Thursday, 1 November 2012
Exclusive Interview with Gav Ley
To start proceedings, can you tell the FJ blog a little about yourself and you're involvement in the 140 Jungle scene?
Well I'm a 2nd generation Old Skool raver, Breakbeat enthusiast, producer, label owner and occasional DJ. I always wanted to produce music with an Old Skool Hardcore influence so I got my first sampler when I was 18 and dabbled for years but never finished anything. I never knew there was a new Old Skool scene until I stumbled upon nu-rave.com a few years back at which time my brother introduced me to Cubase. Finding this new site and DAW really lit a spark in me and I started to make music again. John Kidson signed my track "Loving ways" and things went from there.
You run the R.A.T.E D label which is short for 'Rough Around The Edges Digital', there must be an interesting anecdote you can share with us regarding this choice of name.
The one thing I loved about Old Skool Hardcore was the grittiness of the production. Things have got a lot cleaner over the years so I wanted to set up a label with the intention of putting out tracks that were a little more gritty and "Rough around the Edges". The releases are in digital format hence the "Digital" and I thought it made for a nice acronym.
You're first release on the label included your track 'Minimal Skank' which is an absolutely huge 140 Jungle anthem at the moment, what was the inspiration behind the track?
I wanted to make a rolling 1996 style Jungle/DnB track but at a lower BPM. I wanted it to be current yet clearly echo what was one of my favourite years in Jungle/DnB. I also wanted it to be a track that you could get down to on the dancefloor as well as something you could enjoy while chilling. The track gave itself the name to be honest.
Another Unreleased gem by yourself is a track called 'Just Jungle', a transitional track that starts at 140bpm before switching to 170bpm, is this an attempt at joining the dots between the myriad of DnB styles and tempos?
To be honest the intention was to make a mix tool for DJs as opposed to a track. Recently a lot more DJs have been playing sets not bound to just one genre or BPM which I think is fantastic so I wanted to create a bridge track so a DJ could make a smooth transition from 140bpm to a higher tempo without having to make the obvious "stop and start" switchover.
What sort of technology and software do you favour in your music production?
I used to use all outboard gear (namely Korg Hardware/Sound Modules), a Mackie mixing desk and no P.C but found the programming to be quite a chore. It's all in the box now. DAW wise it's Cubase and I use a wide range of plugins. I use a few Native Instruments soft synths, waves plugins, Alchemy is my preferred soft sampler and various other vsts and fx. My P.C spec are far from desirable but I firmly believe that limitations can bring out the best in your creativity and it also stops me overdoing things on tunes.
What Do You Listen To In Your Free Time?
Obviously I try to keep as up to date with new Breakbeat as possible and it takes up most of time as there are so many amazing producers & tunes out there right now. Breakbeat is so diverse at the moment and I believe that every track offers something different.
Outside of Breakbeat I listen to most forms of Dance Music but I also like Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Santana, Nirvana, The Verve's early stuff, Squarepusher, Dreadzone... there are honestly too many sounds to list. I am also a massive Shpongle fan and I seriously recommend the album "Tales of the inexpressible". That album changed my life.
Tell us 2 things that are indispensable to Gav Ley?
I couldn’t live without curry and my ears.
What does the future hold for Gav Ley and R.A.T.E D? Who can we expect to hear in future releases?
Well I've got a remix coming out on Digital Acetate this month, a release coming out on Quantum Progression Audio and I'm working on a few freebies for the '92 remix project(http://soundcloud.com/groups/the-92-project).
We've got some bangers coming out on R.A.T.E.D shortly. Soundshifter's "London Don is out now exclusively on www.ravedownload.com coupled with a remix from myself and the mighty Shadow Frequency from across the pond have got an EP coming out in the next few months with Jamie Rotten on remix duties. Top Drawer Digital head honcho Lucas has done an amazing track for R.A.T.E.D so keep your eyes peeled for that and a Minimal Skank Remix EP should be landing around Xmas. We've been running a remix competition to give up and coming producers the chance to feature on the release alongside some of the scenes biggest producers.
Last Of All, Any Shout Outs? Also where can we stay in the loop for all things R.A.T.E D?
Massive shouts to my best mate Carl Jones as he introduced me to this music at an early age, Kidson and Insa241 for helping me get a track out there, Ruined Jon for his dedication to the label, yourself Tariq for all your help and support, my missus for being supportive of what I do and putting up with my constant talk of Breakbeat and everyone involved in the scene. Nuff love to you all, maximum!!
You can keep up to date with everything R.A.T.E.D by following the links below:
R.A.T.E.D @ Ravedownload.com: https://www.ravedownload.com/labels/r-a-t-e-digital/cat_206.html
and dont forget to tune into the bi weekly R.A.T.E.D show with Ruined Jon, Mondays 9pm - 11pm on www.nu-raveradio.com
Sound Shifter’s ‘London Don’ is out now exclusive to www.ravedownload.com
Get it here: https://www.ravedownload.com/Labels/R-A-T-E-Digital/SoundShifter-London-Don/prod_2978.html