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Interview: Sinks

11 Jan 2017 spotlight words by Terence Ill
Interview: Sinks

‘Vacate the premises’, the first video clip from Cold Fury, came out Jun 3, 2014. That’s more than 2 years ago. What was the hold-up? Have you been sitting on it for a while or did it actually take that long to finish?

Sinks: Yeah that’s a long time. An unforgivably long time. There was a lot of culling involved which was extending the time frames. We killed almost as much as what we kept for this one. So I guess the main reason for all of that was the perfectionism that Oath and I were both striving for. He’d be digging for months before the right sample came along. And I’d be writing. One line at a time.

The whole album was produced by Oath. Why Oath?

Sinks: I really am a strong believer in the idea that an album should be a cohesive journey. To achieve that I think it’s pretty essential to have a sound that runs consistent throughout and that will always be more effective with one producer. I wanted to work with Oath specifically because he’s incredibly talented and his sound was the epitome of what I was going for at the time. He was always able to capture the mood that I seek out in beats. Plus, the fact he uses the SP1200 was also appealing - I’d been a fan of that sound too.

Oath is so incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to samples. He’s like a master digger, if there is such a thing. Last year I played a set of my own beats at a local producer night. Afterwards, Oath, who also played on the night, named all the drum breaks I had used in my beats.

Sinks: There’s no doubt about that. Oath lives and breathes vinyl. He doesn’t have a job beyond buying and selling vinyl so it’s his trade to an even greater extent than your average producer. He’s just across it all. Even beyond stuff you would use to sample Hip Hop.

Premo said once, that Guru would tell him what song ideas he was working on and Premo would then make the beat for it. Then there’s the more common producer/MC collab, where the producer sends beats and it goes from there. Which way did you play it for 'Cold Fury'?

Sinks: It was definitely more the former. But it worked well for us, because Oath really got the sound I was looking for in beats. As soon as we locked in to that sound the album almost immediately gained its own unique soundscape. In saying that, there were a few things I knew I was gunna pen for this record, it would just take the right beat to draw it out.

Is this your first vinyl release?

Sinks: This is my first vinyl for a project that’s entirely my own. I’ve featured on a few records here and there - you and Context, for example.

So it was important to you, having this album on vinyl?

Sinks: Yeah, it was definitely important. For one, it’s the only format people pay for music on, unlinke streaming services which don’t actually contribute a god damn dime to the artists. And I think there’s something good about that, because it’s kind of a counter culture against the disposable nature of what music and art is becoming. It sort of fights back against that and gives some value back to the music. I mean, I don’t need to tell you or any collector of vinyl that it’s a special medium.

If you had to pick on song of the album that best represents the release as a whole, which song would it be?

Sinks: I’d have to say ‘Malice’. That beat was made about mid way through the project and Oath and I both felt it was a real gem. It’s easily my favourite track both instrumentally and lyrically. Unlike almost every track on this album, I wrote this in one sitting because the inspiration was through the roof. That’s a bit corny but there’s definitely something to be said about finding a beat that fits. We also just released the clip for that too so be sure to check it.

Every now and then I see your name pop up in production credits. You had something on Joe Snow’s release, if my memory serves me right. How big of a thing is production for you?

Sinks: I’ve been steady on the production side of things for a few years now and it’s definitely a big part of what I do creatively. As I’ve gone along I’ve improved and the beats got to a point where MC’s were really vibing them and I was able to contribute to a few projects. As time goes I see myself focusing more on beats than on vocals. I don’t wanna be grey haired and rhyming, but ill happily be grey haired and making beats behind closed doors where nobody can see me.

Cold Fury is out now on vinyl and as a digital download.