Moonsplatta’s Cypher 015 was a moonshot with the stars thrown in
Moonsplatta curated Cypher 015 – Space Station Beats and his challenge to the Class of 808 was to create songs that sound like they are from some other futuristic world. The Producer Dojo Cypher 015 Space Station Beats EP was the #1 release on the Beatport Breaks chart and also charting in Dubstep (#6) and Electronica/Downtempo (#9) when I asked Jack to share stories from his cypher curator experience.
Jack, really nice work on curating Cypher 015 Space Station Beats. Tell us more about this Cypher Challenge and what important lessons did you learn along the way?
The cypher challenge was to imagine being a producer who grew up in a space station colony. It was inspired by this excerpt from the book Neuromancer by William Gibson:
“When they’d strung the cables, according to some complex scheme of Molly’s, they hung them with battered sheets of yellow plastic. As they worked, Case gradually became aware of the music that pulsed constantly through the cluster. It was called dub, a sensuous mosaic cooked from vast libraries of digitalized pop; it was worship, Molly said, and a sense of community. Case heaved at one of the yellow sheets; the thing was light but still awkward. Zion smelled of cooked vegetables, humanity, and ganja.”
In Neuromancer, the main characters travelled to a giant space station colony to employ the help of some space Rasta. I absolutely loved the description of their dub music and their community. It got me thinking about what sounds you would hear in a place like that… an enormous melting pot of cultures and technology floating in space. My challenge was to use that quote as an inspiration to create music with an atmosphere and vibe that makes it feel like it came from outer space or anything found in this futuristic space colony.
What did I learn? That giving feedback is hard! When we started this I wasn’t mentoring in the dojo yet and was still getting the hang of it. It wasn’t easy articulating useful feedback on other people’s art, even if it was only to ensure a cohesive collection of music, but I really enjoyed the process and learned a lot from it. I enjoy the feedback process a lot more now. It is a great way to work with and learn from talented people across different music styles.
Tell us about your song “Moonshot Dub” that you wrote for the Cypher.
Moonshot Dub is a revision of a track that I made several years ago, right before I started doing 1 on 1 sessions with ill.Gates in 2015. NASA gave out a bunch of recordings and I knew right away I wanted to use the classic “Houston we’ve had a problem” sample and that epic JFK speech. It’s really the fourth version of the track, the second and third ones never got released but I did use them a few times live. I changed the name to Moonshot Dub because I felt like the track told a bigger story than just the Apollo 13 emergency. I used a lot of mechanical noises and glitchy edits to give it the futuristic sci-fi feel that I wanted for the mixtape.
What was the most challenging aspect of curating a mixtape and do you have any advice for future curators?
Keeping up with the feedback was a challenge for sure. The submissions came in quick and you can start to feel overwhelmed if you don’t stay on top of it. Putting the actual mix together ended up being easier than I expected since I had so many great tracks to choose from. Since the challenge was really open ended and intentionally somewhat vague I had a wide range of styles and energy levels which resulted in a very dynamic mix that takes you on a journey.
Do you have any special shout outs/nods of recognition that you would like to give to any Ninjas for their efforts on this challenge?
Yes! Mufunka helped me a lot during the whole process. The cypher challenge started when I was still living in Chicago and he was coming over to my studio pretty often to work on music so we would also take breaks from our projects to listen to the submissions and do the early rounds of feedback together. Later in the summer I moved to Los Angeles and around that time people’s final edits were coming in and he helped update the Ableton project with the new files while I was traveling.
Is there anything else that you would like to share or promote?
Look out for the upcoming UHNK and Mufunka EPs, You might see my name on a couple of those tracks! If you’re in the Southern California area check out the Fuzzy Puddles campout next month called The Chronic of Gnarnia. I will be playing at that along with a whole bunch of really awesome producers on a big Hennessy Sound system!
Track Listing for Cypher 015 – Space Station Beats:
@moonsplatta – “moonshot dub” – 0:00
@hellavision – “dirty” – 1:47
@memorycode – “Moon Glow” – 3:35
@andrumedamusic – “Interstellar” – 4:55
@fractalgiant – “Dojo Mothership” – 6:31
@schuzmusic – “Space Station” – 8:14
@tyraze – “Space Pirates” – 8:54
@UHNK – “Hostiles” – 10:42
@corbin-little – Space Demon – 13:22
@sedamuzic – “All systems go” – 15:23
@knobreaks – “Lifeform Detected” – 16:47
@mufunka – “Soundbox” – 18:38
Avid Ritual (@nickkolar) – “Feet don’t fail me now” – 19:31
@messeamusic – “Celestial Void” – 21:23
@slowform – “Deep into space” – 23:25
@spiderhound – “I believe in you and me” – 25:22
(@lukerainmusic) Luke Rain ft. Marie Font – “Cosmic” – 27:43
Shadowstar (@mrdjshadowstar) – “Spacebooty 69” – 29:48
@tuseelight – “Space Station” – 31:52
Recursion (@recursion77) – “Synthetic Singularity” -34:07
@wavema – “Goldilocks Zone” – 36:05