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Interview: Reso unleashes Kyrios in sync with heart melting vibes [Slug Wife]

Reso‘s creation is a rare occurrence and it’s shaping up to be a blast from the past, shout out to the UK! I’ve been very impressed by all the sounds coming out of the Slug Wife collective this year and their latest fire has hit home through Alex Melia’s pulsating 7-track masterpiece, Kyrios, which includes a mix. The idea behind ‘Kyrios’ ( “Lord” or “Master” in ancient Greek ) originated through a callback to his roots, continuing with his tradition of naming EP’s after different mecha’s found in anime series; Kyrios surrounds a mecha from Gundam 00. Visual artist, Void One, created a fine reflective art cover to fuel upon this passion of Reso’s, which features a giant robot ( Gundam 00 was created by Sunrise, a Japanese animation studio ).

A one of a kind celestial being smothered with loads of love and creative output, Reso is the epitome of a full creative beatsmith whom has a long stemming history of creating unimaginable drumming and synth flow, holding deep knowledge and strengths in arrangement, texture, and percussion. His intricacies are no joke, rather dynamic and intelligent. This fresh batch of work resembles his signature style as he aims for a new direction which has allowed him a fresh path of discovery as he gets ready to hit the states, gearing for a promising tour. Catch him at Denver’s sub.mission‘s Shambhala pre-party showcase at The Black Box for their legendary Electronic Tuesday’s featuring other legends, Kursa and K.L.O, in collaboration with Slug Wife. Followed by Infrasound and Shambhala, Reso is about to unleash powerful frequencies!

I reached out to Reso to further deconstruct his creative process, so prep your ears and listen to his latest beats as he unleashes a hard, dancefloor ready to ignite a full experience that awaits. Further your learning mode as he shares with us everything happening now, what he’s learned in the past year, advice to producers, his roots as a drummer and drum and bass producer, and a peak of his simplistic studio which allows him to generate the heat. Otherwise known as “The Master of Drums”, Reso is someone you need to continue to watch and learn from. Get your laser beams ready and join the pack.

A chat w/ Reso

Congratulations on Kyrios.  Share with us the overall creative process that goes into your sound design that allows you to develop rich textures and rhythmic flow.

Thanks very much! My overall process tends to be the same most of the time. I’ll start with doing some bass sound design making patches in Massive, Omnisphere, Serum, FM8 etc. I’ll be sure to save these patches so that I can recall and tweak them at another time for a quick start. Next, I’ll find some drum samples and get a basic beat going. These can be from sample packs, taken from breakbeats or be synthesized drums I’ve made myself. I’ll start to jam out ideas until something sticks that I’m happy with, unless I have a specific idea in mind, which could be a chord progression or rhythmic pattern 

From here I tend to get a solid 16 bar loop on the go adding in fx, automation, eqing, grouping instruments into busses, essentially getting that 16 bars to sound “finished”. This is a big part of the solving the puzzle for me as it builds a solid foundation on which to make the rest of the tune. I’ll paste a skeletal arrangement and then go through 16 bars at a time doing edits, detailing and doing mix tweaks as I add more elements. This is still the “Creative” portion for me. Once I’m happy that I can’t add anything else, I switch into “Edit” mode. This means removing as much as I can without the track sounding thin or not dense enough for my taste. Once I’m confident I can’t remove anything else, I’ll concentrate on getting my final mix right until my mind starts to fall apart like wet cake.

This overall process can be applied to making each and every sound, so adding elements to a pad texture, drum hit or bass patch, then pulling it back a little by seeing what I can remove without losing any of the charm. In terms of achieving a good rhythmic flow, I tend to find that you have to leave spaces. Leaving spaces is more important than adding elements constantly.

Developing templates is a technique that allows you to simplify the process. Can you please elaborate?

So I’ll have a few different project templates set up, on for basses, pads, drums, etc. My bass template will consist of some instrument channels set up with a variety of effects plugins already initialized with them routed to buss groups with more plugins set up and finally an fx chain on my master buss. 

An example would be having an instance of serum open with eq, filters (notch, comb, highpass, band pass etc), distortions (such as phat fx, Decapitator, sausage fattener), compression and a few other things like Wow, Crystalizer and reverbs. I’ll make a patch in Serum and assign various controls to modulate various parameters then paste a 16 bar note at E for example and tweak to my taste as many different things as possible to get a complex sound. One plugin that is great for quick complexity in a sound is Kiloheartz Multipass. It’s a multiband effects plugin that allows up to 5 bands to have multiple plugins (filters, distortion, phase, flange, limiting etc) on each band.

I’ll render a pass of this then go back and change parameters to get a different tonal quality. I’ll then render another pass making sure to keep them organized by day/week/month in my sample library. On my master bus I use a waves NLS channel strip, the NI solid Bus compressor and Ozone 8 as well as the waves PAZ analyzer to make sure the sound hits in the right places. This let’s me keep the sounds fairly uniform in loudness and tone so I can use them in projects without having to do too much extra processing. When in a project, I will load these into Kontakt or the ESX24 or just use snippets as audio depending on my needs.

In your djing sessions, whether feeling with Vinyl or CDJ’s, what have you discovered about the rekordbox that allows you to really fully capture your intention?

In all honesty, I just use record box as a means to an end. I still think of DJing as if I was using vinyl records even when playing on USB’s. So I don’t use the sync button, still beat match manually. It’s just what works for me personally. The handy thing in record box is setting cue points so if I don’t want to play the 2 minute ambient opening of a tune, I can skip straight to the main part without having to manually scan through the tune. I like that it loads instantly too.

I’ll have certain playlists created for the specific night I’m playing at but don’t really think about order, just a rough idea of the stuff I want to play. The fun of DJing for me is making it up as I go along and seeing how the crowd reacts rather than having everything planned in advance.

If you could see one change in the music industry, what would it be and why? What steps are you willing to take to see shift happen?

I’d like to see streaming services pay artists a decent royalty for plays as this is where the industry is going even more so. Steps I could take would be to join a musicians union and try to get people to lobby streaming sites to agree to fairer payments.

You have a really cool story behind your Kyrios release!  Respect! What does Slug Wife mean to you and in what ways have they helped you expand through this release?

I’ve known Kursa for quite a few years now so was really excited when he, Seppa & Fiona started Slugwife. I always send my tunes to Kursa so when they asked me if I’d be up for releasing I was 100% game and it was great to make Kyrios happen. They’re probably the easiest, most down to earth, non-bullshit people when it comes to label stuff which is utterly refreshing. Their managers Lisa & John don’t mess around though haha.

Hopefully this release has brought me to the attention of a new crowd of listeners, especially in the US. It’s not a massive leap from the kind of thing I’ve been making my whole career so it’s great to see the sound really picking up stateside.

Hopefully Slugwife continues to grow and I’m totally down to do what I can for them and be part of the crew as they just such solid guys.

Elaborate on the story behind Kyrios?

The idea behind Kyrios was a shout back to my roots. I have a tradition of naming my ep’s after different mecha like Temjin, Heavyarms etc. Kyrios is a gundam from Gundam 00 but also means “Lord” or “Master” in ancient Greek. I’ve been making this kind of sound for a while now so it felt right to call back to my previous work whilst still pushing in a new direction. I wanted the tracks to still have elements of atmosphere and a stoner-ish hiphop vibe about them as well as being tough enough to cause damage on a dancefloor.

#7 – Kyrios Mix

I’m very impressed by your history as an artist that has brought you to the now.  Can you tell us a little bit about your affiliation with Burial?

There’s not a whole lot to tell about Burial, I helped him out in the past with some bits n pieces, went for a few pints. At the time he was making all of his music in Soundforge, essentially they were audio collages. I helped him engineer a remix and showed him some stuff in Logic to help him when working with stems, etc. He’s a really cool guy, would love to see him again at some point.

What helps to keep you balanced and motivated?  

I really enjoy running, I tend to run 4-5 miles everyday to get out of the studio and clear my head. Producing is such a solitary experience as well as being sat down all day. It’s important to exercise. Motivation is a tough one, a lot of the time I’m not very motivated but you just have to sit down and get on with it. It’s motivating to create sounds you’ve never heard before so doing regular sound design sessions is important to keep it fresh. Or sometimes I’ll just load up a piano or rhodes sound and play with chords and melody. There’s always something you can do. I try to take regular breaks to give my ears a rest however.

Your intricacies are pulsating.  Do you have any guidance/advice for all producers?

Anal attention to detail. I try and think of all the elements in my music as “players” in a band. I like a more freeform style of playing, like Jazz, so constantly want my elements to do variations. For example if I have a tambourine in a track, if you only concentrated on that, I want it to have a performance throughout the piece, rather than being a static loop. I apply this to as many things as I can. It’s not a quick thing to do.

Your foundation is in Drum and Bass.  Did you ever play instruments growing up?  Share with us the ‘aha moment’ when you realized music production was your gateway.

I’ve played Drums since I was 9 years old so my background was being in bands of all sorts, from Rock to Jazz & Funk as well as with singer songwriters. I guess my aha moment was around 2006 when dubstep was taking off in the UK and I got offered more for one gig DJing than I did being in bands. It also felt good for people to start to really react to the music I was making. From then on I’ve pretty much been doing music production full time. It’s a never ending process of learning, refining what I already know and exploration within sound.

Who is your favorite producer right now? Why?

Right this moment I really like Kloudmen from Sweden. They have a really great blend of weighty, well designed bass, interesting chord structures and general vibes. Other people are Jon Hopkins for his overall sonic aesthetic and musicality, obviously Kursa & Seppa for sheer madness in sound design and vibes, and a hiphop/lofi producer called Bluntone for that dope shit.

Tell us about the art cover!  Who’s the visual designer behind your sonic vision?

The cover art is done by all round amazing artist Void One. It was Kursa who hooked it up, Harley’s (Void One) style really fits with my taste. Gundams and graffitti. What’s not to like? The first artwork I ever had for a release was a gundam, there’s just something about the sharp lines, the style of that particular mecha that really appeals to my sensibilities. I couldn’t have been happier with what Harley created, seriously dope on all counts!

What are your goals for this year and how do you plan to meet them?

My goals for the rest of the year are just centred around getting more music finished. I have a few more releases lined up so am excited to get those out there. I’d love to do some more shows stateside as well as around Europe. I had a break for about 2 years whilst I worked on some video game projects but am really excited to get back into DJing more. I just need to make sure I send my music to the right people, hopefully they can support me and I can build some momentum from there. I also have my own small label called RX0 which I’m planning some releases for. There’s plenty to be getting on with.

What’s your studio like?

My studio set up is fairly basic. I have my Imac and Rokit 8 monitors with the 10s subwoofer. I do a lot of work on headphones so I have a  pair of Audeze LCD-X’s which I combine with a subpac as this really takes a lot of guesswork out of mixdowns. I also have some sennheiser HD600’s & HD25’s plus an older pair of fostex PM1 MK2’s for secondary monitor mixing. Basically I listen on as many different things as I can and try to get my mixdowns to translate as best I can. I don’t have any outboard gear as it’s a deep wormhole I am reluctant to get sucked into. I do have my guitar, V-drums and various percussion lying about though for when I want a break looking at my DAW. I use Logic X on my main workstation with a raft of software synths & effects. Ultimately it’s not what you have but how you use it.

What have you learned in the past 12 months?

Not to overthink too much, especially when writing tunes. Just do it as fast as you can whilst maintaining the vibe. If a tune takes me longer than a week it’s probably wack. Also there’s no point in worrying. If you worry you suffer twice, once whilst worrying and then again if the thing you are worried about comes to pass. So you may as well not worry. It’ll all be alright in the end 🙂

Reso – Kyrios Review

Artifice slithers and whispers ‘AH’ into the celestial battlefield through intricate synth which reverberates and creates hard, trickery, pulsating beats. Lasers beaming through a percussive crescendos that will have you feeling shattered, it’s an exploration of the masters. It’s inner work we all experience in these robotic textures, that scream out possibility. Light shines in dark as we feel the sound alleviate midway before the build up brings you back to wonky escapes. ‘AH’. Longing whispers!

Cowbells from Hell twinkles in delightful melodies and steady drum work surrounded in a free form jazzy atmospheric mood, a temptacious approach. Cowbells from Hell creates whimsical sounding noise as AH, wonky flavors then set the intention and echoing effect filled with rolling bass. Breaking the repetitive vicious cycle as you hear a sound release with growls and syncopated beats. Swirling in your brain, we’re the cowboys from hell ( respect to Pantera ) coming for you, the mecha’s, as you hear “Oh bollox”. all love!

Loaf Eye enters a portal filled with luscious beats and rhythms of mysterious alignments. A dubbed out tempo enhances the feel as the mood gets heavier and weirder, in a good way. Each piece connecting, forming a whole of twisted layers and depth through inner works, finding Ra through the Eye of Ra, Wadjet. Soothing dubstep waves continue the flow, an emergence as the synth work levitates through grimey synth and distortion. It’s a journey, feeling the process through pulsations and sensations into nirvana.

Slow Lung sounds intense, a sounding of squish filled soundscapes dosed in shortness of breath as wobbles of escapes keep the dub alive. Fire blasts and beams of radiance continues to create resonance as the slow lung revives with a sick composition and oceanic pulses ready to hit heavier and ignite. Sonic charges keep it going into galactic sunrise, sunset frequencies. Imma melt you with these beams!

Sleazy is a glowing aftermath of depth gateways sounding dank and bass splashes in between the known and unknown. A hip-hop filled journey is felt through sporadic vocalized effects, an ill mannered imagination. A mixture of light and heavy beats makes for a good mixture of fine elements, tonal vibrations, and rhythmic gestures of pure, sick sound design. Smashing sounds trigger illuminating twerks. Damaging the dance floor.

Diamond Splinter is a futuristic uprise into diamond sky’s. Deep intricate patterns fuel bass with unimaginable synth stabs, filling the energy into a triple effect of creative sparks. A hauntingly known hearing resembles a new found galaxy, a superluminal instinct that takes you anywhere and everywhere through melodic, melomaniac wonders – it’s a quantum momentum, brining balance through heart melting vibes.

Mix – the mix is an awe-inspiring journey full of the dopest, hard-hitting, twirling elevations!

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