Our Stories: Psyclik

Tom Aston

During these times of uncertainty, we are committed to bringing music and experimentation to the forefront, with many new series in place, including our Modular Synthesis and Mindfulness series, every Monday at 8:30am.

Last week Paul Dixon, otherwise known as Psyclik, produced the track ‘Plum’ for this series, which is now available to watch on our Instagram. For this week’s ‘Quarantine’ series interview, we chatted to Paul about his process of creating the track, and his time at Spirit so far. 

Thanks for chatting to us today Paul. To start, tell us about your piece you did last week for our ‘Modular Synthesis and Mindfulness’ series: ‘Plum’. 

When I was creating Plum I wanted to create a progressive track, with some kind of journey to it. For this one I was inspired by ambient music, artists such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher are big inspirations to my music-making process.

I created Plum on Ableton. I synthesised the sounds in Reaktor, FM8 and Kontakt, and I programmed the majority of the elements with MIDI, but I also sliced and manipulated audio samples and processed them using Ableton stock audio effects, like frequency shifter.

That’s very cool. Tell us about your time at Spirit so far, how has it been?

I decided to study at Spirit Studios because of its great history and the facilities/equipment available. I came to check it out a few times and met the tutors too, and it just gave me a really good vibe. I was studying other creative subjects before music – Art, Photography, and Film, and I was drawn to music and producing because I love listening to it and I hadn’t tried making it before, and as soon as I got my hands on Ableton, I was hooked.

Of my time so far, my favourite memory is the workshop for building a Mikrophonie. I’m slowly but surely falling down the rabbit hole of modular synthesis so I really enjoyed that session.

Before you go, tell us, what has your reaction been to how Spirit has handled things since the lockdown?

The outbreak and lockdown happened so quickly, so it was good to see Spirit react just as swiftly. I was surprised by the online lessons that were provided promptly, they’re the best solution that’s been implemented. It’s good to still have regular lessons to keep some kind of normality at strange times like these.

Thanks for chatting Paul. Check out our social next Monday at 8:30am for our next Modular Synthesis and Mindfulness track!