Remember’s work on Dream Catalogue has always been highly revered by the label’s fans and with his latest album, ‘Four Shots Of Green Stone’, the UK artist aims to not only match but outclass his previous releases. A raw, abrasive work that synthesises old and new sounds, Remember comes into his own and personally imbues his music with himself, pulling back the curtain and, in the process, revealing a side of himself never shown before in his sound.
We caught up with Remember to get his opinions on his latest work, what’s next for him, and the future of music in general.
What have you been working on as of late?
REMEMBER: Right now I’m jumping around on lots of different projects, whether it be Remember or other things too. I’ve been slowly building a back catalogue of tunes under my new project called Absense, which is all drum and bass orientated. It’s not becoming my main project, but it has become a big passion for me over the past twelve to eighteen months.
Wuso and I have been building some tracks together recently too, after I hit him up to collaborate in the chat of the Livewire festival. I felt like a collaboration between us two was long overdue and I felt like our styles could marry together nicely. He hasn’t heard what I’ve been working on with the stems he sent just as yet, but I’m sure he and everyone else will like what we will output together. We have no plans on how many tracks, and what form it will take in terms of presentation or label. We are just taking it slowly and seeing where it naturally goes.
I think the most exciting for me is that I’ve finished my new Remember album, which had been in production since October 2018. It had been difficult to finish due to the personal nature of it, and for a while I felt really far removed from the project. But over the past few months, I felt like I was in a place where I can really put 100% into finishing it.
You have a BSc in music technology. How does making music with that kind of knowledge compare to the work you did earlier in your career?
REMEMBER: More than anything, it really showed me at a fundamental level how certain aspects of music production works, less on the songwriting side and the more on the technical. For example, really understanding different types of synthesis and how to utilise them to create a desired sound. One of the other sides of music I discovered while studying was creating your own synths and effects, specifically using MaxMSP. There are effects that I still use in my tunes today that I created while at university. There is something really rewarding creating a bass sound within a synth that you built from scratch, or creating a crazy delay pattern by combining different delay types within a device built by yourself. These days I tend to use Reaktor to build my own synths etc as I prefer the workflow, but the basic concepts are the same, and it’s something I can get lost in for hours.
You’ve spoken about the ‘end of music’ concept on an episode of CANVAS with HKE and Shinatama once before, what are your general thoughts on it?
REMEMBER: The ‘end of music’ idea is something that has been floating around in my head for a long time and I think now more than ever that idea has started to present itself more and more. To me, it’s the idea that we have the limit on what we can create that is truly ‘new’, and using this boundary to create meaningful but also in a way carefree and fresh music. Of course throughout modern history this idea has been thought many times, but there was always something brand new to follow it, whether it be through genre development or a new piece of technology. However, I personally can’t imagine what that next step is and feel like there won’t be one. We have computers that can create any waveform imaginable, and generate any combination of frequencies as desired. I don’t think this is a negative however, and I see artists using these boundaries to create music that doesn’t care for convention in some aspects, sound design for example, but at the same time follow convention in other ways, i.e. structure. I see this heavily in drum and bass and dubstep primarily, but it’s entering into other areas of music too. I’m excited about where this boundary limit takes us. And who knows, maybe I’m wrong and something brand new comes out of nowhere. We shall see…
” We have computers that can create any waveform imaginable, and generate any combination of frequencies as desired. I don’t think this is a negative however…”
In this regard, what do you think the future for musicians and their careers will be,?
REMEMBER: It is hard for me to say to be quite honest. The music industry has changed so much in the past 10 years that it makes the future difficult to predict. I’ve been seeing a move away from albums and a bigger emphasis being placed on singles and playlist culture, and that’s all just to do with the way we consume music these days. Streaming is extremely popular and is my preferred way of listening to music for example. It gives me all the music that I could possibly want, instantly, whenever I want it. Of course it has its drawbacks in terms of royalties etc. However it is still a relatively new medium of music consumption for a lot of listeners and artists and the balance will come, and I think artists will eventually adapt their entire careers around it. There will always be a place for physical music, live shows etc. But I think streaming is where, one day, a musician’s entire career will be based.
You say the latest Remember album is quite personal – do you think it is your greatest album to date?
REMEMBER: 100%. It feels like the album that I have been building up to for years. It may not be all that obvious in it’s sound, but it’s intent and meaning is definitely where the Remember project has been leading. In terms of the personal side of things, it’s strange in that aspect because it’s an album about the Remember story becoming a reality. The first Remember albums are an abstract and fictionalised version of heartbreak and losing someone you love, something that I hadn’t actually experienced myself at the time the albums were made. However, I did experience it and this new album comes from that place and time. In that sense, it’s a ‘meta-Remember’ album.
Are there any synths or VST’s that you’ve been a fan of, or even wanting to get your hands on as of late?
REMEMBER: I think it’s always the same with producers that there are loads of new music gear that we want but money won’t allow for. I’m no different, although I must admit I don’t use a wide variety of things to make my music. I’m thinking of moving more into hardware and DAW-less approaches to making music. I feel like I’ve been in a very similar pattern for years in regards to how I make my music, so I’m very much into the idea of completely changing my workflow and processes. I’m just about to pre-order the Polyend Tracker, which is a hardware tracker based sequencer/synth/sampler/performance monster. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
In terms of all the Remember sounds, it’s done with either Serum or Massive synth wise, with a lot of Abletons stock effect usage. I’m a big user of manipulating samples when it comes to drums and extra FX sounds. I like to keep it simple. As much as I would like more gear and new things, I don’t want to drown myself in possibilities.
What are your thoughts on the potential for AI in music?
REMEMBER: I think AI will be really great at writing music, in terms of chord progressions, melodies, structure etc. Do I think it will overcome the sonic barrier we experience in music at the moment? I don’t think so. It’s still producing the same frequencies as we can with computers ourselves, and will only be able to pull and learn from the same music as us humans do.
“It feels like the album that I have been building up to for years. It may not be all that obvious in it’s sound, but it’s intent and meaning is definitely where the Remember project has been leading.”
What have been your thoughts on the big move into livestreaming online shows such as LIVEWIRE Festival this year?
REMEMBER: Being in lockdown due to coronavirus this year, LIVEWIRE and loads of other online festivals and concerts have been popping across all areas of music, I think it’s great. It’s a way that allows people to connect people with live music like they were in a venue listening to it together. Will it replace real world shows? Definitely not and I don’t think it will last. Sure there will always be online events, but most music fans enjoy the real thing too much for it to ever be fully replaced.
I’ve also seen live streaming of music production and what not, and I enjoy those personally. I like having a window into other peoples music production workflows. If not only entertaining, it allows me to learn things about music production that I didn’t know, or better ways of doing what I do already. I’m down for it and would like to see more of it for sure.
You can follow Remember on Spotify now, where his album will drop next week. Look out for his new album, “Four Shots of Green Stone”, coming to Dream Catalogue on September 1st via limited edition cassette.