Villem and Mcleod release the much-anticipated ‘Another Star/Keeper of the Sun’ soon so I caught up with Mcleod.
DB: Did you set out with a specific agenda with this release?
M: We both have a pretty eclectic taste in music so we draw influences from a lot of different styles. We don’t consciously set out to write a particular vibe when we start, it’s generally dictated by a sample that catches our attention and we vibe off of that.
DB: You mention samples. I hear that you’re a huge hip hop fan, what sort of style?
M: Here’s an example of the kind of Hip Hop I’m into.
Chunky beats, clever sample chops & great lyrics!
DB: And regarding sampling, is it important to you?
M: I just love the culture of sampling. In fact I’ve found so much great music through the years doing this that I might not necessarily have sampled but just fell in love with. Me and Villem also have a very similar taste in music so we show each other a lot of stuff too.
DB: How did hip hop and D&B come together for you?
M: Around 1997 I recall it being a really defining time. I was 15 and had just started really getting into music, mainly hip hop and when I heard certain D&B tunes using similar samples I thought it was the best thing in the world.
DB: This then fed back into your sound?
M: I like a lot of different genres of music so it results in my stuff being varied; some of the tunes might never see the light of day but I think it’s healthy to experiment with music and try different things.
DB: It comes through, the spirit. And this is reflected in Samurai’s vibe too, especially the physical releases, the way they appeal…
M: In these times it’s important for labels like Samurai to still fly the flag of vinyl. It’s much more of a commitment from the label and it shows that they believe in the music they are releasing.
DB: And people should remember ‘Hush’ on the label too.
M: ‘Hush’ is definitely one that I am proud of as it was the first record that I had been involved in to be released on Vinyl and it had a great reception from some of the top names in the scene.
DB: What other things have you worked on that you’re especially proud of?
M: The ‘Chameleon’ remix was also one to be proud of. When Saxxon (Savage Rehab) asked me if I wanted in I was like ‘Yeah’ especially when he told me that we were remixing ‘Chameleon’; the original had such a great vibe we couldn’t wait to get in there and put our spin on it. It was also an honor to be involved with a project that so many other great artists were involved in too.
DB: And what’s cooking right now, what’s in the lab?
M: I’m currently working on a something with Symptom/Savage Rehab plus more stuff with Villem and all three of us are also working on something together.
DB: There’s a proximity thing here isn’t there… location-wise? Where you based?
M: I’m currently based in Ipswich which unfortunately has a very limited D&B scene. On the other hand however I do have Villem, Symptom & Saxxon from Savage Rehab in surrounding areas that are always up for working on music. So it could be worse!
DB: In the music in general who do you admire?
M: Break and Calibre are consistently good in my book. But the people that inspire me the most are the guys I have around me. Taking time off my 9-5 to go up to Bristol to see the Utopia Music crew is always inspirational too. Big up the Mako and crew!
DB: And who would be wicked to collaborate with?
M: I would love to work with Little Dragon, the first time I heard one of their songs I don’t think I even liked it but then I heard their music again and it totally consumed me. They were on heavy rotation after that! I have also recently discovered a guy called Shawn Lee, he makes some awesome music and seems like a great guy.
The number one collab would be with the Soulquarians, such an insanely talented group of individuals, I’d be happy to be a fly on the wall at a session of theirs let alone be involved in the process!
DB: And apart from the new 12 what’s been a highlight of the 2013?
M: It has to be ‘Another Star’ being included on the next Fabric Live album… thanks Friction!. If you knew the story behind that tune you would appreciate how pleased we with the outcome!
DB: What story?
M: Let’s just say it had major interest…
All in all, the making of ‘Another Star’ was an epic journey where the tune evolved from what we thought was once the final product to what it is today.
DB: Thanks sir.