I first came across Ned Pegler’s music through a promo package by the newly founded Hit and Hope label out of Brighton. Being very convinced about his sound, I asked him for a guestmix and this little interview.
Could you please start by introducing yourself?
I’m Ned, I’m a 24 year old who’s been releasing techno/garage inspired music under the name Klic for the past year or so.
Is this how you started? Have you learned an instrument or played in a band?
I’ve only just started releasing stuff but I’ve been making music for quite a while, about 8 years on a computer and a few years playing the drums and a bit of guitar before that. Only starting to get stuff I’d be willing to put out there now though. I used to jam around in bedrooms and garages with school mates, playing nirvana songs and stuff like that! Then started recording on tape recorders with built in mics and various other crude ways, kind of miss it a bit!
So what was your defining moment to make music, how did you fall in love with music?
I remember hearing the Prodigy Experience and some other (quite cheesy) old hardcore and jungle and thought the beats were absoloutely mad. I didn’t have a clue how it was done and wanted to find out. Then a mate showed me some cheap software (Fruity Loops, Acid, stuff like that) and I tried making it. I ended up fully into drum and bass and refused to listen to anything else for quite a while. Calibre, Breakage, Photek were big influences.
Have your ways of working changed since then or do you still use software to create music?
I’m pretty much all in the box but I like recording things to liven things up a bit. For the “Thinking About You” track I recorded some melodica and even my own vocals which I’d never done before. At the moment I’m recording on my phone all the time so most of my tracks have some field recording in the background: cities, trains etc. Inspired by the dub techno/Basic Channel sound. I really want an analog synth or two as well, but lack of funds is preventing me at the moment.
I read this interview with Pangaea yesterday, and it’s the same thing: only using software. That kinda surprised me.
It’s just so available now that almost anyone can give it a try which is ultimately good. But we’ll end up with loads of half finished, crap music all over the internet which isn’t so good! I do think it’s really important to get some raw, organic sounds involved though when making music completely inside a computer as it’s all a bit lifeless compared to early electronic music where it was all jammed live so you get more interesting structures and the little imperefections which make it special.
I love listening to stuff like early house techno at the moment where it’s technically really badly produced but sounds like there’s so much more soul in it..
…and it would be a lot of work to achieve this in software, those little imperfections…
Yes, definitely! Ableton has made it easier to get more human structures to tracks but computers can’t really do that overdriven cheap mixer sound! I think it’s ultimately limitations which bring out the most creative sides of people – too many options, too much information these days.
Let’s talk about Hit and Hope, a new label from your hometown Brighton and how I came to hear about you. How did that come about?
I’ll just point out first it’s not my hometown! I was from Somerset near Bristol but moved there when was 18 or 19. A few of us who had been friends for a while wanted to start a collective for music, art, video and keep it all very open so people could join or leave without any real egos or strict rules. The idea of a label was just a part of Hit and Hope really but it’s turned out that’s what we’ve put most of our time into. Rob, who does the majority of the work for the label is old friends with Naive Machine and so had access to loads of tracks which are all pretty amazing so we used a couple for our first release. Then I’ve put together the 2nd which is an EP of techno/dubstep stuff. I don’t think we really have a plan for the “sound” of the label as we may all be into different stuff in a year or two. Just keep it interesting and release stuff which we are feeling.
When I think of Brighton, I think of Quadrophenia and the whole big beat thing back in the nineties. Maybe you can reshape my picture about music scene there.
Yeah, it’s an interesting place because it’s actually pretty small for a city, compared to Bristol, Manchester, obviously London. And because of that everyone tends to bump into each other quite a lot which keeps it all quite friendly. There’s a big live scene with lots of ska and dub bands, a few labels are based there too. I don’t think there’s one dominant sound of the city though. Although it seems to have got a bit crowded with dubstep nights as of late which is a bit of a shame.
Before we went on record, we were talking about Domu. How did you perceive that music, because I always felt that of all the post-dnb genres, broken beat was most overlooked. Ironically, UK funky gets lot more exposure now, though it has a lot in common with broken beat.
Good question! I got quite into broken beat about 2006/7 and it definately was overlooked. Perhaps because of being very jazz influenced it ended up making it pretty inaccessible for a lot of people. A lot of older Domu and Simbad records could quite easily come out now and be really popular.
Do you think the sound wasn’t hard enough to get wider attention, like it was for early drum & bass or dubstep? People like Seiji and Altered Natives both managed to outlive broken beat.
Yeah, there’s still people doing it well. It’s just another example of how once a genre is established people start worrying more about trying to fit into it and it ends up kind of imploding until it’s all regurgitated. Dubstep was good as it made everyone else in all the other genres look at what they were doing and realise they could do whatever they want! Like house and drum & bass were pretty distant from each other before, but then they had this connection. I think I prefer dubstep as a movement than the actual genre itself, it just opened things up a bit.
So, back to your music. What releases do you have planned, what should we look out for?
A remix of a Greymatter track “Raw Root” came out on Unique Uncut not too long ago, on an EP with other mixes from Altered Natives, Throwing Snow, Mr Lager and Milyoo. In the coming months I have the Dachshund Skank EP coming out on Hit and Hope in October, as well as my collaboration with Greymatter “Thinking About You” coming on a Simbad compilation on Brownswood and also my Incredible Bongo Band remix coming out on Mr Bongo Bass. I’m working on a Naive Machine remix for the first hit and hope vinyl release too, which will hopefully come out this year.
And finally, what music did you pick for your mixtape?
I went with a few of my own forthcoming tracks, some dubs from Article.01, Greymatter, Marchmellow & Riskotheque, Kelvin K, Throwing Snow and Naive Machine and some house and techno tracks I’ve been feeling from the past year or so as well as an old Matthew Herbert track to top it off.