Sunday Spotlight: Simultaneous


1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.

Hi – I’m Simultaneous. I am an electronic recording and performance artist originally hailing from Glasgow but a Londoner for the past 20 years.

2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.

My music is based in electronic dance mostly, with my live set centered in progressive house, techno and tech house. However for recording I am enjoying a slightly broader scope whilst maintaining a close relationship to my live sound, so you will hear lots of house and representations of live tracks, but also some more chillout and atmospheric tunes.

On the dance floor the energy builds through rhythmic house & dark tech house and keeps lifting the audience through the set to a big climax. My aim is to draw the audience into an intense euphoria reminiscent of my best experiences on the dance floor in my years as a clubber both back home in the early days and more recently in London and at festivals.

A big part of the live approach is that I wanted to play as much with my hands live as possible rather than be constrained to a fixed script or even any fixed pieces of music. So each song is really a toolkit of sounds where I am free to follow my nose and respond to the audience in real-time, and even with well rehearsed sections I am able to take as much time as I want to build tension and go in the direction that feels right in that moment, and to take it as high or as low as I feel the audience wants and needs. The idea is that the audience is an organic part of the event and can feel the energy of a truly live performance as the energy bounces between us.

For recording I am creating what I would most like to hear in a home stereo environment (or in a back-to-mine situation) and I always strive for the very best in sound and production quality. As well as a clubber and gig go-er, I am an audiophile who really enjoys the luxury of beautiful sounds and on-point mixes, and the recording / production process lets me explore that side of the sound craft whilst always maintaining an energy and drive heard in my live show.

3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?

I started in music in my teens as a drummer and have decades of experience both recording and playing live including some tours as a session drummer (quite a while ago!) and more gigs under my hat than I care to count. That whole time I also played guitar and wrote or contributed to writing with many of the bands I played in, however as a drummer I often found it difficult to be a part of the writing process due to sitting behind the drumkit and not having a tuned instrument in my hands. I love playing the drums but I think I love the creation process even more so I had to take a step back a few years ago and decide what the best approach was to satisfy my musical needs.

I had always written music, but at that point, being a big house fan I decided to try making some house EDM for the first time and was really excited about what I could do with this new approach. I was also very pleased to find that the feedback I was getting from the first few tunes was great and I realised how accessible dance music is to many people.

Of course having that solid drummer background has paid off as just about everything in EDM – house music in particular – is rhythmic, and the dynamics involved are really clear and logical to me as an experienced drummer. Now suddenly I found myself in many ways having the same rhythmic fun as the drums but now having 100% creative freedom to go anywhere I want with the whole sound.

After writing an initial bunch of songs I realised I wanted to be able to play them live (that drummer soul has not left me) and rather than write in the studio and having to deconstruct the songs to play a version of them live, I wanted the writing process to be inherently on the instruments I would use on stage (or in the booth) so it is a much more natural live experience. So I had to stop and think again!

Once I had figured out how I wanted to play live, I researched what gear would enable that style of performance, then bought and learned the gear, started up the writing process once more, this time with a new set of tools that mean writing can be more like jamming, and building my live set and recorded library together.

4. Stage or studio?

As a drummer I definitely would’ve said stage. I love the relationship with the audience and the immediate feedback. However with the new creativity afforded by my new approach I just love the studio, the process of creating, of being unconstrained, then immediately sharing and enjoying the fruits of my labour is very liberating and satisfying. That said, I may change my mind again when I’m out playing my new live set!
5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?

I am using a 2017 MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X with a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DAC – which will be upgraded soon but so far has delivered pretty good sound and reliability. For my ears I have the Yamaha HS5 and Focal Shape 65 studio monitors plus Focal Spirit Pro, Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro and Shure SRH750DJ headphones. Those driven by a Yamaha MGP12X mixing desk.

I use a selection of MIDI keyboards depending on the need including M-Audio Axiom Air 49, Novation Impulse 25 and the Arturia Keystep (for live on-the-fly sequencing right on the keyboard).

For the centre of my studio and live rig, the solution I found to enable my hands-on live approach to playing is the Elektron range. I am using the Octatrack, Analog Rytm and Analog Keys with the Analog Heat as a sound processor for the Rytm (giving me an extra layer of control over the drum and rhythm sound as a whole).

To bolster that I have the Arturia Matrixbrute for big bass and lead synth sounds.

I use a Roland SPD-S for triggering samples so I still get some stick-time on stage and rounding it all off is the Nektar Pacer MIDI foot controller to enable some control over pattern switching, transport and looping control whilst keeping my hands free.

6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?

I would have to thank Elektron as without the level of configurability these provide I don’t see how I would be able to play the arrangements I do, and of those I love the playability of the Analog Rytm…but then I am a drummer. But I would have to give a nod also to the Arturia Matrixbrute for sheer sound quality and control.

7. Where can we check out your tunes?

I have just realised an EP on all download and streaming platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google etc) called “Want This Love” and will be following up with a partner EP to that and a single in the next few weeks.

Please check out my YouTube channel for the EP tracks and I will be uploading live studio performance videos soon as I progress rehearsing throughout November and December.

You can see my website for news, audio, mailing list, pics, gig dates and info.

I am also on social media so you can find me on Facebook and Instagram – @SimultaneousUK

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