The legend. Frequently used term. It applies to producers who have been given this status by the scene because of their specific, often timeless sound.
Nowadays, in times of social networking it seems that legends appear quite often for the purpose of marketing. Quantitative characteristics (number of albums, fans, performances) are emphasized. It is a subjective category of perception evaluated through experience, emotions and musical taste.
Whether the term legend is used here will be left to you. For those whose name Skynet says nothing to him, I will briefly introduce it.
Skynet, from duo of Stakka & Skynet, has been on the scene since 1997. Perhaps their most breakthrough was their album Clockwork from 2001. Soaked with tech and electro, it pushed the boundaries of drum and bass to the next level.
After a short pause, he returns to the drum and bass world with his “old-new” sound.
Skynet will play its set at Uhu Club in Bratislava on November 15th. What you can look forward to is in the interview below.
Nathan, lets start with classic question, how did you get into music??Your first releases were on Audio Blueprint and Underfire in 1997. It was all about drum and bass from the beginning or you were into some other genre before?
I started going out raving around 1986 and fell in love with the sound of acid house, techno & house. I think my tastes were pretty much shaped and locked in from that era and later following into hardcore and jungle. At some point in the early 90s I started to mess around with djing and production followed soon after. It wasnʼt until around 95-96 that I started to get serious after which I had met up with Shaun – Stakka and we just clicked. I had been involved in some releases that come out on Ram/ liftin spirits before Stakka and I decided to start our own labels as we had our own ideas that didnʼt fit other labels at the time, the rest as they say is history.
Question, which i ask anybody from golder era. Why and on the basis of what you had so many monikers? (Kraken, Profound Noise, Psion, Universal Flava, Sublogics, Spy and more).
Ha yes we had a few different names we recorded as. Itʼs two fold really, having a few labels we wanted to add some dimension to the artist roster and not just Stakka and Skynet releases every week as at the time that dilutes things. Today thatʼs different and seen as super hero status! Lol Also we wanted to produce different styles and found it fitting to write those styles under different names.
After the pause, you return into DnB scene with releases on labels Skynet audio and Discrete. In 2014, you recorded podcast for Hard bass Dealers guys with a lot of unreleased tracks. Some of them were released, some of them were released this year and some of them are still unreleased. What does it matter, when you release the track?
Yes thatʼs right. I have a lot of music stocked up. However Iʼm in no rush to throw music so until tracks are fully ready to my ears, then they stay were they are until such time. Iʼve also had lots of life disruptions which has lead to various hurdles in finishing up music. But things I feel are finally starting to come together now, to which Iʼm very happy about.
Can we look forward for some new release or maybe new album?
Releases, yes! Album, that Iʼm not sure about just yet. As previously mentioned Iʼve had some disruptions, moving around and various other business ventures going on. But now things are starting to settle down and come together so we will see what happens. I do have a lot of ideas and hopes, letʼs just see how it rolls out.
After all these years, your music is still dirty with the patina of the old. I can hardly say that about anyones today production. Not to mention your specific synths, thanks to which i know itʼs your production. Is it something you do on purpose or yout donʼt even realize it and you put it to your work automatically?
I have a certain sound that I need to hear, a certain edge that needs to tickle my ears. If that doesnʼt happen then music doesnʼt get written. I think Iʼve found it hard in the digital era and modern productions because it just doesnʼt cut it for me. Doesnʼt excite me one bit. This has lead to lack of inspiration and so, motivation. I think the biggest thing for me is coming from an analogue and midi world, going into digital was just to static and has no movement or swagger. Digital is awesome though and I jumped straight into it head first, but after time and new plug in fixation wore off there was something that just didnʼt sit right. I think I have finally found what that is and how to overcome it. Iʼm starting to find a balance thatʼs working. I love that analogue dirt and feel. Something most modern music lacks heavily, neat and tidy production is one thing but sterile, lifeless and over produced music just doesnʼt cut it for me.lbum, that Iʼm not sure about just yet. As previously mentioned Iʼve had some disruptions, moving around and various other business ventures going on. But now things are starting to settle down and come together so we will see what happens. I do have a lot of ideas and hopes, letʼs just see how it rolls out.
Generic sound is a term I first heard from you. Since then many people have adopted it. How do you perceive things around generic sound now? With the arrival of a new generic wave, most producers had to change their sound and adapt it to the new one. You think it’s ok? Is it a natural process?
Generic sound just meaning people copying each other, all sounding the same and generic. Cookie cutter. I think that has always been there, mimicking is a human condition, but with the current economic structure in music, people take less chances than before and go with what the common denominator is. Itʼs business smart, but does nothing for creativity and diversity.
What can we expect from you in Bratislava? Can we hear some new unrelesed stuff?
Yes lots of good stuff! New, old and somewhere in-between. The main thing will be an epic & energetic journey of sc-fi, tech infused sounds.
Is it something you can say and i didnʼt ask?
Just to say thanks for the questions and to thank everyone for the support over the years. Itʼs nice to know other people enjoy the same sound and ideas 😉
Also Iʼm looking forward to coming to play for you guys in November and meet everyone. Going to be a fun night!