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Interview with xKore

Posted by TheInterviewer - June 10th, 2011


Interview No. 51

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Today's guest is the winner of the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Musician of the Year. He is one of the masters of the Dubstep genre here on Newgrounds. He is none other than @xKore.

Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I think I joined for the same reason as most other people. I wasn't a musician before I joined or anything. Some friends showed me some funny Flash animations and games on here and that's why I signed up. I then later discovered the audio portal and that was the start of that journey.

Q: How did you discover music?

A: I really can't remember a time before music for me. I grew up on 90s rap, hip hop and grunge as a child, listening to the songs my older brothers were listening to, pop wasn't really my thing.

The more important part of musical discovery for me was getting into electronic dance music (or EDM), which I produce nowadays. Clubland and Hardcore Euphoria CD's were what got me started.

Q: Your first song on Newgrounds would be entitled xKore - View. I reviewed it and enjoyed it very much. What was the process you took into creating this song and looking back on it now are you still proud of it?

A: This was when I was more into melodic trance and dance music. I also remember listening to music by The Carpenters around then aswell, and was interested in the chord progressions being used in 70's and 80's pop ballads, which I used as inspiration for the chord progression in View.

Other than that it was standard Vengeance samples and Nexus instrumentation, and me trying to emulate melodic trance but also experimenting with my own techniques.

I would say I'm fairly proud of it, it's one of those songs that the experience of making it gives you the feeling that you are advancing and becoming a better musician, and it was my first step in becoming what I am today.

Q: Out of all your songs one of my favorites by you has to be xKore - Syntax. What was the process you took into bringing this robotic creation to life?

A: Syntax started out as an experimenal offshoot of my other song Polyphonic. The main meat of the song was a really simply bass sound going into my recently then acquired Guitar Rig, as a kind of experiment, then I tried a ton of different sounds to go with the kick/bass sequence and I thought a glitchy vocal flute sound fitted. From that I made a ton of variation sequences.

The sound effects spotted around in the song came from a Transformers sound effects pack I found on the internet (the Transformers cartoons). Reso's Temjin EP had recently come out around this time which is what inspired me to do this.

I was using some mastering techniques I had learnt from collabing with some other DnB artists, which gave it that really punchy fat sound.

Q: How do you come up with these ideas? Does the beat just start playing in your head or is it what surrounds you? In other words how does the tune come to be and when does it turn into a song?

A: The way I see it, there are three main ways that ideas come to me, none of them are really purposeful or planned, and they are all quite fundamental and not really ideas for songs, but I then end up making songs around these ideas.

First is idea sex, this is when you take two seperate ideas, and make a new idea out of them. For example, I took the kick/bass hits ideas from some neurofunk songs and combind it with the idea of weird tempo dubstep to come up with the kick/bass sequence to Syntax. Matt Ridley did an interesting TED talk on this.

Second is being experimental. You see a feature on a synth and you think 'what if I used it in this way?' or you use a totally unrelated tool on a sound to create a new and weird sound. For example I've started using Vocodex (an effects plugin meant for vocals) on my basslines because I just thought I would experiment with it one day and lo and behold it sounds really fucking good.

The last is musical accidents. When you set out to do one thing and end up doing something different that actually sounds better. This happens alot to me when I try and make a song from an idea in my head, I end up not being able to exactly recreate the song in my head but end up making something completely different that actually sounds better.

Q: For those who probably don't understand, perhaps you can explain. What is the difference between Techno, Trance, Drum N Bass, and Dubstep?

A: Techno has a four to the floor beat (four kick drums hitting in a regular rhythm every bar). I'm not too savvy on techno, but it's mainly influenced by a technological kind of sound with drums made synthetically by drum machines and with short synthetic riffs that are looped. Many people confuse techno with electronic music as a whole, it's actually a very particular genre.

Trance has a four to the floor beat, it's similar to techno but originiated in a different part of the world and has different influences. Trance songs usually have more relatively complex chord structures and melodies to them.

Drum n Bass has a breakbeat (kick-snare---ki-snare kind of sound) and is mainly around the 170 bpm tempo range. That's really all a song need to be considered drum and bass tbh.

Dubstep has a half-time beat (kick-----snare------) and is around the 140bpm range. Mainly focused around the sub bass.

Q: Oza & xKore - Serenade you have given to us just to show us that it exists. Perhaps you could elaborate more into this song's creation for us?

A: Serenade is a song I made quite some time ago to see how the spanish guitar sounded from the free Yellow Independance sample library. It ended up turning into a progressive trance kind of song similar to that of deadmau5 i guess.

Oza was an artist that was signed to the same label as me when I released a couple of trance songs (didn't do too good). He's signed to some pretty big labels now, and said he wanted to remix Serenade, I let him and then called it a collab so we could get it signed easier, which we are in the process of doing now.

Q: There are many other musicians getting into music. What advice would you like to give them?

A: I have a few I'd like to say.

Keep making music, it's the only way you'll get better. The people that are really good at producing are usually the people that didn't give up and kept on making music.

Always experiment and try new things, this is essential for learning your tools and developing your own style. For every song you should be trying to do new things.

Reviews are overrated. Get involved in the community, make some friends that are the same level as you and ask them to nit pick your songs if you really want them to. More importantly develop your own sense of critical listening, listen to songs and try and isolate elements and then decide if you think they sound good or not.

Exposure is overrated. Focus on making better music, once you are good enough, send your shit to a label and get signed. Then you can worry about exposure, because that's only when it starts to actually matter, instead of just feeding your ego.

Be open minded about music. If come across music you don't like, at least find something to appreciate about it.

Try and strike the balance between making music for yourself and making music for others. As idealic as it sounds, making music for yourself just isn't how the world works. On the other hand, making music to satisfy others is how you become generic and lose identity.

Try and be organized. You should keep a folder of samples you've made in previous projects and patches you've made. It makes things a ton easier.

Q: You have received the 2010 Newgrounds Tank Award for Best Musician of the Year. What are your thoughts on winning this award and if you had to choose who did you think was going to win it?

A: I'm happy that I won it, and I'm glad there are alot of people out there that see value in the things I do.

My nominations for the award were Bjra, Sorohanro, Dj-Nate, Quarl. All great audio artists that helped out alot this year in the community. I think everyone should check them out

Q: In your own words what would you say is the definition of music?

A: I like to agree with the actual dictionary definition of music being 'Art in the form of sound'. Some people can see art in noise and others can see art in natural ambience. I can appreciate that.

Q: What can we expect from xKore in the future?

A: In the immediate future I have two EPs coming out, Splatthouse and Destroyer, with 3 and 4 tracks respectively. More info can be found on my recent newsposts.

I'm currently collabing with Syrebral and KillBillVolume2 at the moment, with prospective future collabs with Davr, Rig, Centra, Emporer, Breaknoise and TheBiocide.

I have a ton of unfinished projects I need to get done aswell. Also, a remix of Krowe - Juggernaut and a remix for an Activa remix comeptition.

I might be establishing a digital label over the summer depending on how things go.

Upon interviewing xKore, he is one that enjoys making music and sharing it with us here. He certainly deserves his Newgrounds Tank Trophy for his contributions to Newgrounds. If you haven't checked out his music then you should, his music more than speaks for itself.



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