Preamble | Clemency

I mainly see production as functional for expression rather than something I do for fun...
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How would you say your music production process has evolved over time? Were you a musician or producer first?

I’d possibly say I’m a bit of an experimentalist first and foremost – the earliest music I made on a Yamaha keyboard I got from CashConverters, run through guitar pedals, and recorded through a gaming headset into Audacity. I recorded a series of EPs in this format, and then had a break from making much music at all once I learned to DJ.When I picked it back up again three or four years ago, I started using DAWs for the first time: GarageBand to use my first EP as Clemency, and then Ableton thereafter. I’d definitely not consider myself a musician – I’m not ‘trained’ to play anything and I only have a very primitive understanding of sheet music, scales, composing, and so forth. I’m a little more comfortable than I used to be calling myself a producer, but I’d still primarily call myself a DJ, and someone who likes to mess about with sounds.


What key changes have you seen in the music industry/bidness during your time making records? Is independent the way to go?


My creative roots are in DIY scenes and this informs my output, although I guess a lot of what I create now may seem
to sit on ‘the other side’. I’m hesitant to conflate changes in DIY or ‘big music business’ with a change in my own position, as I’ve kind of started to straddle the space in between over the last few years. Ethos underpins all choices I make regarding releasing music, and I think I’ve found a perfect middle ground with 2B Real/Local Action – the attitude is right for me, but tools across industry are utilized regarding releasing music. In terms of releasing independently, it was my go-to for years and I’d certainly encourage it over reliance on releasing on a label. Creative control and immediacy are empowering. The benefits of such far outweigh PR connections or promotion that a label could offer for me.


You have a satisfyingly dark aesthetic to your production, tell us a little a bit about where this stems from?


As a teen in punk scenes in Yorkshire, and then my early production in noise, I think my musical background has always contextualized music as therapeutic, liberating, sometimes aggressive, often inwardly confrontational, and this still informs how I produce. Similarly, I’m a sucker for a concept, or a heavy handed metaphor – again, my conceptual inspiration for this (poetry, fiction, events both personal and in the wider world) often deals in darker themes.


Talk us through the track you last [cmd] ‘S’d ? ([ctrl] ‘S’ to PC users)


I’m working on a longer form mixtape (not an album!!) meditating on idolatry, tragedy and femininity. I’m having the most fun making little interludes – learning to produce very concisely, and tying tracks and ideas together.


What piece of studio (or live) equipment would you NOT part with? – Ever!!


A tasty drink – herbal tea mostly, or a fancy beer as a treat. A nice candle or incense, right now I’m burning Apotheke Fragrance ‘Teakwood’. Blue light filtered reading glasses. Valhalla delays.


Could you name three things that have been on heavy rotation on your audio player of late?


Omar Apollo – Ivory, Demon Poetry NTS show, The Receipts podcast.


What can the CDR audiences expect from your time with us?


I’d like to try and promote consideration of simplicity and hopefully inspire some deep sample searching! My tracks are technically minimal, and my priority is making sure everything there works hard. I mainly see production as functional for expression rather than something I do for fun, but sampling – the searching, the manipulation and the deployment – is truly my favourite part.

Have you any advice for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?


Bite the bullet – it’s always going to sound better on big speakers and you’ll be able to listen with new ears in a new space. It was reaffirming to me the first time I heard one of my own songs on a nightclub system – in the context I’d designed it for – and if that’s the environment your productions address, I’d encourage it even more so.

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Preamble | Clemency

I mainly see production as functional for expression rather than something I do for fun...

Back to all Insights
Category
Profile
Published By
Andrew Mensah
Location
Manchester
Theme
Preamble
Published On
November 4, 2022
Category
Profile
Theme
Preamble
Published By
Andrew Mensah
Published On
June 21, 2024
Location
Manchester


How would you say your music production process has evolved over time? Were you a musician or producer first?

I’d possibly say I’m a bit of an experimentalist first and foremost – the earliest music I made on a Yamaha keyboard I got from CashConverters, run through guitar pedals, and recorded through a gaming headset into Audacity. I recorded a series of EPs in this format, and then had a break from making much music at all once I learned to DJ.When I picked it back up again three or four years ago, I started using DAWs for the first time: GarageBand to use my first EP as Clemency, and then Ableton thereafter. I’d definitely not consider myself a musician – I’m not ‘trained’ to play anything and I only have a very primitive understanding of sheet music, scales, composing, and so forth. I’m a little more comfortable than I used to be calling myself a producer, but I’d still primarily call myself a DJ, and someone who likes to mess about with sounds.


What key changes have you seen in the music industry/bidness during your time making records? Is independent the way to go?


My creative roots are in DIY scenes and this informs my output, although I guess a lot of what I create now may seem
to sit on ‘the other side’. I’m hesitant to conflate changes in DIY or ‘big music business’ with a change in my own position, as I’ve kind of started to straddle the space in between over the last few years. Ethos underpins all choices I make regarding releasing music, and I think I’ve found a perfect middle ground with 2B Real/Local Action – the attitude is right for me, but tools across industry are utilized regarding releasing music. In terms of releasing independently, it was my go-to for years and I’d certainly encourage it over reliance on releasing on a label. Creative control and immediacy are empowering. The benefits of such far outweigh PR connections or promotion that a label could offer for me.


You have a satisfyingly dark aesthetic to your production, tell us a little a bit about where this stems from?


As a teen in punk scenes in Yorkshire, and then my early production in noise, I think my musical background has always contextualized music as therapeutic, liberating, sometimes aggressive, often inwardly confrontational, and this still informs how I produce. Similarly, I’m a sucker for a concept, or a heavy handed metaphor – again, my conceptual inspiration for this (poetry, fiction, events both personal and in the wider world) often deals in darker themes.


Talk us through the track you last [cmd] ‘S’d ? ([ctrl] ‘S’ to PC users)


I’m working on a longer form mixtape (not an album!!) meditating on idolatry, tragedy and femininity. I’m having the most fun making little interludes – learning to produce very concisely, and tying tracks and ideas together.


What piece of studio (or live) equipment would you NOT part with? – Ever!!


A tasty drink – herbal tea mostly, or a fancy beer as a treat. A nice candle or incense, right now I’m burning Apotheke Fragrance ‘Teakwood’. Blue light filtered reading glasses. Valhalla delays.


Could you name three things that have been on heavy rotation on your audio player of late?


Omar Apollo – Ivory, Demon Poetry NTS show, The Receipts podcast.


What can the CDR audiences expect from your time with us?


I’d like to try and promote consideration of simplicity and hopefully inspire some deep sample searching! My tracks are technically minimal, and my priority is making sure everything there works hard. I mainly see production as functional for expression rather than something I do for fun, but sampling – the searching, the manipulation and the deployment – is truly my favourite part.

Have you any advice for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?


Bite the bullet – it’s always going to sound better on big speakers and you’ll be able to listen with new ears in a new space. It was reaffirming to me the first time I heard one of my own songs on a nightclub system – in the context I’d designed it for – and if that’s the environment your productions address, I’d encourage it even more so.

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