Nathan Fake on the hardware and software behind his new album, Providence

Having eschewed the blended delights of London for a go back to his native Norfolk three years in the past, and beaten a -12 months patch of the feared creator’s block, Nathan Fake reenters the musical fray. It’s a go back of a few fashion and swagger with Providence, a new album filled full of impossible to resist synths, arpeggios, and warped rhythms.

Fake’s popularity has been built on his specific tackle digital track. He first got here to light in 2003 whilst a come upon with similarly mercurial electronic musician James Holden brought about the release of Fake’s debut single, Outhouse, on Holden’s Border Community label. The luxurious LP Drowning in a Sea of Love in 2006 noticed Fake lauded as a primary new expertise on the digital track scene and has been followed via a slew of critically acclaimed albums and EPs, and remixes for the likes of Jon Hopkins, Radiohead, Perc, and Clark.


Providence is a beautiful dinner party of digital tactics, and a specially welcome one in that it indicators an end to Fake’s creator’s block and, hopefully, the beginning of a long and fruitful journey with Ninja Tune. We had been overjoyed to seize up with him at his home studio in Norfolk to find out more approximately the digital and analog equipment in the back of his best work but.

You’ve got an eclectic array of synths at your disposal. Can you speak us through them?

Nathan Fake: “There’s a pic walking Ableton and Cubase. I’ve were given a Korg Prophecy, that is one of the essential matters I used in Providence. There’s a Jupiter-6 as properly, and an Arturia MicroBrute that turned into used a tiny bit for some bass sounds.

“In phrases of drum machines there’s a Casio RZ-1 and a Roland Aira TR-eight. Again, the TR-eight turned into used pretty sparingly, in particular for bass drum sounds. It’s first-rate however weird that it doesn’t truely sound like an 808. It’s very boomy, so you ought to EQ the kick, as they’ve introduced like a 50Hz increase on it. I run it through a preamp to warm it up a touch because it within reason spiky and virtual, even though it’s fairly faithful to that analogue, synthesised, sound with the hello-hats and stuff, and there are a pair of truly high-quality more sounds too.”

The Korg Prophecy is a blast from the past…

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“I remember while it came out – maybe about 1996 – analyzing that The Orb and Autechre have been using it and questioning it have to be a simply excellent synth. I occurred across one online the 12 months earlier than remaining and the notion I’d test it out. It’s a weird little component that looks as if a MIDI controller and it’s a completely unusual synth. It’s a mono synth but it’s were given quite a deep synthesis system to it. Korg got here up with their MOSS [Multi-oscillator synthesis system], which means it has all the standard rectangular, triangle, etc, waveforms however it additionally has reeds, brass and plucked strings. There are some of these dense, washy virtual synths however it’s a mono synth so that you have huge pad sounds however you could only do one word at a time!

“I suppose the Triton and the Trinity advanced from the Prophecy and I’ve in no way honestly been into those big workstations, but I just like how awkward the Prophecy is, and the sounds of it are pretty usable.”

There’s an actual warm temperature to the synths on Providence. How did you achieve that?

“I like that blending of aesthetics when you hard up some thing pristine and virtual. I’ll record stuff onto cassette tapes… And also while you’re taking a phat stereo sound and squeeze it into mono, that provides a one of a kind size to it too.”

Do you watch software program makes us too lazy to feature ‘that little something extra’ to the sound?

“Yeah, perhaps. Currently, though, I assume tape has simply come back. Loads of labels are even freeing cassettes once more, that is simply the antithesis to virtual streaming or MP3s, truly. It’s the same purpose vinyl were given famous once more – it’s a pleasant alternative to the virtual codecs.

“When I started making music, I’d put things onto cassette, as that changed into all I had. Then I were given a computer, which turned into extraordinary, and now I’m recording stuff onto tape again as I suppose tape sounds excellent.”

You suffered a piece of creator’s block. Did Providence are available one huge rush after that?

“It clearly did, virtually. It didn’t take lengthy at all. I kind of started out writing things toward the cease of 2015, however, I commenced working well on the tracks a final year, and I’d were given the album all finished with the aid of June. There become quite a few overlap, where I turned into writing stuff and completing stuff on the identical time, so all the tracks had been on the go at the same time.”

Being an electronic musician is like spinning plates at instances, right?

“[Laughs] Yeah… mainly while your paintings on a PC. You can carry up to a saved task, paintings on it for a chunk, then transfer to some thing else. I bet I did use lots extra hardware than I actually have before, so I caught to one track at a time more than I’ve carried out in the beyond. My older stuff was achieved solely at the computer so it turned into surely fun having extra physical stuff to use.”

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