Thursday, 16 December 2010

Noisses interview for KMag

Son of the acclaimed jazz musician Steve Lodder, Alex Lodder, also known as Noisses, is now a creative musical force in his own right. In-house DJ for nights such as the over-hype ATG raves and dirty Urban Nerds parties, he can be found spinning bass-heavy riddims at most other sweaty little mash-ups all over London. He's also a super-talented producer, with his own grimy, crunked-out sound that somehow never quite loses its soul, no matter how heavy it gets. We catch up with him in the studio for a cup of green tea and a chat.

So, your dad's obviously been a massive influence on you, how was it growing up with that background?
Well, I grew up with jazz, mainly, cos my dad was a jazz pianist, so almost everything he played me was music of black origin, or influence. Standout ones were Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Prince on the pop side, then loads of jazz and funk. I remember, even as a teenager, him introducing me to things like LTJ Bukem and D'Angelo; things you'd expect your friends to introduce you to, but my dad was still discovering new music. So he played a big part in shaping my musical tastes..

That comes through in your production and your sets, you've got a real bass-driven sound, but it's still quite soulful. Did you play any instruments when you were younger?
I started playing drums at school. Then, when I was 15, I got an Atari off my dad that had Cubase on it, a cheap Yamaha Midi keyboard and a synth. I began copying things that I heard at the time, Propellerheads, Air and loads and loads of garage! That was when I first started DJing too.

You're really lucky you had access to that so young! Did you start playing out at clubs?
It was just mate's parties, being a big DJ wasn't part of my aim when I was a teenager, it was always about making music. I never really pushed it, then, late teens I went to uni and left London for a few years. I studied Music Production at West Midlands. It gave me the chance to make a lot of music, cos there wasn't much else to do! But I came back to London as much as I could.

Did you have a bigger goal with it?
Even to this day, I'm not 100% sure what I want to do, but I'll be happy as long as I'm involved in and making music, cos it's my first love and it will always be my last. I always wanted to make tunes as an artist, but I always wanted to work with other artists, people like the N.E.R.D.'s and Timbaland's out there too...

Have you got a wish list of collaborations?
In terms of the dance music, I'd love to get in the studio with Liam Howlett. He was a big influence for me, one of the best dance music pioneers ever! On the flipside, Prince...

That would be amazing!
He's just a legend and there's not many of them about these days!

What kind of kit do you favour in the studio?
I started on Cubase, but as soon as I could get a Mac I was on Logic, that was my first student loan gone! I still try and use as much outboard stuff as possible, cos you can always get good sounds and not everyone's got it.

What's your favourite piece of equipment?
The Virus is good, but probably my Mac, cos it does so much.

Do you find, because it's so cheap to get a computer now, there's a lot of similar music out there?
There's more people making music than there ever has been. I think all that's gonna happen is you're gonna find someone good in a pile of shit! More people making music is a good thing, because music's great! Everyone loves music, it makes the world go round!

What do you listen to at home?
I think you can find good music in all genres, guitar music, real leftfield electronic stuff, the new 2-steppy stuff that's coming out is pretty good, dubstep, obviously, hip hop, still, it feels like there's a resurgence in the UK hip hop, a lot of the old guys are stepping back up into the scene, there's something to look out for in that!

And what kind of nights do you like to go out to?
I don't really get the chance! But if I do, I love an old school D&B rave. For me, it's the best fast dance music to go out to! Apart from that, I like to go out and listen to soulful stuff too. Deviation's a great night for vibes, FWD and DMZ are wicked too.

Nice, let's talk about your new single, tell us about that...
It's out on Bullet Train, Marco Del Horno's label. He's just put Ho! Riddim out with P Money, which is smashing it! This is the third release as Noisses, which is always heavily influenced by dubstep and new big bass sounds. Most of the previous Noisses stuff was pretty heavy and nasty, so I kind of wanted to clean it up a bit and bring more musical elements. I just wanted to introduce a few more sounds in there, it's not all about dubstep!

Talk us through the tracks...
Okay, the title track is called Show Them, featuring Hollie Cook, it originally started off as a halfspeed dubstep tune, but I made it a bit more up-tempo and it has breaks in, it's just a bit fresher, you know? Innit is more of a club banger, it's big and bassy! I Hear It is a bit more experimental, there's some dubstep sounds, a bit of funky, a little bit of garage vibes in there, a real mixture. ThenApathy is the real down-tempo dubsteppy musical one; a bit more chilled, there's a bit more thought in it.

Nice, the VIP mix kills it for me! Do you find producing tracks in the studio gives you a better knowledge of working with them when you're DJing?
Yeah, I think you start to get an idea of structure and arrangement, you can tell when tunes are gonna drop and you get a natural feel for it, you don't even have to think about it, you just know when something's gonna change in a tune. It definitely helps DJing, you can structure your sets musically and get a bit more of intuitive in your mixes.

Have you got a wish list of places you'd like to play?
I'd love to do all the big parties and cities all round the world. I've played Fabric a few times, but I'd like to play there more... I'd like to play FWD and it'd be good to fill Koko one day!

Yeah, to have that kind of bass behind you must be sick! I noticed you've got some ink on your arm, is that the only tattoo you have?
I have another, which I got done when my granddad died, but this is a piece of music my dad wrote. I got it cos he's the main reason I do what I do, and I love what I do, so it's just a reminder. I asked him what tune he'd written that sums him up and it was this one...

So, going forward, is there a game plan?
Yeah, it's all coming together at the moment, the Noisses stuff is bubbling away, the EP's dropping soon. Then I'm working on a new project called Cellar Door, with Polar Bear and Hollie Cook again, which is a three way project; a leftfield, electronic, down-tempo kind of flex. We're doing a 14-track album, that we're gonna release either early or late next year, it's kind of a winter album, so we'll see how quick it comes about. If that gets a good reception, we'll tour it. Apart from that, I'm just gonna keep DJing and doing the Noisses stuff.

Do you find it quite hard to be original in what you're doing?
People are always looking for the next new sound and that's quite a tricky thing to get right. I've not put that kind of pressure on myself yet, I'm just making music that I'm feeling, it's all original, but I like to see the influences in something, I think you can see those in my work. A new sound should come naturally really, if you put enough effort and time into what you're doing in the studio, chipping away at that big block of concrete, then you'll come out with some crazy new statue.

What helps you focus?
Just remembering what I'm about, what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, because there can be so much bullshit wrapped up in the music industry, you can slip and forget why you're doing it.

So, what else have you got in the pipeline?
I want to do one more Noisses EP early next year and then a Noisses album. I'd like to work with a record label on it, in terms of promotion – it will need the backing of a good label...

out now on Beatport.

Banging. Any big ups?
N: Shouts to ATG Crew, DTA, Second Son!

Words: Roly Henry
Photography: Will Robson Scott

No comments:

Post a Comment