FOLLOWING HIS HUGELY SUCCESSFUL “FOOT TRAFFIC” EP ON TONS & TONS, SAMMY LEGS DROPS YET ANOTHER FRESH, GENRE-BENDING 6 TRACK EP, “BREAK A LEG”, OUT NOW
PRIME: CHEERS ON THE NEW EP, SAM. CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF INTRO TO YOURSELF, FOR NEW LISTENERS?
SL: I WAS BORN and raised in Bellevue, WA (just outside of Seattle) and then went to UC Berkeley for computer science. I never really pursued music growing up - the extent of it was playing string bass in a school orchestra in middle school. My good friend Michael Sundius (HIS artist name is Rinzen) got me into DJing at our frat when I was a freshman in college, and I played a bunch of college parties and local clubs in Berkeley. My taste was sorta problematic though, as I like a lot of underground music that didn't satiate the standard college crowd. This was especially evident when playing at the local bars/clubs where I pretty much could only play banger EDM or hyphy music (shout out bay areuhhh). At around this time, Sundius had been getting deeper into production, and THAT seemed like the next step for me TOO, if I was to grow out of a scene where I cOULDN't play what I like.
PRIME: TELL US MORE ABOUT THE EARLY STAGES, AND SOME OF YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES.
sl: I didn't really get the time to actively pursue PRODUCTION until I went abroad to Berlin to study acoustics and machine learning. While there, I got a tiny little guest bedroom and moved in with this Japanese dude who spoke almost no English (we met in a German language course) but we bonded on both wanting to learn production. We coOped ourselves up every day (didn't go to class much, lol) in our apartment and produced 8-16 hours a day, only leaving for food or to go to ze clubs for more inspiration. By the time I got back to Cal for my senior year, I had caught the bug.
Sundius had just graduated from Icon Collective and suggested I consider that as my next step after college. I followed his lead and went down to LOS ANGELES to do music as full-time as possible. That senior year I started a music collective with some fellow musicians called “Inquiry Collective”. We threw our first desert festival right when I got to LA, using only a manually-built 500 person email list (of homies) and managed to get a hundred people out there. Since then, we've expanded to throwing tons of parties up and down California and still do our desert festival once a year.
I also have a musical project called “Kumiho” that was started by one of my housemates senior year, who was an incredible songwriter/jazz vocalist, but lacked direction. I pushed her towards electroswing and we ended up with this weird hybrid singer-songwriter psychedelic burlesque electronic thing that's hard to put into words, but makes a lot of sense when you see it live (we have a whole band now and an hour of originals).
I was introduced to breakbeat by Brandon Vasquez at moontribe, my favorite party in the world, and after searching the depths of the internet, I was met with a sad realization: breaks music was good a while ago, and has been mostly bad or not my style for the last 5-10 years. There were a bunch of UK flavors but nothing that screamed west coast or minimal or trippy (at least in the way I like trippy) so this E.P. really set out to capture that. Breakbeat is really unexplored and, at the end of the day, if breakbeat is really just a general bpm range and broken beat pattern, there are so many ways to flip it that need to happen at some point. Figured I'd get the ball rolling.
In terms of musical influences, I love all sorts of odd electronic underground but I'd say I draw a lot of inspiration from (in no particular order) Stimming, Sente, Boris Brejcha, Grouch, Break, Mind of a Dragon, Tipper, Robag Wruhme, Geode, Trilingo, Robot Love, Player Dave, Alix Perez and Fritz Carlton. Pretty much anything that pushes boundaries rhythmically, sonically, musically, etc. I like to be surprised when listening. i first discovered this phenomenon at psy festivals and realized that we don't use surprise enough in other parts of the musical climate ,so I try and use a heavy dose of audio trickery whenever possible.
PRIME: DESCRIBE YOUR OWN MUSICAL STYLE, AND WHATEVER PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES YOU’RE WILLING TO DISCLOSE.
SL: While I have released mostly house music, I write a ton of halftime, hip hop beats, weird minimal techno, and, as the e.p. shows, Breakbeat and DnB. I hope I'll eventually be able to sneak a little bit of everything into my sets but it helps to start somewhere small and swallow-able, so this E.P. is my first hint that there is much more to my master plan, haha.
…Oh, I forgot to mention, after Icon, I worked under Steve Duda as the only xfer employee for a bit and then moved over to Splice where I work as a software developer on our desktop app (which allows artists to collaborate online and backup their projects). We just announced recently that we paid the same to artists this year as we did over the whole 4 years before that: $10 million to artists! so cool. Love working for a team that empowers musicians in so many ways (and in many more ways very soon, hint hint).
Oh! also, In total, I've produced seriously for about 4.5 years. My workflow and method for producing tracks is all based around my knowledge of the computer and workflow. I read the Ableton manual when I was just beginning production and am an avid hotkey person. I devised a ton of racks/instruments that use various stochastic methods to generate random, potentially-cool musical ideas and then listen back to the re-sampled material to find a starting point for a track. By doing it this way, I feel this weird sense of need to finish the tune because it was almost given to me by complete chaos. I find that the ideas I like the most are those that seem to have fallen into my lap, and if I ever try too hard to generate the idea, I lose belief in it to the extent that I won't finish the idea.