Since busting onto the scene and signing with Future Classic producer and swag master Charles Murdoch made 2013 his bitch with the release of his Weathered Straight EP. But since then the coolest guy in music has been keeping his head down taking a two year hiatus to work on his debut album and find ways to step away from being a laptop producer.
His first release in two years Straws see’s him comfortably step back into the producer seat with a slick, intense and kind of dark production flair, but it’s a track which he admits may be the only one without a vocal on his debut. Gearing up for the release of his debut who’s deadline is fast approaching all whilst planning his glorious return to Splendour In The Grass on the Red Bull Music Academy’s stage Charles took some time out to take a phone call from me, and properly open my eyes up to his new way of looking at music.
Hey Charles how are ya?
I’m good man.
You’ve just put out your new track “Straws” and it’s video, I’ve got to say man I’m obsessed with this clip, just wondering who did you work with on the clip?
Thanks man. I worked with this guy called Faraz and a German producer Jünglinge on the video. Faraz was the director on it.
It’s a really interesting video did you work on the video together with them or was it like one party bought the idea to the other and you kinda of mixed and interpreted it together?
They bought the idea to Future Classic and they were looking for some artist to work with. They had done all that kind of crazy visual stuff and presented it to Future Classic and were like “Is anyone keen to use this amazing footage”. Then my manager showed it to me and I think it really works well with the new single that is coming out. I had a good look over it and there were a few little things that I wanted to change and we worked together on that side of things tweaking it. But yeah they came to us and my music just out of pure luck fitted the video. Which was pretty awesome.
Good coincidence then?
Yeah well that’s not how it would usually happen. Usually the music comes first then the video clip kind of fits into the music, but with this one it’s the other way around strangely.
Would you ever consider flying over to Germany to work with the guys over there?
Of course. They seem like some serious up-commers. They haven’t got much stuff online but I think there’s going to be some good things coming from them.
You’ve said before that the video is going to be part of a three part series. Can you share a little of what’s to come next in the series?
I think with this first video you kind of get some hint of a storyline but I think with the second part it’ll be exposed a bit more. I think the second track will be like this is really the opener and the second track will more setting the type of mood for the album. The second track and second video will explore that more.
Nice, well I’ll be looking forward to it. But between this track and the last track you put out, it was a two year gap. You kind of disappeared for a bit and left us waiting. Are you going to disappear again now and have us waiting two years for the next part?
No, nah man. But there’s no real set date just yet, but definitely not two years wait.
How is the album coming along?
Yeah it’s good. It’s all finished, actually that’s a lie I’m still waiting on a few vocals to come in. Musically though it’s all finished on my end. I think the whole next week I’ll be mixing it down and it should be sweet. Pretty excited about that, to get a bit of weight off my shoulders and start preparing for the live set. That’s the next fun part.
With the album have you been exploring out into different genres or have you been more focused on sticking to your guns and cementing what your personal sound is now?
There’s no real focus on trying to recreate what I’ve done. It kind of just comes naturally. It’s whatever I’m feeling at the moment that influences my sounds I guess. But I guess my taste has kind of changed and that’s influenced the way that I’ve written few songs, I think I’ve put in some more four to the floor type of stuff. I’ve got a bit more gear too, like I’ve got a bit more drum machines so I’ve picked up the tempo a bit with some of the tracks. There’s still some of those older kind of hip-hoppy kind of tracks that I used to do too. But it’s really just kind of what ever I’m listening to that day and whatever I’m feeling that really influences how a track sounds, and that’s kind of whatever is on there.
Did you have any favourite artist that you’ve been listening to a lot lately that have been influencing you?
I’ve been really smashing out a lot of different artist at the moment a lot of Max Grace and Glenn Astro, they sound super cool and it’s all crunchy. I’m sick of listening to that overproduced stuff, because being a producer type dude is very in at the moment so it’s cool that these guys are destroying that and just making everything sound very crunchy and weird and not necessarily well produced but it’s got more of a feel to the tracks and there’s more acoustic elements in them too. People like Floating Points too. Floating Points has this amazing rhythm with all of his tracks so I’m always smashing that.
Been a long time follower of you and it’s become pretty evident that you really love yourself a synth. Do you have a certain synth that is one of your faves in the collection at the moment?
I’ve been building my own little modular synth, but probably my new favourite that I have is my standard Juno-106 which I use every track. But what I’m really enjoying at the moment is Elektron, I’ve picked up a few little Elektron’s bits and bobs like the Elektron OctaTrack and the Elektron Rytm. Which I’m going to start using in my live set. It’s crazy what you can do with them. I’ve kind of been looking for something to replace my computer. Kind of standing up when I’m producing is the goal and not just sitting down in front of a computer. It’s ruining my back, so I think that’s my main goal. I think the Octatrack is like the Ableton in a box getting to know that. Getting to know my favourite bits it’s just learning those. That’s what I find the most fun out of producing music is trying to learn the little things within Abelton. I’ve kind of got to the point where I feel like I know Ableton and it’s good to have a bit of a refresh and learn the Octatrack.
Is it important for you to be able to play your tracks live, and not be one of those producers that just stand behind their Macbook and press space bar with their sets?
Yeah I’m trying to kind of recreate it all the best that I can and not just be pressing the space bar. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a few synths up there and play stuff in the tracks, that’s the goal. Of course it’s not really possible to recreate the whole thing live. I’m working with a visual guys too Tim Lovitt it’s also important we’ve got this big visual thing that we’re trying to set up. So it’s also important that I kind of stick to a guideline and don’t go too crazy off the grid. I’m trying to move out from behind the laptop and not really have one on stage with me, but with the visuals we’re still trying to work it all out. We’ll see how it goes.
You mentioned a little bit before that you’ll be on the Red Bull Music Academy stage at Splendour. Red Bull of course have a real knack at picking some really interesting and innovative artist to work with on their projects. Can we be expecting a full visual performance at Splendour?
Yeah man definitely. It’s going to be visual and a full performance. It’s not going to be like a DJ set. Gonna play most of the stuff from the new album too. Should be good. Not really playing much of the old stuff. I mean, I’ll probably throw in some of the old stuff but I’m trying to get a bit over that. I mean I had a two year break to get away from that kind of stuff.
Whilst you’re at Splendour is there anyone on the line up you’re keen to see?
I’m super keen to see No Such Thing, I kinda linked up with him a few years ago when I was in the U.S so will be good to catch up with him and see what he’s been up to. I’ve seen some real crazy visual stuff from him on Instagram, so it will be good to see that. I’m sure that most of the Red Bull stage is going to be pretty sick too, so you’ll probably find me hanging around there. And Klo! I really like Klo. Chloe is signing on one of my track’s on the album, so will be good to head over and see their new stuff that they’ll be bringing. Should be rad.
Are you going to have many guest vocalist on your album?
Yeah heaps. Most of the album is going to have some features, I don’t want to go out and spoil the surprise. Most of the album will have feature’s on it. Straws is probably one of the only one’s that’s a real instrumentalist tracks. The next couple of releases will be really exciting for everyone, and me.
You’re not going to try your own crack at vocals on the album?
No, no, no, no, no. I’m… I haven’t really tried vocals. Like I’ve done a few ooh’s and ash’s and wash them out with tonnes and tonnes of reverb and other sounds. So I suppose I kind of do, do my own vocals but nothing like lead. I don’t think so. Maybe in the long, long future I might. Would probably make things easier for sure.
Are we going to see a tour from you after Splendour?
Yeah, hopefully. Definitely looking into a little Australian tour, maybe look into going overseas. End of the year might try a few shows over the State and Europe.
Charles will be hitting up the Friday line up on the Red Bull Music Academy stage along with the likes of Willow Beats, Klo, Nosaj Thing, Catlips ad Deutsch Duke. If you’re heading to Splendour definitely take a visit to the RBMA stage to see some of the most coolest and most innovative artist out there at the moment. Whilst you’re counting down the says till SITG check out Charles Murdoch’s video for “Straws” below it’s beyond anything you could possibly expect.