Click Interview with Simon Carter: ‘I’m Enjoying Making Music Again’
Simon Carter isn’t the most familiar and successful name from the underground Electro scene although you should know him from his great collaborative productions together with Studio-X and his solo-project SD-KRTR. The British producer is now back on track unleashing a new album he released together with the German female singer Fabsi. The self-released “The Bitches Potion” is a solid and merciless piece of Industrial-Techno music featuring the sensual, half-spoken like vocals of Fabsi on top.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: What can you tell us about your artistic/musical background and what incited you to get involved with music projects?
Simon: I’ve always had a big love of music and in truth it’s dominated most of my adult life. I have a real eclectic taste and something I’ve always said to myself is that no matter what the genre is, there will be something, some fine detail contained within that I can appreciate and learn from. I’ve been making Electronic music since the age of 12, so without giving my exact age away, that’s well over 20+ years of experience in this game. Something that not a lot of people know is that I actually started out by making happy Hardcore! I’ve since experimented with many different genres, styles and yes I’m still learning each and every day.
Q: How do you perceive yourself as an artist/musician and producer? Do you’ve specific criteria and references when working on new songs and/or album?
Simon: I’ve been doing this a long time now and I still don’t have all the answers, I think I never will! As with all things in life, as we get older we do change, I’ve learnt so much, I’ve improved so much and I’ve had both some wonderful and not so wonderful experiences. One thing I have changed in this last year though is to take myself and my music even less seriously. I originally started making music as a hobby for fun and somewhere along the way it became less fun and more business oriented. I took a step back from it all but thankfully this project has really put a spring back in my step and reintroduced the fun element. I’m enjoying making music again.
Q: I think most people know you from your work together with Studio-X so what makes this chemistry? How did you start this new collaborative project together with Fabsi and who is she?
Simon: That’s right, myself and Studio-X released 3 albums, 6 EP’s and 1 single, all on the Belgian record label Alfa Matrix and we both had respective solo projects on that label too, although by my own admission my SD-KRTR solo-project was far too heavily focused on a more commercial Electronic/Pop sound which didn’t really suit the scene and I learnt from that.
Having said that, “Rise” and “Judgement Day” are 2 of my most requested tracks people want to hear me play. The Studio-X collaborations were crazy days when I think back, we were so young and we both had so much free time to dedicate to music. The creativity was just flowing like a waterfall. We always worked really well together and I think the proof of that is in the sheer volume of tracks we made together. Studio-X has a great dance floor sound that compliments my own and I’ve always been a big lyric writer so we gelled together perfectly. We’re still good friends and who knows if they’ll be more from us in the future, I am certainly one to never say never!
Fabsi is a German diva who I met online during lockdown, bonding over music streams. We both have a varied taste in music but it quickly became apparent we should collaborate together on a project. I was really quite taken with the sound of her voice and I knew I could make good use of her soft, sultry spoken vocals in tracks.
Q: Did you’d something like a plan and/or sound in mind when setting up this project? What can you tell us about the writing of the album and how did the cooperation happened?
Simon: Over a year ago we released an EP called “Beautiful Destruction” which was really supposed to be just an amusing challenge. The idea behind it was as follows ‘Using Fabsi’s Beautiful Destruction vocal, attempt to make as many conceivably different versions before going insane!’ I think I made 10 or so different versions of that track and the EP was surprisingly well received and I did go a bit insane!
The collaboration work happened remotely as Fabsi resides in German and I live in the UK. We toiled closely together on the lyrics and I helped with a few suggestions on vocal recording techniques but Fabsi was a natural which allowed me time to focus on producing the music. We both wanted the musical direction to be heavily influenced by Techno and Industrial, that was the sound we were aiming for and it was nice for me to come out of my hard danceable Technoid comfort zone and try something new. I think we surprised a few people with the amount of Industrial elements included in this project.
Q: What did you try to express by the album title “The Bitches Potion”? And what’s the importance of the lyrical content?
Simon: So this was also something new for me, creating an entire album/project based around a very specific concept. Fabsi had the idea that the concept/theme should be related to witches/witchcraft.
The title of the album was also Fabsi’s idea, she had the thought that the tracks are individual ingredients and together they make up the potion. Then to make it a bit more unique we changed ‘witch’ to ‘bitch’. I think the title is matching perfectly to the sound, the theme and to the both of us! I was also excited to work with Fabsi’s native German vocals which you can hear on the track “Hex Hex (Wir Sind Die Hexen)”, so even when we switch from English to German the witchy theme remains.
Q: While all works together with Studio-X have been released by Alfa-Matrix, you self-released “The Bitches Potion”. Is there any reason for this? Might we expect new work from Simon Carter & Fabsi?
Simon: I am enjoying making music again and also enjoying having 100% ownership of my music. The record label discussion is an interesting one. Since releasing the “The Bitches Potion” a few record label offers have come in for this project. I know a record label would give this project greater exposure and more respect among promotors but the world is a very different, constantly evolving place these days and I feel happy in the knowledge that I have complete control in regards to every specific aspect of this project, its distribution and its future. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Alfa Matrix and I still contribute remixes for their roster of awesome artists. They are a fantastic label and I can only say good things about them but I am also enjoying learning the business of being my own label / manager / distributor / promoter etc.
Is there more life in this project? Absolutely! We have plans to release a new EP before Halloween. It will essentially be 3 dancefloor, DJ-friendly singles in 1. The release will include some fantastic remixes from personal musician friends whom I’ve been close with for 10+ years. It would be nice to play some of these tracks out live too.
I also have a new Humans Can’t Reboot album coming out this year which is going to be full-on Synth-Pop and I am also working on a vocal Trance album under my Narconic name. So, I’m extremely busy but I am glad to be back and to be enjoying producing and releasing music again.
Thank you for having me and thank you for giving independent artists their fair chance to contribute to this dynamic scene.
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