Sh­effield-born, Ber­lin-based pro­ducer Haider breaks down and mixes up as many gen­res as pos­si­ble. “Keep it mov­ing!”

Computer Music - - Intro / Computer Music -

The Sh­effield-born Ber­lin­based com­poser, remixer and la­bel owner not only mixes his ca­reer up but his mu­sic too…

Haider orig­i­nally emerged out of the Sh­effield bassline scene to DJ and even­tu­ally start pro­duc­ing his own mu­sic in 2008. Since then he’s tra­versed gen­res in­clud­ing grime and UK funky, even­tu­ally set­ting on cre­at­ing a la­bel, Breaker Breaker, to re­lease qual­ity mu­sic in any genre, from jazz to shoegaze. His own mu­sic has re­ceived sup­port from Ra­dio 1 and Ra­dio 6 Mu­sic and with so many gen­res un­der his belt, has been de­scribed as ‘acid elec­tro, fu­ture break­beats and raw, jack­ing house’. And why not?

1 Tell us about your back­ground?

H: “I was born and grew up in Sh­effield. As I got into my teens I got into the whole Niche thing which was big in the city. I got a pair of decks and would go and buy vinyl from the now de­funct Stu­diobeatz store. I started to help out around the shop and even­tu­ally started DJing on the in­ter­net ra­dio show, which led to my first ever gig so it all be­gan there I guess.”

2 What is your pro­duc­tion phi­los­o­phy?

H: “I like to go in with a blank mind and just let it all flow nat­u­rally. I don’t like to over­think things. If I do, I get stuck in a locked groove go­ing round and round in my head be­ing un­sure of my cre­ative de­ci­sions. I just throw things at the can­vas and think about mix downs and ar­range­ments af­ter.”

3 How did you get into pro­duc­tion?

H: “Back when I was hang­ing out around Stu­diobeatz, I met a guy called Zeeks aka DJ Vet­eran and we be­came good friends. He was a re­ally dope pro­ducer and made loads of big Niche records. I didn’t know what a DAW was and saw him us­ing the old Emagic Logic and I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’. I would just watch him make mu­sic and ab­sorb what was go­ing on. He would bounce be­tween Rea­son and Logic and I even­tu­ally picked up a copy of Rea­son 3. Nowa­days I use a few bits of ana­logue gear but most of what I do hap­pens in Able­ton. I wouldn’t go com­pletely out the box be­cause I like hav­ing the best of both worlds, plus I find us­ing Able­ton a lot more con­ve­nient.”

4 Tell us about your stu­dio gear?

H: “The star is my Korg Poly 61, I use this for ev­ery­thing. It’s not the eas­i­est synth to edit and play with but sounds gor­geous. I’ve got a Moog Mini­taur which I of­ten use for leads and arps other than its usual func­tion as a bass synth. I’ve also got a lit­tle crappy de­lay box I bought su­per cheap a few years back which I use on ev­ery­thing. It’s got a su­per nice sound and I love just play­ing around with it; it adds more move­ment and life. I’ve had a few other bits on ro­ta­tion over the years in­clud­ing an orig­i­nal Roland TB-303, a Se­quen­tial Cir­cuits Drum­traks and a Korg Tri­ton Rack, all of which can be heard on my lat­est mu­sic. But I like to switch things up to keep my sound fresh.”

5 What are your top five plug­ins?

H: Na­tive In­stru­ments Gui­tar Rig. “I love gui­tar ped­als and this plugin is ba­si­cally a suite full of them. I of­ten set this up on a re­turn track in Able­ton and send pretty much ev­ery­thing into it and run it par­al­lel for more char­ac­ter.”

Val­halla Vin­tage Verb. “I don’t think there’s a plugin re­verb bet­ter than this. I did use a Lex­i­con Vin­tage Plate, but when Nathanael from The Colours That Rise showed me this, it quickly be­came my new re­verb of choice.”

Sound­toys De­cap­i­ta­tor. “My friend Vlad from

Plas­tic Fruit Stu­dios showed me Sound­toys dur­ing my first year of univer­sity. He couldn’t speak highly enough but the one that re­ally stood out to me was this. It’s just pure crunch. I pretty much put this on every sin­gle drum track in every track I make.”

XLN Au­dio RC-20 Retro Color. “My good friend Tom aka Toddla T put me on to this. As some­one that loves tape dis­tor­tion and warp I can’t get enough of it. You can dial it in and get some Boards Of Canada-es­que tape warp that sounds lovely on synths.”

Fab­fil­ter Time­less. “I used Logic for many years be­fore I made the switch over to Able­ton and one of my most used plug­ins was the fac­tory Stereo De­lay. Time­less re­minds me a lot of that in the way that it func­tions and also in the way it’s laid out. It also sounds ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic.”

6 How does a track come to­gether?

H: “I usu­ally ei­ther start with work­ing out some chords or mak­ing a drum loop. From there I just go wher­ever the track takes me. I’ll do loads of synth takes, play loads of melodies, sam­ple chops etc, and then work out what works. I pre­fer to work re­duc­tively so I know I’m get­ting the very best of my ideas down on the fi­nal track.”

7 How do you com­plete a track?

H: “Well this is an in­ter­est­ing one. The say­ing ‘art is never fin­ished, only aban­doned’ is ever so true, es­pe­cially in the age of com­puter mu­sic where you can con­stantly re­vise and re-edit things. In the past its been re­ally dif­fi­cult for me to know when a track is fin­ished as I can get stuck in the mind­set of ‘just one more el­e­ment’ for­ever. It’s for this rea­son I tend to bounce my tracks off peo­ple whose opin­ions I re­ally trust to lis­ten to a track and tell me if they feel it sounds fin­ished or not.”

8 Do you have any pro­duc­tion pro­cesses that de­fine your sound?

H: “I do a lot of par­al­lel pro­cess­ing us­ing ran­dom ef­fects or plug­ins you wouldn’t ex­pect. You never know what a drum track might sound like if you run it par­al­lel through a tape de­lay and mess around with the de­lay pa­ram­e­ters through­out the whole track. It could sound aw­ful; then again it could add some re­ally cool char­ac­ter to the track. You never know un­less you try.”

9 What is on your wish­list gear wise?

H: “This could go on for­ever. At the minute, the top of the list is a Deckard’s Dream, which is lit­er­ally the dream. Ver­mona PER­fourMER is a cool, quirky synth I’m quite feel­ing too. I want to get more out­board FX and would love one of the OG Even­tide rack bits, maybe a clas­sic Roland Space Echo as well.”

10 What would you like to see in terms of gear de­vel­op­ment?

H: “You see how you can turn au­dio to MIDI in Able­ton? Well it would be cool if there was an app where you could hum or sing melodies into your phone and then it’s con­verted into MIDI files that you can then ac­cess from a cloud in Able­ton. It would be amaz­ing as it makes me cringe when I lis­ten back to my­self singing melodies.”

11 What ad­vice have you picked up from work­ing in the in­dus­try?

H: “Never give up and stay true to your­self. Chas­ing trends is a fool’s game. Stay true to your sound and keep grind­ing. Just be­cause the sound you make isn’t pop­u­lar, doesn’t mean you should give it up. Keep on go­ing no mat­ter what and even­tu­ally you’ll win.”

12 What about pro­duc­tion ad­vice?

H: “Don’t over-think things and be overly pre­cious of mu­sic. This is a com­mon is­sue with a lot of pro­duc­ers as we just keep end­ing up in a con­stant loop and never be­ing happy with the mu­sic and never putting it out. Just keep it mov­ing!”

13 Any gear ad­vice?

H: “Learn your equip­ment and learn it well. You see those in­struc­tion man­u­als? Read them! So many peo­ple I know pur­chase bits of equip­ment and then give up be­cause it didn’t do what they thought it would when in re­al­ity they just didn’t ex­plore it. If you’re go­ing to spend large sums of money on pieces of equip­ment you should do your best to mas­ter it be­fore you pur­chase the next one.”

14 Tell us about your lat­est re­leases?

H: “My first EP of the year came out in July en­ti­tled End­less Clouds on Breaker Breaker. The sec­ond one is out now, The

Muses Come Out At Night on Ware­house Mu­sic. The third and fi­nal EP of the year is out on AUS mu­sic and is called Dance Now,

Cry Later. Every play and pur­chase sup­ports me and my life­time of work so I hope that’s a good enough rea­son for peo­ple to lis­ten!”

15 What else do you have planned?

H: “An al­bum. I’ve had plenty of time to work on it and hope it will be out in spring. It’s my de­but so I’m re­ally ex­cited.” The Muses Come Out At Night is out now. Dance Now, Cry Later is due out in Novem­ber

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