King Britt: Studio Talk

The veteran Philly producer talks us through his analogue obsessions. 

“In Hindu, Sraddha is the word that represents the ritual paying homage to the ancestors. Whenever I create music or play music, it is my ritual to those who paved the way and to my ancestors who watch over me. You gotta Believe”… says King Britt when asked about his new alias, Sraddha.

The veteran electronic producer has taken on many forms over his longstanding career. From his early releases on Strictly Rhythm and neo soul productions as Sylk130, to his jazz improvisations as Saturn Never Sleeps and sci-fi experiments as Fhloston Paradigm, the Philly-based artist has always been willing to change direction to explore just how wide his musical vision can go.

His new project as Sraddha comes via Radio Slave’s Rekids offshoot, Stranger In The Night, and marks the label’s second official release of 2019. Titled Believe, the four-track EP is a dreamy affair built for cosy dancefloors, as stargazed harmonics and breezy drum patterns strike a note of comfort and romance for lost late night ravers.

Throughout his 20+ year career, he’s remained sonically curious and never been shy to share how his analogue obsessions inform his craft. It comes as no surprise then that when we asked him to share some of his favourite studio tools, he was more than than eager to open up his doors.

1. Boss DR110 (Circuitbenders UK mod)

One of my favourite machines since the late ’80s. At the time (and still) was one of the most affordable and easy machines to get a hold of. The sounds are perfect for house, electro and techno. It is compact, runs on batteries and can easily be modded. The mod I got was the Circuitbenders one that truly makes it sound like an 808. Also have midi sync. I mainly got this one modded for my live shows. This was used heavily on the debut Fhloston Paradigm ep Fiction Science and the entire Phoenix album on Hyperdub.

2. Critter & Guitari – Organelle

This mini computer is one of the best instruments around. It plays Pure Data patches, which has created a whole community of Organelle users to swap patches and create intuitive tools for use in the studio. My fave patches are PowPow Polybeats, which turns the machine into a polyrhythm monster, also Orac, which allows you to use multiple patches at once, similar to a modular. I used the Organelle a ton on the new Moksha Black project on my Buddy System Label.

3. The iPad (and phone) and an array of apps.

The most creative music platform of our time. I have been saying this for past 7yrs.Being able to configure many systems within a tactile device is all you can ask for. The perfect travel companion. There are so many truly remarkable apps like Borderlands, SpaceCraft (pic), Samplr, etc, that make you think differently about your approach to making music in way you never would have thought possible. As a sound designer too, I gravitate toward the iPad to processing. Here is an using it with the GoMixerPro by Roland, which has 9 ins! I am trying to get them to add midi and then it will be the perfect companion for iOS creation.

I used the iPad and phone for most of the last Clara Hill album, Pendulous Moon. Every song on there started and mostly completed using the iPhone and pad. Created all sketches on airplanes. Also peep Bahamadia’s Dial Up, where she used the iPhone for the whole album way before Madlib.

4. Roland System 500

For the past few years I’ve dipped my toe into the modular world. I have a few fave pieces like the Moog Mother32, Clouds and Just Friends, but it always comes back to the System 500. Since growing up with Roland products, there is a certain sound that I can explore with this set of modules that remind me of past but is rooted in the now. I’m just starting to explore it deeper thanks to Peter from Roland giving me some tips. Always the student!

5. Moog Sonic Six, Rhodes Electric Piano

Two of the best investments I’ve ever made. The Sonic Six was Moog’s first portable synth. Robert would sell these door to door (which is pretty wild to think about), so hence the suitcase body. There is a dirty grittiness to this synth that no other Moog has. The design is fun and probably inspires the newly released Grandmother. I’ve used this to process things including my Dr110 for Chasing Rainbows on the first Fhloston Paradigm album.

The Rhodes needs no explanation. The warmest, most beautiful musical instrument ever made. It’s a blanket for your ears. So many ways to present it. Processing it, straight to board, thru amps, endless possibilities. The definitive Phillu sound too.

6. 4MS Spherical Wavetable Navigator

A newly acquired piece (seen here in their small pod enclosures) that has me beaming with joy. It’s a multidimensional wavetable processor that approaches combining waveforms in spherical ways and not just x/y axis. The combinations are crazy, extremely intuitive (the manual is one of the best I’ve ever read) and you have the option to bring in your own waveforms and truly make it your own. I have been really diving into this and it’s changed the way I’m thinking about sound design. You will hear it fully on my Transmissions #38 episode of my NTS show.

7. Ableton Push 2

Last but never least, Ableton Push2. Push has single handedly changed the way I make music and I will never look back. The immediacy, the ultimate tool in expressing myself in a live environment, also bringing a more live and tactile feel and approach in the studio environment. When used as an instrument, it breathes life into your automation and mixes. I can’t emphasize get Push for all Ableton users. It’s the physical manifestation of the clip window in the software. It’s truly one of the most revolutionary controllers of our time. Thank you Ableton.

KING BRITT presents SRADDHA: Believe EP is out now on Stranger In The Night.

Buy it here.

Featured Image: Olinda Del Mar

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