Seppa: Spanning Styles
‘I don’t really buy in to the idea of dance music being made up of passing throw away tunes: I like them to actually stay with people’
Listening to Seppa‘s unique take on D&B sounds like art made by someone who patently loves listening, it’s imbued in the art: wide influences and style all thrive here.
Hello Seppa, what are you doing right now?
Hi, I’ve just got out of a production session with Kursa working on a new collaboration tune, a half step thing, it’s sounding wicked!
What sort of electronica do you like? I mean in addition to and in D&B itself as well?
I’ve always been in to loads of different stuff. I’ve been making music for a while longer than this Seppa project has been running, and it tended to be more on the half-step side of things.
Dubstep, Footwork and Jungle have all been big influences for years. The Neuro side of things – more than just the ‘funk! – has had me for a few years now.
There’s loads more out there than the D&B side, taking the same [high] production values and twisting them into something else. I’m just always looking for stuff that sounds new to me, which usually means some combination of sounds I hadn’t come across before, or a interesting mixture of genres.
Where do you produce? It must be somewhere where you can get locked down… that’s what I get from the music.
I’ve got a studio in my house. It’s important for me to be able to jump on an idea as soon as I appears and work away as long as I like on it, so being able to work at home is a must. It’s really important to have a space where you feel like you can get in to the zone and feel relaxed.
I felt that ‘Coriolis’ had something about film music in it… are there any films that influence you… not even in necessarily a big way, could be in a small/incidental way. I love that breakdown.
I like the epic scale of how space is depicted in film and video games. There’s something about how it can be so beautiful and breath taking, but also crushingly huge and lonely. It’s a cool combination of vibes to work with.
‘Coriolis’ was heavily inspired by that feeling.
I wrote ‘Trojan’ first and had been trying to build a b-side, so I was also looking to set up a nice contrast musically. If both tracks are too similar people just end up listening to the one they prefer, best to ring the changes.
The stripped back space and the synth chord progression in the breakdown are things that Trojan doesn’t really do and I think it makes the whole release more listenable, and hopefully get to a few more people.
What is something that caught you recently?
Ivy Lab’s album was an eye opener for me. I’ve been listening to all the constituent genres for years, but the way it’s that half-step thing as it’s own genre rather than simply halftime D&B. It pulls in a bunch of hip-hop influences pulls it back to it’s roots in many ways.
Also Funilab’s artwork is seriously inspiring stuff. Make sure you check him out.
He’s done the artwork for another EP of mine that’ll be coming out soon, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
You touched on it but what inspired ‘Trojan’? This is really inspiring, I am thinking that you had a lot of fun on this.
That’s a tricky one, as a wrote it a little while back. I guess I was just keen to try and do a full speed DnB tune (rather than half-step) that kicked, but avoided settling on the usual 2-step beat in the drums. The rhythm it sets up at the start pretty much runs the whole way through and gives it a different kind of swagger.
I also really like tunes that take you on a bit of a journey and this is definitely one of those.
I always think is cool when a track lays down a basic starting idea then you really hear that develop, rather than just dropping in at 100% straight away. It’s a cool dynamic to use in sets, and it helps to keep people interested when they’re listening to the track from start to finish. I don’t really buy in to the idea of dance music being made up of passing throw away tunes: I like them to actually stay with people.
Sometimes are you tempted to drop all the beats and see what is left? And the reverse: drop the atmospheres and release a total stripped back beats track? Just can imagine would be wild to drop live. Both!
Hah yeah I tend to spend a bit of time enjoying the separated parts.
Usually my tunes end up starting of as a chunky loop of just drums and bass so I end up listening to that a lot. I make sure my tracks have an irresistibly danceable rhythm driving them, so drums and bass are the core.
Having said that though, everything is is a track for a reason.
All the atmospheric FX tend to make the basses and drums seem bigger, it’s all about that contrast again. So when I’m playing sets I don’t dismantle the tunes like that.
Every little element is designed for maximum impact overall and so it all needs to be heard together.
What tune is in your head right now?
I recently was listening back through Clipping’s album CLPPNG. it came out a couple of years back but I’d forgotten how unique their sound is. ‘Body & Blood’ is probably the track that’s been knocking around in my head the most.
Just a dark thundering kick drums and these intricate and aggressive vocals.
Indeed, that is hc. Can we find you playing out soon?
I’ve mostly been focussing on the production side, so i’ve not been seeking out too many gigs. There’s a few in my calendar though. You’ll be able to catch me playing b2b with Kursa at Mostly Allsorts in Wigan on Sunday 27th March. I’ll also be playing at a great festival called Noisily in July alongside Reso, Koan Sound, Culprate and bunch of other great acts. You can find out more about that here: www.noisilyfestival.com
Any shouts Seppa?
Yep, a big shout to Steve and George from AutomAte for picking these two tunes up and doing good things with em. Kursa is on the same mutant tunes vibe as me and has been for years, expect some wicked collabs from us this year. Also Wonk#ay records for featuring a tune of mine their last release.
Pic by Prexa