MIXED BY / Nebraska

mixed by nebraska - bolting bits
Alistair Gibbs aka Nebraska (soundcloud) has been steadily producing music for two and a half decades and his current moniker is already seventeen years old. Not nearly enough people in the world persevere and continue to work on their passions for such a long period of time, but Alistair is definitely one of the few who manage to stick with it. A string of releases on Rush Hour Records really propelled him to the forefront of the underground sample house movement and he’s stayed true to his sound ever since, catching the ears of other taste-making labels such as Delusions of Grandeur, Mister Saturday Night, Razor N Tape and of course Detroit Swindle’s Heist Recordings.


Nebraska’s most recent Metaphor to the Floor EP is out now on Heist as a followup to last year’s Soften the Wireless EP. It includes a stellar remix from fellow sample guru Laurence Guy (soundcloud), a name that’s been on the tip of everyone’s tongue lately, especially since his debut LP dropped earlier this year on Church. For this new MIXED BY, we’ve caught up with Nebraska and Laurence Guy for this exclusive interview to chat about their release on Heist.

INTERVIEW WITH NEBRASKA & LAURENCE GUY


nebraska Luke Curtis mixed by

 

NEBRASKA (soundcloud)

Metaphor to the Floor is your second EP on Heist, how did the first come about? Did the Detroit Swindle guys approach you originally?
I met Lars and Maarten when I did my very first live show, a Boiler Room event hosted by Freerange in London. Being much more experienced performers, they kindly gave me a bit of help on the day, and contacted me about putting out a record a while later.

For slightly bigger labels, especially ones that release vinyl, EPs generally take quite a while to see the light of day. Was your followup EP planned far in advance and is that also a reason as to why you’ve recently started your own label, Friends & Relations, to get your music out faster?
I make music all of the time, and labels like Heist help me find an editorial focus for some of that. I started F&R almost for the hell of it, really, as an experiment. Having my own label doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘faster’… sometimes quite the opposite. Anyone releasing vinyl at present is likely to be used to their schedule being vague, whether they like it or not.

Naming EPs and tracks allows you to give your music an even more personal flair. Some producers don’t pay as much attention to this as others, though. Do the names of these tracks represent anything to you and what does the encompassing EP name symbolise, if anything?
If you look back at a lot of my tracks, there’s a recurring food theme. I’m really interested in cooking and restaurants, and I’ve often used that world as a metaphor in creative discussions. In fact, it’s often been made apparent to me that I speak in metaphors and analogies… that’s probably where the title comes from.

Artwork and branding has been a big part of Heist Recordings in the past. Recently, it seems as if Heist have somewhat rebranded. Being a branding and creative director yourself, did you happen to discuss the artwork for your release with the label and have any say in it?
Not sure that Heist have rebranded as such, just naturally developed their story, which is important to do. As design is my ‘day job’, sometimes I prefer to acquiesce and let artwork happen without heavy involvement from me – Heist have a strong aesthetic and they need to foreground that, so I put my faith in their team and let it happen. Happily, it’s had a great response so far.

You took a little hiatus from releasing music starting around late 2011 and ending in early 2015 but have been back at it pretty regularly since. Was there a specific reason as to why you took a break or was it a culmination of a number of things?
Looking back over what I’ve been involved in since the early 90s, there’s often a few years in between releases. I was probably making stuff even if it wasn’t being released. I’d have to look at the dates you mentioned more closely, but it doesn’t sound unreasonable. I was seriously ill and spent a significant period of time in hospital in 2012, I know that much. Who knows, I might take another sabbatical soon. I took a year off music-making around 2000, and its better when you come back to it with refreshed enthusiasm and clarity.

Producers/DJs currently inspiring you and why? Be it their sound, work ethic or perhaps technique.
Easy answer for me, in that I suggested Laurence for this remix! His tracks are great.

When not focusing on music or a day job, do you have some favourite activities to unwind?
Cooking. And eating. And using the experiences as metaphors.

What’s next for Nebraska?
I’ve contributed a remix of a Fouk track to Heist’s ‘Round-up’ EP, and have an EP of remixes of my Friends & Relations material by other producers coming up sometime in the spring.

LAURENCE GUY (soundcloud)


Laurence Guy mixed by

You’re known for your sampling work in your original productions but we haven’t seen you remix very much in the past. How different do you find it remixing another artist? Is this something you’re hoping to do more of or would you prefer to spend more time on your own music?
Recently I’ve done two or three remixes and have enjoyed working on all of them. They can be great at taking you out of the personal bubble and renewing creativity. On the other hand, remixes are (to me) less personal/expressive than solo productions so I think a good balance is necessary. I will be doing more, but solo material will always be my focus.

When starting a remix, do you approach it the same way as you would when making an original, sample-based composition? What’s your process like when doing one or the other?
I approach remixes exactly the same way as I use samples in my own music. I’ll chop up what I feel are the most interesting parts to work with, turn them into various instruments in Logic and then play around until I can come up with some melody or a hook and work from there.You recently released your first full length album to great acclaim. It seems that the Laurence Guy and Church connection is a good one. Can we expect to see another EP on Church anytime soon or if its not too early for this question, would you be open to the idea of another album?
It was amazing to work with Church on my album, and also just to write an album in general! I’m not sure at this stage about another EP, but will keep the connection strong for sure. In terms of another album, I am definitely open to it and have already put some thought into what I would like to do. In 2018 I’m focusing on EPs for the year, at least three, maybe four. Second album will wait until 2019…

Producers/DJs currently inspiring you and why? Be it their sound, work ethic or perhaps technique.

Lately I’ve re-ignited my love for Caribou/Daphne. I find his balance between weird, psychedelic sounds and straight dancefloor/pop sensibilities really inspiring. Also the sheer amount of good material he has released is pretty staggering. In terms of DJs, the last set that blew me away was Avalon Emerson at Printworks in London, was hooked from start to finish.

When not focusing on music or a day job, do you have some favourite activities to unwind?

At the moment, I work half the time on music/gigs and the other half in a rock climbing centre. When I’m not working, I’ll mainly be in a club or climbing somewhere!

What’s next for Laurence Guy?
Next for me is an EP for Mule Musiq that I’m super excited to get out and some more remixes coming very soon.


Interview by Igor