This week’s podcast is a special one courtesy of the incredibly dynamic producer, Morgan Zarate. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you probably will sooner or later, thanks to his upcoming Hookid EP coming out this month on Hyperdub. Morgan’s previous musical experience includes producing some amazing records with the likes of Amp Fiddler, Musiq Soulchild, Rafael Saddiq, Frank ‘n Dank and his own influential group, Spacek. Never one to cease to find the connections between all facets of sound, Morgan’s upcoming Hyperdub release reflects echoes and mutations of grime, hip-hop and RnB tinged with a signature sound that’s ever-present in anything you’ll likely hear from him. Demonstrative in his URB mix, he’s not one to stick to one genre or sound in any instance. Along with this fantastic mix, Morgan took some time to chat with us about his journey to joining the Hyperdub label, his upcoming album and future plans. Check out the interview and tracklist after the jump.
URB Presents: Morgan Zarate INTERVIEW
URB: How did end up on Hyperdub?
MORGAN ZARATE: I had met Kode9 a few times through friends and he’d always mention he was into my music. After hearing him on Benji B’s show and the way he talked about the music he was making, his approach to the label, it basically made me want to go and play him the music I’d been making.
URB: It’s quite interesting to see you now embracing these sounds compared to your older productions with Spacek, where and how did this sound come about?
MZ: Spacek was a while ago so I think it’d be odd if I sounded the same today. To me it’s not so different, just another side.
URB: This release is certainly oriented with current bass culture in the UK, but also staying true to your previous productions with Spacek in a way. How do you maintain staying fresh with the current music climate along with remaining in an individualistic stance?
MZ: I’m just staying fresh to myself. If it sounds fresh to other people that’s even better.
URB: This isn’t the only sort of sound you’re working on, am I correct in saying this is only one piece of the sounds you’re working on? Are there any different sorts of projects (sound-wise) that aren’t focused on “bass”, per se?
MZ:I make mostly electronic-based music, even if it sounds live, but not all of it would fit the “bass” tag. I can’t make music with walls; whatever comes out is what it is. I know everything will have a genre tag but I look at it like it’s all the same. That’s how hip-hop is…you get a rapper on a Turkish funk loop and on the same record spitting over 808′s and a saw. It’s open!
URB: Do you pay any attention to the other tunes and producers around you or stay focused on what you solely do with your tunes? Are there any artists you’re currently enjoying (if so, why?)
MZ: Don’t really keep up on that, but I’m listening to loads of good stuff, music I want to hear when I go out like Terror Danjah, Newhams, the LuckyMe crew, Night Slugs lot, Butterz lot, Tricky Stewart, Ty$…there’s loads. Anyone that’s making inventive rhythm-based music with soul really, that’s what I’m playing; also I’m always listening to crazy records for samples.
URB: Surely this isn’t the end of your solo productions, what’s in the future, sound and release-wise for Morgan Zarate?
MZ: There’s an allbum this year with Hyperdub as well as a band project that sounds live but it’s not.
URB: After Spacek you produced quite a few tracks for hip-hop and soul acts, could you tell us about these and how this work has impacted the music you’re working on for your upcoming album
MZ: I’ve worked with some greats in the last few years, Eska, Raphael Saadiq, Frank N Dank. All of that is a part of the make up of me and my album, it’s like hip-hop & soul is where I’ve come from and I’m just trying to push it as far as I can.
URB: Do you plan to play live or tour as a DJ ?
MZ: I’ll be DJing and eventually evolve that into a show.
URB: If you could describe your current sound in three words or less, what would it be?
MZ: Drum heavy folk!
URB Presents: Morgan Zarate TRACKLIST
01. John Carpenter – Back To The Pod
02. Morgan Zarate – Hookid
03. Terror Danjah – Acid
04. Dizzee Rascal – What U Talkin
05. D Double E – Streetfighter
06. Mweslee – Eurocarne
07. Morgan Zarate – Buy Bye
08. Rustie – Zig-Zag
09. Redlight – MDMA
10. Rox – My Baby Left Me (Terror Danjah Remix)
11. TRC – Skipping Rope
12. James Blake – CMYK
13. Danny Weed – Big Brother
14. Wiley – Icepole 2
15. Mark Pritchard – Caveman Style
16. Aletered Natives – Rass Out
17. MJ Cole – Angel Riddim
18. Wiley/J2K/Donae’o – Sugacakes
19. Cassie – Me & U (Mickey Pearce Remix)
20. VV Brown – Game Over (Cooly G Remix)
21. Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em (Kingdom Remix)
22. The-Dream – Yamaha