DJ E-Clyps’ third album, ‘Vintage Future II’ drops today. We got him to talk us through it, Track By Track.
‘Vintage Future II’ is released today on DJ E-Clyps’ Blacklight Music. He’s a house producer who’s recorded for Dirtybird, Ultra, Toolroom, Classic Music Company, Simma Black, Nervous and Guesthouse and who brings his years as a hip hop DJ and producer to bear on his raw, funky, futuristic house releases.
‘Vintage Future II’ is a twelve-track affair, featuring a solid mix of accessible tracks like the soulful vibes of ‘Numb’ featuring Anya V or the Afro-flavoured ‘Two Minutes Away’ Feat. Freshko Def, and more underground stripped-back tech-tinged jams like ‘Honey Jack’ or ‘Perfect’. At times, the beats are crisp, the bass knarly, the vocals twisted, at other points, he goes deep like on album opener ‘Reynolds Street Groove’ – but the entire album is primed and ready for maximum dancefloor impact. Here, he tells us all about it.
DJ E-Clyps – ‘Vintage Future II’
For the album, I really got to dive into the McDSP plugins, and ever since, I haven’t looked back. Their plugins are amazing. All of them. They focused less on making pretty looking plugs and simply made dope plugins that just do the job, and do it really well. Compressors and EQ’s are a big part of my tracks, especially the drums, and these really just nail it. Also, the Slate Digital Virtual Mix Buss is on every record right along with all the McDsp Plugs. Every record I used a variety of different synth plugins and different sounds, and some hardware, and all the drums were done in Battery because I can pull up all my MPC kits in Battery without having to remap them. During Mixdown, the Nugen Audio tools and TC Helicon Clarity M really helped dial in mixes and see where levels sat, which I remember telling a lot of my producer friends about these because if you ever have been looking for good metering tools… these are it.
Reynolds Street Groove
I made this song thinking about my grandmother, as this street was a big part of my childhood. I learned and heard so much on that porch. I also saw the worst as it was around the corner from a major drug trafficking spot. So the combo of the grimy drums along with melodies is one of joy and conflict.
Let It Go
This record was really just a let loose kind of track. I wanted it to be something that just made you want to dance wherever you are and remember that some things you just need to let go. Stressing out has never solved anything, and sometimes you just need to release it all and push forward: no matter what.
My House feat. Flipside
Flipside was on my last album, so we had to finish where we left off. He sent me the vocals and I built the track around it, which honestly I think there’s three drafts of. It took me longer than normal because I really wanted this one to be vintage, but futuristic… his voice is so raspy and dope that every time we work together it’s always a fun challenge to make it knock.
This was the last of the breakfast trilogy, and I wasn’t going to do a song called omelette. Even though a lot of fans sent me a gang of breakfast song ideas, but I settled for ‘French Toast’ because: well, I like ‘em. Funny part was, the flute idea came to me because I was imagining the piece of French Toast dancing around… it made me giggle, so a flute was the only instrument I thought that matched it.
This was written from a perspective of just being in a club with a serious buzz. The synths are just like how you feel when you realize you may have had too much and you’re just in this dizzying whirlwind. Also, whenever you think of jackin’, you hear this old school feel, so I wanted to re-imagine it and make it more gritty.
Follow Back Girl
This was a skit making light of when people follow you and expect you to follow them back on social media. I can’t sing to save my life, so me doing the vocals for it was to me a funny way of getting the point across. I used to love the funny skits on Hip-Hop albums, and I wanted to add that vibe to the album.
Anya V – Numb (DJ E-Clyps Remix)
When Anya made the original, I instantly loved it. I asked for vocal stems for almost a year before she finally caved in and let me have a crack at it. The original is dope to me and I think it after listening to this version, go and listen to the original. Jae Deal laced it, but also wanted to bring that love song vibe to the dancefloor.
Two Minutes Away feat. Freshko Def
I met Freshko through one of the homies. He’s a South African Hip-Hop/R&B artist who now lives in the States, and he makes dope stuff. I wanted to keep the Afro vibes on this record and really stay true to the roots of his culture. This record was fun because I love making actual songs and not just the tracky club stuff.
This is just some straight ratchet house, period. Its meant to be that dark, dirty, sweaty, and sensual joint. I think I layered like 6 bass patches together to make this one and then put a Tape Saturator on it to give that extra dirt. Its twerky, but very ‘housey’ if that makes sense. I really just approach records that would not only sound good in the clubs, but also my hip-hop friends could vibe to as well.
Eye Get Down
This is one of those records where I wanted to really have both my hip-hop sound and my house worlds collide. I like trap and I like house, so why not have both in the same record? The vocals were just me goofing around on some weirdness…like people just do anything and say anything for the attention of social media, which is why the hook is “Look at me, look at me”. To me sometimes that how the music side of social media is just a bunch of people all yelling at the same time to be looked at…and saying anything crazy enough to spark attention to get it.
This record is Downbeat’s fault. We were chopping it up on the phone just joking around about the most random stuff, and was also just joking around making up ridiculous hook ideas, and Scooty Woop came to my head and I said “Yo, I gotta go… I got it.” The other parts of it were just trying to make it fun and bouncy, and just make it a party track. Once I came up with the melody line, it was all downhill from there.
QZ – Number One (Bonus Track)
QZ is an artist I met through my friend Lewis Rocc, who did the song ‘Suffocate’ on the first Vintage Future album. I heard her vocals, and immediately I knew we had to do some work together. House Music used to be so big on dope vocals, and that is a feel I want to bring back. She has tremendous vocal ability, and it was dope to get her on the album.
Vintage Future II is available now.
DJ E-Clyps is also an accomplished photographer who has been documenting this year’s Black Lives Matter protests in the US. We featured some of his photos back in the spring and you can check some more on his Instagram.