Soundchecks are all about checking out new sounds behind the scenes. In these exclusive chats with bands, producers, rappers, singers and musicians, those upcoming artists that deserve the spotlight get a chance to shine.
From his ‘scattic’ studio, Usual Suspect is showing the nation how the south does bassline. The bass house producer/DJ is making the final adjustments to a string of dutty bangers, and found time to speak to us about neurohop lengers, if Chris Lorenzo won the election and plenty more…Being half of Cause & Affect and ghost-producing for Hannah Wants is all impressive but… Why do you think producer Chris Lorenzo should be our next Prime Minister?
“Haha, Bushbaby made the petition as a joke on Facebook, but if he was honestly going to be our Prime Minister, I wouldn’t be all that worried because he gets an unholy amount of production down daily. I once read him stating somewhere that he puts out up to 300 tunes a year. As prime minister he’d get more work done than the past three put together!”
“Producing music is the one thing I can do all day and all night relentlessly.”
What’s your own production journey been like?
“I started getting in to producing properly through KOAN Sound, their twisting sounds was an absolute eargasm to me and I wanted to be on that level myself, so I started producing neurohop. I had already been messing around with production since I was 14 so I knew the simple stuff. From here I progressed in to neurofunk. drum & bass, and then on to bassline.”
“For me, it’s been more about the technical side. I was never super musical as a kid, at least I didn’t realise I was. I was more about computers and always wanting to know how and why things worked. I’ve always got bored quickly, but producing music is the one thing I can do all day and all night relentlessly, without ever getting bored. I work on music near enough every single day without fail.”Bassline is on a national takeover currently. How is your music going to stand out?
“I like to think there’s always a touch of my original sound still in my newer stuff, but most importantly I made the decision not to study any music courses during education. It seems like a stupid idea to some people, but I felt that if I took music tech at college/uni, it would influence my sound – I didn’t want to sound the same as everyone in the class. So, albeit the long route, I taught myself everything I know today, in the hope that my style stays my own. This is becoming harder now, though, as my forthcoming work is primarily bass house. It can be hard to bring a personal vibe to it since it’s a much more ‘closed off’ genre than bassline.”
Since you study Film/TV Production at uni, do you have any intentions of incorporating a visual dimension to your music?
“Well, the main point of this course for me is to have an understanding of live sound in the industry, but I chose it due to its broadness. It covers so many roles and I’ve learned a lot about everything and I still have the choice to specialise in sound in my final year. With what I’ve learned I could definitely apply a visual aspect to live shows, and hopefully have the equipment/contacts to do so. Excision is an absolute master of audio-visual shows, to be on that level would be fantastic.”
“This is my most techy-bass-housey one.”
Your upcoming track ‘New Ground’ is hard. What’s the story behind its creation?
“Thankyou! New Ground is full bass house. My other tracks have elements of bassline and neurohop, I frequently hop back and forth each track, but this is my most techy-bass-housey one. The point really is that it’s new grounds, as the title and vocal sample states, since bass house is a new genre for me. So I’m pretty stoked to release this one since it’s my first proper bass house track. I like to think ‘Breaking It’ was my introduction to it, and it wasn’t fully there yet.”
Hear a preview here:
If you’re behind the decks, what do you like to mix most? Straight sewerage or funky flavours?
“In terms of Usual Suspect, I mix bassline and bass house. Thanks to the evolution of bassline music and how wide the genre has become, I’m able to sneak in some neurohop lengers which never fail to pop off.
I also mix funky disco, 70s bootlegs and stuff when I’m not playing as Usual Suspect. It’s a guilty pleasure. I love to see people jamming. I only really do that locally though, would be great to get out there a bit more with the groovy stuff.”
“The world just isn’t ready yet.”
What’s next for Usual Suspect?
“In the close future, live shows, some collab work, remixes and VIPs. In terms of musical pathway, a sort of split end of bassline and bass house. I’d love to get my darker experimental bassline out there… the world just isn’t ready yet. Nah but really, I’ve got a lot going on behind the scenes and am working hard on a bunch of stuff. I hope people enjoy the direction I’m moving in. So far I’ve had some great support so thank you to everyone!”
SoundCloud: Usual Suspect
Interviewed by: James Wijesinghe