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Producer masterclass - Philth: “There a million videos online where people will talk to you about how to EQ... I've tried to talk about what happens before that"

MTS 2020: Hailing from North London, Peer Pressure Records boss and DnB producer, Philth, has taken time out to talk us through one of the tracks off his latest album called The Teacher.

It's a track the holds a particular place for him "it has a lot of strong personal meaning and message to me from the time when I made it." and we will see the techniques that went into creating it, but also some of the backstory into how this track came into being.

"The track itself was written about probably about two years ago, to be honest. And um, it was one of the later ones I did when writing my album. 

"Without going too deep into it during the process of writing my album, I was off work due to stress, I was not doing very well mentally and I was really like battling in the studio, trying to force it every day. It wasn't doing me any good and I was really stuck for inspiration.

"I had to go all the way back to the source of what inspired me in the first place. There's a mix CD that I've always loved, my favourite mix CD ever from 1997 dreamscape, DJ Randall and MC Fats, two legends in the game and two really nice guys as well when you get to know them.

"It was when drum and bass was really morphing from jungle into the techstep sound. And um, I've never heard anything like it. I was growing up on the edge of London, listening to pirate radio, Cool FM, Eruption FM, Pulse FM, recording tapes all the time.

"I was listening to jungle compilation CDs, you know Jungle Mania, Jungle Hits volume one, two, three... I was buying tape packs as well. But the music that I heard on his mix was like nothing that I'd heard in these tapes. It was futuristic, sci-fi, dark, unsettling and it really inspired me so much in what I loved as a DJ and a producer."

"The Teacher was written in about four hours because I had a really strong concept of what I wanted to do. I wanted to capture the vibes of that Dreamscape CD that I loved by DJ Randall.

"It meant that when I sat down to write I wasn't in the studio, trying to force out an idea and I wasn't making music, trying to make something that sounded like what other people were doing at the time. I was trying to reconnect with what I loved in what inspired me in the first place.

"I feel like there are a million videos online where people will talk to you about how to EQ a kick or EQ a snare and then they'll show you how to EQ the hi-hats and then I'll show you how to EQ the next hi-hat and honestly it's just the same thing. 

"What I've tried to talk about is what happens before that. So preparation with your samples, preparation with your drums, doing the processing and the work in advance so that you can work a lot quicker because this particular tune took about four hours."

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