Jay OM & Steve Morley have a Sixth Sense
Reported by Jessica B
Submitted 14-05-12 07:10
Sonic Wave Control is a new progressive Psy-trance act who consists of Jay OM & Steve Morley – both experienced and well respected trance producers in the scene. They launched this act with a no messing debut album; ‘Sixth Sense’ which was just released on Free-Spirit Records. Soon to follow will be their debut live act appearance at the infamous inSpiral Lounge in Camden on the 19th May, at the highly anticipated Free-Spirit Records Label Party. With so much going on for these guys, I decided I better grab them now for a quick chat whilst I still can!
You’re both already established producers and artists in the scene right now - Jay with your acts Journey & Omsphere and Steve with Cathar & Cosmic Warrior. For those few of us who don’t know, give us a little introduction about how you came to this point. Where did your musical voyages begin?
Steve: I started producing full time in 1991 and after a few releases under different act names I discovered my preference for Trance. Since then I have been on a journey within the genre bringing me to Psychedelic. It feels like I’m back in the golden years of Trance!
Jay: I started DJing Hard Trance in 1998 as Jay OM and swapped to psychedelic beats in 2001. In 2003 I began producing as Journey and Star~Trip after doing sound engineering and music technology college @IMW, London. Omsphere followed in 2009 and now SWC in 2012.
As mentioned previously, you both enjoy success with your established acts listed above. What made you decide to create Sonic Wave Control?
Steve: When Jessica and I got our act Cathar signed to Free-Spirit Records it quickly became clear that me and Jay think along the same lines about music and we felt it would be great to get into the studio and try some things out.
Jay: We had a studio session and it was so natural making sounds together that we decided to create a project and so Sonic Wave Control was born.
How does Sonic Wave Control differ from your other acts, are there any similarities?
Steve: The other acts I’m involved in all are a little more on the extreme end. Cathar is full on, driving and in some cases furious. While Cosmic Warrior is Down Tempo leaning to the chill out. So I guess Sonic Wave Control is somewhere in the middle, very much groove orientated with a kind of tribal feel.
Jay: For sure I can see similarities between Journey and Omsphere production and I am sure Steve can see similarities with Cathar and Cosmic Warrior... The main difference with SWC is that we are two brains, two producers, two ideas, two musicians...two elements and for those reasons it will always differ from my solo projects.
How did you find working together? Did it go smoothly or were there some hiccups along the way?
Steve: I have done a fair few collaborations in my years some cool and some not so. Working with Jay is great fun. We can sense what the other is thinking so it goes extremely quick and smooth. It certainly does not feel like work even though we work hard and long hours lol.
Jay: It’s great fun working with Steve right from the beginning. We are very like-minded with regards to music so it went very smoothly . . .
Let’s talk equipment. In the studio do you use software, hardware or a hybrid between the two?
Steve: I use a hybrid at the moment as it is more time and cost effective. It is all about finding the right balance, making sure you cover as much as the sonic spectrum as you can so you have a lot of choices. In an ideal world I would probably use a few plug-ins but mainly hardware, I still think it sounds much nicer.
Jay: I used to have hardware in my studio, but now after selling my last piece, an X-Station, I am using software only. I am still searching for the perfect hardware to take my sound to the next level.
What are your favourite pieces of gear you have or would love to have?
Steve: I can say what I would love to have – A nice shiny Alesis A6 Andromeda! I would not complain if someone donates a Roland TB-303 or Roland TR-909 either of course.
Jay: UAD Quad is next on my list. I also would love to have two channel strips, SSL XLogic is the dream machine. I wouldn’t mind having a Nord Lead, a Virus TI and a Jupiter as well, lol
Do you play any musical instruments? Might you incorporate them in future tracks?
Steve: I’m a classical trained pianist and used to play the trumpet and drums. However the last two I haven’t played in over 10 years so I fear I might have to brush up on them severely. Not sure how a trumpet would fit in our sound though ha ha ha
Jay: I play guitar, but not as good as 9 years ago when I started playing synths instead and I am more than happy with them . . . but you never know.
Who or what are your biggest influences and inspirations?
Steve: I would say that I took a lot of inspiration in the early days from Sven Vath, Ralphie Dee and Jam and Spoon. These days I would say Tristan.
Jay: My earliest influences were for sure psychedelic rock bands like The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and then later electronic bands including Depeche Mode, Talk Talk, Tears for Fears and a bit of Simple Minds, when I started producing the album that stands out in my mind as most inspirational to me was Son Kite – Colours, back in 2003.
In your opinion what makes an outstanding artist?
Steve: Well first of all you need some musical talent, without that it is a bit pointless. Many people try but fall at the first or second hurdle. Besides that it is equally important to have a real love for music, a passion that puts it first. On top of that you need an incredible drive and ambition to put the work in to learn and grow. Lastly a very thick skin, you will encounter some hurdles along the way.
Jay: Dedication and discipline, avoiding short cuts, quality of production and most importantly being true to yourself.
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you might be?
Steve: A recording and mix engineer for sure! I would love to be a vet if I was not in music but I’m not cut out for it.
Jay: Goodness, I'm not sure. I can’t see myself not doing anything creative.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Steve: I got a few haha. Vodka with Redbull, Tiger Energy drink and JD and coke.
Jay: Guinness or Jack Daniels on the rocks.
Your debut album ‘Sixth Sense’ was recently released on Free-Spirit Records. Was there a concept behind this album or did you just set out to make first class pumping tracks?
Steve: We got in the studio with the idea to see where it would take us and within a day we had our first track. After that we thought we might actually be able to produce a cool EP but by the time track number 3 was done we still had loads of ideas and thought we should do an album. I guess we will not leave it long until the next album as we still have tons of ideas!
Jay: There was nothing prepared at the beginning, we did our first studio session together in which we ended up making a full track in one day and having lots of fun and then we started preparing the direction and vibe for the next track we planned to work on but there was never a fixed concept. I think because it was such a new project we were still constantly learning from one another so every track brought with it a new and exciting twist.
It’s rare and indeed bold for a new act to release an album without an EP first. What made you decide to do it the unconventional way?
Steve: It was more accidental then planned at first. It was such great fun to work with each other that we kept finishing track after track and it felt wrong to keep them on hold too long.
Jay: To be honest, we started out just making one track but enjoyed ourselves so much that soon there was another, and another so our initial thought was to then make an EP and that just organically grew into an album. We could have just released an EP to begin with but we had all these great tracks that it seemed a waste to just release 2 or 3 and leave the other 5 or 6 parked on our hard drive. I love psychedelic and also love being unconventional and unexpected and besides I’m the label manager so it was a risk I was willing to take.
You will be playing your first ever live act as Sonic Wave Control on the 19 May 2012 – at the Free-Spirit Records Label Party which is being held at the legendary inSpiral Lounge in Camden. What treats do you have in store for the attendees?
Steve: Good question, as we have been so busy with our other projects in the mean time we have not had the time to sit down and come up with plans. We will be doing that as soon as possible though.
Jay: Showcasing our debut album and playing together for the first time are both going to be very big treats. It’s going to be a very memorable time!
What about the future? What plans do you have in the pipeline for Sonic Wave Control?
Steve: We are definitely planning to make another album this year and hopefully have a lot of live performances as that is something we really love to do. You can’t beat bringing joy to a dance floor, it is simply the biggest buzz on the planet.
Jay: We have so many ideas we can’t wait to get back in the studio together and start working on the next album, then getting our music out there, touring and taking the Sonic Wave Control sound around the world.
Thanks guys for taking the time out to answer my questions – good luck for the future & I’m looking forward to the Free-Spirit Records Label Party!
Sonic Wave Control - Sixth Sense is out now on Free-Spirit Records on all good download stores and CD shops.
To hear teasers of Sonic Wave Control’s sound click here.
Images courtesy of Jay OM & Steve Morley. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Psy Trance. Chillout / Leftfield.
Cosmic Warrior (Free-Spirit Records)
OMsphere (Free-Spirit Records)
Sonic Wave Control (Free-Spirit Records)
Cathar (Free-Spirit Records)
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Jay OM on 15th May 2012 14:09.37|
Very nice interview Jess, thanks!!
From: Tara on 20th May 2012 22:18.02
Great interview Jay & Jess Thanks for a great party!
From: AstralCircus on 23rd Jun 2012 16:47.42
Great interview!! Looking forward to having Cather (aka. Steve Morely & Jessica B) perform live at the Astral Circus Launch Party!!