Interview with ­Anderson M & Lucid Distraction

3 months ago
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lucid distrection anderson m interview

New on Sublease Music is a special collaboration from Anderson M and Lucid Distraction. Both having carved out specific niches in their own careers, this collab brings together the best of both their outputs for a cut that will bring a lot of joy over the next weeks and months.

Hey guys, thanks for chatting with us today! How has the year been for you?

Anderson M: You’re welcome and thank you for giving us this opportunity! This year’s been a roller coaster for me but positive overall. A great learning experience as every year is.

Lucid Distraction: This has been a real year of growth for me and focus on expressing myself creatively regardless of what people think, especially genre snobs. A lot of self-discovery both personally and as an artist. Also, have shifted the gears with my record label, Native Boundaries, finding a transcendent, high energy, electric, sound that finds no bounds in geographical location.

Tell us about your journey into electronic music, when did you first fall in love with it?

Anderson M: I fell in love with electronic music at the tail end of 2007 when I attended my first rave in Los Angeles called Together As One NYE. Sasha and Digwed were headlining and they rang in the new year with such style.

LD: My introduction to electronic music was first with the eurodance Bass Hunter stuff, which was fun and positive, then fell in love with Crystal Castles’ electropunk sound back in 2008. My first rave was very trance and progressive house falling in love with Kaskade. I ended up finding myself as a DJ in 2012 at Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Tuesdays room 86 spinning indie electronic and deep house. 

LA is probably better known for its rap and rock scenes than underground electronic music – how did you establish yourselves in the scene there?

Anderson M: LA’s always been a melting pot for various cultures and the fact that they had such a strong rave scene in the 90’s due to their vast amount of warehouse space, it helped bred the electronic music scene that is today. After attending so many raves in my teenage years and then other warehouse parties in my 20’s, I was able to establish a good network of friends and supporters which helped launch my career. Unfortunately, this is an industry of knowing people and talent won’t get you very far unless you’re extremely lucky or versatile in marketing especially in LA.

LD: I started a blog my freshman year of college called Robot Ears where I was posting the progressive and electro house stuff I would hear at the Insomniac and Hard events. We would dive into different genres too having days like Trance Tuesdays and Wobble Wednesdays (dubstep). I mainly DJ’d house parties until I got more involved with promoting parties and eventually getting booked spinning loungier stuff. 

As house and techno has become more established in the US, have you noticed the crowds changing at the events you’ve played? Is there still room for experimentation with what you play?

Anderson M: It depends on the location. A typical bar or restaurant that is converted to an electronic event space in the evening can be a little harder to crack as those crowds are usually into other types of music like rap, latin or hip hop. I have noticed lately though that it’s easier to attract the younger generation as they’ve been more exposed to other types of music at an earlier age than previous generations. A lot of the house and techno heads which I grew up with have families now so they haven’t been going out as much anymore.

LD: I think that that scenes have somewhat diminished recently in LA and there is a lot more crossover of taste. I don’t think that genres have as much of meaning anymore and we are in this awesome space wear artists and getting out of their comforts zones and not putting the marketing the product in mind when creating and just doing their thing more. I think people are here for it and just want to hear timeless good vibe music.

Tell us about your latest release Anything… any specific inspiration behind this one?

Anderson M: There wasn’t a particular inspiration to be honest. Scott and I were just going off of each other’s energy. Our styles are very different but they complement each other well. Scott initially started the idea with some loops he sent over for me to work on. As soon as I heard the deep house elements, I had an idea of which direction I wanted to take this project and I’m very satisfied with the end result.

LD: This track, I had actually recently done a month-long boot camp run by Justin Jay and have been exploring territories out of the minimal sound I was doing in the past. There is a few elements of lofi and playing around with synths that I really enjoyed along with that groove you find in minimal stuff influenced from fellow Aussie (I’m half Aussie) Mall Grab. Really enjoy the stuff that him and Sweely out of France have been putting out.

How do you work in the studio, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?

Anderson M: I typically start from scratch with the drums first. Once those are established, I start incorporating the other elements. There are less common times where I do start with a synth melody or bassline based on a previous voice memo I recorded as a reference which really makes things interesting because then the track can go in various directions.

LD: I do a blend of both. Letting the synth take more somewhere and going for a specific sound/idea. The original bassline I made was much more minimal, but I was listening to the V1 of the track and something came to mind, much deeper and funkier. Playing with the synth I found some cool automation as well.

How does the workflow differ when you’re collaborating? Were there any tense moments putting the EP together??

Anderson M: It really depends on the artist, whether we’re collaborating virtually or in person. Surprisingly, no. You never know what you’re going to get when you work on something with a new person who you barely know but Scott was a pleasure to work with because he was very quick and our ideas fit together nicely like a puzzle. It’s always the worst when you collaborate with someone who’s overthinking everything but we were very efficient.

LD: Working with Anderson was very smooth. I have been into more higher energy stuff, but I worked with his suggestion. I think it is important to be flexible as an artist, especially while collaborating. I came up with the original idea and sent it to him. He changed some stuff and added his bits. I changed some of mine to compliment and was flowed very well for not being in the studio together.

What are some of the key bits of music-making gear in your current setup?

Anderson M: I have a very basic setup because I’m not much of a gear head although that might change in the future. I use the microKORG for my synthesized sounds and a Yamaha MIDI Keyboard to program my drums and samples.

LD: Right now, I am very plugin in based. I am a big fan of the Arturia V collection and Sound Toys stuff for creating warm grooves. Honestly Ableton operator is a great synth and the drum engine in Ableton is great for swing. I also enjoy chopping up samples. Another fun one that sounds a lot like the real deal is the TB-303 plugin from Roland to get that oldschool rave sound. Another sampler I have fun with is rave generator for the higher energy stuff.

What else should we be looking out for from you both for the rest of 2022 and into the new year?

Anderson M: No further releases for this year but I do have an EP coming out March 17, 2023 on Riko Forinson’s 4 Quarters Music.

LD: I currently have an EP coming out on Bogoture records with a remix from LA local, User Delusion that I am excited to hear. This is a much different vibe than “Anything”. Lots of jungle, electro, and ghetto breaks elements. I actually recorded a bit of a rap twang vocal of myself for one of the tracks.

I am also releasing a 20-track various artist compilation on my own label. Really pumped on the dudes I curated for this. No filler on the release. All pure heavier hitting rave stuff.

Finally, what is the best record you’ve heard this year we might not know about?

Anderson M: I just discovered it last week or so. Luuk Van Dijk’s “Together We Rise” off his latest “First Contact” album is a beautiful masterpiece. It sounds like an homage to house music where he expresses the genuine love and respect he has for it and everything it has provided him which is something that resonates with me deeply.

LD: There is a tune dropped by Luz1e out of Germany a couple years ago on Shall Not Fade that really encapsulates my transition a deep minimal artist into the higher energy breaky stuff. Although it’s not super fresh, it’s a timeless and tasteful track that really reflects my taste shift into the deep electro realm and the tune has popped its way into my sets still 2 years later.

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