LBC: Hi! Tell us a little about yourself. What influences you besides music? Where do you get your inspiration?
Astral Valley: My names Nick and I’m a producer, mixing and mastering engineer. I’m the manager of Figment Records, produce under the aliases Astral Valley, Soul Cypherz and Mechanimal plus I also work behind the scenes helping various musicians and producers from my studio, Res Mastering.
Besides music I love art, cooking and travel and draw inspiration from all –a walking sponge for vibes.
LBC: Let`s talk about psy-trance project called Mechanimal. How all began, and do you try to transfer your love for trance music into your drum`n`bass works?
Astral Valley: From the age of 11 I had about 2 hours travel for school daily so I had lots of time to kill – I remember listening to artists such as Roni Size, Prodigy and later some metal bands such as Tool and Deftones.
I wasn’t great at sports so started to learn the bass guitar and I guess you could say I’ve been a fan of bass music ever since. I really enjoyed music with a heavy groove, hypnotic vibe and intelligent aspect whether it had good production values or musicianship.
For me it was all about music that pushed boundaries and/or took you on a journey with emotion. I was always drawn to “Psychedelic” music: a vibe and frame of mind rather than a specific genre. I try and incorporate this ethos in everything that I do.
The main difference is that with trance its very much music for the moment where I go on a sonic discovery and try new ideas whereas with liquid its all about the vibe and emotion; creating something with more of a timeless nature.
LBC: If any of drum`n`bass producers who inspired you most?
Astral Valley: I’m loving music by Silence Groove. Great production, trippy melodies, deep bass lines, tight grooves and epic atmospheres… bliss!
LBC: In your facebook profile i`ve seen that your playing on sitar by yourself. Did you get a professional music education?
Astral Valley: I started to learn bass guitar in school from a friend and later tried different instruments. On travels I’d like to bring something new back and give it a go including sitar. Like music production, I mainly learned from friends, watched tutorials online and through trial and error found my way.
As for professional education I took music as one of my main subjects in high school and later on went to university to study a degree in commercial music. I’ve been working full time in music since.
LBC: Tell us about Figment Records. What’s the idea behind the label?
Astral Valley: I started the label because I’m always writing music, I really enjoy graphic design and having the ability to be independent and put out my own music is a great feeling. As for the ethos behind the label its all about quality and vibe – if I like the music I’ll do everything I can to get the production right and put out, what I hope is, music that people will enjoy for years to come. Not really doing it to churn out lots of releases – mainly about supporting art and bringing ideas to life.
LBC: How do you think, what will happen with drum`n`bass in the nearest future?
Astral Valley: Drum & Bass has always been one of the leading dance music genres in terms of pushing the boundaries of music production and incorporating different flavours. I’d expect more experimentation as now more than ever people are more open minded about electronic music and sourcing new styles. I think even the way we experience Drum & Bass and dance music events in general will be very exciting with new technology such as the Subpac and 3d sound like Dolby atmos.
LBC: Please say a few words about your nearest creative plans. If it not a secret
Astral Valley: Towards the end of the year I’m mainly going to be focusing on the next few releases for Figment Records. Got a very busy few weeks ahead with music from Soul Cypherz, The Smokist, Atch and Vorles.
Now that I’ve got a few Astral Valley releases under my belt I think the next move will be to branch out and do some collaborations.
LBC: Tell us about your mix
Astral Valley: The mix is a showcase of my favorite Figment Records releases amongst the latest releases from Astral Valley.
LBC: Your wishes to the listener
Astral Valley: I hope you enjoy the music and keep in touch!
Listen to the mix at http://radio.dropthebass.ru/ on friday 11th november at 9 pm gmt+3