Young Scottish producer ¥oin first announced himself to the online music world through a flurry of internet interest in his debut release, ‘Martial Status/Wrong To Feel This Way’, on the ‘Aberdeen Truth’ series from Tuff Wax in 2011. Following initial coverage on the series which, showcased a collection of fresh faced and emergent bass-centric producers from the North-East city, ¥oin has continued to bubble and tease his Soundcloud followers with flashes of his production potential. DJ gigs in support for the likes of Gold Panda, Moxie and Offshore; frequent play outs of his raw ethereal R’n’B slant on club music by Machinedrum and an increasing online following bear witness to the intrigue and relevance his music has so far evoked. The wait for his next official release is soon to be over as he prepares to drop what promises to be his most complete work yet in collaboration mode with Russian artist OL on Fine Grains. In the words of XLR8R: “Up-and-coming producer ¥oin technically hails from Scotland, he could just as conceivably be a resident of Bangor, Maine (as in, ‘That shit’s a banger, mang’).”
Q1: Hey man, you’ve been producing for more than a few years now. How did you start out? From ‘Tired of Me’ and ‘Martial Status’ to some of the tunes you’ve been putting out on your Soundcloud recently, how has your approach changed?
A1: My approach to producing is to simply make music I want to hear. I initially created tracks for the sole purpose of playing them out exclusively in clubs, and to never see the light of day elsewhere. This process changed through platforms like Soundcloud though, where the feedback I was getting was more formal and detailed than when I played out. Some of the tracks I make now may seem totally different to others but, the concept and approach is always the same – making what I want in the purest form, be that an experimental track or something for the club.
Q2: I noticed some press picking up on a thread of ‘hardcore continuum‘ in your tracks, notably the collaboration with OL (“OL & ¥oin’s ‘Real Thang’ kicks the pace up into more retro-rave territory sending 808 snares and toms rattling against the sort of synth-stabs you’d associate with the likes of Altern-8“, Cyclic Defrost). Is this a conscious thing? What have your influences been in terms of production and when playing out as a DJ?
A2: I love the concept of the Hardcore Continuum, especially as it’s so broad and progressive. I feel the majority of modern electronic music can somehow be traced back to UK jungle, Rave or Garage. It is something that has definitely had an influence on my music, even if it wasn’t intended. The fact that I grew up in Britain could be part of the reason that I decided to use the Tina Moore sample in “Real Thang” for example – due to it being a stable favourite in primary school discos! There is also a constant flow of creative output in the UK, particularly in Scotland these past few years, with some of the smaller labels exploding on a global level. It’s the success of these labels in cultivating and expanding sounds that I find progressive and inspiring.
Q3: What is the scene like in your home city, Aberdeen, these days? Is there an ‘Aberdeen Truth’ continuum or do you all mostly do your own things now?
A3: In comparison to the rest of Scotland, the scene in Aberdeen is not so good. However, I feel this has benefited Tuff Wax and all the artists (Lockah, Bones & Money, Grobbie, Zubuntu). We have all learned to push each other and try and compete with our peers, as well as each other. If there was quality nights more often in this city, we may not have felt the drive to do it ourselves. I would definitely say our crew has their own sound. I guess you could dub it the ‘Aberdeen-Truth continuum’ based on the progression we have made, even if Simon Reynolds doesn’t agree
Q4: Your next release, on Fine Grains, is a collaboration EP with OL. How did you guys first hook up? How was the collaboration process?
A4: OL and I hooked up after I found one of his tracks online. We exchanged tracks but, I was really humbled by his productions. When a friend, who was DJing out in Moscow with OL and Lapti, got in touch to say they had been asking about me and had sat and listened to my tracks at the end of the night, I had no idea that any of them genuinely liked my stuff. We got talking after that and decided we could throw some tracks back and forth. The whole process has actually been pretty stress-free, we get on really well and share a lot of the same tastes. Through Fine Grains we have been lucky enough to meet in person around Europe and form a real friendship that we hope to develop some more tracks from.
Q5: What have you got planned for the future with your music? Any hints at whats to come or tips for some other artists we should listen out for?
A5: I try to not make too many plans, I’m still just making music because I like making music. I have a couple of things I’d like to try on a different tip this year but, I’m in no rush to release unless it’s on a label with the right ethos.
There are a couple of artists that i have a lot of time for. Jaw Jam is one that Tuff Wax have snapped up for his first physical release, he is our (Tuff Wax) first international artist and for a good reason, i think he adds a great progression to the label and is definitely someone that the whole label is behind 100%! Applebottom is another that i have been bigging up for a long time, he is one of those guys that I imagine not caring if he is signed as he gets so much love from just uploading a track. His tracks are so loose and fun and he has this great undeniable sound that is getting some well deserved hype of recent. Strict Face is another name I have been going on about, his name seems to be flying about everywhere at the moment from features on Le1f’s new mixtape to constant remixes, I could go on.