the 666 – Dead Sound

Introducing a new regular article series here at Darkfloor, the 666. It’s a simple premise – we ask three questions to people we rate.

Next week, March 9th, Paul Carroll performs as Dead Sound, joining partner in crime Videohead to unleash their fierce techno torment at Darkfloor Live. It will be the duo’s debut London performance who appear alongside Patscan, DVNT, mrseavers and Ursa.

Tickets are available here.

Dead Sound

Carroll opened up on three questions I put his way covering hip-hop, defining tracks, and production technique tips.

Question 1.
You’ve a big love for hip-hop, so, my first question is what are your must own or listen to hip-hop albums you just couldn’t live without. That desert island scenario.

The albums would probably [be] the standard ones, nothing that obscure really. All East Coast, I’ve never really been a fan of West Coast or UK Hip Hop.

I always preferred Hip Hop mainly coming out of New York because in general I prefer the records they sample and also I find the lyrics to be more gritty and darker, I like the accent more. I guess that’s why I am not keen on new Hip Hop, the lyrics don’t do anything for me and the beats are mostly from sample packs/synths. I like the idea of crate digging to find hidden gems and I think it sounds much better.

There are some new tracks and albums that I like though, so it’s not like I’m a 90’s purist. I might just not be hearing the good new stuff.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Return to the 36 Chambers
This has to be one of the rawest albums I have ever heard. ODB is brutal on it, I like dark music as a rule and it doesn’t get much darker than this.

Gangstarr – Moment of Truth
Just a great example of DJ Premier’s production, DJ and crate digging skills. He is a genius.

A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders
Great album to kick back to, it can’t always be heavy and evil.

Gravediggaz – 6 Feet Deep

Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Both ‘6 Feet Deep‘ and ‘36 Chambers‘ were touched by RZA’s skills, another amazing producer. These two albums definitely get you “wild for the night”.

Redman – Muddy Waters
This guy is such an impressive MC, over the past couple of years I’ve probably blasted more Redman than any of the other albums on here. He is just proper slick.

Question 2.
Six tracks that define who you are musically.

Now this is a tough one. There are so many tracks that have influenced or grabbed me at a particular time in my life.

Gangstarr – Above the Clouds
Well the whole of the ‘Moment of Truth‘ album really. This was one of the first albums that got me hooked on Hip Hop. Premier’s beats are insane.

The Prodigy – Poison
Their album ‘Music for a Jilted Generation’ was the first electronic music I properly listened too.

Blackstrobe – Me And Madonna
A great electronic pop track that is credible and unique.
(back in 2009, Carroll put together an unofficial remix for his live set)

Zeta Reticula – Untitled
The one that sounds like it has a Kate Bush sample in. It never leaves my record bag, inspiring electro.

Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Reminds me of fucked up driving missions in my youth. Classic!

Green Day – Welcome to Paradise
Memories of my skating years and getting into music.

Question 3.
Your techno has a pretty unique flavour to it. You can hear and know it’s a Dead Sound track. So my third and final question; six studio techniques that contribute to your music and studio workflow.

I don’t have any set techniques but things I do involve a lot of the following. Nothing that exciting or unique though. I split up a lot of the tasks to days, so..

Spend a day solely on pissing about with a synth and recording the outcome. The synths which I’m feeling at the moment would be [from] Reaktor, as there are so many good synths/fx for it. One that stands out for me recently is Razor, it sounds fresh.

Spend a day sampling, whether it be records, field recordings or films.

Spend a day (or could sometimes be days) manipulating and messing up the samples. To fuck up the samples I use Adobe Audition to get started then run sounds through various plugin effects such as the Audio Damage stuff, Reaktor, UHE and a few others.

Making everything have its place is important, sonically and also in the sequencer sense. When I say sonically I mean in terms of frequency and in with the sequencer I mean in the loop. Giving certain sounds room to breathe and also to give it the funk.

Making sure it has groove. Groove relates to what I was saying previously with the sequencer/drum machine. Playing about with the sounds by putting them in different locations/without quantise until something clicks and all of a sudden you have a mad groove. You’ll know when that happens.

Not worrying about whether people will like it or not.

Your last tip is one more creative people should really take onboard. First and foremost, do stuff for yourself.

Thanks Paul for taking the time to answer my questions, can’t wait to have you front and centre at Darkfloor Live next week.