Cult electronic producer Radioactive Man is releasing Waits & Measures, his fourth album, on June 25th on WANG Trax, so we tracked him to see what to expect this time...
This is your fourth full length release, what did you feel you learnt from the previous three when you came to making this record?
I guess having a bit more confidence to do exactly what you want, without feeling you need to make records for anyone other than yourself or to jump on the latest train that's going by.
How personally do you feel your sound has evolved from when you first started?
I think as far as the evolution of my sound goes, it comes from the fact that I'm never 100% happy with the sound of my music, apart from maybe a few tracks, that's what stirs me to go on and hopefully make better things.
I guess you just learn things like studio tricks (and happy accidents!) along the way and I've tried to forge my own sound. I like to think I've evolved in a positive way but it's hard to be objective about your own music.
I've got myself a nice valve desk which I run everything through, which makes the sound ten times better than just mixing from a computer. There's always room for improvement and just trying not to repeat myself too much even though I do make a certain style of music. The search continues for that elusive perfect track.
In Waits & Measures I felt there was a deliberate 808 drum machine sound. Do you consciously prefer this effected sound over more live sounding beats?
Yes, I love that sound, although there are breakbeat and live elements in there too, but it's not a conscious decision to just use 808 sounds. There are all sorts of drum sounds in it from old Casio sounds to the full Roland palette; I have a sample library of every single drum machine ever made.
Where does a root of a track or idea start from when you're producing?
Generally from the drums upwards but it depends on what mood I'm in. I do sometimes set out to make a track a bit deeper sounding, and sometimes will use an arpeggiator to get a bass line going.
Is there a theme to the album in regards to a specific emotion, or rather a collection of tracks designed for the club?
Well, it's definitely not just designed for the club, there are all sorts of vibes in there. I'm a big fan of all things Detroit, but I'm also a fan of all things London, because that's my hometown. So there's lush pads and strings as well as the odd Amen break in there too. Emotionally it's been a hell of a few years for me, from relationships to losing friends, so that probably comes through in the music.
This is your first release on WANG Trax. How does it feel to be working with your friends Electro Elvis and Lula on this project?
Working with friends is great because they won't bullshit you and you know you can trust them, which is very important in this world.
How long have you known each other for and how long have you talked about releasing something together?
We've been friends since around 1990, back in the days of free parties when we had a local scene around where we grew up. Then later, we had all moved to London, Lou and Nathan Started Wang at a rehearsal studio called The Premises on Hackney Road, which was where I did my first live set, proper lawless parties they were!
Just over a year ago they came to me and said they were starting a label and I jumped at the chance because at the time I was very disillusioned with everything regarding downloads and piracy etc. A lot of labels went down which was and is, very sad.
Will WANG be hosting one of it's legendary nights with you at headline helm to launch the new album?
Well, we did do Fabric back in May, which was a kind of launch night, but the album got put back until now, so I guess timing wise we were a bit early. It was a great night though with fantastic sets from Plaid, Jerome Hill and Nathan, as well as a live set from the inimitable Cristian Vogel all through the thundering Fabric sound system. Nathan and Lou (Mr and Mrs Wang) have just had a baby so Wang club nights are put on hold, for now.
What's the future hold for Radioactive Man and will you continue to release on WANG?
Just really to keep on gigging, it's still a massive buzz for me to both play out live and DJ and yes, I will definitely be releasing on WANG Trax as well as other labels too.I've got a track coming out on a compilation from a label called Killekill from Berlin, and I have also donated a track to Rob Booth for a compilation on his excellent Electronic Explorations site.
I'm also working with Billy Nasty on a project called RadioNasty, we've already had a release on Craig Richards' The Nothing Special label, and we've got a bunch of tracks coming out on Billy's, soon-to-be-resurrected, Electrixx Label. We also DJ together and are playing at a few festivals this summer (see below). Onwards and sideways.
Where can we get hold of the record?
It's going to be a digital only release for now but I would like to see it on vinyl at some point too, and considering the first two EPs sold out on that format, we'll definitely be looking at doing that. So from all good online outlets.
Words: Sam Oliveira
Check out Radioactiveman this summer at:
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