On the eve of Endigo's debut release for Platform Music, our team reached out to the American producer in order to get a short interview from him. We asked him several questions and received awesome answers. In the following lines you can read more about Endigo's development as a melomaniac and as an artist, about his views on music, as well as about his upcoming release for Platform Music - PTF21: Doppler / Salem (Release Date: 23.05).
Hi Dobri, and thanks for having me on Bass Blog Bulgaria. Martin of Platform Music messaged me about a year and a half ago when I was releasing an EP called “The Fiend / The Seraph”, with MASS here in Los Angeles. He humbly introduced me to Platform, and some of the work they were doing at the time. Platform has released really great tunes, with a pretty broad spectrum of styles, so I'm honored to be a part of that. Oh the power of the internet!
You are the first American to ever sign on Platform Music. Tell us more about the dubstep and Bass Music scenes in LA. How big are they? How many people regularly show up at events?
I’ve been passionate about making music since I was a kid, music of all kinds. Living in LA, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many different styles of music come and go, but they never really go. It’s a phenomenal breeding ground for all types of sound. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of hype here too (for better or for worse). Dubstep has been an interesting ride here in LA. For a while, we had to try harder and harder to put on good shows, but I think in the last few years there’s been a revitalized love for this sound, and LA is starting to stir a buzz around the world as a source of good music. As far as the turnout, it really depends on the show. Since we have such mix of promoted hype and true underground, you could have a lineup of up-and-comers bringing thousands of people on a weeknight, or you could have heavy hitters like Kahn or Goth Trad on a weekend with no more than 150-200 heads. There hasn’t been much consistency in the turnouts, but there’s definitely been more consistency in the quality of the shows for sure. People care more these days and it’s showing, I think.
For a couple of years now Brits claim that "good music is born in the UK and dies in the USA". As if currently deep Dubstep is thriving in your country, while its popularity in the UK and Europe rapidly decreased. What's your opinion?
I’ve had this discussion a lot, since a lot of what I listen to was produced in Europe. But a lot of other things I listen to were produced in Asia, North America, and New Zealand too. Before I give my opinion though, I’ll start by mentioning that I know several people from the UK that don’t feel that way at all. I don’t know if that’s the general sentiment, but I don’t think they’re all claiming that (I certainly hope not).
I think the question is similar to “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”. By that I mean that it’s easy to say a genre was born in a particular country or city, because it’s more complex to talk about where its inspirations originated, and everything we listen to is inspired by multiple styles; the evolution of what we listen to is harder to narrow down to any single origin.
Take jungle for instance. Started in the UK, yes, but the sounds that make up jungle are anything but British. Processed and sampled American funk breaks with Jamaican production styles and arrangements. Or grime, which takes cues from 2-step, garage, and hip hop. Hip hop was 'born' in New York back in the late 70s from other seemingly unrelated styles. My point is that almost everything we listen to, be it punk, hip-hop, rock and roll, r&b, house or dubstep, is a product of a constant trade of sounds between different scenes and cultures. So in a way, while it's ok to say that a genre is born in one place, I think it's less accurate to say it dies somewhere else. Rather, another culture sees it, loves it, listens to it, does something with it and processes it to create the next sound that'll get passed right back, continuing the cycle. And that's exactly why I love music, it's that back-and-forth of expression that goes beyond any culture or language barrier. I do understand the need for communities to assert identity, but ‘sharing is caring’ right?
Coincidentally, you will be the first artist to release a vinyl for Platform Music. How do you accept this fact?
The vinyl pressing came as a total surprise. The plan was to do a digital release of the two tunes, get it out there, and then start working on the next release. While we were listening to the masters, Martin showed me a photo of a test print and press of the vinyl, like "Oh by the way this is happening too". Platform is putting in some SERIOUS work on their brand, and when they announced my release as their first of many vinyl + digital release, I was honored! Very happy to be a part of that movement.
It's hard for me to say what I was trying to express, but I guess I was trying to put a couple of my passions into music form. I think I'm a nerd when it comes to astronomy, and so whenever I sit and read about the insane discoveries being made each week, it just makes me want to make music. So maybe Doppler is a result of being inspired by the latest achievements by NASA and the ESA, as well as an expression of the feeling I get when I ponder the vastness of the universe (like a little kid). The same thing happens when I watch film, I get an urge to make music if something I see give me an uncanny feeling, or puts me in a strange mood. I think it was that movie 'The Witch' (really creepy movie by the way), which triggered it last. So maybe Salem was an attempt to express the visceral jitters I get when I watch proper creepy movies. Not like trying to creep people out with music or anything like that, but rather express the more subtle moods that are harder to articulate in words.
When listening to the tracks on PTF21, you can notice a particular old-school charge, typical for dubstep music from back in the day. Tell us, how were you introduced to this type of music and who were the people you looked up to in the beginning?
I've been going back through my entire music collection, listening to anything and everything that I either enjoyed at one point or just forgot about because it's been so long since I listened to it. That got me thinking that while trends come and go, you can always listen to something years later and have that same excitement it gave you when you first heard it.
My introduction to this type of music is hard form me to pinpoint exactly, because I’ve been listening to so much variety since I was a kid, having been raised by a musical father. I was listening to a lot of hip-hop and rap, as well as more clubby styles from Horsepower Productions to more ambient stuff from Burial to Helios, and more ambitious experimentation from Amon Tobin and Aphex Twin. At the time, however, I hadn’t actually ventured out to see anything like this in a live setting. So I really got hooked when I started going out to shows in 2006, and then there was no turning back after going to one of the early Pure Filth Bassface shows in downtown LA in 2008-2009. It’s one thing to have good headphones or some nice speakers. It’s another thing to feel the shit coming from a wall of finely tuned speakers. I think you can agree. So with regard to this release, I wanted to make something as a small salute to the sounds and styles that came before.
Thank you for your time! We wish you loads of success as an artist and as part of Platform Music. Would you wish something to the readers?
Thanks to you and the Bass Blog Bulgaria for having me, and a HUGE salute to Platform Music for hosting me on their roster. The amount of work being done and the passion for music in Bulgaria is truly humbling.