In 2016 Brux dropped onto the scene with a fully formed aesthetic, insane production and a grip of killer club tracks. It all left people wondering who was behind the mask. And the answers never came. Brux maintained an aura of mystery, shunning the usual cult of personality and shameless self promotion which plays as standard in the music industry today. With a consistent output of deep, dark club sounds and a new EP out on the legendary DIM MAK, Brux continues to move from strength to strength while maintaining a healthy distance from the issues of image and expectation that can be damaging to any creative.
Brux is a pretty dark turn, much different to the music we have previously heard from you. Obviously you’re an amazing producer so it’s no surprise that you totally nailed the sound of this dark sweaty club music first go – was there anything that helped you along the path or gave you technical inspiration for changing up your style of production?
I remember a time at the end of 2016 where I became obsessed with making as many club demos (not intended for release or for any project) as I possibly could in my tiny studio in Kings Cross. I got stuck in this phase of escaping to that place almost every night after work for about 3 months. I was in such a productive head space and there were a fair amount of bad tracks before the decent ones started to come through…from there I felt like I had turned a corner and it was hugely cathartic. I’ve always wanted to produce dance music, growing up listening mostly to The Chemical Brothers, but I think it just took me a while to hone my skills and ear too, and to finally feeling comfortable / confident in making that kind of music.
You’ve been quite secretive with your identity as Brux – what’s the motivation behind this?
It’s to emphasize that the focus is on the music and not the personal story of the artist. Taking it at face value and deciding to love or hate the art without gender or familiarity present.
How are you using Ableton in the Studio?
I use it from start to finish for everything. I work with mostly audio though, not midi. My only plugins are Soundtoys for fx and Omnisphere as a backup if I can’t find the sound I’m after on my hardware synths / gadgets.
What’s one piece of creative advice that has stood out for you recently?
A quote that really resonates with me is one i read recently in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, “the universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels – that’s creative living”. The whole book is full of amazing advice, it’s about creative living beyond fear.
Do you have any particular Ableton technique that you’re using a lot at the moment?
I love to use Grain Delay on my percussion tracks – i adjust the settings to 100% wet, change “sync” to “time” and reel it back to 1.00ms then play around with the different parameters until I find an interesting sound.
Is there someone else’s work that changed the way you think about music?
The Knife adopted a similar attitude with their project and I’ve always admired them for that. I continue to be mystified by them
What do you usually do when stuck on a track? Or how do you push through on a track that needs finishing?
When I get stuck on a track of my own I pretend I’m remixing someone else’s song and it detaches me from it – it gets me out of my head and seems to always work
Whats one tune with a great drum sound?
Big Jeff by Joefarr. These drums slam so hard. Every time I play this in a club dj set it gets a great response
How much is music a solo pursuit for you and how does collaboration factor into your work? Or when and how do you turn to others for feedback or input?
I work solo but also love to collaborate with other artists too of course. I turn to close music mates for advice if I’m stuck in a rut…shoutout to my mate Rick (aka Deepchild) who helped me recently condense Hoarse from an 8 minute journey to a 4min jam (my label requested the 4min edit otherwise it would be 8 min in length haha). When you are so close to your song it’s sometimes hard to try approach it with fresh ears…”demo-itis” is a real thing.
Is there a time you’ve heard your own music being played somewhere that has spun you out?
I was lining up for a burger at Grill’d recently and a track of mine came on their playlist, I made a run for the door!
Is there an Ableton native plugin that you’re using a lot at the moment?
Convolution Reverb Pro in Max for Live has gotta be one of my fav native plugins! A lot of people don’t seem to use it because they don’t know its there…it’s such a weapon