Tuesday 3rd October // Since the release of their 3 track atmospheric future-garage EP ‘Sun Shines Through‘, Brighton based producer ‘Greencyde‘ has continued to support and contribute towards the underground electronica scene. Their EP which was released on ‘Horizon Recordings‘ back in mid-September was met with great praise within the community, which has seen their work promoted on multiple promotional channels. We caught up with the artist to dig a little deeper into their musical background and future goals.
Hey Brett, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. First off, are you firmly rooted in Brighton, or do you tend to travel a lot?
I am a full time DJ so do travel around the south but other than that yes I’m rooted in Brighton. I’m originally from Slough which is where the name Greencyde came from. A nod and a wink to all the friends I grew up with in Greenside and the Northborough estate.
Can you recall your first real exposure to music?
Yes, my dad used to bring back most of the people in the pub after it had closed and always had big parties. People used to leave their vinyl at our house after the parties and I’d usually end up with it. Like me he is also heavily into his music, and was always playing music like Kraftwerk, and other early electronic pioneers like White Noise, and Delia Derbyshire.
My first real exposure to music (and bonding experience) would be my dad passing me his headphones and getting me to listen to ‘On The Run’ by Pink Floyd, that track was way ahead of its time and still sounds great today with that sped up sequencer. I guess you could say I’ve been listening out for innovative music ever since.
How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?
Around ’99 I was listening to Horace Andy’s version of Bob Marley’s ‘Natural Mystic’ and decided I wanted to play the Bass guitar. 2 weeks later I was in a band. I have played in bands ever since.
I originally started playing with Electronic music with (do you remember?) Music 2000 on the Sony Playstation. Haha, that program where you could use the preset sounds and move them around. I then bought a PC and found Fruity Loops. Then around 4 or 5 years ago I was chatting to my friend Ben Harragan who also shared a love of Drum & Bass.
We started making music under the name Third Agenda making mostly Drum & Bass and Dubstep. Ashley Rose who is on my latest EP joined us after I saw her performing one day and I asked her if there was any chance she could sing on some of our tracks. Ben showed me how to make music with Logic Pro X. I went home with it and I haven’t put it down since. You can find Third Agenda on the net if you fancy checking it out. J
Can you describe your music for us?
Ambient, warm, deep basslines, minimal, and as much atmosphere as I can throw at it. I make Future Garage, Drum & Bass and Dub.
Have you ever played live? Would you like to in future? Any upcoming shows?
I don’t play live with the Electronic music, I used to with the band and I had the privilege of supporting lots of great Punk bands like Discharge and The Exploited, totally different to what I’m doing now. I’m quite happy making my music at home with a cup of coffee close to hand.
Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?
Both. Definitely technical skills, I mean it took me a while to get to grips with what was going on with the programs. I’m still learning.
I believe anyone can be creative, and even if 1000s of people don’t understand the music you’re making there are others out there that do and want to hear it. I had to go looking to find others that were also making the music I love.
Which brings me to give a big thank you to people like yourself and Insight music, Antony O’Loughlin (The Games We Play) and Facebook groups like Future Garage / Wave / Witch House / Downtempo UK for showing me that there are loads of you out there that I can learn from and chat with. It’s great to feel a part of something. And thank you to all the Youtube mixers like Sound-TV for your great mixes.
Do you tend to find creating music a cathartic or therapeutic experience? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult times in your life at all?
It’s a weird one, I’d say both, I’m one of those people that can fall to pieces listening to music, you know the hairs standing up on the back of your neck stuff? As for it helping me with difficult times in my life, probably not, I tend to listen to some pretty dark music so I’m probably my own worst enemy and if I’m going through a difficult time that is still the music playing on my stereo.
I can also get stressed out when a track is not sounding how I’d like it to. One track took me 2 days to get the beginning how I wanted it to sound recently, at that point I could’ve smashed the absolute crap out of my Mac, lol. But when my music is how I want it to sound I couldn’t be in a happier place.
Your latest EP release ‘Sun Shines Through’ was released on hometown record label Horizon Recordings, tell us a little about how that came together?
I asked my friend Paul of Disco Deviant if he knew anything about Record and Digital music labels as I wanted to start my own. He put me in touch with Tom of Horizon Recordings, he’s a lovely guy who met up with me and showed me how he and his friend Matt ran their label. I noticed about a month later Tom was asking if any producers would like to remix a track by the artist Monoman on their label, I jumped on it and we’ve been chatting ever since. I’m just chuffed to bits that they liked the music I made.
The EP itself features a great dimension of atmospheric sound design mixed with ghostly vocals and sublime percussion work. What is it in your life that influences your work?
Cor, you made that sound good, thanks! Haha. I am drawn to dark, atmospheric music, music that sounds like it’s from another world. I love dark Dub Reggae with heavy bass, dub drops, and echo chambers, and I love massive Attack. I try as best I can to get that into my tracks, and also a lot of Ambient. I remember taking home a cassette (oops, showing my age now) from Slough Record Centre years ago. I used to spend all my paper round money in there.
The cassette was packed with Ambient. I didn’t know what Ambient was then, it just had a nice cover. I had no idea what I was listening to but I loved it. It had the Orb track on it ‘A Huge Evergrowing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of The Ultraworld’. That would be my first real introduction to Ambient dance. I then went mad for Bleep (welcome Sub Bass into my life!) Drum & Bass a few years later, Goldie’s Inner City Life, and Alex Reece’s Pulp Fiction, cor I remember hearing that for the first time in a club, game changing music. Then I found Burial!
Bizarrely I discovered Burial watching the TV show Waterloo Road. I could hear the track Archangel playing in the background and immediately scoured the internet to find the playlist for the show that night. All of a sudden Ambient had a new sound and it sounded like it was living in the streets.
I also like Breakage, he makes some heavy hitting sounds, and always drops plenty of atmosphere in there, and dub sounds too!
Any new genres or musical styles you’d like to explore in future?
Drone is interesting me recently. And also after hearing Burial’s ‘Rodent’ in the last few weeks I’ve been trying my hardest to make something a bit more like that.
Do you have any thoughts on the future of underground musical styles? Do you think the scene will evolve further?
The underground is where the originators come from! I can’t see why the scene shouldn’t evolve, there are so many interesting and original sounds coming out of it.
Any artists you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to work with in future?
I love collaborations, if anyone wants to collaborate please let me know.
Who would I like to work with? Rift, please! He’s making some of the warmest and most beautiful stuff out there. I saw he put something up on his on his Facebook page recently saying his biggest milestone is that the artist ‘Sorrow’ is now following him on Soundcloud and he’s a big influence on his music.
Well it’s exactly the same story for me, I noticed Rift this week had liked the guest mix I did for The Games We Play, then a few days later he followed me on Soundcloud and liked one of my tracks on there. I can’t tell you how great that makes me feel, I’m seriously buzzing!
Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?
Can I drop more than one in here? My musical tastes are so wide I would go on all day about music if you let me.
Burial – Etched Headplate, and Burial’s remix of Jamie Woon’s Wayfaring Stranger, both of these tracks take me somewhere else!
Manu Shrine – Perception (Now there’s a track that makes me fall to pieces) We lost a true gem there, but he left us with such amazing music.
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead (dark Goth with a Reggae beat!)
Nasty Habits (Doc Scott) – Shadow Boxing. That track is like a huge beast of a cloud looming above you.
Do you have any words of advice for aspiring young producers?
As Digital Underground once said “Doowutchyalike”.
Make the music you love then you’ll put all your heart into it.
Any other projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?
I’m busy on my computer making new music that I hope will be liked. At the moment I’m so happy that people are getting to hear my Sun Shines Through EP. It means so much to me.
And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?
Now, there’s a question, some producers I mention here may already be big (to me they are!)
I love the work of French producer Z3M. I mean that boy even managed to get Bros (the old Boy Band) to sound cool on his track Famous. You could’ve been beaten up for listening to them in the past, lol.
Urs Wild and his ‘B.o.O.m’ project.
Anfield. Is he already big? Great music.
Koncide. The track Empathic is a beauty!
And Brighton boy Misfit, he makes some beautiful Dubstep music, notably the tracks Honey Glazed and Live By The Gun are stunning.