Ahead of i-D and Black Butter’s steaming seasonal mix night on December 21st at XOYO, newbie producer 3hrs drops an extended musical treat for this week’s i-DJ slot.
Hailing from the West Midlands, 3hrs admits his life and time is fully spent obsessing over the curation of new music. Uninterested by anything that goes on outside of his home-built studio, this reclusive producer’s bass lines and sampled vocals are reminiscent of 90s garage but his signature experimental synth rhythms bring in the element of house to create a complex and deep sound that is both infectious and unique. There isn’t too much to know about 3hrs other than his potential is multi-faceted and the production work on his debut ep Sunrise, is outstanding. i-D caught up with the Stratford-upon-Avon based bass fiddler to find out what he gets up to on a typical day. Look right for 3hrs’ exclusive i-DJ mix and check out his most recent mesmeric music video, directed by Joseph Bolger.
“Presuming I haven’t got work (you don’t want to know about that day, trust…) I generally get up and switch my desktop on. The thing starts up as though it’d spent the whole night smoking cigars, but it starts, thanks Mac. As soon as Mac’s cleared its throat I get some music on, I use Soundcloud a lot to just sift through things and see if anything catches my ear. Emails and stuff come after this, and maybe going through some ideas that are kicking about in my folder. I have a little folder where I just bounce stuff straight out of projects, that folders like the Division 3, tracks can filter their way up from there by not being completely shit. Tough gig.
Then I’ll grab food, and listen to some music. At this point I’m as likely to be listening to classical or rock, as I am electronic (two recent picks for those fields would be Fabrizio Paterlini and the new Deftones album.) Then I get on a track. Maschine’s a recent addition to the studio, I’m still developing a workflow for it. A fair few sessions have been spent just prodding things about trying to get some kind of system down. At the moment I’ll start in Maschine and bring all the audio into logic, or start in logic; bounce master, import into Maschine, layer and re-export to logic… Work flow in progress! I’m currently finishing an EP off for Black Butter, just down to structures and general faffing. If it’s a remix I’m working on I’ll generally knock a few takes up with as little thought as possible and reflect on them after. The point that’s often hardest is determining when an idea is good but needs work or is OK and work won’t help it. I often find myself trying to call the shots a bit early on these things, which is why having the folder division system works for me. If things are good I’ll try and carry on for as long as possible, if they aren’t going that well I tend to try other things, organize some files or just experiment with things. The amount of time I’ve wasted thinking ‘I need to write something’ then ending up with something useless! Better off just experimenting and seeing what happens, often a nice little patch to be had from that road.
Then save session, send it to my folder thing and hope it sounds good the next day”.
RSVP to the i-D and Black Butter mix night here, now.
Introduction: Milly McMahon