UNSUB – ALEXIS K.: Feature Artist January 2013
Name: Lily Alice Kaitlyn Luck
Dj/Producer Name: Unsub – Alexis K
Country: Diehard, NSW – Australia
Optimus Gryme – Permanent Damage – 6 Degrees – Subway – Street Ritual – Digital Records – Suicide Dub – Tharsis – Dubwar – Sex Camp – Monkey Dub – Temper D – Stupid Fly – Real Big Groove – High Chai – Sub Lab – Dubpride – Universal – Wonk – Simplify – T & A Records – LU10 – Urban Graffiti – STFU – Dub Monkey – Muti Music – Requiem Audio – True Score Theory – Klub Kids – Zardonic – BF Recs – Caliber – Tsunami Audio – Generation Bass – Empathy – SonyBMG – Ranking – Cleopatra – Horizon
How would you describe the music you produce:
Its more of a diary then anything else. Its an outlet for the craziness I’ve been through and continue to go through. Alot of different emotions and vibes that are influenced by the things I’ve seen, places I’ve been and the people I meet. Its a range of styles from dubstep and dnb through to moombah, metal, funk and hiphop.
How did you get into making music:
I started out teaching myself drums when I was 10, picked up a guitar at 15 and started doing that as my main instrument playing in bands from about 17 up until I discovered drum and bass at about 20. Started playing around with Fruity Loops when I was 22 after seeing Audio, Robyn Chaos and Nanotek at a Therapy Sessions gig in Sandwiches Wellington. Alot easier to make tunes by yourself then trying to rely on bandmates to turn up to practice! My best friend has been a DJ for about 10 years now (Spinsta) and got me into electronic music in a big way. I didnt plan on DJing initially as I just wanted to make tunes for her to play but it kind of evolved from there. Been doing it full time since about 2010.
Most influential artists:
Biggest influences are mid 90’s music: deftones, tool, Korn (pre- Unleashed), Incubus, NIN, Nirvana. Limp Bizkit. Music with alot of feel and awesome melodies. As far as electronica goes, definitely Amon Tobin, Burial and The Upbeats. Audio is also a huge influence on my work having been the first dj/producer that I talked with about production after seeing him play live. Been really digging Munchi since I first heard his stuff about 2 years ago and have a big soft spot for the likes of Jillian Ann, Portishead and Massive Attack. On a personal level, the biggest influence has been from Dominic Owen (The Love Theme) as he has been my mentor for the last 2 years with production and general life stuff. Cant help picking up influences from him =D
I use FLstudio because its easy to get the ideas down and fleshed out quickly. Which works for me as I want to get the emotion out as quickly as possible sometimes so I dont dwell on them. Pretty much does everything I need it to do in a really straight forward way. I use a digitech RPX400 that I ‘borrowed’ from my Dad a few years ago for recording guitar, vocals, drums, samples, etc and an OM3 Mic. I play the piano stuff through my laptop keyboard (force of habit) and use Seinheisser headphones. I dont use monitors as I’m pretty much moving every few weeks to play shows and such so its a bit of a logistics issue to lug around big speakers and when I was starting out I was a broke student so couldnt afford to get them. Pretty basic setup but it means I can work from anywhere with ease.
Track production from start to finish:
When I start a track I’ll usually be in one mood or another, sometimes I dont know what I’m feeling until I start. Often it’ll be with a piano, or guitar, sometimes a bass sound or a drumline. Building the first drop (or intro depending on the mood). From there, its a case of building backwards from the drop and then figuring out where I want to take the 2nd half. Always needs to go from point A to point B. Everytime I do a 2nd drop it needs to really take you somewhere different, so you feel like its making progress in one way or another. Definitely think the 2nd drop is overlooked by alot of producers. I work pretty quickly in the way I produce so I can get the stuff out quickly. It can be draining being in some of the vibes of certain tracks for more then 8 hours. The best ones are the ones that come out quickly and just capture the mood I’m in perfectly.
Any producing/mastering tips:
Mixdown and Mastering: rule of thumb I’ve used is making sure that if one thing has compression that they all do. Some people reckon if you do though, you lose dynamics (which can happen) but thats only if you arent using it properly. I built a template that I constantly refine that seperates the bass and the individual elements. Seperation via EQing and compression is the key. gives you more control and lets each individual element ride out while still being part of the overall mix. I’ve been pretty lucky as far as mastering goes as Dominic Owen has been my mentor for close to 3 years now and taught me a few bits and pieces about it.
To take people on a journey. Connect with people on an emotional level. I’d love to play some of the bigger festivals but more looking forward to playing in places that dont usually get gigs, those small, middle of nowhere towns like the place I grew up in. My hope as a producer is to inspire other producers to take different directions with things, experiment, push the bounds and try new things. If I can influence people to try something new thats the best thing for me. I’m also hoping to help people to start following their ambitions. If I can help them out by sharing what I know about production or anything and get them a step closer to living their dream then that makes it all worth it for me. Always wanted to score a feature film and I’m getting that chance next year so definitely looking forward to that!