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Little White Earbuds Interviews Skudge – Little White Earbuds

Little White Earbuds Interviews Skudge

A few weeks ago I was watching a Boiler Room episode and one of the DJs dropped a Skudge track. As usual, someone in the chat was immediately asking “I.D.?” Typically the response is a little slow as people rack their brains, but in this case several answers appeared straight away, mostly to the tune of, “I don’t know the track, but it’s definitely Skudge.” I couldn’t pinpoint the track either, but it was pretty clearly Skudge — looping synth interplay, dynamic percussion just the tiniest bit off-kilter, everything sleek and dynamic. The Stockholm duo are revered by a range of producers and fans for this kind of reliability, a type of heads-down focus that recalls two of their clear influences, Jeff Mills and Robert Hood, and ensures most everything they release is worth hearing. Earlier this year, they marked the release of their first LP Phantom, and have since followed it up with two EPs: one of remixes, the other of original material. The other thing about Skudge is they can be pretty tight-lipped, but it seems less about reticent hiding than a desire to simply let the music speak for itself. In advance of their live performance at Blkmarket Membership on October 14th in New York City, LWE contacted them about life post-Phantom, and it appears their day-to-day is business as usual.

One thing I noticed about Phantom was — and I don’t mean this negatively — apart from the intro, outro, and interludes, it sort of feels more like a compilation than a fully-flowing “concept” album. Was Phantom composed in the same way as your EPs? Were you setting them aside/consciously producing them as LP tracks? What were the differences between compiling tracks for the album and compiling them for the EPs?

Skudge: We stated that we didn’t have any concept [for] the album, but most of the tracks were made in the same period and we were thinking LP instead of EP while making them.

With your first LP out of the way, do you have plans for another?

No, we don’t have that at this moment. We’re focusing on the EPs right now.

Your remix packages tend to be very well-curated. How do you go about choosing who remixes your material?

We ask people that we like and if two remixes fit well together, we have a finished release.

What’s your work rate like? You’ve consistently put out records every few months; do you record a lot of tracks in say, one session? Or are you actively working on tracks day-to-day?

We work on tracks and remixes every week, mostly we work on one track one day and listen to it the next day with fresh ears, and then we try to finish what we started. There is an archive of unreleased Skudge material.

You have a really well-defined, recognizable sound. Do you have any plans to add new gear, try a new recording process, etc.? Or are you satisfied with your setup? Do you feel any pressure to stay true to what you’ve recorded already? If you decided to make something radically different, would you use a new moniker/new label or anything like that?

Yes, we are satisfied with the setup. We have some sort of idea we are working with, but it’s important for us to always go further and try new things. We haven’t thought of making a new moniker, but why not!

How do you approach remixing other producers’ work compared to producing your own original material?

We extract the sounds of the original that we like and make it skudgey.

How does the studio setup translate to your live set? Do you do anything differently? Are your sets planned out or are they more like jam sessions?

It is a jam session with a tracklist.

Do you feel involved in any kind of scene in Stockholm? How do you feel about the current state of dance music there?

We don’t feel that we came from a certain Stockholm scene. Skudge was created in a basement in the north west of Stockholm, while other people were sleeping. The interest of dance music is growing, that’s exciting.

As much as I’d generally classify you as “techno,” you’ve been remixed by Appleblim and remixed Instra:mental, who both lean more toward that UK bass/electro hybrid sound. Are you inspired by/do you feel close to that group of producers at all?

We are like all kinds of music and it inspires us. Variation is necessary for us.

What’s coming up for you: new releases, touring, etc.?

We plan to release other artists as well as our own stuff and remixes. Stephen Brown is next up, and more to follow. It will be a nice surprise.

Bjørn  on October 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM

“It is a jam session with a tracklist”. Real chatty, these Skudge guys. Blame it on the nordic way.

Nick  on October 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM

I don’t think it’s a Nordic problem. I just wonder why they agree to interviews if they have no intention of participating in them properly.

Bjørn  on October 13, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Still, they make great music. Nuff said.

Levon  on October 13, 2011 at 1:49 AM

Love these guys!

Ash Parajuli  on October 13, 2011 at 2:44 AM

I can’t believe most of the questions are longer than the responses. Waste of an interview imho.

Fr Ian Stapleton  on October 13, 2011 at 5:58 AM

They put it right on mnml ssgs…

“The Skudge interview for LWE is as boring as their music.”

Christ techno is 100% marketing driven these days even though the vast majority unwittingly think otherwise. Get a big label behind you to push you 100% and get the right media talking about you and you’ll explode , no matter how good you are. “Hot tip”, “Massive 12″, “Undergound Purist Techno” etc.
Mediocrity will always be for the masses in todays society whether they know it or not.

mary  on October 13, 2011 at 6:37 AM

YOU MUST BE KIDDING.
The worst source for info regarding information “techno” is Chris Disco and “MNML SSGS” These are the guys that are so far up Sandwell’s Anus.

Even the name “mnmlssgs” is quite simply, stupid as fuck. Just by the name, I have lost respect… don’t even have to read the drivel on that site.

Anyone who has met these Skudge boys knows they are not talkative pair of guys, AND THERE IS A FUCKING LANGUAGE BARRIER, sometimes if English is not your first language, a person are less inclined to be so forthright. EVery think of that before you start commenting all over forums? They weren’t given an interview in Swedish, they were given English questions, and gave their best Englsih answers.
Just lost respect for mnml ssgs. Terrible.
Really, I am just cringing that mnml ssgs exists, or that they would have the balls to go and make such negative comments on another blog. Shame on you Chris “Disco” and your whack blog.

Matt  on October 13, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Dull, unchallenging, derivative music which is easy to DJ.

mary  on October 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Moderator, please delete my previous comment regarding mnmlssgs etc, it was a gross overreaction, thanks, Mary

Fr Ian Stapleton  on October 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM

With the mnml ssgs thing aside they still are no where near the hype they are getting. I just understand how they can be so big.

Fr Ian Stapleton  on October 13, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Also as far as language barriers go Swedes would have a much better grasp of English than most. Many being fluent.

Steve Kerr  on October 13, 2011 at 12:02 PM

hah, i’m not really mad at them – email interviews are tricky because we’re not all writers. like in addition to spending all this time making music you have to be eloquent too. it’s a lot harder to be evasive when you’re speaking in person.
it didn’t strike me as particularly dickish, more of just a nonintellectual, “dance music is about dancing” kind of approach.

it’s not my place to criticize mnmlssgs; they obviously care a lot about what they do and really i read the site fairly often. i understand not liking an act, but from what i can tell they’re into these kinds of coy, one-line answers – their zwischenwelt interview comes to mind.

as for skudge, i think the “easy to dj” comment is important. to a point i understand people’s dislike – they have that sleek, high-speed, second/third wave detroit feel, but it isn’t really as arty as hood or mills or ur or whoever else. at the same time, i don’t think they’re this big based on hype alone – their stuff is really versatile and you hear it in all types of sets because of that.

i suppose you can blame us for interviewing an act that isn’t universally loved, but i don’t think i was overflowing with hyperbolic praise above, more just trying to pinpoint what people like about them.

anonymous  on October 15, 2011 at 4:08 PM

BIG DEMANDING NON COMMUNICATIVE DOUCHEBAGS. THE TECHNO “DIVA’S FROM NOW ON.

blub  on October 16, 2011 at 12:08 PM

the coy interview works with the skudge vibe

these guys are great, plus an excellent live show.

haters will hate but these dudes will keep laying down dope jams regardless

M  on October 18, 2011 at 5:39 AM

Haters will internet hate, Skudge guys will be touring the world doing jockey sluts.
Fair enough.

nubian mindz  on October 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Love their music and sound :)

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Skudge interview « The Hipodrome Of Music  on October 14, 2011 at 12:32 AM

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