Interview: Machinedrum

Check the album cover for perspective: Machinedrum has collected new faces, aliases, and styles on a pace with most KGB agents. Throughout his entire career, Machinedrum, né Travis Stewart and AKA too many other pseudonyms to count, has jumped from subgenre to subgenre whenever it suited him, systematically dismantling the barriers between each and pooling the remaining elements together to create his own distinct blend of production styling. His newest release is no different; its tracks are split down the middle between the deftly hyperactive beat fare one has come to expect from LuckyMe releases and an aggressively left field club sound that defies any real categorization other than, "Oh yeah, that's that new Machinedrum shit." One of Lookout's own recently got the chance to talk to the man himself, LuckyMe's first ever North American signing and a featured artist at the upcoming Lookout POP MTL showcase on Sept. 30 at the Belmont. Check it out...

Your new album, The Many Faces of Machinedrum, is split right down the middle in terms of production styles and influences. What was your intention when you set out to make the record?

To be honest I wasn't really making a "record" when i wrote those tracks, I was more or less just writing tunes for the sake of writing them. After accumulating loads of them Lucky Me decided that instead of puttin together a genre specific record we'd focus on a more diverse record instead.  Writing in multiple styles has never been something new for me, it's how I've always approached music. I get bored writing the same style over and over.

It seems like your style is constantly evolving between releases. Where would you say your primary musical influences lie at the moment?

Like I said, I get bored doin the same style.  Right now I feel like I'm being heavily influenced by Juke and Footwork tracks from Chicago.  Other than that I've been listening to Carlo Gesualdo and lots of other choral music.  Been singing on a lot of new stuff too.

The recent Sepalcure mix on XLR8R was fantastic. What can you tell us about how Sepalcure started and what you guys have planned for the future?

Thank you.   Sepalcure started out of boredom and necessity to finally collaborate with my friend Praveen Sharma here in Brooklyn about a year ago.  We have an EP slated for release in December on Hotflush.

LuckyMe is one of our favorite young labels. How did you get linked up with them for this record?

I've been talking on and off with the LuckyMe crew for a while, and earlier this year I sent them a load of tunes and they picked their favorites for Many Faces

How was it working with Theophilus London on your various projects together? Are there any other artists you’d like to work with going forward?

Working with Theophilus was definitely a great experience.  We wrote a lot of songs together and he pushed for me to write hooks and brought me out of my instrumental electronic production shell.  I've also been working a lot with Jesse Boykins III, Azealia Banks and Melo-X and have some really great music we've made together, but at the moment I'm taking a break from producing vocalists apart from remix work.  I'd love to work with Autechre or James Blake on a tune or two.