An Interview With xKore
Have I got a treat for you bassheads this lovely evening! A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting xKore (see our first post on him here). In the weeks following, he had his first shows in the States, including a show with Figure, as well as playing Dancegiving Music Festival. After his mini-US stint was over, I had the pleasure of interviewing this new up-and-comer by e-mail.
Tell us a little about yourself for our readers.
[box] Hello. Nice to meet you. My name is xKore and I make dubstep, drumstep, moombahton, electro, and basically all things bass music. I’ve been producing for around four years, started when I was 14 . Only really got into it seriously for about six to nine months now, and it has kind of taken off recently.[/box]
You have gotten some really serious support and exposure over the past few months: Skream and Benga had you as a guest on their radio show (and they themselves love to play out your Bass Cannon Drumstep Redux), a feature on UKF, and now it seems that Rob Swire of Knife Party digs your tunes, how does it feel?[box]It’s pretty surreal, six months ago, I never thought I would be associated with those names, but one thing happened, and since then it’s been a pretty crazy chain of events which only looks to continue. I am very grateful for everyone that chooses to support my music.[/box]
2011 has been an amazing year for dubstep, particularly in the sense of pushing to a huge audience and into the mainstream with acts like Skrillex and others. Where do you feel dub/drumstep and drum and bass are going over the next few years?[box]In the UK, EDM has started to become a normal thing, with dubstep and drum and bass getting daytime radio play and charting regularly. I feel like the same thing will eventually happen in the US, although it’s going to take more than just Skrillex.
Also, I see dubstep off shooting into drumstep, 100bpm and electrodub, and those scenes getting their own respective followings.[/box]
“I tend to play out a combination of my own tracks, tracks that are going off at the moment and tracks from smaller producers that I believe should be much bigger.”
What are your thoughts on moombahton/core? I see you have already experimented with it with your original track “Cool.”[box]Moombahton is an interesting one. It’s being picked up by dubstep and the more harder producers, but I don’t feel it belongs in the sets that those producers spin because of the difference in energy the tempo and beat gives. However, labels like Mad Decent that have a more urban and dutch kind of vibe seem to be doing it in a way that’s more natural to their original sound. I feel for certain that it will eventually get to the same popularity as dutch and electro house, but its direction is still uncertain since the genre is so young. Producers like Dillon Francis and Dave Nada are doing a good job of pioneering that scene.
As for my own moombahton, I think it’s just good to experiment with new ideas and see if you can take it in your own direction that is unique. You never know if you will be the next pioneer of a genre if you don’t try it out.[/box]
What do you feel differentiates Xkore as a producer and Xkore as a DJ? You seem to play out a lot of your own work. What other tracks from other artists do you like to play out?[box]I tend to play out a combination of my own tracks, tracks that are going off at the moment and tracks from smaller producers that I believe should be much bigger.
My sets traverse several tempos, as an artist that makes dubstep, drumstep, electro and moombahton, it’s only natural. So there’s a lot of variety and a pretty big journey in terms of the energy that’s coming through.[/box]
What particular artists inspire you, and what about them specifically inspires you? Their performances? Productions? Workflow? Etc.[box]I think Rob Swire is a massive influence on me. He was able to produce DnB at a level years ago that producers even now find hard to top, and he continues to produce top level stuff, especially under the Knife Party moniker.
The same goes for The Prodigy. They were so ahead of their time, and their music sounds like they just went with what they wanted rather than following what everyone else was doing at the time, thus establishing their trademark Prodigy sound.
Yoko Kanno is also a massive inspiration to me. I like how her music is so free form, yet just feels so right. The aesthetics of the music she wrote for the soundtrack to the ghost in the shell series is also very appealing to me.
Harry Gregson-Williams‘ work on the soundtrack to the Metal Gear Solid series is a sound that I particularly like. A mish mash of tech sounds and melodic classical flavours.[/box]
You recently completed a mini US tour, how did you like it, and what would you say were some of the highlights?[box]It was good fun, a taste of what’s to come in the near future, I expect. Highlights were playing my first few packed out nights, meeting some really cool people and raging with Figure when he played one of my tracks on a night he was headlining.[/box]
What is your current production setup?[box]I am currently solely software based. FL Studio is my main studio, learning Ableton for my laptop. My synth of choice is Massive and I usually work with Waves, Sonnox and PSP plugins.[/box]
What do you do when you are at home and not working on anything music related? What do you do when you feel like you need a break from it all?[box]If I’m not eating, sleeping, travelling or chilling with friends or family, I’m usually either listening to or creating music. Music is my life basically.[/box]
[box]I think Killagraham is one to watch for. His sound is very club and commercially viable, and he seems way undiscovered compared to the production quality of his tracks.
What artists do you feel we should be looking out for? What artist would you really like to collaborate with?
Space Laces is another to watch for, he is lurking in the background for the moment but he has some big tunes on the way and will most likely explode out of nowhere.
Syrebral has a very unique and viable sound, and is also very proactive. He is working his way up.[/box]
Any guilty pleasures when it comes to music you think none of your listeners would expect?[box]I try to listen to all music and find something to appreciate in it. So yeah, I’ve listened to country, jpop, gangster rap, ’70s disco and all that jazz.[/box] —