MethLab wordsmith Gwen speaks with Aagentah ahead of his forthcoming VASK EP on MethLab recordings.
Aagentah: First of all, thanks for having me, this is actually my first ever interview. I run an online magazine and we’ve been carrying out dozens of interviews for the best part of a year, it feels weird to be on the other side of the questions haha!
Gwen: How would you describe the “sound” of this EP as a whole?
A: This release has very much been a turning point for me in terms of both taking my sound to a new level, and experimenting with new concepts. I’d like to think of this release as one that hints to the usual dark signatures that I incorporate into my music, whilst also dipping into new areas of bass music which I hadn’t until this release.
G: Walk us through your creative process a bit: where do you draw inspiration from whilst writing tracks?
A: I rarely set out to make a track. A lot of the music I make, including tracks from this release stem from creative sessions in the studio.
A: I work as a programmer in my day job, which allows me to spend hours each day exploring new music whilst I work. If a piece of music stands out to me, it will often inspire me to get home and try to apply some new or weird creative process with that in mind, even if that piece of music had no relevance to my sound.
A: I think it’s important to listen to variety in music, it’s easy to get caught up in one “genre”, but these last few years; I’ve been delving deep into different music, specifically older stuff.
G: This EP is a part of MethLab’s “Integral Aesthetics” series, which features the most exploratory sounds in the label’s catalogue. Were there any specific sonic principles you sought to explore within the span of this EP?
A: Many of the tracks are governed by a certain “rugged” style, which is why it was important for me to incorporate variety between them so they can each have their own defining character. Each track has a different tempo, and 1 even switches genre. I thought this was a cool concept to bring to my debut EP, and MethLab is a great place for it.
G: Speaking technically, what are some of the tools in your arsenal for creating the sorts of sounds we hear on your VASK EP?
A: Anything that works. I have a lot of fun experimenting with new plugins/synths, although I find even the most basic tools can be effective if used well. My go to weapons are Ableton’s Operator, FM8, Massive, and a hella lot of post-fx. Oh I have to mention, Ableton can do some really cool ring modulation which has certainly assisted in defining my sound these past few months.
G: For a bit of personal input, what is your standout favourite track on the EP, and what makes it so?
A: I’d have to say the title track, ‘Vask’. This is the most energetic track I’ve made in some time, and I had so much fun making it that it basically wrote itself.