The 314th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Ablekid.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I am 42 years old living in the Austin, Texas area. I have been djing for over 16 years and producing seriously for about 10 years.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously?
Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.” Central Florida; late 80’s/early 90’s in Orlando & Cocoa Beach. Before 1990 we were 15 & 16 yrs old hitting clubs like Visage and Brassy’s very early in their existence, listening to the Industrial sounds that happened before “House Music” came along. Then on to Orlando every weekend for the legendary AAHZ parties with Kimball Collins, Dave Cannalte, & later on Chris Fortier. I was very spoiled looking back on it all now and I will remember those days forever. I didn’t know I wanted to start djing though until I heard John Digweed’s first Bedrock CD back in 1999, it changed everything for me literally and I never looked back. Him and Justin Scott Dixon (Voyager), that guy is a genius.
3. You have your first release in just under four years this week on Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music imprint, tell us a bit about the release, the track itself and how it ended up on Juicebox.
Yes, I’m just really taken aback with Praveen’s love for the track and his confidence to add me to his esteemed label. It is a huge honor to be the representative for the USA in this release that spotlights talent from across the world. Juicebox Music is a very forward-thinking label and that really appeals to me. That and there’s not a more genuine, down-to-earth guy than Praveen. It’s all been a pleasure start to finish and I am very proud to be part of the team.
4. The track ‘Consciousness Conductor’ has lots of hypnotic elements yet still retains a quite funky groove and there’s also a major emotional component but it’s conveyed in a very subversive way, which is certainly the most rewarding. What if anything inspires this in your music? and which producers consistently inspire you?
Thank you. The track was started and arranged within three days of my beloved dog of 15 years, Zoe, passing away. The chords came to me and I found them to be quite emotive and sad, I was actually trying write a sad verse or two. But I had this bass line that was so funky and had such a deep groove that it gave some “light” to an otherwise melancholic sound, after that the track wrote itself as I recall. What inspires me? I find inspiration in grooves that I can ride and flow along with. I’m constantly looking and thinking about that new groove or vibe to flow with, or have flow with me. Li-Polymer, Simos Tagias, Chicola, Khen, & Dmitry Molosh to name only a few have been huge inspirations lately, I can’t get enough of these guys! I am so inspired and proud every day I tune in to the underground scene.
5. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
Producing has always been pretty easy for me, though I did struggle to find a method for arranging for quite a while. I was always getting stuck in the “50% finished phase” and having things sound too muddy. I had a good friend, a Full Sail grad, help me early on in the basics of recording and using DAW’s, so that was a big help – thanks Mike! Beyond that I’m completely self-taught with no schooling other than a YouTube vid here and there. I just trust my ears.
6. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
Coming up with a groove or vibe is almost always my first thing so I not only find that easy but fun, too. Arranging for me is still my shortfall. Mostly because I am a bit of a perfectionist and am never satisfied 100%. That and I work 50+ hrs. a week. I don’t write many tracks so blocks don’t happen that often, but if I hit one I always turn off all electronics and go outside and re-visit with fresh ears.
7. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
I work as a project manager/estimator for a large fence installation company in Central Texas, so I am very busy. After that I can come home and sort thru promos and Beatport. I usually spend an hour a day DJing with new music and finding the perfect tracks for my new show on DNA Radio FM. Weekends are spent relaxing with wifey and my new puppy Lyla Ann, and hopefully seeing a fave DJ roll thru Kingdom Nightclub in Austin every now and then.
8. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
Big fan of most genres, except this “new brand” of country music and hip hop, man is that stuff garbage. I love Tool, Wilie, Johnny Cash, Ministry, Jane’s Addiction, NIN, Beasties, Rakim; I’m all over the place…. I will say that Tool definitely influences my music making, I’d love to write an entire album using the Fibonacci Sequence one day as well. They are musical geniuses.
9. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
First electronic music vinyl I ever bought was Bedrock – Heaven Scent/Life Line. First CD I think was Eric Clapton – Unplugged or Nirvana – Nevermind.
Last I just got was the new Sasha / Scene:Delete Vinyl/CD set.
10. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I have an undying passion for the music I play and make. No one will ever know the true extent of my love for this music. That and the fact that I’m 42 and not a “kid” 🙂
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
I don’t know if this is advice, but I just make sounds and grooves and melodies that I wanna hear, not anyone else. If I say it’s good, it’s good. That’s helped me stay true to my sound(s) and not get caught up in trends.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
King Unique – Without Boxes (Petrels Remix) [microCastle], for me I’ll even request it at my funeral. It makes you feel good to be a human being and to have been alive for all of this.
‘Consciousness Conductor’ is out now on Juicebox Music, you can purchase the release: here