Interview by Arnold van der Walt
Blake Bratcher has been making waves in the electronic scene for a while now, but you might know him as the dynamic producer, Guilt Chip. On 29 July, Guilt Chip will be releasing his ‘Cruelty Has A Human Heart’ EP via Vibe Digital. We were lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the entire EP and premiere ‘Turbo’ which was produced alongside M!NGO.
‘Turbo’ resonates with the style Guilt Chip is known for; deep emotional bass. It’s powerful, yet vulnerable at the same time. Hard-hitting, yet tender. The first half of ‘Turbo’ feels dark and brooding. Almost as if an impending doom is anticipated, but at the halfway mark, all hope is restored. The melancholic bass is now layered with an uplifting and soaring melody.
We sat down with Guilt Chip and had a quick chat to him about his influences, opening for Slushii, and having to deal with food poisoning while DJ’ing.
Listen to Guilt Chip x M!NGO – ‘Turbo’ here while reading the interview below:
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Describing your own sound is always difficult, but the best I can distill it down to is “angst-ridden emotional electronic music”. It’s important to me to use studio technology as an instrument and actually write songs, not just DJ tools or disposable pieces of content.
Which three albums have influenced you the most creatively?
Aphex Twin‘s ‘DrukQs’, Nine Inch Nails‘ ‘The Fragile’ and Justice‘s ‘Cross’.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
As far as the writing process, it always starts with a writing session on my modular synth. Even though I use Ableton prolifically, I prefer working with audio rather than MIDI so I’ll often form some kind of skeletal idea or sound on my hardware before recording it in. Once I have the pieces in place I’ll start fleshing everything else out until it sounds like how I’m imagining it in my head.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
Studio work and music creation, easily. Playing live is a unique reward in itself, but I’m an artist at heart and my place is in the studio.
Any new artists on your radar?
cndrsxn, YUMZ, INFDL and Just Connor are all killing it right now.
What has been your most memorable performance so far?
I recently opened for Slushii and I wasn’t sure if the crowd would be receptive to what I had prepared (which was a set of mostly original material), but everyone was really feeling it. It was a very cool experience to see a packed venue dancing to styles of music they wouldn’t normally be listening to.
And which performance would you prefer to forget?
I remember one time I played a college party while I was dealing with food poisoning. Even though the crowd was great and was overall a very positive experience, having to rush to the bathroom to throw up and get back to try and mix into the next song wasn’t quite my favorite performance.
If you could collaborate with, or perform alongside any artist, who would it be? And why?
Probably Bleep Bloop. His approach is so punk rock and inspirational. His music has so much of his personality in it and is a great antidote to the somewhat familiar approach that bass music has taken for the past few years.
Tell us about any upcoming shows or releases you have in the pipeline.
My EP ‘Cruelty Has a Human Heart’ comes out on July 29th. It includes four songs by me and one remix by LTHL. It’s easily my best work to date and exists somewhere between industrial bass and wavey downtempo music. Outside of that, I have a ton of original songs, collaborations and remixes I’m sorting out.
Famous last words….
Mine your uniqueness.
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