My hero of 2011 is Helix. Producer of track of the year, Stacks, which I have played almost constantly since the summer. The track, although still as yet unreleased, was picked up by many big named djs and was included in Ben UFO's recent Rinse cd. He is also part of the best new label of the year, Glasgow's All Caps, with a 100% hit success rate from their first releases.
I caught up with Helix earlier this week to chat about the record, the label, Ben UFO and where he is going next.
Hi. hows things?
Pretty good. Building a lot of loops for my liveset
Really? What’s the plans with that?
Luckyme want me to do a mix for them so I'm just giving a lot of stuff its debut in the liveset for them. And then one day when somebody books me
Your earlier productions were more a Basic Channel / dub techno sound. Stacks is very different to them. Was that a conscious idea to try other styles or just how your style is developing or are you planning on doing more minimal / dubby techno again?Stacks was the product of another side of my production that I felt matured enough to the point of being able to make trax.
So would you say your techno tracks are still not where you feel comfortable with them yet? They sound ready now to me.
None of my trax are ever at a point where I'm entirely comfortable with them, especially not my loop-based projects.
My goal is to find the perfect loop.
How did Stacks come about then? Is it something you'd been working on for a while or just one of them moments were all the ideas came together quickly and just worked?
Lol! How did you manage to get an unreleased track onto Ben UFO's Rinse cd?
I knew that was coming
Let's keep it mysterious then, ahah.
But seriously, Ben just happened to like it enough to include it on the mix.
It already got a bunch of publicity before Rinse 16.
And are all the hows, whys and whatnots about licensing pretty dull? So you actually see much money from compilations?
I've heard about money
Can you tell me more
How did you get the track to Ben? Was it through connections or has he been a friend for some time now?
Bake knows Ben more than I do. Since Bake was releasing it, he just got it into Ben's hands somehow.
About a year ago I spoke to you about the scene around Georgia and you said that no one really cares about techno around there. Has there been any change this year or are you still having to travel to clubs?
No change. Still the only one making / playing trax I like. Although I'm slowly getting my friends into it through forcing them to hear my music all the time.
What scenes are big over there? I know its lowest common denominator stuff but hasn’t rave music broken through at all with mainstream r'n'b using so many (of the albeit crap ones) dance producers these days?
Well, we've got a bunch of "raves" thrown locally
But nothing worth bothering with?
Just house parties blasting the latest in either overly aggressive dubstep or beatport house. So nothing I ever deal with.
It seems really weird and a bit odd that everyone at that Hessle night at fabric earlier in the year has heard your track over a really good system about 5 times (or however many rewinds it ended up getting) whereas you can't.
Yeah, I've only heard it once on a club system, and I was the one playing it.
What was that night then? Are you getting bookings from a bit further afield now?
Nope, I was opening for Silkie in Atlanta. I figure bookings will come when my records finally come out.
Speaking of which - has there been a reason for the delayed release dates or was it just that ALLCAPS 001 was held back so its pushed your back too?
After the delays, we were looking at a December release, which we didn't really want to do. So it's most likely coming out in January.
You know, over here, they used to say you get weird chart hits in January as the post Christmas releases dry up...
Don't really have any preference as to when it comes out, I'm just happy for whenever it comes out.
Well you've kept me waiting about 6 months to get my hands on it so another 2 weeks isn’t going to hurt anyone.
Ahahaha. Could've sworn I gave you a copy. We fam-lay.
I’ve got the mp3 but i meant on wax.
Its my most played mp3 of the year. Though about 10 of them were rewinds on the day i got it.
Lololololol. Glad you like it
It’s the first tune in a while that I have really hammered but it never gets boring to me.
So plans for 2012? Finally getting the record out, then live stuff did you say?
Yeah I just want to get my liveset fully fleshed out and then I'm just going to keep making trax
Still working with ALLCAPS or are you in discussions with any other labels yet?
Well, I've got an EP coming on Other Heights, that Night Slugs thing, and I'm just casually chatting with a couple other label owners, throwing trax at them and just seeing where things go.
Any word of remix work yet or are you still just doing bootleg remixes at the moment?
I have a Jakob Altmann remix out digitally on Instabil