ill.Gates Interviews Pedestrian Tacticspdj
Thanks for taking the time to share your genius with our readers. Please take a moment to introduce yourself and provide a bit of background.
I really appreciate this Dylan. I’m Dan. I used to produce electronic music under the name Corporate before creating this music and multimedia project Pedestrian Tactics. I’ve been producing music for(ever) the last 10 years at least and have been combining genres and media cause… why not. I’m homeschooled.
You have made some interesting moniker choices. Please tell us why you chose the names “Corporate” and “Pedestrian Tactics” and shed a little light on the reasoning behind your rebrand.
Much of my early work was focused on sounding big. I listened to lots of pop, rock, and Pendulum. The balanced composition of over-refined pop music was something I always wanted to achieve. Corporate was a somewhat sarcastic name that wasn’t taken.
The last few years have been much more focused on dialing in the big sound to the bare essentials. I’ve always been the one to hold off on more gear until I’m bursting what I have at the seams. Pedestrian Tactics is just an honest reflection of my system.
I love the look and feel of the graphics you use and I understand you create them yourself.
I’ve been simultaneously leading a design direction career. I went to school for industrial design so it was hard not to want to control every aesthetic decision behind audio releases. Cover art is incredibly important because it’s the first thing you see usually before you hear the song on a streaming platform. I think that’s easy to overlook sometimes.
Can you please tell us more about the look and feel of your projects?
I mean, I love Teenage Engineering, Acronym, Neubau Berlin, E-Boy, Muji, Trent Reznor, Loscil, and Lucy Liu. My work is really just all of them in a blender. Maybe not Lucy but the rest.
How did you develop your personal style?
I don’t try and create my style. My style is really just me being terrible at copying other people’s work. A while back I was half-way through writing a track called Gotcha under the Corporate name and a friend called me out that it sounded like Missy Elliot. I quickly realized I accidentally was regurgitating “Work It” but it was twisted enough I just ignored it and kept going. Later I ran it by a couple buddies and they said it sounded unique enough 😆
Do you have anything to say to artists who are struggling to develop an individual style?
Yes. Stop. Unless you’re like two years old, you have already been consuming content your whole life which has already shaped your unique style. Just start writing things you like. You’ll know what your style is when other people start talking about it.
Your sound design and mixing both really stand out from other producers, especially your transient design and use of the stereo field. Can you please touch on both of these subjects?
I mentioned sounding big earlier. In addition to pop, I listened to a ton of Rob Swire’s work. Balanced compositions always punched me in the gut and I wanted to achieve that feel myself.
Design school harped on the idea of a first, second and third read. This means that the first object you want the person to see had better be bigger, lighter, darker, or weirder than the others. Nothing should compete. The laws of Gestalt are a beautifully crafted set of instructions for relating visual material as well. I took all this to audio, which honestly feels very much like how pop music is designed.
I was particularly impressed by PT-T38: Redef. You made extremely effective use of saturating the harmonic series to make killer bass sounds and were even nice enough to share a tutorial about it. Are there other Pedestrian Tactics tutorials we can watch for free?
There are a few tutorials in my YouTube channel. It’s been a little while since I updated it but I’m working on some more.
Where else can we go to get more of your producer content?
pedestriantactics.com is beginning to look more like a clothing shop as I’m releasing both music and sample packs along side each other. I’m hoping to release some interesting visual content in the future too. Links will always be there and I’ve got a mailing list in case you’re lazy and want more inbox things.
Are you available for one on one training?
Yes! Bring your terrible half-finished song and I’ll help you make it even worse, and finished. I can be booked exclusively from my marketplace on my Producer DJ site. Just click the Green “Book Me” Button below my photo.
Let’s say I didn’t know anything about music production but the fate of the free world depended on me winning a beat battle 90 days from now. How would you train me to win? Please give me a regimen to follow.
I’d probably ask you to take some of the most inspiring music you’ve ever heard, narrow it down to a couple of the easier to understand tracks production-wise (like oh this one has a tr-808 kit, I can probably find some samples like that), and then recreate one of the tracks using whatever you have on hand. Hell, GarageBand on your phone or whatever. You’ll know when to buy new tools when you start wanting features that don’t exist in your current tool.
What’s next for Pedestrian Tactics?
I actually just released a sample pack of every drum I’ve ever made! I’m working on a satirical game about freelancing! I’ve got a couple collaborations in works with Josh Brugman, an amazing producer I grew up with. Really different vibe when you put us together. I’ve also got a remix of your work coming soon!
What should PT fans look forward to?
This project is much more about an aesthetic I’m obsessed with than it is music. Music will happen but I’m excited for more visual and interactive media in the future. If you like the aesthetic of this project you won’t be disappointed by the stuff I’ve got in the pipeline 😉
Thanks again for enlightening us all with this interview. How do we join your mailing list?
Pedestriantactics.com there’s a little subscribe button in the links up top!
Are there any freebies or benefits we get for signing up?
You get my mailer! That’s the benefit! I don’t send it out that often cause I’m horrified of boring you so everything I stick in there is only content that I think you will absolutely enjoy. It’s also way more curated than any of my socials. Seriously join it, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be… appointed.