Edd Legg (Eleven8) has been building steam within the dubstep and d&b scenes for the last few years, originally being noticed for dubstep sets featuring live drums and hosting a wide range of influences from his background producing post rock and electronic music. He studied ‘Urban and Electronic Music’ at Southampton Solent so is no stranger to production techniques, and recently all the hard work’s payed off with a track (Colours of Distance) just released on Med School’s ‘New Blood 011 Ep’, which adopts a chilled, spacious, down tempo style he’s developed that’s really doing it for me right now! He was kind enough to come through and answer a few questions for us.
Hi Edd, hope you’re all good. Explain a bit about yourself outside of music first. Where did you grow up and what else do you do?
Yo! Yeah all good thank you. I grew up and still live in a village called Crawley Down which is near Gatwick Airport. It’s a pretty quiet place to live, lots of fields and trees..
Between music and working I don’t really do much else to be honest! I go out to a fair few nights up in London, I’m lucky to have a decent train line nearby that gets there quickly so I’m often up there!
If you had to choose just three albums to listen to for as long as you
live, what would they be?
Ohh….that’s a tough question. Burial – Untrue would definitely be one of them, Why? – Alopecia and….Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner. All of those albums have had a lot of plays!
Why the name Eleven8?
I used to write a lot of experimental tunes that were in different time signatures, my favourite one being 11/8, so it came from there!
Where did it all start in d&b and dubstep for you, and how long have
you been producing?
I started messing with production about 4 years ago, but as I mentioned above, the stuff I was making was more…IDM I guess, high paced and glitchy. I’d heard of Dubstep / Drum & Bass but while at university I realised both genres went way further than I originally thought they did. I started producing Dubstep in 2008 and then started to experiment with Drum & Bass around 2009.
Do you have a musical background? Or were forays into computer based
electronic music your first experience with it?
I’ve always been fairly musical, I did music at school etc and played the Drums in Punk Rock bands for the majority of my teen years. The electronic stuff started to happen when I was on my gap year. I was still playing in bands until my second year of university, but it started to get a bit much so I ended up leaving and concentrating solely on the electronic side of things! At the time it was a tough decision to make, but I’m glad I made it..
Who would you describe as your main musical inspirations, both in and
outside of d&b?
I listen to quite a lot of varied styles of music… Theres a few albums I’ve got on rotation at the moment, one of them being Bonobo ‘Black Sands’, his stuff is wicked, and another is the new Amon Tobin album, which is…amazing! The sound design is so good in all of his stuff, you can listen to his material over and over and not get bored of it!
I think having a broad taste is essential for anyone who makes music. There are obviously producers in Dubstep / Drum & Bass that have been massive inspirations to me, Burial, Clubroot, Phaeleh, SpectraSoul, Icicle, Logistics…the list goes on!
You’ve got a track coming up on Hospital off-shoot label Med School Music’s new ep, how did that come about and how does it feel to be getting a tune released on such a high level?
It feels amazing, I still can’t quite believe it’s happened! I’ve been following them for a long time now, and to actually have a release on the label now is a dream come true!
Your sound’s fairly minimal and mellow, do you still enjoy the more
hard dancefloor based sub genres of d&b?
Yeah of course, normally when I play out I’ll be mixing the more Critical / Shogun sort of vibes with a bit of the stripped back stuff mixed in there too. From a production point of view I have a lot of respect for people like Phace, Mistanthrop, Noisia, Octane & DLR – their tunes never cease to amaze me. The sound design and attention to detail is staggering!
You also produce dubstep, what do you think of that scene at the
minute and where do you see it going in the future?
Yeah I had a break from Dubstep for a while, but I’ve been getting back into lately, in fact most of what I’m working on at the moment hits around the 135 / 145bpm mark. I think the scene is in a really interesting place right now – the whole ‘Brostep’ side of it is still going on, and seems to be the ‘cool’ thing to be in to at the moment. The deeper, more melodic side is starting to get a bit more recognition though – which is great, and hopefully this will continue to grow and expand.
How do you feel the decline of vinyl in the music industry, and more
recently d&b’s movements away from it, and the resulting change in the
way labels operate, has effected, hindered or helped the rising of a
young producer such as yourself?
This is a really good question, and I could probably go on about it for ages – but I’ll try and keep away from writing an essay…
I think the decline of vinyl is pretty sad all in all, although I don’t play out on vinyl, I love it as a format. One of the reasons I love it is the physical restriction to how loud the tune can be mastered – I love music that has dynamics. I wont say any more on that subject because I’ll ramble on and on about the loudness war and over-compression…
There are pro’s and con’s with how it’s affected both labels and artists – the shift towards digital has meant it’s obviously way easier to start a label from your bedroom. There’s been a massive rise in labels over the last few years – some that are pushing really really good music, which is fantastic. It’s always nice to get sent forward thinking, well produced music from artists and labels, which digital makes much easier.
But of course there is a downside to digital, there are labels that are just putting out anything they can get their hands on. Although digital formats have made things easier and cheaper, it has in turn bought down the level of quality control. With vinyl you have to be damn sure the tracks are good because of the investment that’s involved.
Again I could talk about Vinyl vs Digital for ages but I wont because I will end up boring everyone.
Any tips on who else to look out for in 2011?
Definitely look out for Lung & Clarity (who you’ll know if you have got a copy of the New Blood 011 release). But both these two are smashing it at the moment. Definitely keep an eye on a Dubstep group called My Nu Leng as well, their stuff is great!
What other releases have you got coming in the near future and where can we catch you playing out?
I have an EP with Ed:it (Critical) forthcoming on Flexout Audio which will be out later in the summer, there’s a collaboration between us two on there, an original from each of us and a remix I did of his original too. Gig wise there’s a few things in the works, for anyone in London there’s a night I’m playing on the 22nd July, I cant release any details yet but, keep an eye on the Facebook page for details!
Cheers for the time Edd! Any shouts or last words?
Thank you to those who listen / buy / support my stuff…it means a lot!
Big ups to James Lung, Joe Syntax, Steve Lynx, Asa, Koan Sound and the rest of the Mainstage Artists family!
And of course thank you Max for hooking me up with this…sorry for taking so bloody long!