Five Steps: A/T/O/S [DEEP MEDi]
March saw the debut release from A/T/O/S on DEEP MEDi: a collaborative LP from producer Truenoys and songstress Amos that eschews the inherent need for bass-weight in favour of a more musical approach to your standard Dubstep template. A Taste Of Struggle is one of those rare breeds in electronic music today: an album that actually plays as one, a fruitful, refreshing and exciting collaborative debut release on a label that continues to push the sound to its limits… We caught up with the pair to lay down the next in our Five Steps series. Happy reading people!
Step One: Your very first musical experience, the track that started it all so to speak and how it has helped shape your taste in music.
Amos: When my mom put me in music school… I can’t name one particular tune but in terms of this project, ‘A Taste of Struggle’ was the first track we ever made. I was into bass heavy stuff before I met Truenoys, and he combined Hip-Hop and Dubstep into a song which I really liked!… [that was] the first or second time we got together in the studio. The first track was a trigger for sure….to make more! But I knew that music was my life before the project.. I think you just know when music is your thing..
Truenoys: I don’t think I have a particular track that made me decide to do music. Music has just always been around from when I was a kid, my dad is a teacher in drums and played in several music bands and the Belgian National Orchestra as a percussionist. I have records he played on and I can remember myself sitting in the studio as a kid playing with toys and they were producing music so that must’ve been an influence… I’ve never been pushed to do music. I was always fascinated by vinyl since an early age, as it was around, but I first started playing in bands (first percussion, then as a drummer) and then I started collecting vinyl… Mo’Wax kinda stuff and Hip-Hop… electronic and more.
Step Two: Your very first musical project and the learning process that came with it.
Amos: I first recorded with a band called 2000 Watt, who are now kinda separated… but still making music; they made hip-hop with flemish raps… I like the soul thats in hip-hop. [The turning point was] when I made my first serious beat that actually sounded like a song! And getting signed to DEEP MEDi! [My first experiences were] initially mostly solo… I think everyone should at first find out what they really like… develop before collaborating.
Truenoys: I have worked on a few different things before [A/T/O/S]. Either playing in bands, my own productions or producing for/with other people. For A/T/O/S, Mala also had an influence on me. I knew him before A/T/O/S and saw him at a show in Holland. I was into bass stuff but never felt it like that on a big system while he was playing… that inspired me to go and do something with the bass and flip it with my own thing. The influence on music-making can be everything in life I think; from music to a conversation or just something you see, whatever really! There is no denying music that you like has an influence on you… I’ve been listing to all kinds of music over the years so toooo many to mention.
Step Three: The formation of A/T/O/S.
Amos: The fact that we get along music wise… 🙂 i think that’s already very hard to find. We learned from each other…Truenoys makes a beat and comes to the studio and we listen… if I like it, we record. If I make a beat, I bring it to the studio and we listen… if Truenoys likes it, we record. I always write my lyrics in the studio on the spot, I can’t do it any other way… and I live 30 minutes away from the studio with bike so…
Truenoys: Somebody sent me a rough demo of Amos singing and playing acoustic guitar; I was like “yeah cool, let’s link up”… So we met, listened to some beats and our debut track “A Taste Of Struggle“ is our first ever recording… I remember the day before our meeting, I was in the studio and said ok.. let me try another beat for Amos… turned out pretty nice when we recorded it 🙂
Step Four: The A/T/O/S album project.
Amos: [We were] pretty relaxed; we both just wanted to make music… and we still do… we were definitively stoked about the LP thing. I mean vinyl is just the way.. you know? I guess just spreading the energy is what we wanted to achieve.
Truenoys: “A Taste Of Struggle” was our first and we were really happy with it so we just kept on recording, swapping beats etc. Mala was very into the track when he heard it first and was immediately like; “Nice, I’m defo into an album on this tip!” We already had plenty of beats but we kept doing more and recording for some time. We kept sending him beats…we sent him a lot of music looking back, that’s why it was difficult to make the album selection, for all of us to be happy. So much to choose from!
We knew there was MEDi interest but hadn’t really talked about how we should sound, we just kept doing it without thinking. Everything needs to be based on good understanding and good vibes, working with other people doesn’t go smooth all the time, but we are doing more then fine whilst making music together.
Step Five: What’s next for A/T/O/S.
Amos: Take it to level 3J
Truenoys: More music. Hopefully plenty live shows. Bring it on.
And finally, what’s the one ‘Urban Essential’ you couldn’t live without?
Amos: I don’t want to offend anybody but what is an urban essential? If it means what i’ve been told.. my sports bike!
Truenoys: Too many to mention. Everything no doubt… I can’t answer questions with “pick just one thing”, sorry! 🙂
A/T/O/S’ self-titled debut album is out now on DEEP MEDi. Grab your 3x 10″ bundle via DEEP MEDi’s official store.