John Monkman twists Kincaid & Sinàl’s ‘A Very Stable Genius’ into a dark club cut (review & Q+A)
‘A Very Stable Genius’ is everything the title pays homage to, but in a good way. The minimal, yet eclectic cut is unpredictable and wild despite its relatively sparse elements, speaking to Kincaid & Sinàl’s excellence as producers. Enter John Monkman, and the piece descends deep into the low ends to become a foreboding club cut. The Beesemyer owner certainly knows his way around a decent remix.
In tangent with his recent remix, Monkman has also made his return to the United States for an expansive Spring tour. He accomplished a milestone Coachella booking at the Do LaB stage, and will soon be making his way over to Los Angeles as a headliner at the Mixed Brains party on May 12 (tickets here).
Dancing Astronaut nabbed him among his whirlwind schedule to quiz him on some goings-on whilst enjoying his new work.
Hey John, thanks for joining us! You recently debuted your live set at the DoLaB stage at Coachella. What was that experience like?
Hey, good to be here. It was ‘far out’ as the locals would say! Great energy from the Californian crowd, they know how to get down and the Do lab stage … yikes… what a production! looked incredible.
Could you tell us a bit about your set up and what inspired you to jump in that direction?
Ableton is at the core. Each track in the set has been broken into various clips (audio and midi) so I have options to control key elements from my arsenal. The Akai mpc40 is the main controller . At the moment I’m taking the Korg minologue with me as it’s great form making weird ambient atmospheres and pads on the fly + it’s super portable.
Main reason for the live is that it gives me the opportunity to take people on a journey of solely my original productions. It gives a different kind of focus in the studio.
After releases on the likes of Crosstown, Last Night On Earth and Noir, we’ve seen that recently you’re having some success with your own label Beesemeyer. Tell us a bit about your last remix for Kincaid and Sinal, “A Very Stable Genius.”
The audio from the original track is pure gold. Kincaid and Sinal are kings at infusing live percussion, interesting rich textures + original vocal recordings into their music. My favourite part from the original in terms of structure is the end section when it kicks back in, so I focused around that.. Structure wise it’s an extension of the original’s outro and then using sounds from the beginning of the track to build the new journey.
What’s next for the label? What are some goals you might have for it in 2018 and beyond?
Up next will be a single from me in June, it was just premiered on BBC radio one, which was a special thing to wake up to on a Saturday morning.
Anaphase have been busy cooking up new material over the recent months. They are working towards the follow up to their recent Cortex EP and we will be putting on a Beesemyer Party in London over the summer.
We heard through the grapevine that you got in the studio with the legendary Pete Tong just before Coachella. What’s it like working with him in the studio and how long have you guys known each other?
We did yes, Pete and I met in the Matrix Studio in London just over 4 years ago. Our work flow just seems to get better and better. Pete’s been getting pretty nifty on NI Maschine so that’s playing an important role + various bits of kit such as the Prophet 6.
We know that you’ve done some experimenting in sound for some pretty cool companies like Dolby. What was that experience like?
Extremely eye opening! Systems like Dolby Atmos are clearly the tech of the future so great to be part of this in its way stages.
What else can we expect from you release-wise in the second half of 2018?
There’s my next release in June on Beesemyer Music. Pete and I are putting the final tweeks on the new one which we want out before August. I’m also working on an EP for Anjunadeep.
You’re on a little tour around the states this weekend and will be headlining Mixed Brains this Saturday in LA. What’s it like returning to California to play after living across the pond?
Yeah, it’s gonna be a good one. Just putting a few final tweeks on the live set at the moment. I’ve been saying this for a while now but the scene in the US is in a beautiful place so great to be asked back.