Space Cadets have lined up something special for their sixth release transmission… We managed to track down Lyterian, the latest signing for one of our favourite new labels here at Organic.
Is there anything more exciting than new music? How about new music from a brand new artist? Ok, how about new music from a brand new artist with a completely unique sound and one who until now has been keeping his movements so close to the ground that even the label about to release his music wasn't sure we'd be able to pin him down for an interview? Enter Space Cadet's newest signing, Lyterian.
First thing's first, a quick session of drum & bass speed dating - who are you, where are you from, what do you do and how have you ended up making the music you make?
Hi, I’m the person behind the pseudonym Lyterian. I have decided to keep this anonymous because the Lyterian universe is something very special to me and I want people and listeners to have a completely free mind for the Lyterian universe, without prejudice. Let’s just say that I have been working on electronic music in all kinds of forms for over 10 years now. The location of Lyterian is unconfirmed and not important.
How would you best describe your sound?
A hybrid of emotional machine funk, sadness, hope and a pulsating rhythm that drives me through my inner Lyterian universe.
A certain Rupert Parkes once said that "all anyone's style is, is what else they're into outside of jungle". With that in mind then, what's your "style"? Do you seek much influence from outside of electronic music, or from anywhere outside of music at all?
I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s very important to keep your mind open for all kinds of music, styles and other art forms as well. Otherwise you’ll miss out on a lot of great pieces of art. I’m influenced by landscapes, cityscapes, structures, architecture, other music, life itself... In general I don’t like to limit myself to one style, so it’s a little bit difficult to pinpoint my own style really. The melancholy of old Detroit techno for example always fascinated me and I can find this melancholy in a lot of other music too; Cocteau Twins, The Cure or Joy Division come to mind. I am drawn to this sometimes bleak feeling and that reflects in all that I do, not only in the music I produce.
Your debut release, the "Chambers Of Apogee EP" is about to drop on Space Cadets. To my ears at least it's in some ways a slight departure from the music that they've been putting out up to this point though definitely up to the same high standards. What was it about that label that made you feel it would make a good home for your first tunes to be brought to public attention, and is there anything you've learned specifically from working with them up to this point?
Space Cadets approached me and asked me if I’d be interested in doing 170bpm stuff for their label because they have heard some of my other productions and liked them very much, especially the mood and atmosphere I would call my specific own. I am very glad that they asked me because I myself didn’t really have any idea about this modern sound of drum & bass and I was happy to see the massive quality out there, something new for me to discover. I only recently started to appreciate music from people like Nether, dBridge, Consequence and ASC.
I thought it was a great idea and started working on my version of 170 bpm based music. The Chambers of Apogee EP is an example of some of the results. It was an adventure, both for Space Cadets and for me and it still is, as we didn’t know what would happen. I’m happy with the results so far but there is definitely more to come and the Lyterian universe shall expand in the future.
Drum & bass, jungle, 170 bpm minimal electronica, whatever you choose to call it, has always been inseparably tied into DJ and rave/ nightclub culture. In recent years however there has been a conscious effort by some parties to try and move away from all that and make music not for the dancefloor but for the home listening environment; for the late night walks, for the journeys to and from work and for whatever other precious spare moments in the day one can find to simply reflect with just a pair of headphones for company. Where do you feel you fit into this? Do you DJ yourself? Do you make music with the DJ in mind or indeed with any type of listener in mind?
I used to DJ and play live sets in the past but I don’t do so anymore. I have grown out of the club context. But even back in the days of good old clubbing I always tried not to be limited by the dancefloor functionality rules. To a certain degree you have to follow them, but to be honest it’s nothing that interests me nowadays anymore. I am very happy to see this new direction in electronic music, away from the pure club context, because electronic music can be so much more than DJ tools. If you look at other musical styles you can see that there is seldom such a strict limitation as a tool as in most of electronic music; think of techno and house for example. I think dubstep was also very helpful in regards to this new progress.
There's a certain "old-school" grit and warmth to your music. When working in the studio is it primarily a digital or analogue affair? If digital, is the hardware route something you'd look to go down in future? On a similar but perhaps clichéd note, where do you stand on the vinyl vs. mp3 debate?
It’s a mixture of both. Over the years I have had tons of different synths, it was a coming and going. A certain amount of machines have always stayed though and I use them regularly. In the past I didn’t use software because the sound quality was very poor. These days with all the new technology we have at hand there is software out there that it so close to the analogue sound that you can’t hear a difference. Also, a lot of things are just not possible to do with analogue hardware. So the best of both worlds is best for me. I recently started to introduce modular synthesis into my studio setup- the Eurorack Format is especially fascinating.
In regards to the digital vs. vinyl debate I am 100% a vinyl man. But I also include CDs or any form of physical format to this preference. I am old school in regards to this. It’s just not satisfying to own a digital file without any physical attribute. I have never done a digital only release in my whole career and I never will. I don’t mind labels doing both, it’s completely understandable but a pure digital release is out of the question for me.
What can we expect from Lyterian in future, any further releases lined up? Where do you see yourself and your sound in say, two years time?
It’s still early days for Lyterian and the journey has just started. I definitely want to keep the Lyterian stuff pretty much exclusive to Space Cadets, I’m not really interested in spreading this project out. So I’d say that any future transmission from the Lyterian universe will be transmitted via the Space Cadets beacon only. I am very busy with my other projects so I can’t really say how regular Lyterian will appear but I can tell you that my goal is to improve the quality of the music in the future. My advantage might be that I have a really fresh approach to this 170 bpm genre and can therefore think outside the box a little bit. Be prepared!
Lyterian's "Chambers Of Apogee" EP is out December 3rd on Space Cadets, available on 12" vinyl and digital.