Last week, powerhouse production duo What So Not dropped a track three years in the making. The brand new, free-to-download gem Touched is up on the pair’s Soundcloud page now, and we highly recommend you give it a listen. “Three years ago, Harley & myself met in his bedroom studio for the very first time. This track was actually an idea from that very session,” explained Chris ‘Emoh’ Emerson, who together with Harley Streten makes up What So Not.
“Today we find ourselves back at home, together, after many months on the road from our various projects…this song is for all you lovely people that have made our dream a reality. Following us, supporting us, buying tickets to our shows and most importantly, your thirst for something a little different.”
Those “various projects” have sure kept them busy. As you might’ve heard, Harley’s Flume thing has been going alright – but Emoh, too, has been hard at work in the studio. Last month, he dropped the first official release under his solo Emoh Instead moniker, the altogther excellent Say So EP. To mark the release – and the tail end of a very big year for the homegrown talent – we checked in with Chris Emerson about how it all came together.
This interview was originally featured in inthemix.com.au
“It was only the start of this year I really cracked it, moving from loops and grooves to writing songs on my own.”
It’s really healthy to be working on something external to my long time core focus. It’s refreshing, progressive and fuels inspiration for when Stretos and I are jumping back in the WSN lab.
I’d been dabbling in Ableton – bootlegs and edits for DJ sets – for a couple years. It wasn’t until i started working with Harley I really got into producing songs. I have a background in music, but constantly found myself hitting walls in the creative process when i came to producing finished products. It was only the start of this year I really cracked it, moving from loops and grooves to writing songs on my own.
When Harley went away to tour his Flume album, it became increasingly hard to get time in the studio together. To counter this, I had to step things up and fill the void where Harley’s valuable input was unavailable. The following nine months, I tried to write a different genre every week. This was my training period. At the other end, instead of spending hours working out how to create a sound, I could tweak a preset on the fly or use a synth patch I’d created in the previous weeks/months. I could get from A to B without much head scratching. Most importantly, all the knowledge I gained through that period greatly reduced interruption to the creative flow and let me complete entire songs in one afternoon instead of, say, trying to perfect a kick drum for hours.
So that’s why I wrote these tracks. Why did I decide to release it now? I’m finally satisfied with the level my productions are getting too and we had a gap in the WSN schedule, so I thought why not polish a couple of the ideas i’d been working on and book a tour around it?
The main difference obviously is the absence of Harley, so things head in a different direction along the creative process. Drumming for 10 years in my youth, percussion is a big focus for me. This EP drew inspiration from 90’s rave, breaks, R&B, big band, etc which are styles we haven’t ventured to much with WSN. There’s no said genre for this project as there is non for WSN. Simply, the contributing parties determine the unique direction of the music at the point of time which it is made.
It’s hard to say exactly. I’ve been focused of WSN for quite some time, this is something fun and stimulating for the moment, and I’m looking forward to our next WSN release in a couple months. It’s really healthy to be working on something external to my long time core focus. It’s refreshing, progressive and fuels inspiration for when Stretos and I are jumping back in the WSN lab. All the project we are involved in are complimenting each other, I couldn’t imagine a more positive and productive scenario.
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Article by inthemix for Stoli Australia