KYRIST Joins The Team!
So here we are – back at the run up to the new season, beginning in July. The evenings are lighter, the air is warmer and there is a real scent of change in the ether – tangible hope that we have finally turned this corner and we can begin to piece life back together. We think it’s going to be a summer to remember. The sound of Drum & Bass has evolved again in this last year, the clubs and parties will be the first places many of us hear all the new music that’s been made, just imagine that. They always talk about Woodstock and the summer of ’69 – with some obvious caveats not overlooked, perhaps by September those kinds of memories will have been made again? Perhaps this is slightly jumping the gun? Perhaps – but imagine if it’s not…
July signals not only a new chapter – but a new book for us – as we duly welcome in the new team: a six-strong squad of talented, exciting and inspiring artists who will be exclusively supplying all of our members with some serious firepower; in the form of cutting edge samples & tuition.
For our first announcement we are absolutely delighted to tell the world that Kirsty Clarke AKA KYRIST, will be one of ‘the six’.
There’s a very clear passion and specificity to what Kyrist is about, she knows who she is musically, and over the last few years she’s gone from strength to strength, both behind the booth and in the studio. She has a real talent for combining textures in her compositions and generating a complex and three dimensional sound stage; loudness and dynamics are always beautifully balanced. Outside of the geeky stuff, she has a totally natural knack for the artistic side of what makes us dance: her arrangements always roll out exactly as you’d want to hear.
In the last year or so she’s turned out some superb remixes for the likes of DOt., Tall Order, Volatile Cycle, Dabs, Nymfo and most recently putting her stamp on Fred V’s ‘Away’. – with these streams of invitation always being a solid sign of an artist’s trajectory. Already with some wicked EP’s under her belt and with releases on Dispatch, Hospital, Critical, Vandal, The North Quarter (and others) this demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, the diversity she is capable of bringing to the table, and without a shadow of a doubt her star is still rising. She has also started her own label ‘Kyrist Music’ which we’ll be watching with great excitement as to how that unfolds. We are really stoked to have her onboard and can’t wait for the new season to begin!
We caught up with Kirsty for a few pre-season Q’s:
Welcome to the team! It’s really great to be working with you. How are you doing and how has the last year been for you? Has this period of staying at home had any kind of positive effect on your production and creativity? (feel free to be totally honest about that!)
Thank you, I’m excited to be part of the Sample Genie family! This last year has been a complete whirlwind of emotions and there have been quite a few months where I’ve felt totally unmotivated towards making music. All this downtime has made me realise how much I value human interaction and the company of my friends and family, so not being able to see them all physically has been quite tough. I would usually draw inspiration from going to events as a raver and listening to what my favourite artists are playing, or being at my own gigs and taking inspiration from my peers, so without that element, I’ve spent a lot of time just experimenting and not worrying about who’s going to be playing my tracks because I’m having fun with the process of learning new things.
You are based in Bristol? What do you make of this place, and what led you to be here?
I certainly am and I absolutely love this city. There’s always something going on (pre-covid) as it’s very arts-friendly, and there are a lot of like-minded people that also live here, so it’s nice to hang out with people on my wavelength. I moved here 5 years ago because my hometown is one of those places that nothing happens in, it’s so stagnant and there’s no nightlife industry there anymore, so a year after returning from uni in London I decided to come here and it was the best decision I could have made for my career and general life.
How much time do you spend on making music a week or month?
It varies really, it depends on what projects I’ve got on the go at that time and if I have a deadline to work to. I usually work better to deadlines set by other people but if it’s one set by me then I’m way more lenient! I find that if I try too hard and put a lot of hours in, things tend to not go to plan as I’m forcing myself to be creative but if I let it happen naturally when I feel motivated then it clicks in my mind and I can work on a project for hours.
Your sound has really developed over the last few years. Would you say you have consciously been trying to update your style, or is it something that just happens more automatically?
I think it’s a natural thing for any artist to constantly be improving their sound. Learning how to use a new DAW definitely helped me in terms of creativity, I feel like it’s the change I needed after using Logic for 10 years. I’m more confident in my abilities now, and probably less afraid to try new things so I just go for it. When you learn new techniques I think it’s just instinct to implement the ones that make a difference and improvement to your sound into your routine, but there are some staple ones that I will always do without thinking on every track.
What is your creative process like, is there a pattern to how you come up with ideas and work them up into a finished track?
It usually starts off with an atmospheric sample, or a bass patch I’ve made that will spark a bit of imagination and make me think of a theme. I’ll always start with the initial drop, and then move it across in the arrangement to where it should sit timewise. From there, flesh out a strong 64 bar section, then move onto the intro. It’ll usually stay like that for a while and I’ll keep tweaking those parts until I’m happy, then I can move onto the second half. Most of the time I end up overcomplicating it and then taking a lot of the project away to strip it back because I’ve put too much in so I’ll save those sounds for future tracks.
What’s your current production set-up and what are your favourite plugins?
Nothing fancy at all! I’m using a MacBook Pro, running Ableton Live 10, Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 audio interface, and a pair of Adam T5V’s. My favourite plugins right now are by Output; Thermal, Portal and Arcade. They’re all so powerful and intuitive, most definitely worth it. I use them all on every track now.
In terms of tutorials, can you give some insights into what you might be looking forward to sharing with our gang?
I’ll be delving into how I made one of my tracks, taking you through every step of how I made it, and also I will be using the sounds I’ve created for the sample pack to make a new tune from scratch, by resampling and just explaining my thought processes and how I work in general.
In terms of Drum & Bass, can you give 5 tracks from other artists that you love to play out?
Yes, It’s so difficult to narrow it down to only 5 though! There’s always a few Break tracks in my sets, ‘Evil Twin‘ and ‘Between The Lines‘ are my absolute favourites by him, I have to choose the absolute roller classics; ‘Carrier’ by Fierce & C4C, ‘Climate’ C4C remix and Ed Rush & Optical ‘Fixation‘ as well
So you heard it first!
The new season of Sample Genie begins on 1.7.21. More announcements coming soon!
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