Encompassing a variety of styles within the underground house scene, SHMN manages to bind everything together through his melodic, and obscure palleted deep textures. Here is an artist that paints with granular atmospherics, moods and cinematic synthesis. Previously released on the likes of Love Matters, Click Records, Ritual, and Runemark, SHMN has built for himself a world of deep, textural house, full of grand vocals, and delicate yet impassioned moments.
WWD: Hey SHMN, great to meet you! What’s good and bad in your world right now?
Likewise! Thank you for having me. The musical direction of When We Dip has always been close to home so I would be happy to introduce myself to your audience. The period of quarantine had its ups and downs, which include things like being away from the studio, not being able to workout in a proper gym setting, and not having a chance to hangout with friends and acquittances. Nonetheless, I believe that I was able to adapt to the circumstances and get something positive out of these uncertain times.
WWD: Have you been locked down? If so, where, and what has it been like?
We are living in very challenging times for humanity and my thoughts are with the victims and their families. I am currently based in Kyiv, Ukraine and I have been spending this time with my family and my girlfriend. At first, lockdown was challenging, but it was important to quickly recoup and adapt to these circumstances in order to put this time to good use. Since everything has shutdown, autonomous living has become the way to go. Creating a home workout plan has helped me to stay in shape during lockdown. Also I have been cooking much more which is a great skill to have, as it’s not something I did a lot when all cafes and restaurants were open. Education in form of Youtube Tutorials is another thing that I got back to during lockdown, because before I was too busy working on new material and there was rarely enough time to further educate myself on music production.
WWD: What have you learnt about yourself, what has passed the time, what new skills have you learnt?
It has been a good time to reflect on where I have come and where I want to go moving forward with my music career and life in general. Taking time off from the studio, I have been working mostly in the box which is great because I had a chance to revisit some of the soft synths I haven’t used in ages. Also, I have been doing my best to stay busy by working on new music which includes some exciting collaborations so there is much more music to come.
WWD: Tell us what inspired and influenced the new release Solar Affair?
As far as influences go, a lot of my inspiration comes from electronic acts like Cubicolor and Howling when it comes to incorporating vocals in a production, building an atmosphere, as well as being both melodic, moody and impactful on a dance floor. My vision for Solar Affair was to create a melodic and moving track that captured a melancholic mood all along on which Gabriel Lynch did a great job, making this track so much more special.
WWD: What gear do you use, does that define the sound?
In terms of gear, as far as bass goes – that’s usually Moog Sub-37 and often that would be the case for every track. Also Moog is great for leads, which makes it versatile. Solar Affair is a great example of that as both bass and main lead riff was generated using Moog Sub-37. Lately a lot of tools that I have used in my music production has been in the box, although I do have a small collection of synthesizers and drum machines which I incorporate in my workflow when inspiration is not there. My collection includes Nord Lead 4, Oberheim OB-8, Elektron Analog Rytm, Access Virus TI Snow and more.
As far as sound goes, I think what defines my sound is more the processing and treatment of the sound over everything else. Creating rhythms, textures and colors using delays, reverbs and other processing plugins has been an important part of my music production process. Some of my favorite effects plugins include ValhallaShimmer by Valhalla, EchoBoy by Soundtoys, and Texture by Devious Machines.
WWD: How did you link with the vocalist Gabriel Lynch, and why?
Couple years ago I have stumbled on a release which featured Gabriel whilst browsing Beatport. From that point I have contacted him and we have been in touch ever since. We had a few attempts at working on tracks together, however it took some time for us to understand each others workflows before we created something we’re both happy with. Finally, in 2019 once I had the instrumental for Solar Affair I knew that I should show this track to Gabriel and let him do his magic.
WWD: How do you know when a track is done? Is it hard to leave a tune?
Not so long ago I realized that less is more when it comes to music production. When I was only getting into music production, making tracks over-complex made me thing that is the key to producing a good track. Often when I am in the middle of working on a track I would make notes for myself in regards to what elements I potentially would like to add to the track. This really helps me to have a plan when producing music. I think a track is done when the person producing it is confident and happy with the result, for that one needs to have fair judgment towards oneself. I believe it’s important for music producers to finish tracks and move on. In the long run, progress is much more important than perfection.
WWD: And how do you judge success? What makes you pleased with a track once it is out there?
First of all, success for me is about becoming a better version of myself in both career and personal life. I believe that as long as I become better at what I do and enjoy the process, success can be seen as a post product of hard-work and dedication. Building a strong and genuine connection with my audience has always been important for me. It’s also important for me to acknowledge my loyal listeners and their ongoing support, as well as welcoming new listeners on my musical journey.
WWD: Are you someone who loves space, astronomy, the cosmos?
I definitely have interest in all the above, however what I believe is at the core of all of this is curiosity towards my own experiences in this world, where the human kind is headed and the infinite cosmos that is so far out of our reach. What space, astronomy and cosmos have in common is this sense of exploration outside of ones own comfort zone which I aim to pursue everyday.
WWD: What will you do once lockdown is over, what have you missed the most?
Traveling would definitely be at the top of the list. I am not sure where about at the moment as it’s not clear how long will it take other countries to reverse the lockdowns and open the borders. I am also excited about finally getting back to working out in the gym as the summer is around the corner. But to be honest with you, the local coffee shop next door from my studio has already opened which is promising because only a month ago it was a luxury get to get a coffee outside.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/shmn25/
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/shmn-25
Beatport : https://www.beatport.com/artist/shmn/499957
SHMN’s ‘Solar Affair’ feat. Gabriel Lynch EP is out now on Dear Deer
Grab it here – https://www.beatport.com/release/solar-affair/2923528