1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?
Mpc 2000xl data wheel is my favourite, it’s smooth to turn but you can still feel the clicks plus it has a finger rest to help you turn the wheel. The mpc 2500 had a similar wheel but it was noisy as hell. All these new data wheels suck big time. I also enjoy the softness of the Elektron buttons, they’re noisy but easy to press.
2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?
I think the Akai Force comes pretty close to a perfect instrument for me. I don’t like the layout but I love the fact that its has the mpc drum programs with Ableton’s sequencer. I don’t need a touch screen, I’d just minimise everything to be a portable Mpc with Ableton’s sequencer. I’d change the buttons, they’re so hard to press.
3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?
I don’t holiday that much, I am a bit of a workaholic but in case I find my self on the road I always have an mpc around.
4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?
Octorex from Reason. I spent some time working with Reason back in 1.5, I think it would be so cool to use Octorex in real life.
5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?
I don’t get attached to instruments that much, but I did make a stupid trade once I swapped a pair of Behringer speakers for a launchpad. Looking back I think it was dumb, but I really wanted a launchpad and I had spare pairs of speakers at the time. I never got to use the launchpad that much. But I think it’s ok to own a piece of gear for a while and then swap it for another and try new ideas.
6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?
I think I’d have to say my MPC2500 with jjos, I made some great music with it.
7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?
I’d say the Akai Force or maybe some like the akai force but better looking. That machine has everything I need.
8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?
I love all my equipment. Tripping on cables is annoying but you got to have them.
[Editor: Yeah, cables are pain]
9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?
Not about a bit of kit but music production, using the bass to make those kick ghost notes, I am still experimenting with this but it makes your music groove so much better.
Artist or Band name?
Marlow Digs aka Quantum Low aka mpc head.
Hip hop beats, electronic hip hop, boombap, lofi …. idk anymore.
Where are you from?
How did you get into music?
MTV grunge music videos, I loved it, we made a band, I played guitar and screamed at the mic, and I have always been chasing music after that. At the beginning I had several bands, but when I discovered that I could make my own music I bought
an Mpc and that was it. Hip hop and hardcore were so intertwined at the time that I transitioned naturally to hip hop. Been making beats ever since.
What still drives you to make music?
It’s the high of making music. listening to music and finding new samples. It’s addicting digging for samples and finding that hit. And I love dancing after making a beat. that is the only time I dance.
How do you most often start a new track?
with the samples, I cut samples all the time so I end up having this huge collection of folders filled with samples. I go through them and load up what I am feeling itm. I make a drum beat and then layer my chops over that beat. Very standard stuff but
it works. I spend a lot of time on the drums, if the drums don’t knock no sample is going to help you.
How do you know when a track is finished?
I am not falling for that one. A track is never finished.
Show us your current studio
Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?
Ghost notes. nudge notes. Watch out for the swing.
Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.
[Editor: Do you have any tips, tricks or fun techniques with any of the gear mentioned in this interview? Leave a comment]