DROP EVERYTHING! Demonic Possession are super-excited to present to you another EXCLUSIVE interview with a true pioneer of the UK jungle scene! This man set the bar in the early 90's for production standards, and his unique sound stood out on countless tracks for labels such as Lucky Spin, Deejay Recordings, FFRR and Proper Impact.
Ladies and Gents - sit back, pour yourself a cuppa, and read on, as we present to you Monroe Production's Pete Parsons!
DPR: What's your name, where are you from?
PP: Pete Parsons (Voyager) originally from London UK, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia.
PP: I’ve been in love with music since I can remember, and have been inspired by so many different styles and influences. But before I got started at Monroe I was a bit of a punk/headbanger, listening to bands like AC/DC, Motorhead, Rush, Van Halen, Exploited, Discharge, GBH etc as well as others like The Police, The Beat, The Specials, Jean Michel Jarre, The Cult and other 70/80’s stuff.
PP: Monroe was owned and run by a couple of awesome guys called Hank Hughes and Roger Benou. Both of them were very experienced musicians and writers and had been producing music for a long time and had set up the studio for a while before I hassled my way into a job with them. In those early days I was working with DJ Seduction for his label; Proper Impact and also on the tracks he was releasing for FFRR. I was also beginning to work with some artists putting out tracks on Lucky Spin, and also Profile Records with Caveman and The Brotherhood on Bite it!
PP: I guess I’ve always gone my own way with my productions, and never really paid much attention to what everyone else is doing, sometimes it works, and sometimes it just didn’t fit in with the current style of the day which was always changing back in the early days of DnB. I always tried to get some melody, beauty and groove into the music, which was why I loved, and still do DnB, because it gave me so much freedom to experiment, and draw influences from all different styles and genres.
PP: I was using the Atari 1040, which was the industry standard in MIDI and Audio sequencing with a massive 1MB of memory! Also Steinberg Pro 24 before Cubase VST was released and revolutionised everything.
The second invaluable piece of equipment was the Akai S950 which had a whopping 1MB of memory as standard, but could maxed up to 2.5MB. So in those early days before we got the S1000 and then the S3200XL we had to make do with what we had - if I was lucky, the other studio wasn’t using the second Akai and we could double up, but that had to be booked in advance as it was the workhorse machine in the studio. In order to get all the samples in I had to mess with lowering the sample rates to get more time, and had to make sure everything was edited as tight as possible. That definitely affected the sound of those early tracks, by making them sound more dirty and crunchy purely because I didn’t have the memory to get all samples in at top quality. One of the best things about the Akai was the time stretching, if you went to extreme settings you got that metallic chopped sound that was all over the place in those early days, but it sucked up memory space big time, so I could only do it if I had both the Akai’s, but that was the trademark sound of that machine for sure.
The equipment I have now is top spec PC with an 8in, 8 out Terratec card, Cubase and a monster library of plugins, synths and samples across 4TB of harddisk space. I’ve also got a Roland TD9 drum kit, guitars, mic’s and various bits of percussion as well.
PP: If you’re making dance music, make sure the punters can dance to it! Don’t make music for shoe gazing chin scratchers, as they’ll not be the ones buying your tunes or offering you the remixes. Stick to your principles and make music that excites you and comes from your heart, and not what you think everyone else is gonna like. Don’t be overly influenced by your peers as you’ll only be an echo of someone else’s music.
Also, know your equipment; don’t chase every single upgrade and new plugin before you’ve really got to grips with what you already have.
PP: Well I’m gonna be a bit biased and say; Warpdrive, Dark Crystal, Meditation, Crystalize, Let it Roll, and “Terminator” by Rufige Cru - that was a seminal tune that had lots of people trying to copy that pitch shifted Funky Drummer break.
A lot of those early sessions with Crystl were awesome; we’d be on such a roll that pretty much every session ended with us making a banger.
Sitting with Bukem and Conrad while he was recording the vocals for Higher Limits #1, it felt like listening to a greatest hits album.
Working with Rap on the Intelligence LP
Some of the late night sessions with Trace making some wicked tunes.
Finally hooking up with Fabio in the studio only to have the Atari freeze and wipe everything we’d done for the last 4/5 hours, and then re-programming and finishing the whole thing in about 2.
PP: Ok, be honest, if you’re in the middle of the dance floor can you actually tell if the dj is playing vinyl or digital? Do you care? Unless you’re one of those people that go to clubs to moan about the decline of DJs playing records and not to rack up Tequila’s, brock out to some wicked tunes and have as much fun as possible, it shouldn’t really matter in that situation.
However, if you’re listening to music at home it’s still very cool to have decks, or at least something to play your old vinyl on. I’m looking for an old ¼” open reel player to record some of my old vinyl on to, as well as possibly using it to master tracks to.
So I guess at the end of the day, technology will always march on, but there is always room to have both analogue and digital, it really does depend on what you want from it. I love my PS3, but a game table tennis is still a lot of fun!
PP: Again, I’m gonna have to be a bit biased and big up the people I’m working with and in contact with. I’ve just set up a Publishing company called “LBZ Music” and I’ve got a couple of guys already on board alongside myself and Trace who are making some really cool mid 90’s atmospheric DnB which has always been my tip. “Okee” is a guy from Serbia who has captured that sound perfectly and is destined to drop some big tunes for sure. Another is a guy from Russia called “Perhelia” who again has that mid 90’s flavour and is dropping some very cool tunes; both of these guys are ones to look out for in the future for sure.
I’ve also been checking some of the BluMarTen podcasts and they been playing some excellent music, couldn’t tell you who by, but deep for sure. Also Tim Reaper has that old skool sound, as well as the stuff Trace is putting out on his new label 117. Also look out for some deep house coming out of Budapest called “Plastic Heavan” on Shark VIP for this summer, gonna be big!
PP: I’ve just set up an online session drumming site called eOSDrums.com and have been writing some new tracks for syncing. I’ve been working with Trace as well under the guise of “2D33P” dropping some deep Amen rollers which have been released on the last two Lp’s on DSCI4. I’ve just finished a remix for Eschaton on Omni records called Imaginary Skies which should be released early 2013. I’m also currently doing pre-production for a 2D33P Lp with Trace which we hope to get started early 2013, as well as linking with Trace at Shark VIP for some deep house projects and other artists.
Facebook - www.facebook.com/pete.parsons.7
eOSDrums - wwww.eosdrums.com/
LBZ Music - www.lbzmusic.com
Soundcloud - www.soundcloud.com/pete_voyager
2D33P - www.soundcloud.com/2D33P
Check out Pete's back catalogue of oldskool gems! >HERE<