It's said that good news travels fast, as does good music it seems. Born in Tehran but now living in Texas, VVV has just released his debut album on Scotland's Fortified Audio label, only his third physical release, following last year’s ‘Vertigo & Flames’ single and the ‘Projects’ EP. Pulse's Colin Chapman drew up a chair to find out more about this purveyor of weighty basslines and precision rhythms.
Pulse: ‘Across The Sea’ draws from a number of genres; dubstep, 2-step garage, house and techno are all apparent – how and when did you first get exposed to these sounds and what inspired you start producing your own take on what you were heard? VVV: That's a tough one; I suppose a bunch of what I was into at first must have been early Kraftwerk discs and stuff that came out on Warp and Planet Mu in the 90's. I wasn't into drum and bass or jungle, at all.
Who and what has been your greatest inspiration(s) in the music making process? My greatest inspiration for making beats must be my friends and family who pushed me to do this over the years, I would have quit without them. I know Burial and early 2-step garage cuts really inspired the path I take with most of my drums and vocals.
The album has been released on Fortified Audio. How did an artist based in Texas come to link-up with a label based in Glasgow, Scotland? Did you send your tracks to the label boss, Gordon Stewart or did he get in touch with you? I believe he just contacted me through e-mail and proposed an EP offer, then we got to sorting out tracks for my first EP, 'The Projects'.
One of your tracks, ‘Project Z’ was licensed to a Ministry of Sound-released compilation ‘Adventures in Dubstep and Beyond’ last year – what was it like to get this kind of recognition so early in your recording career? What kind of impact did have in terms of the interest in your music? I think it gave me a small boost of confidence that I actually belong somewhere in the bass music spectrum, and it was nice to know that Joe Muggs was putting it together; I used to read his work for the Wire publication quite a bit. I'm not sure if it had any impact in generating interest in my tunes; there are too many dubstep compilations out there [laughs].
You live in Austin, Texas – I’ve read that there’s quite a vibrant underground dance music scene in the city, is this true? What sounds are most popular? What is the clubscene in the city like in general? Are you involved in any regular events as a DJ or promoter? Yeah, so many artists in Austin are doing underground beats and experimental electronic music these days; Dubbel Dutch is my favourite bass music producer here. I also like Sleep Over and bands like Ume and The Creationists too. I play out with the Elevator Action crew on occasion; there are others like Broken Teeth, Peligrosa and Applied Pressure holding it down as well.
After checking out your Soundcloud, I listened to your remixes of Adele and Cassie – what prompted you to produce your own takes on these pop and R & B tracks? Can we expect more remixes of similar artists? I was in need of some new female vocals; that's pretty much the only reason they came to be. I had not heard the original versions of either song prior to my remixes. Most of the vocals I use are chopped and transposed far from the original sound, but these two were widely recognizable. I'm doing a Weeknd bootleg remix right now but I know the original tune this time.
In the past year there’s been a lot written about how dubstep has really blown up in the States – is this something you’ve been aware of and if so what’s your take on it? I'm not really the person to ask, I don't really listen to 'dubstep' that much, but I really like the fact that my homeboys in Sepalcure have generated a bunch of positive buzz in the bass music spectrum. I'm sure there are others like Kastle and Dean (DJG) doing it big on the west coast.
Have you been pleased with the reaction to ‘Across The Sea’ so far? I'm very pleased that it's finally out, after months of delays, I'm truly flattered by all the positive press that it has received thus far, it's really surprising!
Finally, what can we expect from VVV in the future? I'm going to start work on another EP soon, but that's about it other than remixes and collaborations.
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