Born in Iran but raised in Austin, Texas and working with Glasgow based label Fortified Audio, DJ and producer Shawhin Izaddoost, aka VVV, makes music as diverse as his geographical history.
Recently releasing his first full length album Across the Sea, Izaddoost has previously featured on Ministry of Sound’s Adventures in Dubstep and Beyond. He produces tracks which blend elements of post-dub, UK garage, minimal beat and synth, experimenting with textured baselines and tightly clipped samples. The track ‘Aisle Seat’ opens with an old-school, piano-heavy house vibe, whilst other tracks like ‘Jade Mountain PM’ have a much darker, more stripped back composition, with the whole album cleverly balancing opposing organic and synthetic qualities. Whilst he was busy working on an exclusive mix for i-D, we pulled up a chair with the man himself to talk about the story behind his stage name, where he goes for inspiration, and what he’s got planned for the rest of the year.
What does VVV stand for? It’s based on the title of this 1940′s surrealist magazine, it was short-lived, but influential nonetheless. I needed to change my moniker at the time so it was my first choice, and I decided to stick with it.
How do you go about starting work on a new track? Where’s your first port of call for inspiration? It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I really want to work on the beat first. I like to work in triplets, and I generally adjust my tempo to fit the feel of the tune. Other times, I’m focused on synth drones and lead parts that mingle with samples, pads, and other atmospheric incidentals. Vocals usually come last, unless it’s song with minimal drum parts.
Born in Iran and raised in Texas, does the geography of where you’ve lived influence your work at all? In some respects yes. Geographically, I find myself very fortunate and blessed to have been raised in Austin, although I do want to visit Tehran again soon. I have met many incredible people through the local music scene and my family and friends continue to influence me to some degree, but really it’s just something I started doing for fun. The internet has a lot more to do with these influences and manoeuvres.
What sort of things are you listening to at the moment? My favourites right now are these slower moving pieces. Arvo Part, Eric Satie, Jürgen Müller, Neu, and Luc Ferrari are some examples. Something that makes me stop what I’m doing, shut the world out and want to listen to it with my eyes closed. Other times I crave that exciting club sound, so it really all depends. Holy Other is one of my favourite producers at the moment.
What’s next on the agenda? What have you got planned for 2012? I’m finishing up another collaboration with an artist from St. Petersburg named Ghostek. Hopefully that release will see the light of day this summer or fall. Also, I’m getting started on songs for my next EP.
Text: Thomas Curry
Photography: Courtney Chavanell
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