In this episode of Telekom Electronic Beats TV’s Ask The Producer series, we put your questions to Surgeon. As one of the originators of the Birmingham sound, he is one of the most influential producers in Techno music. Initially releasing on Regis’s legendary Downwards imprint, he went on to release multiple albums on Tresor, multiple 12”s on his own Dynamic Tension and Counterbalance labels and collaborated with Regis as “British Murder Boys”, during a career which has spanned more than 25 years. His interest in many different forms of sonic alchemy, including his widespread use of his Eurorack modular setup, makes him the perfect candidate for Ask The Producer.
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Note: This video was filmed by Surgeon alone in his studio with a webcam, so please excuse the picture and sound quality.
00:10 How many channels in a typical track?
00:45 Deciding when a track is finished
02:20 Creative deadlock
03:00 Approach to arranging
04:35 Before you got into modular, which hardware/software is your sound most attributed to?
05:40 Touring with hardware, in particular airports
06:50 How do you and Lady Starlight perform a harmonious live set without interrupting each other?
08:15 Keeping things structured while live jamming
08:50 Hidden meanings or messages in your work
09:45 What keeps you motivated and interested in your own work?
10:45 Paying attention to reaction of others
11:40 Changing society through your work
12:25 Expanding one’s creative mind and abilities
14:05 Do you see your own personality in your work and do you think others see it?
14:50 Does too much information make creativity fail?
15:50 Earliest memories involving your own creative expression?
17:05 Evaluating your own and others’ creative work
18:00 What made you choose your specific live setup?
18:55 Retaining a “live feel” in sequenced/composed music
19:30 Early musical inspirations and who do you like now?
20:35 Multitracking vs just recording synth/drum outputs
21:35 Limiting yourself in terms of gear when producing
22:25 How many elements to make a small but effective live setup?
23:05 Longest ever worked on a track
24:40 Mixing in untreated rooms
25:15 Favourite modular VCO and filter
25:50 Did you always trust your sense of music production or did it take a while?
26:15 Current live setup
26:55 Keeping artistic practice and work going through the years
27:45 Do you listen to non-electronic genres?
28:45 Best drone
29:50 Live setup: how much improvised, how much prepared?
31:30 Do you miss simplicity?
32:10 Sound of the colour blue
32:30 If you had to make an album with one piece of gear, what would it be?
32:50 Keeping passion after so many years in techno industry
33:35 Does techno suck right now?
34:05 Looper in live set
35:35 Favourite remix you made
36:40 Relating to newest music trends
37:30 Breaking through stagnant and complacent times in techno scene
38:05 Most important thing when starting a label
38:20 Favourite DJ
41:59 Question provided by
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