Glasgow producer Inkke is fast becoming the name to drop.
Collabs with Novelist, a hook up with LuckyMe, and a sound that is truly his own have pushed Inkke to the centre of the hype bubble.
Yet he's taking it all in his stride. Beneath the bombastic sound and dense array of colours Inkke is an artist capable of sketching out supremely delicate shapes.
A beat maker of great subtlety, Inkke released his new EP 'Secret Palace' through LuckyMe earlier this month.
As a celebration, Inkke kindly pieced together a fast 'n' furious new mix for Clash, and took part in an interview with our writer Alex McFadyen.
Check out the mix now – then catch the Q&A after the jump.
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Sami Baha – Mavericks One
Timbaland – This Me, Fuck It feat. 2 Chainz
Lil Ugly Mane – Pay Wutcha Weigh
Three 6 Mafia – I Thought You Knew
Justin Timberlake – My Love (Instrumental)
Rabit x Beatking x Santa Muerte – Tearz Edit
S-Type – Invasion
BK Beats – Sake
Mickey Oliver – Never Let Go feat. Shanna Jae (Inkke Remix)
Zomby – Acid Surf
Joe Howe – Crashy (MM Mix)
DJ Paul & Lord Infamous – 1000 Blunts
LSDXOXO – On Fire feat. Beek
DJ Technics – My Life Extra
LSDXOXO – Freestyle 4 Remix
DJ Sany Pitbull – Troca-Aplica
DJ DOuble Nugget – Non Stop
Dj Double Nugget – MF 2 Compute
Inkke – Tales From The Quick
Joe Howe – Chop Max
Normal.TV – Tik Tik Tik
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Your tune earlier this year for LuckyMe 'Peekapop' demonstrated the versatility of mood that you're capable of in your music. Can you tell me a bit about making the track?
'Peekapop' started as a little melody I had been playing about with for a while, but not really knowing what to use it for or where to put it, it looped well and seemed to work nice at a lot of different tempos. I guess I was trying to make something kind of weird and a little bit out there but still playable in a club environment. I had it sitting half finished for about 6 months not knowing where to take it, but I think it just needed that time to be left. Coming back to a track with fresh ears can totally work wonders for your creativity in terms of coming up with ideas I think.
Perhaps one of your best known releases was last year's 'Mmm Yeah' with Novelist. How did the collaboration come about?
I was down in London working on a project and had some free studio time, we had been talking about collaborating for a while online but just hadn't had the chance with me being in Glasgow and him London. I hit him up and he came down to the studio, I think that was the first time we had actually met. I played through the beat and about 32 bars into listening he was writing lyrics in his pad with a big smile on his face. The track came together really quick, it was amazing. Nov rallied through the writing within the hour, recorded the vocals in a couple of takes. It was just really easy, Novelist is a super friendly, professional guy.
Do you have more work with him in the pipeline? And which other of the newer MCs would you be most keen to work with?
Yeah sure, last time we met we were speaking about working on some new stuff, when the time is right. It's more just about us both being in the same place creatively and being around each other for long enough to collaborate properly, these things always work better in person in my opinion. I'm working on some other stuff he's involved in at the moment too. I've got a handful of vocal tracks ready at the moment with guys I really like, AJ Tracey, YGG, Elf Kid. They'll surface at some point, I'm excited for them to be heard.
Could you see yourself producing an entire mixtape with a single producer, like Dark0 and K9's 'Mad in the Cut'?
Sure, I'd love to work on a full album with a vocalist at some point, possibly under a separate group name. Really mix up some styles. To me it's just about crossing paths with the right person and the work coming together organically. You need a real strong creative connection if you want to make a project like that something special. But yeah, it's something I've always been interested in pursuing.
The instrumental scene is diverse and vibrant at the moment, but would you say there's as much variation in the new wave as MCs as there was in the old?
Yeah I think most MCs have their own solid style, the guys I've been keeping up on anyways. It's growing, and I'm sure that has something to do with the instrumental side of things. A lot of people left for road rap or pop or changed their sound a couple years ago for whatever reason, and the vocal scene kind of fell apart in my eyes. What got me into it in the first place had disappeared, but now more people are realising they don't have to water down what they do to be accepted, it's good to see that original energy coming back.
One of the most discussed topics around Novelist recently has been his Ruff Sound movement, at 160 bpm. Are you working on anything for that? And obviously it's a similar tempo to footwork, again would you be interested in working with any of the Teklife crew, or wider scene?
I'm not working on anything for Ruff Sound but I'm watching it develop. It was interesting to hear that new one 'Snitches' with the heavy Memphis influence, that worked really well. Always down with Teklife, I love that shit. I've got a lot of footwork tracks only a handful of people have heard, with some collaborations, would be cool to work on some more for sure.
When producing, do you tend to focus on working out the drums or the melody first?
It's different every time, it's more about what's influencing me at the time and influence can hit you from anywhere, you just have to follow it and see where it goes. If I wake up and start from scratch with no ideas in my head I'm probably more likely to mess around with a melody to begin with.
How much do you think about the dancefloor reaction when you're building a tune?
Not much, it's something I'm taking into consideration more now though. Usually I just let things flow and go with it, but that way you end up producing twenty tracks and of that twenty only three of them are club ready. There's nothing wrong with that, it just takes up a lot of time. I guess it depends what you're wanting to do really, but there's no point in forcing yourself to make a club record if that's not where your mind is at, that's how you end up making terrible music. It's all practice, music production for me is a constant learning process.
What ideas underpinned your new EP, ‘Secret Palace’?
It's a showcase of what I've been working on for the past couple of years, some of the tracks I'm happiest with. Stylistically each track is completely different, so I hope the record shows versatility. I make a lot of music of different styles and only a fraction ends up getting released or heard, and from that fraction people have to form an opinion to give what you do a tag or put it in a category, which can be dangerous. I don't ever want to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre, that's how you end up limiting your creative output, and I never want that.
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Inkke’s ‘Secret Palace’ EP is out now on LuckyMe, buy now LINK.