[Interview : Valance Drakes]
Louis : Thank you for taking the time out to answer a few questions man.
Valance : Not a problem.
Louis : So you’ve had a very strong discography spanning over many years. How long have you been producing music for? What essentially got you into it?
Valance : ‘97, that was a savage year for me, a friend of mine played Delarosa & Asora (Prefuse 73) Sleep Method Suite, I never heard this style of Ambient or Hip Hop before and was hooked. His release in ‘99 - “Crush The Sight Seers” blew me away.
Louis : There seems to be a big conflict between producers that use hardware and software these days. What’s in your setup? And how do you go about producing your records?
Valance : It doesn’t matter what you use it’s how you use it, my setup has always been a laptop and FL Studio, and even though it has its limits I gave meaning within my limitations. Creativity is sometimes a difficult situation by challenging yourself. Put some sounds together and wait for the outcome - if you vibe to it then continue. If not, save, because you never know it might come handy for later on. The only conflict that I know is creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.
Louis : I hear a great Hip Hop and Breakbeat influence in some of your music. Have you always been keen for IDM and glitch orientated music? What are your roots, musically?
Valance : Hip Hop, but with its references such as Glitch, Ambient, Experimental (etc).
Louis : Are you keen with the abbreviation “IDM”? Steve Beckett, the founder of Warp Records seems to not associate with the term. What’s your take on this?
Valance : Everyone is entitled to their own opinion if the choices are before them. Music is music - downtempo, fast pace or out of this world. If it’s good, then vibe to it.
Louis : Do you have any producers, or labels you aspire to?
Valance : Yu Mitashita, Hiroto Kudo, Ametsub, Geskia, Kiyo, Notuv, Flady, and a bunch of savage producers from Japan.
Louis : I understand you used to release under the alias Muss_ck? What was the motive behind your name change?
Valance : Two people: Giovanni Marks: He wanted me to use my real name for the release of Tales From A Game Boi (RIP David del Monaco for doing the artwork) and Jimmy Penguin for when I released my first ever vinyl record with him. Most people think Valance Drakes is not my real name and that it’s made up, classic people ha.
Louis : Your last project “Struggle Experienced Internally” was amazing. It very seemed to be a concept album, explored with crazy drum sequences, glitches and ambient melodies. What did the record personally mean to you?
Valance : I made a lot of beats filled with anger when my old man passed away from cancer back in 2012 and this album were some of those tracks. During that same year, Geskia from Japan released an album entitled “Muon”, and that album meant a lot to me as it was a healer and eventually became fond on the sound and that’s the path I took. I owe the people of Japan. The likes of Yu Miyashita - that’s my brother right there.
Louis : So following on from your record “Struggle Experienced Internally”, what have you been up to recently?
Valance : I released a vinyl on my own entitled “Promise is a Comfort to a Fool” for the 10th Annual Community Skratch Games which took place in Galway, Ireland at Easter and sold out which I was surprised about. UK BMX Flatland Rider Jason Forde been using some of my tunes for promos for his event Ground Control, which I wish him all the best.