Going back to AG, how did you get involved with him?
It’s two different worlds. We were laughing about that recently when we linked up the other night, saying that his world being hip-hop, he’s an underground hip-hop artist, but the commercial hip-hop scene is really so polar opposite to electronic music. Their message is a bit different than ours. Dance music is all about people being unified, chilling out and being immersed in rhythms.
We met through a friend of ours and he was telling me about how his cousin was doing really good stuff, then he played some of it for me at a party and I was like, "Who is this kid?" He freestyled for 15 minutes flawlessly. I thought his influences are so similar to mine, in a way. It would be on the end of Wu-Tang Clan and some of the now-a-days influence from 21 Savage. It might seem weird someone like me would be into that, but it’s more about liking the production, not the message. Both of us have that in common and he was one of the only people I know in hip-hop who was down to try something different.
You haven’t worked with vocalists much during your career. What does that aspect add to the production process?
This was a first for me. I’ve worked on band stuff before as a producer and I’ve worked in studios for about eight years producing other people, but this is the first time I’ve worked on vocals of my own stuff.
So the album is released on your own label, Octopus Recordings, which is really at its strongest point right now. What do you look for in an Octopus release?
It’s strange. It’s always that good feeling of asking myself, "Will I play this?’ I imagine myself in a certain scenario like playing a warehouse or playing a big or a small club. I don’t care about what anyone else thinks. I don’t care if it's the flavor of the month and the Beatport Top 10. I think about whether or not I want to take this and play it to a crowd. That usually rounds off a couple of things: creepy sounding, raw and it has something different in it, a little ravey sounding, in a way. All those weird things come into play and it just clicks with me.
Speaking of warehouse stuff, at the tail end of 2016, you kicked off the Octopus Warehouse release series. How did that material differ from other music in the label catalogue?
Yeah, we’ll be unrolling that series more in the future and will release it on vinyl. We’re digging deep into the catalogue and picking a bunch of tracks that we feel are a little more underground, and were doing a vinyl series of those. These are tracks we feel are a little more edgy and more suitable for people to collect on vinyl. It’s like presenting the music in a new way, cherry picking the tracks that firstly are going to sell for our distributor and that are what we’re representing. This is something people will want to keep on vinyl. Kind of like a DJ tool.