3rd installment of Mixtapes From Mars is finally ready! Iron Galaxy delivers. Known for his cosmic mesmerizing bass and house fused hit single Attention Seeker on Audio Culture, Adam Hodgins aka Iron Galaxy is ready with more, as he reveals new releases is within sight.
Attention Seeker is not only quality, it’s brilliance you can’t turn away from, despite it’s lenght on 8 minutes. It provides the listener with a seductive build involving many references to different music genres. From house and bass music into acid.
But Adam Hodgins does not dwell on one musical recipe, as he intend to explore the many faces of electronic music, while expanding his studio with analogues gear.
We asked him contribute to Mixtapes From Mars as we see him as a potential breakthrough artist for 2013. Adams eye for quality, production skills and common-sense, when it comes promotional behaviour, gives him a sharp edge that separates him from the masses.
Do enjoy his fantastic mix. The tracklist pretty much speaks for itself. Notice, there is two untitled/unreleased tracks in the mix. Could be new Iron Galaxy stuff?
Here is a “short” Q&A with Iron Galaxy. Many could learn from the common sense in question 4.
Let’s start with the mix. Tell us some thoughts about the selection you’ve made for us? And how you like mixtapes to be?
IG: With mixtapes I really tend to play for myself. There’s no dancefloor to keep happy, or general vibe to adhere to. If I’m playing out then the venue, timeslot and other DJs are going to influence what I play. It will always be music I love, but I love a wide variety of music. I think this mix shows a bit of that spread (within the confines of 125bpm dance music). It starts off a little dark, picks up some energy, gets a little housey in the middle, and then brings things down near the end.
I read that you have worked on your sound for some years before releasing anything. But how did you get into electronic music, and what triggered the start of Iron Galaxy?
IG: I haven’t consciously worked on any kind of sound leading up to now. However, since people have become interested in releasing my productions I’m starting to think about that more. I’ve always just made whatever comes to mind, from melodic IDM stuff to straight up Drum and Bass. I finally got a real job and was able to afford some equipment which brought the fun back into making music. The early Martyn releases got me buying records again, and I’ve been inspired by a lot of newer house and techno releases coming out recently. The gear and the records I was listening to triggered the start of Iron Galaxy. I got into electronic music in high school, starting with stuff along the lines of WARP, Rephlex, Morr Music, City Centre Offices, Suction Records, Merck etc. I think it was my interest in how the sounds were created that initially hooked me.
As a music teacher and based in a cluster of talents around Toronto, give us some thoughts on how you have experienced the growth of the DJ and producer culture within electronic dance music in the past decade.
IG: I actually live in Montreal, but I’m friends with a handful of producers from Toronto. It’s a 6 hour drive away, which is really not that far in North America. That’s a pretty big question that I’m not quite sure how to answer. Even though I’ve always identified with that culture I’ve felt like a bit of an outsider, except for maybe the 3 years that I lived in England. So, most of the evolution of dance culture, I’ve learned through other people, documentaries, or the Internet. In my early days I would have to buy records online unless we made a trip down to Vancouver. I only met the odd person who collected and played vinyl. When I lived in England my musical life was mostly consumed with Drum and Bass. I suppose I witnessed the switch from dubplate culture in that scene to CDJs. I sometimes worked at a studio called Metropolis on Friday nights and the Full Cycle guys often came through to get things cut for the weekend. I remember going to a Valve night in Brixton and seeing Bad Company bring their own CDJ to the gig. That seemed like a novelty at the time, but soon became the norm. I used to go to Camden on the weekends and visit a record stall run by a few Reinforced Producers. I remember them going on about Breakage and how he was making music solely with his computer. Now most people expect that you just do everything in the box. When I was 12, kids would get guitars if they were into music. Nowadays it seems like they’re all buying DJ controllers and music software. There’s just way more access to everything. If you have a computer and the Internet, you have the tools to make music, learn about the history and stay on top of the latest tracks. I suppose those are the anecdotes of change that I can add from personal experience. The Internet’s seemed to really open up opportunities for people who aren’t living in the heart of London or Berlin. It’s great to see the growth of quality producers coming out of Canada. Between Toronto and Montreal there’s so much great music being made. I just saw Jacques Greene’s live show the other day and it was pretty inspiring.
What kind of advice would you give music students on how to succeed as an artist in the new digitalized music industry. What would it be like? Besides having quality musical skills.
IG: Don’t forget to reply to emails (my apologies, I’m still working on this). Keep making tracks and ask for feedback from someone who’s not afraid to hurt your feelings. I think it’s the same as it’s always been. Try to make good music and then network with the people you respect, and labels you think your music fits with. Twitter, Soundcloud, Facebook etc, makes it pretty easy to connect with people. However, because everyone’s so accessible, there’s a lot of noise to contend with. If you’re going to share tracks with people, be very selective in what you send and who you send it to. If people see you spamming everyone, that’s the quickest way to be ignored. Be patient, but seize opportunities. I don’t think I’m offering any new advice here.
Last. What can we expect from Iron Galaxy in the future. Any mission to accomplish? Or utopian visions to seduce?
IG: I have a track on the next Perspective Series that will be released by “A Room With A View” in early 2013. That song is quite melodic and floaty (I oscillate between really loving it and being self-conscious about it). If all goes to plan I should have an EP coming out around April or May with James Zabiela’s new label “Born Electric”. That will take me in the other direction, with some harder techno tracks. Though there’s one sad, downtempo thing on there. I’m about 3 or 4 tracks into a project I’ve been casually doing with my good friend Dave. We’re pretty happy with it so far. I’ve started another collaboration with a singer/songwriter I really admire. We’ve got a bunch of parts written for our first track, so I just need to arrange what we have so she can work on vocals. I’m hoping I don’t mess it up. My next mission to accomplish is moving the studio and writing an EP for Audio Culture. The studio is being relocated to a room in the school that I work at. I wanted to have everything moved this Fall, but it’s taking longer than expected. We just ordered some furniture which will arrive in January, so hopefully by February it will be fully wired up and functional. I’d like to try and make my way over to Europe at some point in 2013. We’re just starting to put out the feelers for March, but if that fails, I’ll try for the summer.
Read more about Adam Hodgins, his analogue gear and work as music history teacher in this great interview with german DJ Broadcast here.