Recently over here at The Dankles we have been working extending our reach to continually bring your ears the freshest music being put forth. To kick off 2013 we brought you guys our first label spotlight, which shined some light on the newly budding East Coast imprint South Fork Sound. Now a two months later we are finally about to be dawned with their first full length LP from future bass artist Self Evident. To get everyone a little more excited for this release Ben stitched up a lush hour long mix for us today that showcases a good breadth of his musical stylings, along with a few flavors from his upcoming self titled release ‘Self Evident’. Being that this release doesn’t drop until March 22nd we thought this would be a great opportunity to open your eyes to the diversity this seasoned producer has to offer while at the same time get a you a little more familiar with Self Evident himself.
The Dankles: To get things rolling, can you tell us a little about yourselves?
Self Evident: Ben Ulis, 31, I was born in Quebec, moved to Vancouver when I was 16.
TD: How did wind up getting into the music scene in the first place?
SE: My brother Max took me to a few clubshows/illegal raves in Vancouver when I was a teenager. Jungle/DnB parties and also House music. Back when Grime was first coming up, he and Paul Devro used to do a night called Grime Sessions in the backroom of a club called Shine. Really loved that night. Went down and danced every week, and was very influential to me. Still one of my favorite styles to dance to.
TD: Being from BC, how do you think you were able to infiltrate the scene down here in the states and get involved with producers?
SE: I’ve been throwing shows in Vancouver for a couple years. Brought some good names from the states like Eprom, Cedaa, Astronomar, and Noah D. I think when I play live I definitely have a sound that can be appreciated all the way down the West Coast.
TD: What sort of influences give you the drive to make the kind of music you do today?
SE: I’m a very curious person. So much different music from all over the world interests me. Dancehall, Cumbia, UK Garage, Kuduro, all rave styles, all rap styles, experimental stuff. Whenever I hear something that feels new to me, I have to get to the bottom of it.
TD: It has become pretty clear to me that you’re a fairly multifaceted artist when it comes to the genres of music you have dipped your toes in. Would you say you have a favorite style when it comes to producing?
SE: No. I’m always swinging back and forth. Once I overdo it with one style, I usually swing back the opposite direction. Keeping myself interested involves a lot of variation,
TD: What would you say is your ultimate goal when churning out these tunes and sharing them with the public?
SE: I think it is important to produce a lot of music, I think I learn more that way. I don’t really like to shelf anything. If something doesn’t get signed fairly quickly I generally give it away. I probably seem a little hard to pigeonhole, which is good in some ways, but I like to think that I am developing a style of my own. I still need more time to fully understand what that style is though. I often get described as having uncluttered productions, and dynamic productions. Those seem like fair descriptions.
TD: This has become a pretty standard question of ours: what kind of equipment do you sit down with to produce in the studio? What about in a live show setting?
SE: My studio is just a laptop. I used to own various pieces of gear, but I always sell them when I’m broke.
I come from a vinyl background so I love playing Serato on turntables generally. I am currently working on a computer-free live pa, under an alias, in a more techno-house based vibe. Top secret right now.
TD: So we have a brand new mix from you wrapped up in this little bundle of treats. Anything you’d like to touch on that we will find in there?
SE: Few tracks from the album, few brand newer ones, a few oldies. Generally, I like to add a bit of my touch to everything I play: originals, remixes, edits, mashes, etc.
TD: In a few weeks we will see the release of your debut album, Self Evident, via the young east coast imprint South Fork Sound. Are you excited for this project to finally get in the public eye?
SE: So excited. I have had a lot of releases to come out in the last couple years. But this is definitely the release that I am most proud of and is most personal to me. Also, this will be my first released album,.
TD: This being your first album release, has it been a long process getting to this point?
SE: I produced basically all the album in 2012. Was a great year for me with bookings, so I was able to focus on music almost exclusively. The oldest tune is probably the one with my bro Max. We made it back when we were doing a lot of dubstep, I’ m guessing 2009.
TD: On Self Evident, you give us some flavors that allows almost any listener find something to their liking. Was this a goal of yours initially?
SE: The thread that ties this album together is probably the fact that all these songs are a fusion of multiple different styles. I didn’t really have an album in mind when I made them though. Blind Prophet, who runs the label, hit me up for an EP. At the time I was sitting on a ton of tunes that I hadn’t shopped to any labels yet. So the timing seemed right to gather together an album. Joe (Blind Prophet) helped me shape the album and zone in on the strongest songs.
TD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, any last words for those people out?
SE: Thanks to all the listeners. Really hope you dig the mix and the album.,
Last time you were in the studio:
In the studio right now working on something with Mat The Alien. some serious badman business. Stay tuned
Last time you attended a show you didn’t play at:
I just went to one of my brothers shows last weekend. Danny Corn was the headliner, he absolutely smashed it.
Last time eating something weird:
I bought what looked like sushi from a Korean market the other day. Obviously sushi is Japanese, so…It was a strange find. It had some nettle leaf in it. And it tasted weird. I ate it anyway though.
Last CD/vinyl you bought:
Hmmm. I’m still buying old UK Garage on vinyl whenever I can afford it. It is fun hobby, love that stuff.
I often buy alot of random CDs from thrift stores. I bought a Keak Da Sneak CD on Ebay the other day, that might have been the last one.
Last track you listened to:
Addison Groove “I go Boom” Taal Mala Rework
Last time you were forced into something:
That’s private [Laughs].
Last impressive music video you watched:
I watched a hilarious Dizzee Rascal video the other day. Was over a speed garage beat. Really funny, from his new album. One of my favorite videos of all time is his Fix Up Look Sharp video from his debut album. So raw.