Recently, UK artist Joe Turner released his expansive and expressive Textures EP and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting young producers around. The name of the EP is very fitting, as each track is intricate and full of life. From a former life as a band member for MassMatiks, it's safe to say he's already a musical powerhouse. We loved the EP, so we invited him to break it all down for another installment of our How It Was Made series.
Words and photos by Joe Turner
It sounds a bit obvious, but I got this desk at the start of the year when the ‘Textures’ EP was starting to really take shape. Having this setup helped my flow a lot when it came to writing and finishing the tracks for the EP.
This synth is literally all over the EP. From the moment I first got hold of it, the Prophet became an integral part of my sound. The sound of it is so warm and very distinctive, I feel like this synth will remain a part of my studio rig for several years to come.
This bad boy is the first hardware synth I ever owned, and it's appeared on every single track I’ve ever written. There’s something about the workflow of it that I always gravitate towards when I’m in the studio. It's a great synth for people looking to get into sound design, the design of the synth is very intuitive.
Similar to the desk, this is one of the newer additions to my setup – but as soon as I set it up, it became a huge part of the EP’s sound. All the synths for ‘Intro’ are done on the Moog, plus all the bass parts for the tracks (except for ‘Malibak’). There is something about the way Moogs sound that just gives out so much warmth – it's hard to match. I haven’t even started to get into the modular side of things yet but will be looking into that more for tracks in the future.
Ableton Push & Kalimba
I used the Push a lot for my live shows, because of its flawless integration with Ableton. However, due to having more space on the new desk, I have it set up for instant use when writing. The pads on there have a great feel, I use them to mainly record MIDI drum parts that I want to feel more natural. I can physically hit the pads to give my parts a more ‘human’ groove. It's also great for creating melodies using VST’s.
The Kalimba is the main melodic element in ‘Malibak.’ The key of my one is actually in A minor, but I just used Ableton’s warping algorithms to transpose the melody I recorded originally to Eb Minor.
This was actually a gift from my Girlfriend that I got last Christmas. I’ve always loved the sound of hang drums, so it was great to have one physically that I could play and experiment around with. I came up with the main melody for ‘Solace’ on the drum, which I then recorded into Ableton and layered up with a MIDI VST of a Hang Drum. I always enjoy playing these more ‘obscure’ instruments in real life, because I feel you push yourself out of your comfort zone and can create different melodies to the ones you may typically come up with on a keyboard.
Joe Turner’s ‘Textures’ EP is out now on LG105. Get it here.