Click Interview with Simon Carter: “I love making music again”

Simon Carter isn’t the biggest and best known name in the underground electro scene, although you should know him for his excellent collaborative productions with Studio-X and his solo project SD-KRTR. The British producer is now back on track with a new album he released with German singer Fabsi. Self-released “The Bitches Potion” is a solid, unforgiving piece of industrial-techno music featuring Fabsi’s sultry, half-spoken vocals.

(Courtesy of Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: What can you tell us about your artistic/musical background and what prompted you to get involved in musical projects?

Simon: I’ve always had a great love for music and, in truth, it has dominated most of my adult life. I have real eclectic taste and something I’ve always told myself is that no matter the genre, there will be something, fine details contained in it that I can enjoy and learn from. I’ve been doing electronic music since I was 12, so without giving my exact age, that’s well over 20 years of experience in this game. Something not many people know is that I started doing happy hardcore! Since then, I have experimented with many different genres, styles and yes, I am still learning every day.

Q: How do you see yourself as an artist/musician and producer? Do you have any specific criteria and references when working on new songs and/or a new album?

Simon: I’ve been doing this for a long time now and I still don’t have all the answers, I don’t think I ever will! As with all things in life, as we age we change, I have learned so much, improved so much, and had wonderful and less wonderful experiences. One thing I’ve changed over the past year is to take myself and my music even less seriously. I first started making music as a hobby for fun and somewhere along the way it became less fun and more business oriented. I took a step back from it all, but luckily this project really revived me and reintroduced the fun element. I love making music again.

Q: I think most people know you from your work with Studio-X, so what’s the chemistry? How did you start this new collaborative project with Fabsi and who is she?

Simon: It’s true, Studio-X and I have released 3 albums, 6 EPs and 1 single, all on Belgian label Alfa Matrix and we both had respective solo projects on that label as well, although by my own admission my solo SD-KRTR -project was way too focused on a more commercial electronic/pop sound that didn’t really fit the stage and I learned from that.

That said, “Rise” and “Judgment Day” are 2 of my most requested tracks that people want to hear me play. Studio-X collaborations were crazy days when I think back, we were so young and we both had so much free time to spend on music. Creativity flowed like a waterfall. We have always worked very well together and I think the proof is in the volume of songs we have created together. Studio-X has a great dance floor sound that complements mine and I’ve always been a big lyricist so we gelled perfectly. We’re still good friends and who knows if they’ll be more of us in the future, I’m definitely a never say never type!

Fabsi is a German diva I met online during lockdown, bonding over music streams. We both have varied musical tastes but it soon became apparent that we had to collaborate on a project together. I was really impressed with the sound of his voice and knew that I could make good use of his soft and sensual voice in the tracks.

Q: Did you have something like a plan and/or a sound in mind when setting up this project? What can you tell us about the writing of the album and how the cooperation went?

Simon: Over a year ago we released an EP called “Beautiful Destruction” which was really meant to be just a fun challenge. The idea behind it was “Using Fabsi’s Beautiful Destruction voice, try doing as many different versions before you go crazy!” I think I did about 10 different versions of this track and the EP was received surprisingly well and I went a little crazy!

The collaborative work was done remotely as Fabsi resides in German and I live in the UK. We worked closely on the lyrics and I helped out with some suggestions on vocal recording techniques, but Fabsi was a natural who gave me time to focus on producing the music. We both wanted the musical direction to be heavily influenced by techno and industrial, that was the sound we were looking for and it was nice for me to get out of my danceable Technoid comfort zone and try something again. I think we surprised a few people with the amount of industrial elements included in this project.

Q: What did you try to convey with the title of the album “The Bitches Potion”? And how important is lyrical content?

Simon: So it was also something new for me, creating an entire album/project based on a very specific concept. Fabsi came up with the idea that the concept/theme should be related to witches/witchcraft.

The title of the album was also Fabsi’s idea, she had thought that the pieces were individual ingredients and together they made up the potion. Then, to make it a bit more unique, we changed “witch” to “bitch”. I think the title matches the sound, the theme and both of us perfectly! I was also thrilled to work with Fabsi’s native German voice that you can hear on the track “Hex Hex (Wir Sind Die Hexen)”, so even when we switch from English to German, the theme of the witchcraft remains.

Q: While all work with Studio-X has been published by Alfa-Matrix, you self-published “The Bitches Potion”. Is there any reason for this? Can we expect new work from Simon Carter & Fabsi?

Simon: I’m enjoying making music again and I’m also enjoying owning 100% of my music. The discussion about record companies is interesting. Since the release of “The Bitches Potion”, a few offers from record labels have arrived for this project. I know a record label would give this project more exposure and more respect among promoters, but the world is a very different and ever-changing place these days and I feel happy knowing that I I have full control over every specific aspect of this project. , its distribution and its future. I really enjoyed my time on Alfa Matrix and always contribute remixes for their list of awesome artists. It’s a fantastic label and I can’t say enough good things about them, but I also love learning the craft of being my own label/manager/distributor/promoter etc.

Is there more life in this project? Absolutely! We plan to release a new EP before Halloween. It will basically be 3 dancefloor and DJ-friendly singles in 1. The release will feature some fantastic remixes from personal musician friends that I have been close with for over 10 years. It would be nice to play some of these tracks live too.

I also have a new Humans Can’t Reboot album coming out this year which will be full of Synth-Pop and I’m also working on a Vocal Trance album under my Narconic name. So, I’m extremely busy but glad to be back and enjoying producing and releasing music again.

Thank you for having me and thank you for giving independent artists their fair chance to contribute to this dynamic scene.