The Michigan-based producer will release his second album in six months on M>O>S
Nick Cantu is a Michigan-based producer who first appeared in collaborations with Tadd Mullinix, AKA James T Cotton (or Dabrye), but has become more and more prolific as a solo artist over the past few years. His new record arrives just six months after his debut album, Fallen, which came out at the tail end of last year on another Dutch label where he's become a regular, Crème Organization. According to the man himself, it was, like much of his music, directly influenced by comic books and sci-fi films. We called him up earlier this week to get more insight on his creative process:
When and where did you record the album?A New World will be available only as a double-vinyl pack.
Well, most of it was pretty much done in the last two years, recorded in the basement studio studio in the last place I lived at. There are a couple songs that were made years ago, I actually made them back in 2002, 2003 I think, and they kinda sat around for a few years. I mean that was the same case with Fallen—there was a song on there, I think it was "Evil Motion," that had been made about six years earlier. But the majority of this new album was made in my previous studio and then I finished it up in my new place this year.
How did the stuff you had sitting around end up on this album specifically?
Well, I tried to differentiate between the stuff I did with Crème Organization, Nation and M>O>S. M>O>S tends to be more airy and heavy on the keys, lots of pads. I mean, there wasn't anything that was specifically pre-planned with the label, it was something that I was doing in my head, in terms of a particular sound I was going for.
I have this idea of rediscovering the human race abroad, like in space, really, really far out there. I wanted the album to have that sci-fi feel to it. "A Second Earth" definitely had the same theme, "The First Planet" is another song that's gonna be in the album that has the same feel as well. Also "Genetic Script" and "Spirit Form" sort of follow the same category—slowly building tracks that are really spacey and sort of transport you to another dimension where you find similar earth-type planets and human life forms, that kind of thing.
Why did you get into that theme specifically?
Well, I'm kind of a huge geek, I mean I have a really large comic book collection, I play a lot of video games, watch a lot of movies. Definitely a lot of video games and movies contributed to that. Specifically one of the movies that really influenced me in making "Genetic Script" and "Spirit Form" was a movie I saw like three years ago called Eden Log. It's a French film, kinda fell apart towards the end in my opinion, but the whole beginning of the movie had a vibe that I was really digging—this idea of having no idea where you are, like "where am I? what's going on?" That kind of thing.
What's your creative process like? How does it work when you sit down to work on your music?
I started out playing drums so I am really strong, in my opinion, with my percussive elements. I usually try to build around the other elements, like the keys and the pads, try to get the vibe going that way, then add the bassline and drums to it. It usually starts out when I watch a movie, or read a comic book and just go from there to get that vibe that I had in my head from what I was reading or watching.
So it seems like a lot of the time you're imagining a soundtrack to images in your head.
Yeah, that's a really good way of putting it. I would love to make soundtracks, and there's a lot of stuff I did with JTC that was really noise-oriented, but this is more like a soundtrack to my imagination basically, trying to go along with these fantasies and ideas that I have.
A2 Spirit From
B1 Mobile Communication
B2 The First Planet
C1 Genetic Script
C2 Autumn accents
C3 Try Me
D1 Green Bike Seat
D2 The Other Side of House
M>O>S will release A New World in May 2012.