Earlier today we abducted UK Underground Garage legend “One Dark Martian” Brad Tyler, not to carry out any unearthly experiments on him but just for a brief friendly catch up & to ask him a few burning questions.
1: Firstly, is it true you have your spaceship for sale on Bandcamp?
HA HA! No, I’m afraid that’s all lies. I’m keeping hold of it in case I need it after the 31st October LOL.
2: What or who are your musical influences presently & how often do your musical moods change?
Well first and foremost Todd Edwards. His music is the reason I started making music in the first place. I’ve always been a creative person, with my main passions being film and music. It was Todd’s incredible, unique technique that was so mind blowing to me that it encouraged me to want to start making music. Other influences have always been 80s music, Daft Punk (and French House in general), Felix Da Housecat, Basement Jaxx, MK, Miss Kittin and the Hacker to name a few. I’m also a massive fan of horror films and their scores. As for musical mood changes it usually just depends on the track I’m working on. A good example would be my recent remix of Lavonz “U Been Nowhere”. As soon as the label sent me the acapella and I heard James’ vocal I knew instantly what I wanted to do with it. It wasn’t going to be that choppy, bumpy four to the floor UKG style I usually do under ODM, but a more 80s, synthwave electro vibe. For that I leant heavily on my influences from the 80s horror scores of legends such as John Carpenter and Claudio Simonetti; it turned out really well. The Conspiracy Theory EP coming out on Pointblank Records is another example of different musical moods with a different vibe for each track; with “Into the Night” being a jazzier, breakbeat affair while “Loving You” has a more Todd inspired choppy, sample-based UKG vibe. I’m currently working on the third track for the EP so the door is open as to wear I take that one.
3: Name a piece of studio equipment you just wouldn’t do without?
Most people would think it would be my vocoders (and they’re mostly right). However, if push comes to shove, the one piece of equipment I could never be without is my Roland Juno 106. I think I’ve used it on every single track I’ve ever done, it’s such a great sounding synth and a total classic. The chorus effect on it is so iconic, I adore it.
4: So, what’s the secret of keeping your productions fresh & different whilst still maintaining your trademark sound your audience & fans have grown accustomed to?
For me it’s been a journey of self-discovery and confidence. Once I started to feel more confident in my music I started experimenting with the sound, trying to bring in different influences and ideas. In more recent years I’ve really started to pull in some 80s influences to give my sound something unique, since no one else is really bringing that to UKG, it’s fun working on that. Also, I’ve started to head in a more synth-based direction as opposed to sample-based. I still love to produce that choppy, sample-based style, but I want to keep it fresh by using more synths and creating my own elements to then play with and chop about. Since I’ve always produce other styles of music, I often try to infuse the ODM sound with those vibes just to give it a fresh sound.
5: You have a release coming out on Pointblank Records around the end of October under the name “The Martian Project”. We have been lucky to have had the pleasure to get a copy of ” Into the Night” one of the tracks off the EP. It’s a fresh n bumping belter of a choon with some noticeably jazzy influenced undertones with that killer bassline that we absolutely love. We think it certainly has a broad range of appeal to a wider audience & would highly recommend folks to grab a copy. Are you pleased with the end result, & can you tell us a little behind the The Martian Project in general, the sound & how it differs to ODM?
Thank you! I’m very pleased with the result. Since the very beginning I’ve produced many, many tracks in various styles but never really pushed in those other directions. Back around 2003, when I started to make a name for myself on the UK Garage scene, that just seemed to be the direction to take, but I never stopped producing other styles. The idea behind The Martian Project is a wider one. It’s an alias that keeps a tie to ODM but gives scope to push with other styles, sounds, genres, experiments etc. For example, I want to start doing something along the lines of synth-based film scores. A lot of people don’t know this, but I’ve produced music for TV commercials in the US, for companies such as Toshiba and Cadillac. That was a lot of fun and it really opened my eyes (and ears) to trying new things creatively. I’d like to do more stuff along those lines. The Conspiracy Theory EP is the first release under The Martian Project and came from the fact “Into the Night” was not a typical ODM sound. Russell from Pointblank Records had asked me to do something more breakbeat, jazzy for one of the tracks and “Into the Night” was the result. I felt like it was a good time to introduce the concept of The Martian Project.
6: What is your take on the emergence of the new underground GarageHouse scene & how do you see it progressing also how does it differ to the UKG sound.
To be completely honest I don’t really know. I’ve existed in a bit of a bubble for the past few years with so many things going on, I’ve not really had time to keep up with what’s happening on the scene. I think it’s important to keep a finger on the pulse, but I’ve just not be able to lately. It’s something I intend to pay more attention to moving forward. Trying to juggle life, a full-time job and making music is a tough one.
7: Can you tell us one thing that’s been a game changer either for good or not so good within the industry as a whole since you first began all those years ago.
I think the emergence of streaming services in recent years has been a game changer. People panicked with the advent of downloading back in the early 2000s and that really did change the landscape a lot, making it harder and harder for artists to earn any kind of return on their work. However, streaming has changed that even further and not for the better in my opinion (certainly not for the artists anyway). Any return goes into the pockets of the service providers and not to the artists. Also, there seems to be a culture emerging where people just expect everything for free. It’s frustrating because, as artists, we work so hard at our craft and yet we struggle to pay our bills like the next person. We often find ourselves spending less and less time making music as a result. Over the years I’ve seen so many great producers just hang up their hats because they can’t afford to spend any time on it anymore. it’s such a shame.
8: We have been told you’re a secret fan of a certain Krispy Kreme product, what’s your recommended donut flavour of the month?
HA HA! I wonder how you heard about that? I have such a weak spot for them, it’s not good. My waistline is expanding faster than the universe. It all started with the Cherry Pie flavour. I was a bit obsessed. However, the standard glazed, raspberry filled one is my favourite… Is anyone else hungry?
9: Ok so when you’re not confined to Area 51 how & where can new fans of your music find you?
I tend to post most things on Facebook, YouTube, Soundcloud and Bandcamp, sometimes Twitter. You can find me at:
YouTube – youtube.com/onedarkmartian
Facebook – facebook.com/onedarkmartian
Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/one-dark-martian
Bandcamp – onedarkmartian.bandcamp.com
Twitter – twitter.com/onedarkmartian
Finally, are there any shouts, acknowledgements or any mentions of anything at all you’d like to make???
I have to give a big thanks to Russell Fehlau from Pointblank Records. It’s been fun working with him and I’m really excited about what we have lined up. Dean DjBigman Ferguson for hooking us up (thank you). Dave Lucas from Highly Swung Records for all his support over the years. DJ EZ for his continued support since the beginning, huge respect. A massive shout out to the legend himself, Todd Edwards. Not only for being such a positive influence but for his friendship, encouragement and the occasional (much needed) kick up the backside. I’ve got to say a massive shout out to all my family and friends (they’d kill me if I didn’t LOL) I love you all. Finally, to my fans and the people out there who like and support what I do. Please know I’m so grateful to each and every one of you, thank you! Much love!
THE MARTIAN PROJECT THE CONSPIRACY THEORY E.P OUT IN OCTOBER ON POINTBLANK RECORDS