5 Questions with Rags #35 - Slynk

Sometimes you meet people who just get it. Through their art you just feel like they’re on a similar wave as you, somewhere in the same ballpark and it’s a comforting feeling, especially when you admire their work so greatly. Slynk is one of those people for me. Since the moment I first saw him dominating Fractal Forest from behind the decks at 4am on the Friday night/Saturday morning of my first Shambhala, Slynk’s tracks and mixes have become an indispensable part of my listening diet. His funky goodness acted as a kind of gateway for me into the scary world of electronic music and he’s still one of the few DJs that rookie and expert electronic fans of mine can agree on. He’s the Cypress Hill of the west coast DJ world, except way less aggressive and (probably) less stoned. I’ve written about his a few times (Here and here and here) and while I’m sure most people I know are tired of hearing me go on about how they need to check out a Slynk live show or listen to any one of his outstanding mixes/tracks, I’m still very excited to present to you our latest chat.

In anticipation of his fantastically chill new EP, The Delighted People (Out now! Get it here!), I got some words about the creation of and inspiration behind the record as well as some of the most thoughtful answers we’ve had to the 5 Questions in a long time. Sit back and get funky chill with the good homey, SLYNK.

How do you choose between making an EP, a full album or a mix? This has always fascinated me with DJs...

Honestly, it's directly related to how much time I have available to invest into and explore a concept. I definitely could have expanded on the ideas in this EP and created a full length album, but making time for music production in between tours along with my other projects like my forth coming Futureloops Sample Pack and my recently released Bass Gorilla Ableton Video Tutorial Series, I just didn't have the time! That said, I've already started on my next EP and I started it with the intention of only making it an EP as it's more of a Disco/Talkbox/80s kind of niche concept which is a lot different to my regular Funky Glitch Hop style that I'm popular for.

Dash raps about the beauty of collaboration on "Dig the Planet" and four of the five songs here feature guests, why is collaboration important to you?

Let me quote the lyrics directly. "Collaboration always makes things just a little bit better." And I think that's very true. I think you learn a lot of new techniques when collaborating. Be it, a new production trick or even just how to communicate with other artists with different personalities. It's almost like being a director on a movie set. I have a vision for the song and I need to try and communicate that to the artist in a way that they will understand and be inspired to give their best possible performance. But hey, sometimes it's as simple as just enjoying working with someone and I write music with these people because it's fun! 

Who's one of the most "delighted" people you know?

I'll give you a few examples of some "delighted people" that you may have met. Dave Rollie from SkiiTour is always the life of the party with his big afro and stupid grin. You can't help but love that guy. In the rare cases that I've seen him pissed off or something goes wrong, he still somehow has a smile on his face. Daniel from Funkanomics is much the same way but in more of a laid back way. Nothing phases him. Cool as a cucumber and people are drawn to him and his amazingly positive energy. Bloody good cook too! Dunks from The Funk Hunters has been my housemate for the past 2+ years and this guy is loud, in your face and fucking happy to see you! You can tell just by looking at him that he loves everything about his life and you kind of just get caught up in his endless supply of enthusiasm. Mr. Bill gives no fucks about what anyone says or thinks. He's shockingly hilarious, maybe even a bit misunderstood at times but what I admire about him is that he is free in his own body to do and say whatever he wants and that inspiring empowerment rubs off on me when I hang out with him. A truly talented vessel of left field weirdness which people find addictive.

How's that little seal of yours, Rose? Is that a representation of her on the cover? Absolutely. That happy little inflatable seal that my friend Stephanie gave to me on my birthday at Tall Tree Festival is still sitting in my studio. That seal just seemed to be so stoked about life. It absolutely inspired the cover art.

Slynk with Rose, the Real Deal Seal.

Slynk with Rose, the Real Deal Seal.

1. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? What format was it? Favorite track? Do you still bump it? Anything else you might remember about it.

The less embarrassing answer to that question is Hello Nasty by Beastie Boys but in actual fact, that was the second CD I ever owned. The first CD I ever bought was Fanmail by TLC. I love TLC but as a young male high-schooler, buying an album from an all girl RNB group, it was something I decided to keep a secret from my friends at school haha! I remember being at the store with my step sister and she was pushing me to buy one of those "So Fresh" compilation CDs because it would be more value for money. But I think deciding to by a full album was a better choice as it kind of marked my decision to become a music collector rather than someone who was just looking for a cheap thrill.

The first piece of vinyl I bought was Homework by "Daft Punk". My brother owned the CD and we used to listen to it over and over. I was always intrigued by the sound design on that album and as an amateur producer at the time, I feel like I chose to buy this in hopes of getting a better understanding of how all the tiny details and sounds were created. Something to aim for with my own productions. 

2. When is the last time you did something for the first time?

I'm always trying new things! Just yesterday, JFB and myself explored uncharted territories when we made that scratch/talkbox jam video. It was heaps of fun! I have been experimenting with brewing my own ginger beer over the last few weeks. It's nice to get out of the studio and do weird science experiments with my girlfriend in the kitchen! We had a bottle explode last batch though. Not a fun thing to clean up haha! I think, for anyone who is considering doing something new for the first time, if it scares the shit out of you, imagine the feeling of accomplishment you will feel once you do it!

3. Can you think of a movie or book that had a genuine effect on the way you see world?

Everybody Poops.

Life changing.

Life changing.

4. If you could spend the day with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

Michael Jackson, and we'd spend all day playing Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on SEGA. I heard a rumor that he helped write some of the music in that game so it would be cool to hear the story!

5. Immortality...Ever think about it? Do you think you might like or hate being immortal?

I haven't really thought about it but I always find I get the most stuff done when I have deadlines and time limits. It's when I have all the free time in the world where I get nothing done. There's no sense of urgency. It can wait till tomorrow or the next day. If I was immortal I reckon I'd end up just playing tons of video games and not giving a fuck. Mortality is natural and there's only so much time that you have to do the cool stuff you want to do in your life, so there is a sense of urgency.

6. The guest question this time comes from the mighty JFB...What’s your most embarrassing moment ever!? (And feel the guilt of not telling the truth if you lie because it’s too embarrassing.)

Screw you JFB for making me answer this question! Haha! Ok, years ago on my first tour in Europe I was a little hungover on a flight leaving Amsterdam. I had the window seat and we were about to land and suddenly started to feel pretty sick. I reached for a puke bag but there wasn't any in the seat pocket, or the seat pocket next to me. You can't get out of your seat when you're landing for safety reasons. So let's just say the people next to me were not happy. Upon arrival I had to sit in an airport for 4 hours with puke jeans waiting for my connecting flight. Lesson learned: Don't get drunk if you have a flight the next day!