The House And Garage Orch­est ra

Rhythm - - BEAT! -

Tak­ing clas­sic dance mu­sic and reimag­in­ing it with a live band, The House And Garage Orches­tra is the brain­child of pro­duc­ers Shy Cookie and Ish­mael Hamil­ton, who be­gan the pro­ject back in 2015. Drum­mer Martin Deer­ing is the man who brings the beats to life on an acous­tic set-up.

Who are your drum­ming he­roes?

“There are too many to men­tion. But Steve Gadd, Car­los Vega, Teddy Camp­bell, Ian Thomas, Chris Dave, Dave Grohl, Vin­nie Co­laiuta and Neal Wilkin­son are just a few to be­gin with.”

How did the idea for The House And Garage Orches­tra come about?

“The guys be­hind it, DJ Shy Cookie (Alex) and Ish­mael Hamil­ton, came up with the con­cept of the Orches­tra three years ago. Shy has worked as a pro­ducer for the last 20 years and has done a lot of stuf for DJ Luck and MC Neats, and is cre­ative in his own right. He was writ­ing his own ma­te­rial and ex­per­i­ment­ing with live mu­sic and, along with Ish­mael, came up with the idea of per­form­ing dance mu­sic live us­ing a band and ‘real’ in­stru­ments. They built and pro­duced The House And Garage Orches­tra from the out­set and now pro­duce and run it as well as con­tin­u­ing to do their own mu­sic. Along­side Shy Cookie I am now the co-MD for the pro­ject. Our first UK tour kicks off in Novem­ber 2018. It’s go­ing to be awe­some.”

What chal­lenges are there when you’re per­form­ing en­tirely pro­grammed beats on an acous­tic set-up?

“There are quite a few chal­lenges. The main is­sue is how lay­ered the pro­duc­tion can be. Such as three dif­fer­ent snare sounds and maybe three dif­fer­ent hi-hats on one track. There­fore, you need to pri­ori­tise parts and think about what’s most im­por­tant. Then you have to try to find the gear that com­pli­ments those sounds, or at least think about where you can then take it mu­si­cally to give it a new life. Another thing worth not­ing is the dig­i­tally swung 16ths and try­ing to make that groove.”

Us­ing trig­gers would be an ob­vi­ous so­lu­tion, so do you in­ten­tion­ally keep it acous­tic?

“I did think about us­ing trig­ger­ing and pads but it ac­tu­ally seemed to be a con­scious de­ci­sion by Alex and Ish to not use those things: they re­ally liked the acous­tic sound and feel. I think that’s pretty cool and open minded.”

What kind of things do you do to em­u­late these sounds?

“I have two hi-hats. Very tight 13" pocket hats and then 14" dry hats with a tam­bourine on top for lifting sec­tions. I also have two snares. A 10" and 14".”

Is there an el­e­ment of pro­grammed parts on tracks, or is the set com­pletely live?

“The set did start off live. How­ever there will be a lot more pro­duc­tion from Shy Cookie that I will be play­ing along­side live in the fu­ture. From a drum track point of view, live it’s mainly hats, shak­ers and tam­bourines that will sit on top of ev­ery­thing, though Shy of­ten ex­per­i­ments with sound sources for his per­cus­sive parts. I queue all this from a Cy­matic Au­dio Player.”

Which song in your set is the most dif­fi­cult to recre­ate from a play­ing point of view?

“They all have their quirks. A‘ Lit­tle Bit of Luck’ ac­tu­ally has some in­ter­est­ing hat place­ment which needs pay­ing at­ten­tion to. ‘Flow­ers’ is also a clas­sic ex­am­ple of hav­ing sev­eral snares and hi-hats. It also has some cheeky dou­ble kicks.”

What’s in your set-up right now?

“Yamaha Ab­so­lute Nouveau Maple 10 rack, 14 floor, 20 kick. Lud­wig 400 snare 14" by 5 Echo, cus­tom snare 10"x5", Zild­jian A Cus­tom Pocket 13" hats, Dry 14" hats K thin, Dark 16" crash, a cus­tom 16" fast crash, O-Zone 16" crash, K 20" ride, 6" splash. I use Vic Firth 5A Ex­treme sticks and Remo heads.”

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