It is all about the groove, it is all about the beat. Following this debut EP ‘Power‘, Crosstik remains devoted in producing gender -bending tracks evident in his third single, RIZUP. Read our interview with the electronic producer, below!
Describe your sound in three words please!
Funky, groovy, bouncy
Your music feels production driven. We are wondering what is usually the main idea that you later turn into a song?
There isn’t one system I use for starting every song I make. I may have a melody in mind already, or sometimes I’ll play around on a keyboard to find a bassline or melody, then fill in everything around that idea. Other times my songs start solely with drums. I might play drums to a metronome until I find a beat I dig and then record it, or play a beat in on a midi controller. Usually the goal is to set a framework or skeleton of the track as quickly as possible then fill in the gaps.
What advice would you give to new producers on how to make their beats more organic?
Pay attention to dynamics – not every drum hit has to be the same velocity. I’ll use a filtered “aux” kick or snare as a kind of ghost note to make beats more interesting. Definitely play with velocities of hi hats to imitate what a live drummer would do. Delay can help too, a small amount added to hats can give them more bounce. Using groove pool in Ableton keeps everything synced up if you’re adding swing to different things across the track. Adding something extra every 4/8 bars as an accent (reverb clap, snare, cymbal, synth hit, etc.) makes it feel less repetitive.
When it comes to live performance, is realistically Electronika a genre that can be performed live?
I don’t necessarily set out to make music to fit into a particular genre, it’s more what works with my abilities as a performer, and what I think sounds cool. Any genre can be performed live if perfected enough, just look at KJ Sawka. D&B began with producers speeding up drum breaks to “un-human-like” speeds, and now people are playing those beats live. The beautiful thing about electronic music is how quickly it evolves. The entire trajectory of a genre can be altered by a single forward thinking album.
Tell us a song with such a great groove you wish you have composed yourself.
Herzeloyde – my swing. Simple and good.
What song/album/artist defined (electronic) Trap in the previous decade? And was Trap eventually the US response in British Dubstep?
Soundclash by TroyBoi & Flosstradamus is the track that grabbed my attention immediately when I was first getting into electronic music and basically defined that style for me. I believe electronic trap evolved more directly from hip hop than it did UK Dubstep, but the original dubstep influences from Jamaica seem to have infiltrated just about every style of electronic music these days.
Does it scare you that the average listener might listen to your production driven music in very low quality internal laptop speakers?
It doesn’t scare me, but that’s definitely a big thing to consider while producing. Most of the bass can’t be heard on small speakers but with testing on different systems & enough saturation it is possible to get the idea across on laptop speakers. It’s like someone who’s not into electronic music hearing these songs on a small speaker: it doesn’t really make sense to them because it’s out of context. Unfortunately not everyone listens to music on a wall of subs, but the real ones know.
One last thing we should know about you?
I am an ASE certified automotive mechanic, so if you need an engine rebuilt, hit me up.