This nugget of quality was posted by Cliff on 11 Dec 2010, and is filled under Chatter, Interviews.

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Svpreme Fiend steps into the Labs

Svpreme Fiend

Earlier this year we came across a new young producer who’s music really pushed our buttons. With a release on Local Action under his belt we were keen to hear more and find out some detail on the mysterious Svpreme Fiend.

“Name, age and where do you stay?”

I’d prefer not to give out my real name (mysterious!), but I’m 21 years old and I’m living in Queens, NYC.

“How long have you been making beats?”

I’ve been making music for a few years but as far as the 2step is concerned, a little more than 2 years, I think.

“What or who inspired you to do so?”

Oh, man, I could go on for days about this, but to put it succinctly: I was dealing with the aftermath of a horrible breakup and someone introduced me to Burial’s second album – it was exactly what I needed at the time. I had never heard music that felt so…intimate and honest, it was revelatory. It felt like music that was born of the same heartache that I was feeling. I was particularly impressed by the way in which the re-contextualized RnB vocals took on a completely different and much darker emotional tone…but pretty much everything about that record made me feel like it was the sound I’ve been waiting for my entire life. That being said, I didn’t actually start making 2step until a friend of mine, who goes by the name of Thagomizer, suggested I give it a shot.

“What equipment and programs do you use?”

For the longest time, I had no equipment whatsoever, apart from like my computer and the tracker I use (which is called Renoise), but I recently got studio monitors just so I can improve the quality of my mixdowns for future releases and also to actually hear things properly while composing.

“You recently released on Local Action, how did that come about?”

Tom Lea, who runs Local Action along with people from Phonica, asked a friend of mine for my email. He asked me to send him tunes and it pretty much just snowballed from there. It was completely unexpected, I actually had no plans to release my music for a long time – but I realized it was a great opportunity and in retrospect I think it has worked out well for both me and him/the label.

Svpreme Fiend – Heartache VIP by svpreme

“Where did the name Svpreme Fiend some from?”

The words “supreme fiend” are taken from deceased rapper Big L’s verse on “American Dream” by Children of the Corn. The V in place of the U in is an homage of sorts to black metal, which was basically my last big musical obsession before getting into 2step and bass music in general. I think the innate ridiculousness of this pseudonym due the disparity of the references it contains is lost on most people who come across my music, but I digress.

“Who were your early influences musically?”

Burial’s music is definitely the strongest direct influence (El-B’s stuff as well, though to a lesser extent as I got into him really late – but his and Burial’s music is likely what has most directly contributed to my own personal understanding of 2step as a rhythmic style – I’m not claiming I have a good understanding of it, though. haha), but in terms of music in general and stuff I was into before I got into making 2step: Aphex Twin (particularly the vocal sampling on “Xtal”), J Dilla (who I was also obsessed with for quite some time – though at that point I wasn’t really quite as familiar with his ACTUAL production work as opposed to like Donuts and all that. As far as rhythmic music is concerned, I feel like no one will ever outdo him or Burial in terms of quality or subtle intricacy.) and hip-hop sampling in general, Sunn O))), My Bloody Valentine, various minimalist and neo-classical composers such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and lots of depressing music in general.

“Current influences and favourite artists?”

Burial (obviously…haha), VVV, DJ Nate (the footwork DJ Nate), Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator, Coki, Sexual Husky, oOoOO, Susumu Yokota, Actress, Cassablanca (tho I’ve literally only heard one tune called “Mzo Bullet”, which is amazing and worthy of mention all by itself), Group Home’s first album (particularly DJ Premier’s ridiculously solid production on that), Zomby, Theo Parrish, and Rudi Arapahoe. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few…

“Upcoming projects? Tunes, gigs, remixes or different labels?”

An untitled collaboration of mine with Australian producer Cairo is coming out on a Belgian label called Other Heights. It can be heard on both my Soundcloud and his. I don’t DJ, so no gigs, unfortunately – though it is something I’ve considered, doing live sets with like Ableton or something. It likely wouldn’t happen for a while, either way. There will likely be another Local Action release, though I don’t think there’s a concrete time frame for it or anything just yet. Apart from that, I’ve been approached by two other labels, but nothing is concrete just yet.

Cairo + Svpreme Fiend – Untitled (Work in Progress) by svpreme

“Any artists bubbling under that we should look out for?”

I’m quite excited about my friend Contakt’s release on Local Action, as well as the Damu release they have planned. My friend Fauxhemian makes some great tunes and has a 12″ forthcoming on Fortified Audio, which will be well worth checking out.

“What’s your favourite old skool tune?”

Oh, man, this is hard, especially because a lot of stuff that people take for granted as classics is new to me, but if I absolutely had to choose, most likely the 1st version of El-B’s remix of “Never Say Never” by Brandy – I was unaware that more than 1 version exists until I heard it in Kode9 and Burial’s recent mix for Mary Anne Hobb’s last show. That shit is really dark and hypnotic. The second version is badass, too, but it isn’t quite as entrancingly awesome. Either that or “Xtal” by Aphex Twin, as that was my introduction to tasteful and non-obnoxious vocal sampling.

“If you were to be transported to a Lab in the Phuture and a mysteriously crazy scientist were to grant you one superpower – which would you choose?”

Well, I don’t know if it qualifies as a superpower, really, but I would love to have as good of a sense of what sound to use for what part of a rhythm like Burial and El-B do. Their beats are constructed in a ridiculously intricate and busy, yet sleek manner. I find it honestly astounding at times. haha!

I would also love to be able to remember the melodies and rhythms that I sometimes hear in my dreams, which almost always dissipate entirely in my mind upon waking up.

Some great stuff in there with far more to come from this NYC beatmaker. You can pick up a free remix of Svpreme Fiend as part of the recently released “Skydiver” album out now on Local Action. Or check his Soundcloud for more heat.

Cassie – Is It You (Svpreme Fiend Remix)

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