MONDAY MIXTAPE: LOSSY
“Soulful Electro Medicine”
Lossy, aka Sam Sharp, is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist based in Hackney, London. Having grown up playing sax in big band ensembles Sharp went on to study classical music at Leeds before achieving his Masters in jazz from the Guildhall School in London in the mid 2000s. Since then he has immersed himself in electronic music, building up a formidable arsenal of instruments and equipment at his studio base in north London. Equally happy working as a traditional writer and arranger as he is in the realms of dance music, he often finds himself the "muso in the room".
As a session and touring musician he has worked with Hollie McNish, Augustines, Phil Selway of Radiohead, Beverley Knight, Visage, Ben Taylor and Lamb’s Lou Rhodes - just to name a few - along with remixes and collaborations with the likes of Roska, Nu:Tone, Laura Mvula, Zed Bias, Miri Kat, Greymatter, Stephen Crowe and visual artist Strangers Are People Too. Always at the forefront of technology, his live performances combine innovative controllers, live electronics, traditional acoustic instruments and looping gear to enable him to improvise and compose on the fly.
Having released on Tru Thoughts, Tessier Ashpool, Two Rivers and now his latest EP on his own label Boot Cycle Audio.
The name of his Monday Mixtape contribution says it all. If not, here’s his words:
“As with my EP “Gated Soul” this mix explores an area I’m calling “soulful electro”. As I went on the journey of this mix I touched on genres and sonics such as breakbeat, bass, jazzy electro, garage and soulful house, and tunes that sit somewhere blur the lines between the acoustic and electronic, human warmth and machine made perfection. In my mind I was hoping to provide something more relaxing and healing to counterpoint the relentless and often overwhelming nature of the times we find ourselves in, something that you can let wash over you and lift your spirits.
As for the EP itself, it started life as more of an out and out electro EP but as I worked towards finishing and polishing the tracks I was drawn to a more warm and acoustic sound - allowing some of my background as a jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist creep in. This meant that fender rhodes, blissed out synths, crunchy breaks and horns all crept into these productions. This also includes me playing sax, flute and clarinet on couple of the tunes, which I recorded quickly and roughly in my main studio room with a focus on going with the moment and making something vibey rather than doing a “proper” arrangement and “nailing it”. I also played in some sampled trumpet using a wind synth which blends well with the real sax after the break down on “Hocus Pocus”.
In addition to acoustic instruments, this EP was hugely aided and inspired by 3 key bits of tech I would definitely recommend people check out. First up is the Vulf Compressor from Goodhertz which I used on most tracks on group buses to add some tape wobble and lo fi warmth - you can hear it particularly on the rhodes in “Hocus Pocus” and the woodwind on “To The Woods”. I’ve always found it takes a while to find the right bass sounds in my productions, but on this EP this problem was solved on most tracks by using the fantastic “Volca Kick” - it may seem odd to use a kick synth to play bass lines, but people have been doing this since early electronic music, and it matched an idea I had in my head to recreate the kind of headroom for bass that you can find in 90s jungle productions, you don’t need to twiddle with this synth too much to get something working quickly in the mix. Last honorable mention would go to Keyscape from Spectrasonics which has all the rhodes sounds you’ll ever need along with some pianos and a whole bunch of quirky bits like pianets, celestes, toy pianos and dulcitones."
Nils Frahm - Do (Databoy78 rework) [Erased Tapes]
Moomin - 123 [Smallville Germany]
D Tiffany - Get Back To You Soon [Pacific Rhythm]
Duke Hugh - Loft Nights [Rhythm Section International]
The Maghreban - Mr Brown - [R&S]
Lossy - Blues For Jekyll [Boot Cycle Audio]
Skee Mask - Routine [Ilian Tape Germany]
O'Flynn - Glow Worm [AWAL]
Leon Vynehall - Saxony [Running Back Germany]
Lossy - Hocus Pocus [Boot Cycle Audio]
Peggy Gou - Maktoop [Technicolour]
Bicep - Glue [Ninja Tune]
Calibre - A River Alone [The Nothing Special]
buy his Gated Soul EP here: