My Inspiration: M Data – Datagroove EP | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle electronic artist M Data, AKA Michael Peters, has just dropped his 3-track EP, Datagroove, which will be closely followed by a podcast of a recent live 70-minute set through Minimal Detroit (a label/collective based out of Detroit and Berlin) on 28th December.

Here, Michael tells us about the inspiration behind both projects…

EP Inspiration
December’s upcoming release “Datagroove” captures the hard edge and energy witnessed during the live gigs, essentially being a live studio-recorded E.P. 

“I always enjoy performing live to a crowd, hence trying to capture that essence on a studio recording. The three tracks represent a few of the styles I like to incorporate into live performance, each bringing their own mood, and each contributing towards making the experience a journey for the listener, but also staying within the norm for tracks typical of an EP. Of the three tracks I feel that Datagroove sets the mood with its raw, distorted, machine-like, acid-led led drive; Biological then uplifts with a more purist, space-like, big-room, atmospheric, electro feel; We Cannot Be Silenced then completes and complements both with an a return to a more driving, intense, synth-arp led dramatic climax.”

With the EP, inspiration came from wanting to capture some of the live set at its most raw: all tracks are performed live on-the-fly. It brings tracks to life and adds much needed personality and expression; I feel it makes you use the hardware more like an instrument, you need to feel it, understand it, know it inside and out… it becomes a more intuitive process.

Live Set Inspiration
I was absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to be included alongside them and their peers, Detroit and Berlin music scenes being cornerstones of the foundations of techno.

With the 70-minute live set I wanted to capture a non-stop, continual journey through many styles, both trying to keep it light in places, minimal, melodic, ordered, but also with some more-chaotic, deeper, darker, more-intense aspects in there. As part of the live set/show it naturally evolves each time it’s performed, improvisation being a key part of the experience for myself and the audience involved; if I’m playing a venue and the crowd wants it lighter, darker, then I’ll take it where it needs to go and vice versa. 

My idea process is very fluid; I usually generate ideas and then jot them down in whichever format, play with them, make changes. I treat it like a modular process, it’s all interchangeable and flexible. Once a framework is in place, it takes on a life of its own each time. When performing live this changes dynamically, depending on how the crowd reacts and how I feel when performing. When considering the set in its entirety, I like to take audiences on a journey so usually have an idea of how I’d like it to flow and transition, although this can and often does change at any point.

The live set contains ideas and influences from many styles of music; ambient, electro, tech house, beats, however I’ve always favoured techno, especially the Detroit / minimal styles. I’m also into ambient, atmospheric, glitch and more experimental techno so I feel this also comes across in my work. When in the studio, I’m inclusive and draw on as many influences and ideas as possible when being creative, interpreting them into something unique and original; that’s where I enjoy being most creative.

Overall Inspiration
All aspects of life; family, friends, social aspects, innovation, technology, history, politics… I’ve always found inspiration looking at the world around me ever since I was young, seeing what was going on, what’s been and gone, and what’s next.

I like spending time in the studio; I remember from an early age, electronic music shaping my ideas of what the future will hold, it sounded so different, futuristic, and awe-inspiring at the time. Being able to create new sounds and textures, and record live at home helps my workflow and creativity processes massively; over the years I’ve developed a hybrid digital / analogue / semi-modular studio and use various key pieces of outboard, and a stack of controllers.

Other inspiration comes from remembering to take some time out every day, having a break and reflecting; quite often in the busy world we forget to switch off. For me, music creation is the ideal way to do this.

I’m currently on-the-go constantly so one task is usually a switch off from the previous! Music is the same, I just change what’s on in the background to suit my mood / activities. We do like to do activities as a family; my partner and I have 2 kids and 3 dogs so there is usually always something happening or keeping me busy!

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