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Five Steps: Dom Petrie

Five Steps: Dom Petrie
Jack Smith

First off, big respect to Ingredients for throwing out a seven (!) track extended player from a relative unknown with undoubted talent who goes by the name of Dom Petrie. Very rare in this day and age indeed, as is the confidence and creative depth with which the Scotland-based producer imbues his work. Beautifully elegant with subtle nuances throughout with an underplayed minimal approach throughout, the ‘Tomorrow Now’ EP is undoubtedly one of the best releases within the realm of 170 D&B this year, so it is with great pleasure that we present Dom Petrie’s Five Steps, from the influence of DJ Shadow’s debut album and sample hunting, through to his ‘Tomorrow Now’ EP, the influence of vinyl and beyond.


Step 1: Origins

My first experience of electronic music was probably hearing DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing album on Mo’ Wax. I used to play guitar when I was younger, but I never really felt like I wanted to be part of a band or anything. So when my friend showed me Endtroducing and explained that Shadow had made this whole album using nothing but a computer, a sampler and a basement full of records, it was a total revelation for me. The fact that you could create this whole “live” soundscape on your own and have total control over everything was really exciting and something that I wanted to learn as much about as possible. I got the same feeling when I heard Calibre’s Second Sun album a number of years later. I still love that instrumental hip hop stuff, that side of the music is still as interesting and innovative as it was back then, you just have to look at guys like Flying Lotus to see that.

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Step 2: Introducing

The first significant release I had was a 4 track EP I made for Paul Reset’s Nerve Recordings based in Scotland. That was back in 2010 I think. The quality of the output on Nerve was extremely high with releases from Noisia, Gridlock, SKC, Morphy and Saburuko to name just a few. So getting that support from Paul and having my name attached to a label like that really gave me the confidence to keep making music and to persevere with what I was doing. In terms of drum & bass influences I love anything with a sense of longevity, music that will stand the test of time. So Calibre, dBridge, Photek, Peshay, Source Direct, Optical, Blu Mar Ten, Digital, PFM, LTJ Bukem to name a few.


Step 3: Foundation

I got in contact with Clive at Ingredients by sending him a batch of tracks I’d made over the course of about 12 months. I knew that Ingredients was a label that was passionate about supporting new artists so it seemed like the best place to send the music I had been making. He picked up 7 of the tracks and felt that the music would be best presented as an extended EP, rather than putting out single tracks. For me personally I’ve always preferred listening to LPs, albums and EPs, something you can put on and listen to from start to finish. The music I make tends to come out sounding like something you’d hear on an album at home rather than an 8 minute long dancefloor track you’d heard in a club. I’ve released 4 EPs now, one on Nerve, two on Lifestyle Recordings and one on Ingredients so it’s a format that I’m comfortable with and that works for me.


Step 4: Present

I usually write about 1 track a week, it’s a constant process that seems to have just become part of my daily routine. I don’t like to do the whole 6 hour studio session thing though, I prefer to sit down for maybe 1 hour everyday and slowly build a track over a number days. Ideas usually come from other records or sometimes films. For example, with “Beyond The Wall Of Sleep”, I’d been listening to a lot of early Calibre records and wanted to create something with that same sense of repetition, that subtle, constant groove that Calibre does so well.

I have quite a simple studio set up; Logic Pro running on an Imac; a set of KRK monitors; a Focusrite interface; an Akai MPK Midi keys; and an Akai MPC1000 hardware sampler. Im pretty much 100% sample based, so I use the MPC1000 to grab sounds from my vinyl collection, DVDs, radio, TV, CD, Films etc… and then pitch and arrange things within Logic. It’s a simple process, but I find the simpler things are the more focused you can be on achieving the sounds you want.


Step 5: Future

You can find clips of my ‘Tomorrow Now’ EP on Ingredients at my website, as well as mixes and other info. In terms of what’s next for myself, I’m not too concerned about rushing into signing up lots of stuff, I just want to get back to writing music and focusing on that for the time being. I’ve got a monthly DJ residency at Xplicit D&B at the Bongo Club, Edinburgh, which I’ve been doing for a number of years now. It’s something that I enjoy being part of and it also gives me the chance to test out my owns tracks in a club environment. As for other D&B I’m feeling at the moment, I really love the Blocks and Escher stuff on their own Narratives label. It’s futuristic, progressive music that also has a sense of history to it as well. If your part of a music scene that has a 20 year history dating back to the early 90s, it makes sense to look back in order to see where your going in the future. Narratives seems to have captured that philosophy perfectly. If I had to choose one ‘Urban Essential’ I couldn’t live without it has to be vinyl. It may not be as financially important to the UK music scene as it used to be, but culturally it still plays a hugely significant role.


Dom Petrie’s ‘Tomorrow Now’ EP is out now on Ingredients Records.