Shur-I-Kan takes us Inside The Track: 'Deep In My Heart' EP
Long-standing Freerange Records artist Tom Szirtes aka Shur-I-Kan returns to Lazy Days Recordings once again for another Deep House delivery in the form of the ‘Deep In My Heart’ EP. We went ‘Inside the Track’ to find out just how it was made..
Congratulations on your new release! How’s it being received in your sets & how are other club DJs responding to it?
Thank you, I’ve been playing the track in my sets for a while now and it always goes down a well – it’s like a mid-set track for me, groovy and driving but not too hyped. I’ve not read the DJ responses yet to be honest so I have no idea what anyone else thinks.
Tell us more about the track. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?
The track started with the vocal sample that’s featured in the chorus section. I often reach for vocals quite early in the writing process, I flick through acapellas randomly searching to find a one or two bar loop. I try to turn vocals into a more rhythmic or textural element and then build harmonies around them using the synths.
Production wise, what is it about the track that makes it work?
For me it’s quite a simple production. The track hinges around the bass line which is bouncy funky disco sound that was created with Aturia’s Oberhiem SEM plug-in. That interplays with the relatively minimal drum pattern with a sampled hi-hat that has its release time opening and closing. There’s a string section added with a key change (shock horror for a dance track) – but actually works nicely here because you get this regular tension and release as it modulates between the main groove and the ‘chorus’.
What is the one machine, program, sound, drum machine, technique that characterizes your sound?
I think a lot of Shur-i-kan tracks are probably more characterized by my use of harmonies and arrangements than the actual sounds. That said, I do tend to rely on layering many varied types of sounds together. A key asset is the large sample library that I’ve collected over the last decade. I look for sounds from all sorts of sources from classical, jazz, weirdo electronica, field records and even 90’s pop. The secret is to treat them like a herb that you sprinkle in the mix, just a pinch of this or that. Nothing that you really notice or dominates the flavour. Production is like cooking!
What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?
At the moment FXPansion’s Geist drum machine is probably the only plug-in that has appeared on almost every track I’ve done in the last few years. It’s an MPC-style drum sampler and sequencer combined. Been using it for a while as I love the ease of getting a pattern down quickly. For me software is all about getting out of the way and making things easy so I can get an idea from my head onto the computer as quickly as possible. The new Geist2 has some major upgrades that are really useful like being able to randomize the probability of a sound triggering and also the velocity/ timing of notes – which is great for making patterns more organic. That said I’m looking at buying a Roland TR-8 unit so it might come into some competition soon.
Any advice for your fans on how to make it in today’s fast paced game?
Be original. Be consistent. Share demos with people who’s opinion you trust. Be in it for the long game!