Fans of Zero-G’s 2009 release Distorted Dancefloors are in for treat as producer Si Begg returns with another sample collection of experimental and cutting edge sounds in the form of Electro Glitch Essentials. We caught up with Si to find out more about the making of this library…
First up, please could you tell us about your music background?
The short version is this. Small boy who’s obsessed with Dr Who buys 7″ single of theme tune. His Uncle plays lots of Jean Michelle Jarre in the Volvo on family holidays and he grows up into a teenager who divides his time playing in bands and devouring all the electronic music he can find. Goes to see Gary Numan, listens to John Peel, discovers Acid House, discovers Stockhausen and starts buying cheap old analogue synths. Makes lots of experimental cut-ups and weird noises in make shift home studio. Starts releasing techno 12″s in mid 90s, remixes Leftfield, Ken Ishi and Arthur Baker amongst others, makes more releases mashing up all genres of electronic music, signs to Ninjatune and Mute records, makes lots more eccentric electronic music, tours the world, starts making music for TV and film as well as becoming something of an obsessive sound designer.
You produced Distorted Dancefloors which Zero-G released in 2009 which went on to receive some great reviews including an Excellence award from Music Tech. Have you heard it being used on many tracks?
Yep .. spotted it here and there in quite a few dance tracks, but also in other genres. My favourite moment was a massive dubsteppy loop right in the middle of The Apprentice, I contacted the composer, Dru Masters, and it turns out he’s a big fan of Distorted Dancefloors and has used it a lot in his TV productions.
[Ed – here’s what Dru Masters said about using Distorted Dancefloors]
“I bought it for all the little glitchy loops I’m too lazy to make myself! It’s a great library and I use it more than you might think – I tend to cut up bits in the midi files and put in odd noises by hand, but in the cue you spotted I just let a couple of them play – one of them completely on it’s own, as I’m sure you noticed. They sound awesome!”
How does your new title ‘Electro Glitch Essentials‘ differ from Distorted Dancefloors?
It’s far better! I learnt a lot doing the first one and also really tried to focus on what I would find useful myself. The other main difference is that it’s more than just loops. There’s a whole bunch of well thought out sampler instruments and, being a total Logic head, I’ve included lots of Logic tools, like Ultrabeat Kits, Channel Strips and Impulse Responses for Space Designer etc.
Did you set a brief for yourself or was it a case of ‘lets just see what happens'(!)?
I mainly wanted to improve on the previous one and include all these extras to make it more than just a bunch of loops. But there certainly is an element of lets just see what happens, as there is in a lot of my work! Sometimes its good to relinquish control, let the machines do the work and see what they spit out.
How did you set about creating the sounds?
Having trawled my hard drive pretty thoroughly for the first library I did have to be more inventive this time around. I dug out some of my first ever productions that were recorded on to cassette tape and found all sorts of lo-fi loveliness. Went through lots of field recordings and contact mic recordings I’d made but never used. Things like that. But also after doing the first library I was aware I’d probably be doing another so I’ve been much cleverer at bouncing down unused interesting sounds and loops as I work.
How long did the library take to produce?
Its been a steady process that’s been in place since finishing the last one really. And right now I’m stashing away various loops and sounds for the next one! Although I think the next ones are going to be more focused on specific areas. Can’t say more right now.. but they’re going to be pretty interesting…
What sets this collection apart from other electro glitch-based titles?
Well my mission was to make this the most inventive and hopefully most inspiring library around. I really wanted it to stand out and not be another bunch of standard drum loops and baselines etc. There’s plenty of those around already. I wanted it to be a library that would in some way challenge people’s expectations of what kinds of sounds you can use in ‘dance music’ or in any other genre for that matter. A library that might make producers get inventive and up their game a bit, not just settling for the bog standard. I think in some quarters there’s a feeling that sample libraries are short cuts and and perhaps a quick fix for lazy producers but I hope libraries like this can act as a spring board for your own creativity.
Electro Glitch Essentials is available now on DVD or download exclusively from Time+Space