Oktored’s Ep on Generation Bass comes out next month – “Galactic Ghetto”, part of the Generation Bass Presents Moombah series, this being Volume 6.
Until then, here’s a great little mix of mainly his own material that he did for EPM!
Next up on the EPM Podcast we get our collective jits on as Detroit’s OktoRed gives us a full Motor City blast with his own OktoRed and Cocky Balboa productions mixed up with his own re-works of Franki Juncaj (aka DJ 3000), Katy B, I:Cube, Gauche Kids and the hip hop classic Wu Tang Clan Aint Nothin’ To Fuck Wit.
OktoRed, hailing from Detroit MI, has been gaining some real momentum of late. As one of Beatportal’s “Artists To Watch 2012”, and coming off his first YoSucka! imprint, ‘The Future Sounds of 8 Mile’ he wants to showcase his ability to transcend from his kind, gentle side, to a more rough, dark side.
OktoRed continues a long lineage of Detroit Electronic Music. Limitless, genre expanding and intelligent, it can be said that this artist has pushed his music to project feeling. It is hard to define his genre and that would just be too limiting, as OktoRed morphs between indiscriminate tempo future bass, defined as Detroit infused techno, borrowing ideas from moombahton, dubstep, juke, footwork and ghetto tech.
A gun to the stomach by a typical Detroit stick up thug flashed his musical life before him, right before he gave up all the cash in his pocket, and his life was spared. He remembered his time as a kid, only 12 years old, teaching himself guitar while following the Detroit techno, ghetto tech and jungle scene. Over the next few years visions of gear, often given to him by older cats in the industry became realities, as he collected an old Koss drum machine, Fender Rhodes piano, various synths, and drum machines, coupled with a Roland MC 500 sequencer. At this point his tools would then be worked to all hours of the morning. Flash forward to the cold metal of a handgun, in his gut, he realized that his day gig was NOT the direction he needed to go in life and began working past sleep deprivation to give birth to tracks that have become Detroit underground staples. He had no choice but to make his grimy and dark, underground bass symphonies pound through the bodies on dance floors, laying them out one by one and turning them into frenzied fans.
He is currently releasing tracks on the YoSucka! Imprint, working on music that is sometimes inspired by current events. For instance, the track ‘How Many Moons’ was made in response to the riots in London of 2011. Overburdened by the thoughts of how people can burn down their own neighbourhood forced him to react in his own musical way. Software synthesizers, Ableton Live and esoteric tracker programs come under his command as he continues to produce, long after you’ve gone to bed and entered the deepest parts of slumber…
01 OktoRed – Sweet Tooth
02 OktoRed – How Many Moons
03 Franki Juncaj – Mood Streams (OktoRed Remix)
04 OktoRed – Broken Car Windows
05 OktoRed – Relax
06 OktoRed – Space Chase
07 OktoRed – Ines
08 Katy B – Katy On A Mission (OktoRed Moombahton Mix)
09 OktoRed – Saturn
10 OktoRed – Bueno
11 OktoRed – The Bells (Moombahton Cover)
12 OktoRed – Why U Laughin?
13 Wu Tang Clan – Wu Tang Clan Aint Nothin’ To Fuck Wit (OktoRed Moombahton Mix)
14 OktoRed – John R Drop
15 OktoRed – Dark Jupiter
16 OktoRed – Learn Don’t Burn
17 OktoRed – No Los Monos
18 OktoRed – Bass Showers
19 OktoRed – Most Definitely
20 CoreyCorey Haim – Ku Chi Ta Chi (Moombahton Edit)
21 I:Cube – Disco Cubism (OktoRed Slowed Mix)
22 OktoRed – Urge To Explode
23 OktoRed – Mummify Me
24 Cocky Balboa – Hey Batter Batter 112 BPM Redux
25 Gauche Kids – The Moon (Moombahton Remix)
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Q&A with OktoRed
1. Please give us a quick walk through your selection. Why did you choose these tracks for the mix?
I just wanted to showcase some of my current and upcoming releases from YoSucka! Music, Generation Bass and MoTech Records. All of the songs are originals or edits made for personal use by myself. The songs in this mix are more to the smoother side of my production.
2. How would you begin to describe your style?
My style is all over the place. I like to mix it up as much as possible. I guess one consistent pattern from track to track is that I don’t spend time over producing things. I like a more organic natural feel to a lot of my music. Lots of swing and lots of melody.
3. Your work although influenced by Detroit, also sounds from somewhere else. How has the fabled 7th City impacted on you as a producer and DJ?
Growing up we had a lot of good music on the radio that opened my mind and ears up to a lot of stuff I wasn’t getting from friends and other places. We had lots of ghetto-tech and good dance music on the radio for most of my formative years. When the internet came around a little later, I got to experience lots of stuff that wasn’t being played anywhere around here. I like to try to take from everything I listen to without being a copycat.
4. How has working with Brian Gillespie, one of the unsung heroes of the Detroit electro and ghetto tek story, helped you to envisage your work as an artist?
Working with Brian has been amazing. His knowledge has been a real asset and his ear for good music is the most valuable thing I’ve had in my corner in a long time. Also, I got to realise a dream of mine by releasing some new ghetto-tech/juke stuff with him on JukeTrax under the Cocky Balboa alias. His business knowledge and connection to the global dance scene has really helped in getting my music to people who would have otherwise never known of me.
5. How do you work in the studio? Do ideas come to fruition quickly or do you tinker with lots of ideas at the same time, going back and forth until one clicks and you focus on it?
I constantly work on music. Literally at least 6-10 hours a day so I have a bunch of different approaches. I like it best when I can sit and write and record a song in a few hours. I just let it flow on its own. If I get stuck I usually just delete everything and start from scratch. I just go be ear mostly. If it makes sense to me then I persue it.
6. Which modern day producers currently impress you?
I really like Diplo’s stuff a lot. He seems to be all over the place but consistently good on the board. I recently found out about Boddika and lost my mind. It’s very simple sounding stuff that has so much feeling behind it.
7. What plans do you currently have for your own music productions?
Right now we are just working on getting out some new stuff. I’d like to keep everything different from release to release. Different tempos and feels. Once again, I just don’t want to get pigeonholed into a one sound music career.
8. Where do you play out these days? Any plans to come to Europe?
I’m doing a bi-weekly live webcast with 8EN, Jawa and Brian Gillespie on the Everyday Sucka Webcast. I do visuals at a bar in the Corktown area in Detroit called “The Works” for Calico and Matt Clarke for their weekly Bass Down Low parties. I’m up to playing anywhere I can right now, but I mainly focus on production over doing live shows. I’m also working on starting up a weekly live radio show on TapDetroit.com.
9. Please give us your top 10 all-time favourite Detroit tracks:
in no particular order…
Knights of the Jaguar – DJ Rolando
Shari Vari – A Number of Names
Triple Gold – Starski and Clutch
Black Lives – Subject No001
You Don’t Know – Drexciya
Insert Another Data Disc – Ectomorph
Good Life – Inner City
Down – Aaron Carl
Strings of Life – Rhythim Is Rhythim
Jeff Mills – The Extremist