Answer earlier in the week, and has aptly named his Substitute Teachers submission “Discard Mix 1″. I was given the opportunity to speak with Huess after listening to the mix.
When does Huess come from?
Huess was born 4 years ago while I was chatting to Athar from Inaudible Answer about trying to release some of the beats I had been working on. But in terms of when does Huess come from, it’s probably West Germany in the early 1970s. Although you might not hear the connection in the music, I feel a strong affinity for the approach that bands like Faust, Can, and NEU! took to music. People call it Krautrock but it’s really genre-less and draws inspiration from anywhere – classical, folk, soul, funk, afro-beat, same as hip hop. I just try and come at my beats from a slightly different angle.
What influences went into the Discards EP?
For “Splash Pamela”, I was bouncing around Spotify looking for interesting samples, came across three or four oblique tunes, cut them into small pieces and stuck them back together with some synths. Bob’s your uncle. Repeat 3 more times! I can’t think of any particular influences, was just following my nose.
Is there a particular software you’re using to produce your work?
In terms of sequencing and production, really old versions of Ableton and Cool Edit that are totally above board and legitimate. I have a bunch of VST plug ins, a Fender Jaguar, an old Casio synth, a kalimba and borrow my Dad’s jazz bass from time to time. I try to use a combination of samples, live instruments and synths. With the latter, I tend to work from a very basic analog synth emulator and then build effects overt the top. I prefer that to using presets.
You seem fairly connected with the scene in your country. What artists do you try to keep up with?
I wish! Not sure how you got that impression about me because I am about the least connected musician I could imagine – completely shit at Twitter, Soundcloud, Myspace all that crap. I tend to work in bursts so keep my head down for a while not listening to much then completely absorb myself in music for two weeks if I need inspiration or want to make a mix. What went on the “Discard Mixtape 1″ is what I have been keeping up with lately.
How did you connect with the guys at Inaudible Answer?
Athar (brainchild of Inaudible Answer) and me have known each other since we were 8 or 9, went to school together, both had an interest in music for years. Athar is a lifesaver for me given my laziness in keeping up with music. He introduced me to Boards of Canada, Prefuse 73, J Dilla…too many others. When I think about it, he changed my life! Thanks man! When he said he wanted to set up a blog/label, I bust a nut trying to make something which was good enough to release, came up with the Hunter EP and he liked it enough to put it out. We’ve been losing money together on the IA project ever since…
What’s in this mix?
Something old (that Gene Clark track is a contender for my favourite tune of all time), something new (couple of new Huess joints, let’s hope these get released at some point), something borrowed (ahem, I did pay for most of these tunes), something blue (errr, I expect there’s some swearing on one or two of these tracks). Got to big up my friend Fulgeance for the Connecticut track – still great after all these years and I fuckin’ love that 813 track (“Pan-O-Matica”).
What artists should we be keeping our eye on?
There’s always so much new stuff to keep on top of but really feeling Joey Bada$$ right now, he’s managed to tap directly into the golden era whilst staying current, plus he’s only 17!! Gang Colours is a super talented pianist who is doing something very different with the post dubstep template and is seriously worth checking out. Cid Rim has just released a very nice album on the consistently excellent LuckyMe, a label I slavishly admire for getting the balance just right between being cerebral and out and out fun. Finally you have to keep your eye out for new material from me, there is an album in the offing and it’s going to be special.
Any live shows in the future?
I hope so. We’ve been slack on this and have totally failed to get me support slots for bigger artists in the past. I am busy most of the time so it is difficult to fit it in and, with a laptop set, you have to think about how you can do something live without it seeming like a swindle for the punters. Playing some kind of short live set on the You’ll Soon Know radio show on NTS Live on 13th August. I have to think about what I’m gonna do for that..
Huess – Cabin Black
Gene Clark – No Other
Huess – White Man
Computer Jay – Maintain
Light Club – Alexis
Clams Casino – Always Have A Choice (instrumental)
813 – Pan-O-Matica
Huess – Splash Pamela
Dimlite – Cogwheel Gag
Slugabed – My Sense of Smell Comes and Goes
Howse – VBS
SUBMiT – Turbulence
Connecticut – Baby Smile
AWOL One – SHOCKRA!
Primal Scream – Free
Om Unit x Om’Mas Keith – Playa Playa
Fantastic Mr. Fox feat. Alby Daniels – Yesterday’s Fall
A$AP Mob feat. Flatbush Zombies – Bath Salt