SPOTLIGHT: Cuelock [Blueberry Musik]
Blueberry Musik’s head honcho Cuelock speaks to Urban Essence regarding production ethic and label ownership, and fills us in on this week’s release of the Audio Solution compilation LP featuring some of the finest cuts from minimal cadets Es.tereo, Dominic Ridgway, Marukomu and more.
We’re also giving away an exclusive free track by Cuelock – the militant tribal stepper Jewel, produced alongside fellow fresh new talent Dominic Ridgway. Click the ‘Pay With A Tweet or Facebook’ button below to download.
Greetings Cuelock! How’s 2012 been treating you so far?
2012 has been a very good year for me so far. I have just recently got married, spent some time in Italy (Sorrento) on my honey moon…so, yeah… What a year it has been!
Having unsuccesfully attempted to source some background info on the ‘history of Cuelock’ so to speak, can you tell us a little about your journey within the realm of electronic production and your relationship with labels such as Different, and the progression towards your own project Blueberry Musik?
Hmm, Good question. I started using Acid Lab around 2002 with a few friends, just looping some random beats and guitars together for fun, we would do this week in week out. It was not until 2007 that I started to take production seriously, I bought an unreliable PC and got a cracked copy of Reason 2.5. I was never quite sure what sound I was going for but it would always be productive at a minimal level. In 2008 I joined the Drum & Bass Forum and started posting some of my tunes up on the board just to get some feedback and trying to find out what direction I was heading. There was one producer on the forum that felt my music was good enough to be released. An artist from Bath called Hunchback (Jamie) hit me up on aim and told me he was going to start a fresh label from scratch and asked if I was interested in releasing some material on it. So in 2009 Diffrent music released “Depths” as a free download & then ‘Departed’ / ‘Ghost sound’ [DIFF002D]. You could say the relationship with Jamie & Chris Dexta is still quite solid in the fact that we will always support each other, we spoke about releasing an album on Different but this never happened as I knew that I wanted to proceed with my own projects on my own imprint Blueberry Musik.
With an altogether inexpansive discography to your name, what was your decision behind delving straight into label management with the creation of Blueberry Musik?
Do you really need a massive discography to start your own label? I mean, is there any rules stating before you set up your own label you must have at least 100 releases under your belt? I do believe that if you put enough time and effort into something that you want to achieve and have a good product ready to go, then you will do well. I started my own label because I wanted to be in control and release music when I want. I am also a strong believer in a hand held product – CD and vinyl for instance – that’s another reason why I started this project.
Fair comments, indeed. Your sound bridges the gap between the minimal fierce and an engaging, subtle ambience. What drew you towards this particular brand of 170 Drum & Bass, and does your off-centre approach allow yourself to be more artistically unrestricted?
Yes, my off centre approach does give me free enterprise. These days you have to take production to the next level and keep moving forward in a positive direction, I do try and keep things as minimal as possible. I also try and keep tracks simple and subtle, a lot of my tracks contain just beats, bass, and a few effects, so you could say I do try and push boundaries a bit, but hey… its all about experimentation right!
Which five tracks have influenced your career as an artist most and why?
1/Genesis – The Battle Of Epping Forest
2/ Four tet – Angle Echoes
3/ PFM – For All Of Us
4/ Bonobo – Recurring
5/ LTJ Bukem – Music
All of these tracks have had a massive influence on me. Not only have they inspired me to write music they have also pushed me in a direction that I will never regret.
The Audio Solution LP unites a collection of very like-minded artists, creating a rare uniform atmosphere for a VA album that’s at once both complex and intriguing. Talk us through the compilation process from concept to product: which core themes were you looking to incorporate into the release, and how would you describe your connection with all of the collaborators involved in the project?
I started this project back in July and I wanted to release another LP of my own. I have a massive back catalogue of unsigned / unheard music sitting on my hard drive and thought another CD would be cool. Instead of releasing my own material I took a different direction and decided to mould a compilation together. I started listening to unsigned music on Soundcloud and there were loads of artists interested in taking part in the project which was great. The communication between me and the artists was very straight forward, I basically told every artist that it would be limited to 100 copies only and will be pressed on CD and hand stamped with its own number. There are already a few artists on the CD who I hope to work with a lot in the future. I cant really say much more than that as they are just ideas, keep your eyes peeled. The artists involved in the audio solution project are Hoax, Barefoot, Psychord, Es.Tereo, Metro & Justice, Survied & Envya, Marukomu, Jaybee, & Dominic Ridgway, all very talented producers who I would like to thank for being a part of this project. The release date is on the 24th of September for only £6.99, you can buy a copy from the official website: www.blueberrymusik.co.uk
What’s next for Cuelock and Blueberry Musik?
I want to work more on my production and try new things, maybe some different genres and be more musical within my tracks instead of just concentrating on beats and bass. Next out on Blueberry Musik is a limited 10” from a prolific artist called Felix K from Berlin. I don’t really have a release date yet but the guy is a true talent and deserves a bit more credit to his name, he also runs his own label called Hidden Hawaii, if you like your subtle soundscapes then I suggest you go check the label out. After the Audio Solution LP and the Felix K 10” I want to work on getting some of my own material out on the label, maybe a few 12”s who knows?! Of course I will always be accepting demos for the limited CD’s, you can send your demos to Info@blueberrymusik.co.uk or on my Aim address which is blueberrydemos, make sure your contact details are within the track title.
Finally, what is the one Urban Essential you couldn’t live without?
It would have to be my roland R-05 audio recorder.
The Audio Solution LP is available to buy from the Blueberry Musik e-shop now.