45hzMIX018 – Ipman
March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
It’s with great excitement that we announce the 18th installment for the 45hz mix series, as we welcome a producer who has amassed an impressive arsenal of productions in the relatively short time he has been active, attracting signings from some of the most prominent labels around. Jack Gibbons, making beats as Ipman, earned support from N-Type and Distance on Rinse FM around this time last year, and has gone on to carve out his own niche in this bustling 140 scene, constructing highly varied beats and drawing from a range of influences whilst maintaining impeccable production values across the board.
He has seen a trio of outstandingly tough plates with Killawatt already released, providing intense 140bpm jungle ruffage on his remix of Sidewinder for the limited Black Boxxx series, the vicious stagger of Mob Mentality on Boka Artillery and the percussion focused flavours of his joint effort Schizophonia on Box Clever. With his first full solo EP forthcoming on Wheel & Deal shortly and a constant output of murderous dubs cropping up in mixes and online, we caught up with Jack to talk about his mix for 45hz, Aphex Twin, trumpets and Killawatt being a dick…
45hz: 2011 was a massive year for you as you had some of your beats signed by some of the most established labels in Dubstep. How selective were you with sending your tunes to labels initially?
Ipman: Yeah I guess I was pretty selective about it, but I think I made up my mind last year that if I couldn’t make tunes good enough for the labels I liked then I probably shouldn’t release them just for the sake of it, enough bad music gets put out already really. Also the fact that all the releases I’ve had out so far have been collabs with Killawatt or remixes of his tunes has obviously been a pretty big help in that respect.
Tell us a bit about your musical background – what did you listen to growing up and what do you listen to now outside of dubstep?
Well, both my parents are professional musicians so that had a pretty big influence on me. My parents got me interested in music from a very young age and growing up I was exposed to a pretty wide variety, lots of classical and jazz and world/folk music, as well as pushing me to take up musical instruments etc, which was awesome because now all of these different styles are kinda ingrained in my experience and all play a part in what I do now. I’m pretty grateful for that. They don’t really listen to rock or pop or anything though so I kinda caught up on that through secondary school, Hendrix, Led Zepellin, through to Radiohead, Nirvana, Slint andn all that stuff. I was pretty heavily into punk at one stage. Discovering Aphex Twin was definitely a turning point for me, made me really take an interest in electronic music and eventually start messing around in Cubase, then got into DnB at college, bought some decks and started hearing about dubstep when it started gaining momentum and a wider audience in ’07 really. Would have loved to have been aware and witnessed it at the start though, the whole history and evolution of it is pretty fascinating for me.
Right now i listen to The Unseen by Quasimoto/Madlib because that’s all I have on my phone, but that’s totally fine by me.
You mentioned Aphex Twin influenced you heavily, when did you start making beats?
I started to have a go at producing when I was 16/17 so roughly 7 years ago. Discovering Aphex Twin was what really pushed me towards producing electronic stuff at the start. I’d been in some bands and stuff at school as well which was fun, but the kind of scope made possible by electronic music really appealed to me. I get inspired by a lot of stuff really, and I definitely enjoy the process of building some music and discovering ways in which to do things and how others might have done them etc.
You went to University with Killawatt, and started to break through into the scene shortly after him – is there a degree of friendly competitiveness between both of you? Any more collaborations coming up?
Ha I can’t compete, that guy writes a fucking fuckload of awesome music, it’s not really fair. What a dick.
As for collabs – yeah for sure, we’re just finishing up a couple of remixes for my Wheel & Deal release. You may have heard his techno take on Raindance already, it’s really good. Got a few other projects in the pipeline but that’s all there is at the moment.
The Sidewinder remix on Black Boxxx is one of the best 140 Jungle tunes we have heard yet, and there is a fair bit of that Jungle influence in your mix for us – is that a sound you enjoy working with?
Yeah I love breaks, chopping up a break and making crazy edits is a fun way to make really complex rhythmic patterns, and I like making the odd break lead tune to play out because if you get them right they can really have an impact in on the floor after a bunch of half step tunes. I like tunes like that, stuff that you can surprise people with. Also, thanks to anyone that voted for the remix to be put up for the DubstepForum awards thing! I was pretty surprised when it was nominated, especially considering the other tunes that were up there and who made them. Made my day!
How did you go about selecting tunes for the mix, or was it more of a spontaneous affair?
Yeah I had a few things in mind that I wanted to play, like my own tunes, the Gantz stuff and Killawatt’s tunes, but the rest I kinda just decided as I went. I don’t tend to plan mixes, I like discovering a cool mix that you might not have imagined would work but does somehow. Unfortunately I only had access to CDJs when I did it so there were a few things I wanted to put in that I couldn’t…
You mentioned once you were going to make a tune with a trumpet, has that materialised and is that an instrument you play?
Yeah I started playing the trumpet when I was a kid. I’m a bit rusty at the moment but I really want to get back into it, I was bought this awesome black pocket-trumpet for my birthday, which sounds surprisingly good considering it costs less than £100. As for the tune, I did start one but decided I didn’t like it. I’ve got an idea for a new one though, which is a good sign because if i sit down to work on a tune with the idea of it already there I’m much more likely to finish it.
You use some interesting sounds in your beats, including a squeaky toy sample in Mob Mentality. Any other interesting sample sources we might not know about?
Haha, that is actually a synth. My friend George (who’s making some nice, glitchy steppin dnb as Axon lately btw) just pointed out one day that it sounds a lot like a squeaky dog toy so that’s what I call it now, but it is infact a patch on fm8 that I made. There are a lot of random samples in Schizophonia, just interesting foley sounds like fireworks and ice. I used to listen to Four Tet constantly and in his music you can hear how sounds that you wouldn’t expect to be can become very musical. Also I get tired of hearing all the same sounds in songs all the time, so I’m quite conscious of having different and interesting sounds when I make my own stuff.
What do you get up to in your spare time when you aren’t making tunes?
Well I have a full time job so I spend my spare time making beats… or learning about how to make new sounds. Full on nerding out all the time. And proud of it.
It can be a bit annoying as I would like to have a bit more time to write music right now, but on the other hand when I do have time I’m way more focused than I ever was when I wasn’t working so I get a lot more done in a way. Also I’m working as a sound designer which is awesome even if it is time consuming, I learn something new that I can apply to my music every day. I consider myself pretty lucky to be in the situation I am now if I’m honest, but also I worked hard at something I enjoyed so that I could live off of it so there’s that too.
Any other forthcomings or bits of information you would like to share with the readers?
Yeah keep your eyes peeled for my forthcoming Wheel and Deal EP, which will be dropping later this year, and a few more things in the pipeline. As I mentioned my time is pretty thinly spread these days but I’m always working on something! Also check out the new bit from me and Compa, getting a good reaction on it so far!
Also biggups to Killawatt, Axon, Tone Def, everyone at WizardSleeve and KaneFM, The Lem, 2e, Fishy, Gantz, J:Kenzo & Mosaix, Ntype, Distance, Tunnidge, Thinking, BOKA records, Nicon, Bunzer0, Ruckspin, Chefal, Razor Rekta, Coleco, Quantum Soul, Beezy, Core, Compa, Content, Antics, Perverse, Occult & Rowl, Biome, Fused Forces and really anyone else who’s supported my music over the past year!
- 1, 2 Go – Icicle (Shogun)
- Minerals – Scuba (Hotflush)
- Lapdance – Aeolho (Dub)
- Raindance – Ipman (Forthcoming Wheel and Deal)
- Misread – Gantz & J Robinson (Dub)
- Codex – Killawatt (Dub)
- Way Mi Defend – Kahn (Black Box)
- Radiate – Ipman (Dub)
- Topio – killawatt (Wheel and Deal)
- Babylon Fall – Goth Trad (Deep Medi)
- Silly Little Things (Cymatic remix) – Dub from Atlantis (Ranking)
- Backwards Never – Versa & Rowl (Dub)
- Praising Jah – BunZer0 vip (Dub)
- Patagonia – Quark (Ranking)
- Salamander – Gantz (Dub)
- In Atari – Ipman (Dub)
- The Resistance – Perverse (Dub)
- Say More Fire – Aaron Spectre (Rag and Bone)
- Airtight – Lurka & Commodo (Black Box)
- Headcharge (Eskmo remix) – Backdraft (Downbeat)
- Fauna – Killawatt (Dub)
- Mirage – Ipman (Dub)
- Desecrated 909 – Subterra (Proximity Records)
- Xylophobia -Icicle (shogun)
- Old Manor way – Trashbat (Dubstrict Records)
- Venus Project – Ruckspin & Quantum Soul (Transistor)
- Right On time – Ipman (dub)
- Funky Deal – Dub War (Tempa)
- Mob Mentality – Ipman (BOKA Artillery)
- Qawwali – Pinch (Planet Mu)