The Wax Sessions : Fytch + Exclusive EP Minimix
Being a producer today is not an easy feat, let alone a producer signed to a recognized label. With the rise of the DAW and the flourishing ecosystem of bedroom producing, the music industry is more competitive than ever.
Let me introduce you to Fytch. A young electronic producer signed to the record label Heroic spearheaded by Budi Voogt. Heroic is fast becoming one of my favorite destinations to discover unique and genre defying music. Their emphasis on the creative side and their disregard for mainstream taste are prime characteristics of what we need from a label today.
It’s no suprise that they picked up Fytch to help shape their vision. It’s quite a privilege to be interviewing someone passionate about their craft and on the verge of releasing art that’s been in the works for quite some time. There is nothing more exciting or nerve wracking when you’re on the edge of the unknown right before an album release. Without further ado, here are the results of digging into the creative mind of Fytch with an exclusive minimix of his EP coming soon!
1. Does the name Fytch have any significance?
There is no real significance behind Fytch. I came up with the name before I started producing with no real purpose behind it.
2. Tell us about your favorite thing off this new EP releasing on Heroic.
By the time I finish a new EP, the tracks have become like my children – which makes it hard to choose favorites. On the macro, my favorite thing is how much freedom I had in the creative process. Each track has it’s own specific vibe and I don’t feel like I was limited by genre boundaries or what I was hearing in the electronic scene. The title track – ‘Show You’ – left a particularly strong impression on me because of how naturally it fell together and the way it turned out. Alisa did an outstanding job on the vocals and I think all of the imagery it conveys is coherent and concise.
3. Tell me a bit about your history with music. How did you get started? How do you feel looking back now that you are at this stage in your music career?
My interaction with music began at the age of 5, when my parents signed me up for classical guitar lessons. Back then I don’t remember explicitly wanting to be a musician but over time I became more and more interested in composition and music beyond the guitar itself. At the age of 14 I signed up for piano lessons and it’s also around that time that I first started experimenting with electronic music. Production was so appealing because instead of being stuck with the timbre of an instrument, I was now able to create the sound itself before doing anything with it. Furthermore, with the depth and flexibility of digital audio workstations, I was able to study music on so many different levels in the intimate context of the software itself. Looking back to the journey it was getting here, I feel I have just as much to learn as I did when I started. The only difference is that what I’m learning is constantly changing; the more I know, the more there is to know.
4. You’ve been releasing tracks on Soundcloud for 5 years now. How many years have you been seriously producing?
I started posting on SoundCloud around the same time that I started producing. However, in retrospect the first few years were really informal, and production was more of a hobby than anything else. I would say I started seriously producing two years ago, when I decided to go to Berklee College of Music to study electronic production and sound design. That is when I started being more purposeful and critical about my sound and it’s the time I saw myself improving the most in that domain.
5. I’ve noticed you switched your styles. Your new style is a lot more ambient and minimalistic. With your recent history in Dubstep, your minimalistic tracks have more intricate sound design as well. Do you think this is just a phase in your progress?
This is definitely just a phase in my progress. Since I’m still bound by my studies until 2018, I decided to take the opportunity to experiment and push the boundaries of my sound. The first step for that was to detach myself from Dubstep itself as the scene seems to have become very formulaic and festival oriented. Taking a step back allowed me to create new pallets of sound, which is the more ambient and minimal feel you mentioned. I did a similar thing when I explored hip hop by taking classic acapellas and creating new instrumentals to fit them. Every time I delve into new styles, I take something from it and I feel that slowly I’m starting to touch on what makes Fytch sound like Fytch. My music is going to continue to evolve, but I believe that the characteristic things that make tracks sound like Fytch will become more prevalent – making the style itself more consistent through time.
6. What plugins do you use for designing sounds? Can you give us a few useful tips on developing new sounds?
Ableton has become a big part of the way I design my sounds. Apart from the plugins you’d expect such as Massive and Serum, I also use the built in Ableton plugins a lot. Tension for example can be used for anything from 808 sub kicks to pluck leads. Operator can become literally anything with its capabilities as an additive and a FM synth. The reason I mention Ableton is because its editing and resampling workflow plays a crucial role in the way I design my sounds. The ability to internally render MIDI to audio and chop it on the grid in the way that Ableton does has enabled me take relatively simple sounds and morph them into something much more personal. My best tip would be to learn one or two synths inside out rather than constantly looking for the best new synth. The more you understand sound design, the more you realize that it all relies on the same concepts: oscillators, filters, envelopes etc. Therefore by studying a single synth well, you’ll quickly find your go-to things, which will end up becoming your sound. My second best tip would be not to overthink the sound design process at the start. It’s more important to spend a lot of time trying things and learning from that experience, than trying to conceptualize what you’re about to do and spending more time thinking than creating. What makes a sound ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is extremely vague and it’s more important to learn that by trying things and hearing what you like than by trying to figure it out in your head. Most of the sounds that ended up becoming signature Fytch sounds came out of pure random experimentation in a synth and it was only later when I studied the theoretical aspects of synthesis that I actually understood what I was really doing.
Posted By: Nelson Mak