Find out about all our releases on Bandcamp. Have a listen, click here.

Interview: Richard Elcox talks about his new work, Spooked EP (VMN003)

It’s been since I am Frost’s No Way Out EP that we’ve heard from the Vergissmeinnicht Collective. Now they are back with Richard Elcox’ Spooked EP.

Spooked EP showcases the producer’s craftsmanship in three deep focused tracks that open up spaces that expand and where emotions are allowed to gently unfold. Held together by tightly woven grooves and crisp percussive structures, the tracks gradually introduce deep, twisted melodies and constantly evolving atmospheres. All to invite the listener to get lost in their own cerebral cinema. The remix of Envelopes, one of the tracks, is provided by long-time collaborator Dirty Room (Airdrop/Glückskind/Development/Darek), who injects his own flair into the track with his characteristic retro elements and melodic hooks.

Rich & Maroq have teamed up and are currently working on their first EP, so keep your eyes and ears open.

We had a chat with Richard about his work and recent release. Hope you’ll enjoy!

Richard, what was your goal when searching for material for your new work, Spooked EP?
At the time I had hard-drive containing 4 years worth of work that was damaged and data recovery was unfortunately impossible. So for the first material I was going to create on the new drive I wanted to keep things simple. I installed only Logic Studio and no other third party software like the kind I used before. I wanted to create a series of tracks that were all related, something I find sometimes difficult to do. So it was kind of an experiment which I felt was quite successful in the end.

Can you tell us some more about the software and perhaps something about your Studio setup?
Like I said I was just using Logic Studio for my new work. I used the software’s virtual analog synth called ES2 and the Sculpture plugin.

My studio has changed quite a lot over the years. In the beginning it was more based around the outboard gear. I had things like an Access Virus synthesizer, a Korg Triton, a Waldorf KRK, Eventide H300, a Yamaha O2R digital mixer and a few other nice bits and pieces. But back then I was creating another style of music. Today working within the digital domain is a far more satisfying and portable way for me to work. So a lot of my work is really just done on my Mac, using Ableton or Logic9/Pro. Which suits best when working on material. Hot synths right now for me are products Auturia, classic emulations are a lot of fun as well. And I just got me a new UAD sound card which is just the thing to use!

What about DJ Setup when playing with your brother in arms “Maroq”?
The DJ setup has gone through pretty much the same process as the studio. First vinyl, then CDs and eventually Traktor. We’ve been using the S4 for a while now but I think it’s time to jump away from that all-in-one ‘magic box’ idea. Also as this whole CD thing is coming to an end I think we’ll just stick with an NI X1 Traktor 10 setup and slowly combine it with Ableton to start to introduce some ‘live’ elements when performing with the material we’ve been working on in the studio.

Is there a routine when producing in the studio, or it is still an adventure and experimenting?
Definitely still very much an adventure! Every time I still get the same excitement as when I first started. You just get better and better and learn more & more. There’s no real limit to what you can do in a creative way of speaking. There’s always a new technique to try out or learn from someone else which is super interesting for me. I always thought it would be good for me to get into some kind of fixed working habits or having to go to templates or using the same synth sounds over and over again. But somehow my creative consciousness would not allow it and when I’m not paying attention I’ll start doing something in the complete opposite way.

How important are tools and equipment in shaping your personal signature?
I think that a personal signature is subject more from the personality it comes from and not so much from the tools. Someone with a certain knowledge will tend to use the tools required according to his or her own personal interpretation of that knowledge. Sometimes I’ll write a piece of harder techno or do some work on projects for clients where I need to stay as neutral as possible. But there will always be a “Rich” stamp on it. Just because I manipulate certain parameters in a certain way that works for me to achieve the results I’m looking for.

Who is the artist or label that always inspired you and enjoys your respect?
Oooof, to spare you a few sides of name dropping I think I’ll just say that in the beginning it was music from The likes of Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre and stuff from Ninja Tunes or Warp Rec. At the moment I’m a huge fan of anything released on Innervisions or Life and Death. I know they’re really ‘in’ at the moment but that’s only because there releasing great stuff. As a DJ I collect a huge amount of music from a bunch of great producers, it would be fair to say I take bits of inspiration from all of it.

Your EP definitely is inspired by deep house vibes? How come?
Purely a mindset. A mood that created this particular vibe. I like to try, for the most part, not to go in a certain direction unless absolutely necessary. But certainly I’m a fan of what ‘deep house’ has become, although I think it’s wrongly labeled. I definitely resonate with this style of music so I suppose I’m more drawn to producing that genre. And of course it fits in with what I play during my DJ sets.

Is there a decade of music or a special genre besides electronic music that inspires you as well?
The 90’s were great. I don’t listen to much other stuff as I would like to. I can enjoy 70’s rock, 80’s pop, hip hop and on some odd occasions classical music. But I wouldn’t say that any of this hugely reflected in what I produce at the moment.

You know what, I love to get a good dose of cheesy radio hits in the morning though. Other than that I tend to indulge myself with electronic music, although sometimes I do feel bad for not taking some time to listen to the music I loved listening to when younger. Or playing some good old records … . Hope this is not bad?

TGMS: We know the feeling. So much music to listen to, so little time we have for it in life.

The first piece of music that triggered you to make your own music?
Honestly, I wasn’t inspired by a particular piece of music as such, but more from the studio gear and all the cool toys you can use to make music. I used to sneak out of school. During weekends I went to house parties and I just knew I loved this kind of music that was made and played with all that cool gear.

It wasn’t until I went down to London to see my older brother Sam and seeing his studio and all that cool stuff with buttons and knobs, faders and flashing lights! I had this immediate affection for all the electronics I saw and I just thought if I get to use this kind of gear to make that kind of music then that’s what I’m going to do.

Your road map for 2015?
Just to maintain a descent level of delivering new material from the different projects I’m working on. My Spooked EP is released in April and we’ve planned two Rich & Maroq EP’s before the end of the year. There is a lot of talent within our Vergissmeinnicht collective that I’m also closely involved in that’s going to come out soon. So definitely stay tuned for that. Like our Facebook page, so you stay up-to-date with the latest news. Also check out our Soundcloud page on which you can listen to some awesome mixes from the entire crew.

Towards the end of the year I will be working on a live set so I’m excited to get that going…

Richard Elcox vergissmeinnicht Vergissmeinnicht

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.