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Interview: Cloaked

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Continuing to add exciting new talent to their roster, Roger Martinez’s Higher States welcomes Cloaked to the label for his debut EP. Hailing from the UK, Andrew Field aka Cloaked has been writing music from a young age. Beginning with piano and eventually graduating to musical arrangement software by the age of eleven, Andrew’s love affair with electronic music began early on. Years spent perfecting his craft eventually led to his first releases via Beatfreak Limited and Balkan Connection’s BC2 earlier this year. Now stepping up for the most anticipated project of his career, Cloaked lands on Roger Martinez’s Higher States with a two track showcase entitled ‘Extinction Burst’. We had a chance to catch up with Cloaked for an exclusive chat just prior to the release. Enjoy!

Hi Andrew, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Current mood is reflective. Last music was a remix I’m working on for one of my favourite Canadian artists. Other than that (checking Spotify) some early 90s psy trance. Green Nuns of the Revolution.

What are your plans for the coming week?

Finish this remix and start planning properly for my wedding in July.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

  • Michael Nyman – The Heart Asks Pleasure First
    • Relatively playable minimalist piano piece – essentially trance for piano!
  • Boards of Canada – Sunshine Recorder
    • Still nobody comes close to the harmonic richness of BOC’s textures – pure emotional power and yet always ambiguous.
  • Trentemoller – Killer Kat
    • The master. Could have chosen any track but choosing this one because it’s ridiculously busy and intense.
  • Sasha – Expander
    • Not many words needed surely. Was absolutely formative for me and all my friends when this came out.
  • Enigma – Return To Innocence
    • Ambience, harmony, drums, bass, a sense of epic scale… life changing.

You learnt to play piano at a very young age but eventually discovered electronic music and started to experiment with software. Tell us how that transition happened. What was it that sparked your interest in electronic music?

We had a beaten up old piano at home which I played minimalist type stuff on, lots of arpeggios basically. The piano also sounded like crap unless you had the sustain pedal down which creates reverb. That sparked a love of ambience and atmosphere.

Later on got a copy of Dance EJ on the PC where I started making trance.

Tell us about growing up in the UK, how has it shaped your sound as producer? Or has it at all?

Dance music has always been massive in the UK, especially growing up in the 90s. Some people talk about their wide-ranging music interests growing up. For me I mainly listened to electronic music until the age of about 20. Sorry if that’s boring!

You have a new EP out this week on Roger Martinez’s Higher States, tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your individualities.

I’ve only hit the progressive/melodic scene this year, but every track so far shows a slightly different side – which I like. In every case I’m always looking for some perfect mix of melody, harmony and groove. I don’t personally hear that often in any music – there’s usually one art that’s compromised on -in dance music it’s usually harmony.

I love dense layers building up big harmonic structures, chord changes and intervals – that’s my trance background! I hope this release showcases it.

I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way, your travels, life experiences etc. Is this something which is true for yourself? 

It’s a horrible cliche but making music is the only thing I’ve ever loved, and I can’t not do it!

Where does your inspiration come from and was there anything that inspired these two tracks?

With “Extinction Burst” I wanted to create something that was quite grand in scale, a touch of epicness. It’s inspired by an interesting concept that I came across. “Rising Tide” just came from a riff that I chopped up and liked the sound of!

Walk us through the production process on one of the tracks, whichever you like.

On “Extinction Burst” I started with the drums because I wanted a track with lots of drive. Added various bass parts to keep the groove going, then pads, keys, and finally needed a big lead which came from Repro.

Is that a typical flow for the majority of your work or is every track a different journey in a sense?

The sound you start with is always really important and sets the tone for the track, so I try to vary that up.

Was Higher States a with label you had in mind for the project from the beginning? And what made the label a great place to release these particular tracks?

I was determined to work with a label that’s growing in a certain way. Roger isn’t just throwing stuff out. This will be only the 10th release. And look at the artists – these are people I admire and look up to – same as Roger.

What’s a piece of gear that always gets used when you’re writing a track? And what are some studio tools that featured heavily on this EP?

Sadly I don’t have any gear! Everything I do is FL Studio, Dune + Repro plugins, and a pair of DT770 headphones.

When working on music is the dance floor always something that’s taken into consideration?

I might be a bad person to ask because I don’t DJ. I try to follow some rules for club tracks like mono compatibility and reducing reverb levels, but my tracks are still very busy because I don’t want to totally sacrifice home listening.

Is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?

I’m not a big movie person, but probably the Danny Boyle movie “Sunshine”.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

The combination of green trees, red brick buildings, and grey skies. London, basically!

What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Got two remixes coming soon for good friends of mine – those will be the first under the Cloaked name. Then I’ve got quite a few tracks sat on my PC, will see what happens with them.

‘Extinction Burst’ is available for pre-order now via Higher States: https://bit.ly/3i64STT

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