Dolphin gets Frisky: Artist Focus - DJ & Producer
~ Dolphin gets Frisky: Artist Focus ~
Liverpool based DJ and Producer, Frisk is one of few true junglists representing Merseyside right now. The award-winning artist first became interested in DJing when some of his friends got turntables, inspiring him to start off his own collection, and it didn’t take long for the DJ to make himself known in his hometown of Liverpool.
From playing at house parties and after parties, Frisk began playing out on the club circuit, and not just in Liverpool, but around the UK and parts of Europe.
Frisk claims that learning music theory from a young age provided a great platform for his music making, giving him the skills and knowledge he needed to produce “real” music, not just recordings put together from a bunch of synth samples and preset rhythms like many other “DJs” do.
“This was an ideal basis for all my future music projects. If you know your keys and patterns it’s easy to compose any genre of music.”
In 2003, Frisk entered his first professionally produced track ‘How to Drop a Bomb’ into BBC 1Xtra’s cutting room competition, which he won and received his first dubplate. Frisk also won the 'Deadline' (originally produced by Digital) Remix Project competition, came runner up in the Run Tingz Recordings 'informer' , and also in the EZ Rollers, 'Crowd Rocker' Remix competitions - adding yet more dubplates to his growing collection.
It took a couple of years to develop his recognisable D&B/Jungle “sound”, then he was soon one of the most well known DJs on the D&B scene of the North West. But playing the same tracks as other D&B DJ’s in the city was never going to be enough for this guy, and it was his desire to take his work further, be different and unique that acted as the catalyst for his compositional journey.
Exclusive interview with Frisk @ Dolphin HQ
How did you first become interested in music?
Frisk: I played guitar a long time ago. When I was younger I really wanted to play guitar, didn’t to listen to any “rave” music as I called it back then. I was really into rock and bands and I wanted to play guitar, my mum and dad got me a guitar so I learnt how to play, learnt music and it’s all just gone on from there really.
"It's rave, but it's 'alright' rave!"
Yeah, there came to a point in my life when I was going out to clubs and then I started getting into ‘rave’... I think it was the prodigy was a turning point, as soon as I heard some of their music I was like ooh this is rave but it’s “alright” Rave, and then that opened the doors to everything else then so I’ve got the best of both worlds. There’s always this thing between ravers and rockers, but I’m a raver rocker.
How long have you been composing your own music for?
If you include making stuff up on the guitar, about 20 years now. I started writing my own tunes on my guitar when I was 14 and I’m 34 next year. Yeah, 20 years worth of making music, stuff that’s good enough for release I’d probably say 11 years, it took 9 years to get to grips with it all, and find my feet.
Which do you prefer, the tech side or the performance?
The tech side! When I was in a band you had to rely on other people, you know, when I’m me I get to decide how everything goes, so I’m my own boss, I like it, there’s no arguments between band members.
How would you describe your style?
My style? My style of Drum & Bass and Jungle, it’s like the older stuff but with the production of today. Back then no one really knew how to use the all equipment properly, so they got a vibe down, so they got the sound and they put it out. With today’s standards of mastering and EQing you can’t mix a tune from, say 10 years ago because production-wise, they’re just so different. People really produce the a** out of their tunes these days, I find, they make the tune then they get in the studio and produce it and it just doesn’t have the original sound that it had, and that’s what the old skool music used to have for me. I like to think I have the best of both worlds I’ve got that old skool vibe but with new style, like today’s production values.
Do you prefer digital or analogue?
Oooh, that’s a very good question, erm... they’ve both got their advantages! They really have both got their advantages. Everything I make is digital, I don’t really use any hardware synths or anything like that, it’s all like software, so I couldn’t really say I’m analogue as such because I don’t really use those mediums, but my last two releases have both been on vinyl which is kinda “analogie” isn’t it really, they’re not digital releases. I dunno, I like them both!
What is the most important element of your music?
Energy! Energy! I mean I don’t really tend to stick to one style of D&B or Jungle cos there’s so many, I just make stuff that’s got high energy, so I’m not just appealing to one part of the genre I’m trying to appeal to everyone. The way see it is like, when I first started goin’ out and ravin’, if I was having a conversation with someone and I heard a tune come on that I really liked, I’d stop the conversation and be like, “I’ll be back in 5 minutes, I’ve gotta go and dance to this man” you know just like p****d walking across the floor like. So I try to make tunes that would make people want to stop a conversation to come and dance, and I think that I achieve that.
Would you say your music’s intended to make people get up and move or is it more so an “energy” that in any way affects people?
It’s an energy that will affect people to the point of getting up and moving, really! [laughs]
So do you have any slower tracks?
Erm, I do, but the stuff that I’m known for is high energy D&B and Jungle. I do have side projects that some people get to hear, you know like bits of hip hop and R&B and reggae but it’s not really what I’m known for making.
What is your favourite composition?
Oooh, tough one. It’s one of my latest releases, it’s either the one that came out today which is ‘Police in Helicopter’ on Necessary Bass, or it’s ‘Hypnotic’ which came out on Wicked Vinyl in Austria. ‘Hypnotic’ is probably the latest one I’ve finished, but for overall vibe it’s between those two, definitely.
Where has been your favourite place to perform?
Austria! Austria without a doubt. It’s called Flex Club in Vienna, the night’s called Wicked, and the guy who runs it, Wicked Squad, he’s like one of the best people to go over and like perform for because he really looks after you as an artist and the club... is just amazing, it’s like I’ve never played on anything like it in this country, it’s [stutters] sick!
It’s custom built, the sound system is custom built for the club so the stage that you’re performing on is actually a bass bin that’s tailored to the dimensions of the room. I remember the last time we were over the guy who does all the audio engineering took us underneath the stage and showed us all the bits of hardware that stop it from getting feedback and stuff, and it stretches right out behind the stage. It’s like truly amazing the system in there, it’s the best, second to none.
What gear do you use?
What gear do I use? Make all my stuff with FL Studio by Image Line; I use sE microphones to record the artists, and that’s pretty much it to be honest. I do all my mixing and mixdowns in FL Studio, what I make it in. I don’t use any soft synths, it’s all audio, all .wavs in my DAW. So yeah, it doesn’t really take up too much room, keeps me quiet and outta trouble... sometimes.
“Keeps me quiet and outta trouble, sometimes”
Do you work with or collaborate with other production artists?
I try to, I’ve got like say 2 or 3 tunes, 2 or 3 tunes with someone sat in with me and we made a tune together, and... Argh! I’ll admit it; I’m a hard person to work with, cos I’ve got my own way of doing things and there’s people who come around and we’ve been in the studio together and I’ve started pottering around doing something and they’ve said “why don’t you do this like this”, and I’ve thought, that wouldn’t... sound very good! So I’d just do it my way, and tend to find I just get carried away you know, I’ll just sit there and they’ll say “change that bit like that” and I’ll change it and it won’t sound right and then I’ll fiddle with it till it sounds how I want it, by which time they’ve already got bored, so I’m just like “right, okay, guess I am kinda hard to work with”.
What do you see/hope for in your musical future?
It would be good if things carried on developing the way they are at the moment, and would always be nice to get more gigs out in Europe and the rest of the world. I always used to say I'd like to have my own label if I got asked this question but in all honesty I do not have the time to manage one right now with trying to balance my time between work, music and my life in general - It can get quite hectic at times. Working with already established labels is always a better look than trying to start your own from scratch, especially in today's climate where the internet has given anyone has the ability to start up a digital label and start trading. At least when working with an already established label some of the hard work is done for you, there is still a big element of promotion involved but not as much as would be needed with a new one.
So yeah, in a nutshell, more of the same please; more DJ-ing work, more track releases and more work with other artists would be great.
City of Bass Presented by Frisk @ Loft
A Closer Look at Frisk’s Gear
- FL Studio - FL Studio 10 Producer Edition is a complete software music production environment, representing the culmination of more than 10 years of sustained & focused development. FL10 is the fastest way from your brain to your speakers.
- sE Electronics USB2200A - Based on the studio standard sE2200a, the USB2200a records via USB directly to your DAW and has several features unique from competitor USB mics including, zero latency headphone monitoring, mix control playback/record path, 10dB pad, bass cut and simultaneous analogue/USB feeds.
- sE 1A - Building on the incredibly popular SE1, the SE1a retains the same capsule but mates this with even quieter electronics, all housed in a very sexy new look body. This end fire small diaphragm microphone really is astonishing value for money. Great for drums, pianos, acoustic and amplified instruments the SE1a is a must have for any size studio.
- Serato Scratch Live
- Techniks SL1210
- 2 Sony PSPs
- Pioneer DM and Stanton SK2F Mixers
Frisk feat. Turbulence - Nah Sell Out - (Souljah Recordings)
Run Tingz Crew feat Blackout JA & Lady MC - I Got Love 4U (Frisk Remix) - (Run Tingz Recordings)
Sonic Boom Six feat Tonn Piper - New Style Rocka - (Rebel Alliance Recordings)
Wickedsquad - Hypnotic (Frisk Remix) - (Wicked Vinyl)
Frisk feat Million Stylez - Police In Helicopter - (Necessary Bass / Necessary Mayhem)
Forthcoming releases confirmed for 2012:
Frisk feat YT, Million Stylez, Tenor Fly, Blackout JA, Mr Williams - Dubplate - (Necessary Bass / Necessary Mayhem)
Frisk - Turn Up Dat - (Straight from the Bedroom Recordings / Knowledge & Wisdom Recordings)
Frisk feat Richie Spice - Marijuana - (Jungle Ambassadors / Knowledge & Wisdom)
Frisk - Frisk me down - (Jungle Ambassadors / Knowledge & Wisdom)
Frisk - Untouchable - (Jungle Ambassadors / Knowledge & Wisdom)
Frisk feat Collie Buddz - Kill a Sound / Come Around - (Jungle Ambassadors / Knowledge & Wisdom)
Frisk feat General Smiley - Murder a Sound - (Jungle Ambassadors / Knowledge & Wisdom)
Frisk - Spaceraiders - (Rogue Beatz)
Frisk - It's your Choice - (Rogue Beatz)
Frisk Affiliations & Links:
Knowledge & Wisdom Recordings
Straight From the bedroom Recordings
Jungle Riddim Records
Necessary Bass / Necessary Mayhem
Facebook (Official fan page): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frisk-Official-Page/141703575851653
Spliff Unit, Wickedsquad, Aries, Lion Fiya, 'Uncle' Joe Nebula, Serial Killaz, Jayline, Sarah Yule, Dawn Raid, Terry T, DJ Souljah, Psychofreud and all artists at Knowledge & Wisdom Recordings, Curtis Lynch Jr and all artists at Necessary Mayhem / Necessary Bass, Daniel and all artists at Jungle Riddim in the U.S, Run Tingz Recordings family, SturbanClothing.com, Cosmic Boogie (even though he forgets to mention me in his thanks, I have to add him for all the inspiration he gives me), and everyone else who I have forgotten who shows support and plays my tunes and sends me theirs to play around the world (apologies, I will remember you for next time!). Last but no means least, the ravers! Without them, there would be no raves/parties.
Bigup all crew!