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"A track to pick the room up": How Instinct made 'Pistolwhip'

‘Pistolwhip’ by Instinct (aka Burnski) is UK garage's biggest new anthem

  • Interview: Gavin Herlihy | Photo: Max Cooper
  • 24 March 2020

How did the alias come about?

I love so many genres of music, and I’ve dabbled with everything from film music to drum ’n’ bass, but this just happened to start on a UKG tip. Using a new alias seemed to free the shackles and give me more freedom especially with BPM and genres. Some of the tracks were three years old by the time they came out so I’ve been doing it for years, and although the alias started out on a UKG tip, there’s loads of places it can go from there. Making music can get so complicated if you let it, but if you just let it be and go with it, you’re just flowing with it and it happens. The more you get into that head-space, the music starts making itself.

Read this next: "Tinker until something clicks": How Karenn made 'Grapefruit Regret'

How did ’Pistolwhip’ begin?

The inspiration was simply the desire to make a really vibey track that feels good when you play it out. It’s a typical Instinct beat, but the vocal really takes it to that place. I love the kind of tracks that can pick the room up; I’m not saying mine [always] does, but that was the intention when making it to create that vibe.

Read this next: Materialising ideas: How Stenny made 'Upsurge'

How did you finish it?

Making music is a constant process, and it’s good to keep putting things aside for later use. I’m always looking for great vocals and constantly saving new ones to my library. And every now and again I like to record lots of new sounds [from my synthesizers] and store them in my library ready to drop. The musical bits in ‘Pistolwhip’ came from my Nord lead and the drums are a typical Instinct groove, so it was just a case of getting the vibe right. You can make a class track with four channels if you get the right sounds.The track took a few different forms before I settled on the final version. As usual it was just a case of simplifying things and stripping them down to just what’s needed.

Read this next:"Connecting the story": How Martyn made ‘B.C.2’

The Instinct debut album ‘Still Life’ is out now on his self titled label, get it via Bandcamp

Gavin Herlihy is Mixmag's Tech Editor, follow him on Twitter

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The contents of Instinct's studio set-up:

1. Analog Keys

2. Korg MS-2000

3. Moog Voyager

4. KRK Rokit 5

5. Apollo Quad

6. Ableton

7. Adam A7

8. Sync-Gen Pro

9. Moog Phatty

10. Jomox 11

11. Jomox 11

12. Roland 909

13. Nor Lead 2

14. Yamaha MG 166 Pro

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