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On our Radar: Simo Cell

Simo Cell
(Image credit: Simo Cell)

Simo Cell has made a name for himself as a forward-thinking producer of leftfield club music through a series of weighty releases on Bristol-based imprints Livity Sound and Wisdom Teeth. 

His latest EP is coming out in September through his own label, TEMƎT Music, and veers between IDM, juke, trap, and dancehall influences with fairly reckless abandon. 

We spoke with the Nantes-born, Paris-based producer about the varied inspirations behind his latest EP, and how working within limitations can boost your creativity.

How would you describe your sound to a new listener?

"Proto-post-step."

What artists do you think you could potentially share fans with?

"Salvatore Ganacci, I hope."

The idea was to learn how to work with a very limited number of samples in order to show that limits can increase your creativity

What has inspired the creative process for your latest release?

"I started to work with a voice synthesizer software called Vocaloid to create computer vocals. The voices from "Whispers" and "Not All It's Cracked Up To Be" were made with Vocaloid. Touring a lot as a DJ also helped a lot to produce this record.

"I also spent quite some time listening to Astroworld from Travis Scott, to understand how compression and saturation was used. The mixdown of the album is insane, and inspired me a lot."

What is your favourite musical experience/memory with this project so far?

"Short Leg is actually a track that I made during an Ableton workshop. I was in Tunis for a residency organised by a crew called Neuvième Ruche. The idea was to learn how to work with a very limited number of samples in order to show that limits can increase your creativity. 

I was teaching the session and participating at the same time, this is how Short Leg came out. I love teaching Ableton masterclasses because I always learn a lot from each participant, as there is not one single way to use the software. It's like a creative reset."

Is there a particular album that had a big impact on you growing up and how?

"Roberto Aussel - La Paloma Enamorada. It's an album from my dad, who's an Argentinian classical guitarist. He paid a tribute to the famous poet Atahualpa Yupanqui. The music is so intense emotionally.

"Sudacas and Milongas cadences lie in my blood, this is probably why I love to use polyrhythms and write complex drum patterns."

If you could steal the production off one album/track, which would you take and why? 

"Any track from TNGHT. They have such a big sound, it's impressive. I would love to see how Hudmo and Lunice use compression."

What’s the most important bit of kit in your studio, and why is it important to you?

"My laptop, because I mainly use software. I can use it everywhere very easily. I love making music while travelling."

What instrument or piece of gear would you like to get next and why?

"I've just bought Serum, because I want to dig more into subtractive synthesis and wavetable synths."

Where would you like to take your sound next?

"I want to make live shows, working more with vocalists and developing collaborations across different artistic disciplines."

Simo Cell's YES.DJ is out on 21st September. Click here to pre-order on Bandcamp.

Matt Mullen

I'm the Features Editor for MusicRadar, working on everything from artist interviews to tech tutorials. I've been writing about (and making) electronic music for almost ten years, and when I'm not tapping away at my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. My latest obsession is the Arturia MicroFreak, which will have to do until I've saved up for a Prophet-6... 

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