LA/Barcelona based Skyler Patrick Taugher, better known as SHADED, returned to Montréal imprint Turbo Recordings this past month with a standout four track EP titled “Ripped Kick”, a release which is causing quite the kerfuffle.
2014 was very much a breakout year for the producer, garnering attention from across the board, he earned himself the plaudits of Sci Tech Chief Dubfire while also being selected as ‘One to Watch’ by respected UK outfit Mixmag. 2015, however, sees him hitting his stride with the Turbo family welcoming back to label for much sought after second release.
Taugher is not your run of the mill techno DJ/producer, as you’ll soon find out. He’s an artist that’s not after to take risks and as we found all this week, the philospy is paying off, We caught up to talk Turbo, Biggie Smalls and standing out from the crowd.
WWD : Tell us about your latest EP, was it something you put together specifically with Turbo in mind?
‘Ripped Kick’ was written for fun really. I was working on it the studio, probably about mid way through the track, and the Turbo guys reached out for a follow up EP to my previous ‘She She’ record. So timing wise and sound wise it made sense for the track to go to Turbo. Plus, I wrote it about 2/3 months before its release date, so it was nice putting music out that was relevant to the current sound I am enjoying making in the studio.
WWD : How does it feel to be part of such an illustrious label and what’s your relationship with the main man Tiga?
It’s cool, and I am really honored. The catalogue they have is insane, and the best part is they do what ever the fuck they want. The sound of Turbo is not defined by any one genre, but rather a collection from all sounds within electronic music. There are no boundaries with them; as long as its good they dig it. Tiga has been supportive since the first demos I sent him, and I believe we are currently working on doing a Turbo showcase together in the near future, so looking forward to that as it would be my first time playing for the label.
WWD : The new EP and all your productions have such a distinctive sound, amongst the multitude of producers out there today, how do you go about cultivating a unique sound, is this something you consider when making music?
Thanks, I am happy to here you say that. My goal was always to create a vibe that had its own identity. When you’re in a club, and you hear a song come on and you instantly know who made it -that to me was a sign of someone who had a real intimate knowledge of their studio. I have always admired those producers out there, and strived to create something similar. So to hear people tell me they dig my sound means a lot to me.
WWD : We know you are a big hip hop fan (you’ve even released an edit of Biggy Smalls). We often see a lot of producers cite hip hop influences but could you give us a little example aside from the obvious of how that might influence your sound and the music you make?
I guess the main thing is the vocal element and tone of hip hop. When you strip it all back, the core of a hip hop track is quite simplistic. All the famous hip hop / rap tracks that blow up are super minimal in a way. What makes them pop is the synergy between the minimalistic catchy beat and the vocal flow layered on top. I just notice that all the hip hop records I really like are set off by that synergy, and I always try to apply a similar approach to my music.
WWD : We’re interested to know, when you were growing up in Newport, were there any local techno/house DJs who influenced you? It doesn’t strike us as an underground hotbed.
For me personally, I didn’t know any. Some friends and me would drive to LA every weekend to go check out new DJ’s… But for the most part techno and house was not really happening in the OC. Everyone I was really into never seemed to play in the US in general, and if they did they would sometimes stop in LA. So LA was the spot for us. I made that drive MANY times during my early years, when I was just beginning. It was the first place I saw someone called Dubfire after all!
WWD : Now that dance music has once more taken hold in the states are there a new breed of underground producers emerging in California, anyone we should keep an eye out for?
The scene over here is picking up. It’s still not like most of the world in terms of underground music recognition but its getting noticeably better. Lots of DJs are moving here, and promoters are opening up to booking more acts that would not normally get a real chance in LA, so that’s helping loads. What its doing is putting a spotlight on a place that has loads of talent and allowing people to get noticed. I would not say these emerging producers are a new breed at all, though. A lot of the people getting the recognition have been in the game for a while. Guys I am stoked on are like Dance Spirit, Drumcell, and Harvard Bass. All Cali heads that are really pushing their vibe on the underground scene. So it will be interesting to see what transpires musically out of Cali in the next 5 years, and who follows.
WWD : We know you make the venture to Barcelona each summer for a change in surroundings, does that also have an influence on the kind of music you make? Do your surroundings affect the music you output?
I would say yes it does. I tend to make more rhythmic stuff when I am over there. Maybe it’s the Ibiza style techno that gets to me, but I usually get a little more swingy and less synthy when I hit the studio over there. Plus, I also tend to hang out with my music friends more often, so I think other people’s vibes have a direct influence on me.
WWD : Finally, you seem to bring a little colour to the techno scene, is there a philosophy behind that?
Ha ha ha! Yeah, I get funny looks at techno shows for my button ups and Hawaiian shirts. But there’s nothing like a crispy white button up…
I guess I just feel like this whole ‘Darkness’ fashion trend going on needs to stop. Visually I just get bored as fuck when I go to a party and everyone is wearing Ricky O black tees and saggy crotch pants. I enjoy visual stimulation and sometimes the ‘Darkest’ stuff isn’t even black. I enjoy color. I mean, maroon is ‘Darker’ than black. For me it’s always been about the subtle things, the things that you notice when you take a closer look. Those are the things I enjoy, and for me, colour is one of those things. I guess the philosophy of techno is exploring, encouraging and stepping outside the box to create your own identity. Maybe that’s why I wear a little colour, I dunno really…….and I hope that my music brings a little more colour along too.