Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Top 5: Outerattik

Gimmie That Beat has the pleasure to introduce you to one of the most talented outfits based in the UK called Outerattik. Formed by keyboardist Jamie Smith, it blends his experience of playing ahead jazz + funk and producing elctronic music.  Enough talking and now it's time to get to know Outerattik.

Your Favorite 5 Producers:

In no particular order, probably Pretz, Flying Lotus, Evenings, Washed Out and JD73.

Favorite Beat They Produced:

Pretz: Texas Exhale
Washed Out: Feel It All Around
Evenings: Babe
JD73: Happy People
Flying Lotus: Camel


Why or What do you like about their skillz behind the boards?

Pretz produces great British chill-out verging on acid jazz. The guy behind it, Neil Cowley, is an amazing keys player with a really varied musical background. The album has plenty of tasty keyboard solos (which I can't get enough of) and I love the lush production. Definitely an influence as I began working on the Outerattik tracks.

I really like the soundscapes FlyLo creates. They’re laid back but there's always lots going on. Gets jazzy at times too. I've watched him do his thing live on YouTube and it's fascinating to watch. Really talented guy.

Evenings produces beautiful sounds and sweet melodies over nice subtle grooves. Perfect material for escaping the stresses of the day.

I really dig the nostalgic vibe of Washed Out’s work. I grew up in the 80s and the production conjures up hazy and happy memories of my youth. I loved how he sampled that cheesy disco track for Feel It All Around, too - genius.

JD73 is a Leeds-based producer and keys player. He uses real vintage keyboards so gets a sweet sound. His grooves and playing are really soulful, too.

How have they influenced or inspired you?

They’ve all inspired me in different ways. JD73 was a big influence on my playing when I moved away from straight-ahead jazz and into the more funk and electronic side of things. I learned how to play funk keyboards basically by watching him play on YouTube and seeing the kinds of patterns and techniques he used. No need to go to college when you have YouTube! Flying Lotus influences me on the production side in that I try to always keep things interesting, even if my music is more like what might be played by a live ensemble. Washed Out’s, erm, washed out production style was an influence in the EP and the new track. For example I really cranked up the reverb on the bridge to Who Are Your People? to give it a dreamy quality.

Which producer would you like to collabo with?

I'd love to have Evenings remix one of my tracks. It would also be great to work with emcee Supreme Sol. I heard a track he did with producer Handbook called Perfect Combination ( and had it instantly on repeat. Clever lyrics and amazing delivery. I’m also quite a fan of Frank Ocean. Would love to play keys on one of his tracks!

How did the concept for the instrumental "Who Are Your People" come about?

I wanted to produce a track that was more hip hop-sounding. I was a little shy about employing too much jazz harmony on the EP - when mixed with electronic sounds it can easily sound a bit cheesy and fusiony, or a bit early 90s. Having got into hip hop a bit since the EP, I found that kind of beat worked well with jazz harmony. This is probably obvious to most people but it was a welcome realisation for me! So I played around with some ideas, not worrying about being too jazzy, and ended up with the chorus. For the verses I improvised over the same chords at half speed, and then finally added a bridge. The production on this one was quite difficult and it took me a while to get the sound I wanted.


What is the inspiration behind your instrumentals?

Attic EP was inspired by memories of growing up listening to my parents’ record collection in the attic. It was pretty eclectic, so I could go from listening to Daniel Barenboim one minute to a dodgy disco record the next. I’ve always been one to get bored easily so find myself switching between different genres and styles both when I listen to and produce music.

A lot of the time I’m inspired by melody and harmony itself. With instrumental music, you can express a mood or feeling in more subtle ways than lyrics can ever afford you. The whole process and end result are more abstract and, for me, exciting. It’s all about the music, with no words or visuals to distract you.

Any final words or thoughts?

Just to say thanks for the chance of being interviewed for your blog. I really appreciate it. As a music fan, I think blogs are the most exciting place to discover new music. There isn’t some big corporation with vested interests behind it; just fellow connoisseurs who love music. So it’s an honour to have blogs feature Outerattik and it inspires me to up my game and produce music the blogosphere wants to present to their listeners.

Latest Project

Who Are Your People? is the Hip-Hop influenced follow up to the Attic EP.

Purchase Who Are Your People? - HERE

More Information About Outerattik:

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