I sent SKisM Brainbug and I think his exact words were ‘fuck off!’
Two weeks ago we spoke to SKisM.
He had a lot of nice things to say about UK producer LAXX. A LOT. He also said LAXX was a little ‘over confident’ and that, had his music not stood up to the unique standard it does, he would have loved to have not signed him.
We called LAXX to get his side of things…
“I’m not over cocky!” laughs the man who confesses to writing tunes up to 12 hours a day, six days a week.“Basically I was hearing a lot of trap, I was hearing a lot of dubstep. Some of it was cool but a lot of it wasn’t. So I had an idea to make something new. I called it twitch because I didn’t want to put it in a bracket.”
He gave it away for free via UKF….
“So I spoke to SKisM as I knew he’d been playing Step One. We talked about a release. He kept saying to send tunes but I wanted to do final tweaks. It got the point when he said ‘I’m not being funny but you haven’t sent anything over yet!’ I sent him The Unknown and he came back with ‘okay, deal, what else you got?’ I sent him Brainbug and I think his exact words were ‘fuck off!’”
Cool story. Apparently SKisM has since responded more new material with a simple succinct ‘shut up..’ With this level of energy between them it should come as no surprise that their co-lab material is set to be stuff of next-level legend. More than comfortable with major-league collabos, in the past LAXX has also worked with Benga. But you kind of get the impression that he’s happiest when he’s working solo buried deep in his production complexities, working and reworking his own material to untold benchmarks:
“I’m a perfectionist,” admits LAXX who appears anything but lax. “Even simple tracks have hours and hours, sometimes weeks, of time invested making sure the elements are perfect. I love overcomplicating stuff, that’s how I got into writing music. I try and do things completely backwards. So I’ll start with the weirdest thing I can think of and simplify from there. There’s always a lot going on in each track!”
One of the many results of this approach is the above featured Step One. Step Two followed on Never Say Die…
The big question is: what’s up with Step Three?
I don’t think people know what I have coming next! This is really cool. It could go anywhere.
“I want to keep people guessing!” grins LAXX who enjoys a dabble on the bass guitar. “Step One is simple and it had a wicked reaction. It seems to really stand out. Now after tunes like Unknown and Gold Plated, which were both pretty nuts, I don’t think people know what I have coming next! This is really cool. It could go anywhere. I want people to be open to everything they hear from me. My sound came from a lot of hard work but also it feels right. A mix of hip-hop, dubstep influences… It’s all fallen together and Step Three is the same vein; it feels right, it excites me and sounds fresh. Watch out for stuff that’s a bit nuts. But also stuff that’s easier to digest…”
Nuts or digestible… Whatever he delivers next, we’re know it will be worth checking. Here are a few other things we learnt about him…
The first album he bought was Chemical Brothers – Surrender
I found it in my collection recently and had it on repeat for months. It still sounds so fresh now. The whole thing sounds different to everything else.
The first single he bought was DJ Jean – The Launch
Such a budget tune! It’s so dated but I love it. I played it in Holland and someone was like ‘what the hell you doing?’ I found out it was number one in Holland for months… It went off!
He’s found inspiration twanging on a ukulele
I had so many wicked ideas just from playing this little rubbish, slightly out of tune ukulele. The chord progressions are great and you can lots of arpegiating ideas. They’re also really good for toplines and cheeky riffs.