Interview: Quartz [Samurai Music]
Quartz style both in music and in general homages his wide taste in music, art’s, culture and film; this connected with his quiet personality, clinical production and no compromise approach has led him to be identified with quality and integrity. Likewise as a DJ his sets aren’t bound by limitations of the genre.
He joins Samurai Music with 4 tracks of menacing weight for his debut EP on the label. With previous releases for labels like Metalheadz, DSCI4, and Invisible, Quartz’ powerful mix-downs and his knack for technical tunes that retain the vibe factor has him high on everyone’s radar.
TF: Where do your earliest musical origins lie?
Quartz: What’s up! Uhh, I guess that’s a hard one to pinpoint. I played drums from age 8 until I discovered making electronic music about 8 years later, mum was a big music head too so we always had something playing around the house. I was a big metal fan, before it had evolved into what it is now, but since about 2003/4 I’ve been very out of touch as I didn’t resonate with how it grew. Found the likes of Source Direct, Teebee, Photek, Rufige Kru, also guys like Aphex Twin, Autechre etc around that same time, so I guess you could say combinations of those things shaped my tastes into what they are now.
TF: At what point did you decide you wanted to take the Quartz further?
Quartz: Quartz has been around for years, it’s something I’ve just done because I need a creative outlet and a way to escape the usually day to day as corny as that sounds. Been that way since 2007 or so. Playing drums and having a mad start in the world, (which is another story) combined all taught me the mindset of being resilient, sticking with things and learning something for a long period, regardless of outside factors. Life has got in the way of me putting my music out more than a couple times now, but I think many of us experience that on some level in many areas. I’m fortunate to be in a good place now, I can just create freely and work with likeminded labels like Metalheadz and Samurai who both let me take as much time as I need.
TF: How do you begin producing a track? Do you have a sketch in your mind before heading into the studio or is it pretty much just jamming?
Quartz: Hard to say. I write everyday. Probably start a new track every day or other, but if it’s not working in 2 hours it’s rare I open it up again.
Sometimes an idea that comes from wanting to achieve something, like “Into The Mist” which was heavily influenced by a Kamaal Williams joint, maybe you can figure it out which one.
Stuff like “Cluster Bomb“ was written very fast just throwing stuff around testing myself using only stock plugins. I actually thought about not releasing this one as there’s no attachment to it (probably dictated by how long it took to write ha).
“Snakes” was born from a band called Loathe, or to be more specific their bass player Feisal. I pretty much started this after he went through their (then unreleased) album a long time ago now and I was just looking for something that gave me the feeling of similar intensity.
“Figure it out” patterned up playing with some detuning experiments, which lead to the tune you hear.
Electronic music with “intent” over electronic music being triggered sound effects tends to be what I look for.
Find that and you are halfway there.
TF: An album like 'Snakes' EP contain a story, a concept, a narrative or pictural meaning. What are the conceptual perspectives that you develop in your music?
Quartz: Again this just comes back to intent, which I discuss at length with Jack Boston. He’s an incredible songwriter and engineer so I’m very fortunate to have a creative friend I regard as family I can bounce my ideas off.
As an electronic artist I guess it’s good to know yourself, understand what you want out of your music and what your tastes are. As long as it resonates with you internally, than resonating to an external variable, then 9/10 in my experience it will fit the narrative you’re true too.
I’ve done this long enough I believe I know what that is, for myself. It’s something innate and you can’t fake that.
TF: What new hardwares did you apply to make this. Do you have a particular method while working in the studio?
Quartz: I’m very content working in the box. I use a Prophet 6 for a lot of sound design, but I’m big on sampling and that’s been the way I’ve worked for a long time.
Otherwise I’m potentially just a bit of a sonics nerd, I kinda need to check my music on multiple mediums.
TF: Recently, have you seen any book, movie or documentary, or heard an album that has influenced the way you make music? What other art forms or music inspire you as a person?
Quartz: Life. Sounds stupid doesn’t it haha! Nah real talk, I’ve been in some mad scenarios and places that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, met questionable personalities, made mistakes and lots of other stuff in between.
That’s all shaped who I am. Lots of music and films I rate, film wise mainly Sci Fi and horrors, but I’ll be here all day if we list them.
Should add I'm a big fan of wordplay and grime too. I'm hyper selective with what stuff I rate though. If its amped and greasy I'm probably into it.
TF: To say goodbye, what can you tell us about the premiere track you publish with us? Any experience during the creative process?
Quartz: Ableton’s “Operator” is your best friend if you want to make something like this and I wrote it in 3 hours.
Release date: sep 04th, 2020.
Format: vinyl 12'' & digital
Buy click here.