Get to know: Analias
As part of our Get to Know series, we caught up with Analias to discuss his music, how he goes about creating it and the thought processes behind it.
Analias has been a member of the Listening Sessions community since its inception, and his well thought out, melodical yet stripped back tracks often turn heads and catch ears at our showcase events. Not one to be constrained to a specific tempo, his work is less unified by a bpm and more by a feel – he’s one of those artists whose work is instantly recognisable by sound palette, familiar motifs and the longing emotion it invokes.
Introduce yourself – who are you and how would you describe your music?
I’m Stuart, I make music under ‘’Analias’’ and the best way to describe my music would be as an expression of where my head is, at any given time.
How did you get started with music production?
I think it was the Caspa & Rusko Fabriclive and a lot of the dubstep stuff that was going on around the same time to be honest, i just remember hearing all of these alien sounds, the tearout stuff and kinda just thinking how do I make that myself.
I was about 17 at the time and the idea that you could make your own music on a computer had never hit me…the second I found out about Fruity Loops i was making Deadmau5 and Caspa rip offs and uploading them to youtube, thinking I was the shit!
I remember the first thing I ever made was like this Dubstep medley by mashing together some tracks that had been released, my GF at the time just pissed herself laughing when she heard it. Good times!
What would you say are your main influences – musically or otherwise?
There’s a lot to be honest. I’d have to say my main musical influence and the reason i release quite a lot of music is Omar S, his records strike me as being an expression of himself, some of his tracks ain’t conventional and some are just like sketches but I really like the idea of using music as an expression of a certain headspace you can be In…From the outside looking in it seems like he makes the tracks, releases them and gets onto his next project…it’s kinda just like take it or leave it for the listener, here’s my expression, next!
I really like that!
I do love a bit of tekky stuff ; Felix K, Objekt, Peverelist, Beneath, Hessle Audio gear a lot of that stuff is good to listen for the sheer precision / technical ability but i’d gotta say if i had Objekt up as my main man i’d never have released any music, the guy is a wizard, it’s depressing !!
Tell us a little about your production workflow – any software or hardware you use, any special techniques or sources that are indispensable to your sound.
Special techniques! You expect me to reveal those!
Nope ! No special techniques, just a desire to express where i’m at as simply as possible.
If it can get done with a kick drum, bassline, melody and a few effects then I’m going for it. I spent years making tracks with near enough 100 different tracks and layers of automation and everything just felt stagnant after a while.
About 6 years ago I really made an effort to use as little tracks / instruments as possible, when your on the dancefloor not many people are going ‘’ahh did you hear how he automated the reverb on that hi hat’’ it’s Kicks ‘n’ Bass in your face smashing you over the head…
Most things are made in Reason, occasionally I’ll go out the box if I’ve got the gear, most times I’ll have a synth or drum machine for a few months, use it for a few tracks and then sell it on, it’s hardly cost effective but I don’t get too het up about things needing to be digital / analogue… analogue sounds better but when it comes to it and I’m sat on my settee wondering wtf I’m doing with that drum machine sat there.
What do you do when you’ve lost your musical mojo?
Just don’t make music, and feel guilty about it… I lose the musical mojo about 4 times a week! I go for a lot of walks with my Dad round the park, play crown green bowls quite a lot and watch way too much of the American Office.
It can be useful just to force it sometimes though, it’s all good n well saying ‘’ahh I don’t feel like it’’ but sometimes I’ve really gotta struggle to make music otherwise I’d never do it.
What are your favourite and least favourite BPMs to work at?
Least favourite; 140, 96, 100 odd
Favorite; 124, 164, 136
When you make music, where do you start?
Drums first, melody then bass, nothing too special tbh.
If you could go back to when you first started out and offer your former self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t smoke weed!
Production wise… Keep it simple, if it gets people moving you’re onto a winner.
Can you tell us one thing you really appreciate about the Birmingham music scene and one thing you think could be improved?
It’s taken years to build up but the few times I’ve been out recently it’s f***ing great to see punters willing to listen to / dance to people who are playing their own music or music by local artists. That’s something that I really feel Listening Sessions has had the most impact on, it just wasn’t happening that much 10 years ago and if you played one of your own back then you’d be worrying about people thinking ‘who’s this w****r’
There’s this acceptance ATM I feel for everyone being at a different stage in their production skills so somebody could play a track that ain’t really great but people in the audience are really receptive and respectful that the person is at a certain point in their journey… It’s sick !
Improvement wise, has anyone else noticed that Brum is a bit quiet right now? There could definitely be a few more nights going on, If they could focus on local stuff it would be a plus.
I think Forum has kinda shown that the concept of booking in underground artists is pretty much dead to be real, the way it currently works anway, What’s the point of paying somebody 600 quid to come and play when you ain’t even gonna break even.
There’s established venues and nights like the Hare & Hounds & Breakthru that still do stuff with touring DJ’s but as a new night starting out, booking in an artist, unless you know them and they are literally playing for nothing, is a waste of time.
I’d love to be able to see some ‘big names’ but realistically it’s gonna take a few artists / booking agents to get realistic and set fee’s around 2-300 (when playing in Birmingham) ‘cos otherwise nothing is sustainable for the promoters and people are just pissing money away.
When you’re not making music, what other interests and hobbies do you have?
Biggest hobby at the moment is the Bowls, got to say I’ve been really getting into it over the past few years. I wish I could still play football to a decent level but tbh that ship has sailed.
Do you feel Listening Sessions has helped you progress as an individual artist?
Alongside the Futurepast Zine crew, Listening sessions has been the biggest help to my progression. As I said above, it’s just great to have people who are receptive to listening to track’s you’ve made yourself…
Another thing LS is great for is creating a kinda unsaid desire for improvement…. I hate the idea of music being some form of competition, completely feel that’s not what it’s about.
When one producer comes along to Listening Sessions (Usually Slaine tbh) and their track just slaps and blows your own out of the water technicality wise then it’s a good driving force to get back in the box and try to improve.
Which other Listening Sessions producers are you feeling at the minute?
A lot really, I don’t really think it’s fair to name a few n leave some out and it’s just kinda paying lip service to name everybody, Just know the levels are high and they have been for a good while !
Where can we hear more of your music?
Do you have any upcoming releases, events or other stuff you’d like to plug?
Something coming on Ghost Snares I’m really looking forward to.
A vinyl release that’s at TP stage ATM so that’ll be wicked, wont say too much more about that, n jinx it !
Another alias recently which focuses on loop based US Garage / Deep House / Tech House which can be checked out here – www.sempersupra.bandcamp.com
& Finally a couple of us are starting a new monthly night – It’s Just A Rinse – at the Dark Horse, the second Friday of every month (Starting the 12th of August) which will just be Rawtrachs, Anjin, Hollow + me DJ’ing so it would be f***ing huge if a few LS heads could make it along and help us make it a good night !
Thanks to the LS + FPZ crew, without you guys I would have given up a long time ago.