London based producer Inxec talks to Skiddle about Beatport, Tim Burgess, and how the MP3 is key to a global music industry.
Date published: 18th Jan 2011
It’s common knowledge that technology and music are in a well-committed relationship.
And for anyone who thinks otherwise, the ceremony took place long before Apple invented the iPod and will continue long after the fad dies off. This is one bond that is in neck deep, past the honeymoon period and fast approaching the sharing of the toothbrush. Hey, no one said it would be pretty!
As saccharine as the sparks may be there’s no denying the impact of the MP3 on the music industry. It was in 1980 that German researcher Karlheinz Brandenburg first began his involvement in digital music compression; by the late 1980s the MP3 was officially born. And the ability to transmit music over the Internet has significantly changed music for the better.
Without even knowing it, Nottingham born Chris Sylvester aka Inxec is one of Brandenburg’s many fans. With the accessibility of the MP3 comes new dance scenes evolving in countries whose only other alternative would be through the extortionate price of mail order. “There wouldn’t be the likes of us playing out there if the MP3s didn’t exist”, says the London based producer. Connecting communities the world over, the MP3 is key to a global music industry. Jasmine Phull speaks to Inxec.
Explain how you source the tracks that you play?
Mates mostly. A large proportion of my buddies are producers and I am very grateful for the stuff I get passed from them and it’s good to have new ice. I’m sure that’ll rile a few people out there but they need to up their game. I occasionally go on Beatport but mostly for golden oldies.
Does Beatport play a vital part in your music life?
There are two sides to Beatport for me. It's great to go and find those classic things that have now been converted to MP3. Every time I go on, I find more classics I thought had gone forever. On the flip side, Beatport plays a great part in my development as an artist. It funds my progression and more importantly increases exposure for my records on the various labels I release on. It’s great to know you can go and check out my new releases and grab some old things you might have missed. My Mum does it all the time...
You’re originally from Nottingham. How is the music community there?
The music community as I know it was amazing at its peak, but it has pretty much moved to London now. But it was a strong little group and still is. The Bomb was the best place for me and really inspired me to get into music. I had some great times there and I was fortunate enough to play there in the later years. Amazing place. Tyrant nights were a personal favorite - seeing Richards, Burridge and occasionally Sasha on a Friday night!
How did growing up there foster the development of your love house and techno?
I think wherever you grow up develops your love for good or bad reasons. If you don’t like the music in your hood you go find it elsewhere. If you are that focused and committed to something, you go get it, right?
Is there a difference in the way techno and house music is perceived in between Munich as opposed to London.
I’m not sure, my German sucks. There is a fable the Germans don’t like vocals… that’s bullshit, or 'Kuhscheiss' I think?? Most cities all over this world have a house and techno scene and I am pretty sure they perceive it as dancing music I hope.
First CD you bought?
Telling Stories by the Charlatans. Tim Burgess is off the chain and I looked up to him (yeah I know). When I was like 16 my work mate used to play it in the kitchen I worked in over and over, but our boss would come and put some 'Now 33' crap on, so I went and bought it and listened to it non stop. Every track was pure gold and still is.
You’ve played many of the big clubs including Berlin’s Watergate to London’s Fabric. But there are a lot that have also closed their doors since the whole financial crisis. In your eyes, how has the whole recession affected the life of a producer/DJ? Has it had a big toll on your career?
Mmmm… thus far I have been very fortunate. Right now I have a lot of things going on so I’m still ticking along. Fingers crossed it continues like this.
Is there something that’s missing in the music industry that was there 10-15 years ago?
Queues in record stores, every other record getting a repress and hearing our favourite DJ play something then waiting 6 weeks until you got your greasy hands on the release. The whole talk about a record you would of heard and trying to find it. These days it’s a quick visit to Youtube or some other medium and hey presto everyone has the same DJ set! That’s perhaps an extreme way to look at it, but things like this were the sparkle for me and I didn’t even DJ back then. It was just ace knowing the elite were the elite and you would go out hear something new, unlike “oh yeah my mate Beth Oxler got this of Rapidshare”.
Is there something in the music industry now that didn’t used to be there?
In my lifetime within music I’d say the birth of MP3 has opened so many doors to our industry. A friend of mine came up with an analogy, which I think is on the button. He said that Beatport and similar websites have made it easy for little Juan Carlos (he is the John Doe of South America) in Medellin, Columbia to get music he would not be able to get unless he paid a small fortune in postal from Europe. The sheer accessibility of the MP3 has therefore created dance scenes in places that they otherwise wouldn’t exist and certainly there wouldn’t be the likes of us playing out there if the MP3s didn’t exist.
One track that makes you feel elated?
Easy! Sebastien Tellier, 'La Ritournelle'. If I am feeling kinda down or someone has pissed me off I stick this bad boy on. It’s really melancholy off the bat, but progresses flawlessly into such a beautiful record. And as if that’s not enough, WHAMMY! vocals and this wonderful Balearic bass riff drop in simultaneously and lift the whole mood and my much too easily dampened spirits too. It’s perfect. With this track it lets me sit and stew in my bad thoughts for a few minutes and then it gently picks you and puts you on the happy plate. Try it. Shame they made a bunch of gash remixes. Some things should be left alone.
Where do you feel most comfortable: live on-stage or in the studio?
Making music for sure. I like doing live, it’s just the prep that bugs me, but you have to put the legwork in to get the glory. I don’t really do a ‘live’ live set - it’s just a controller and a laptop but the ball pain of preparing is my big grudge. It pays more though so I should pull my finger out!
One great - recently deceased - artist?
Michael Jackson would have to be the one for me. It's super obvious but that’s the point, everyone knows him. That greatness; the definition perhaps. The man has single handedly brought more to music than any other has and, dare I say, will do in the future. I wont dabble in the details as I am not a massive fan but it goes without saying that MJ contributed more epic moments than ever before.