Enter Must Volkoff: the Pang Productions frontman has a taste in beat-making.
Must Volkoff is the perfect example of what’s hidden in the belly of Australian Hip Hop. Check the covers of his solo albums and you all will get an idea: the deep dark space and the abyss of the sea.
Both of them take us into the sometimes eerie, sometimes melancholic but always incredibly dope textures of Must’s music. He has showcased his beat-making and production skills in several albums in recent years, all of them sharing this funky yet ghostly feel that is typical of his music scenery.
He’s a dope producer, and one of those many dope non-US producers that should get as much acclaim as anybody else in the game. But, despite things are way better now than they were fifteen years ago, being Australian (or German, or Italian, or whatever) still implies a marathon through a forest of cheval-de-frise to be acknowledged worldwide.
To overcome the trouble, Volkoff has recently published a collaborative album with the British mc Sonnyjim: these two just match and, in a sense, complete each other while creating the songs.
We strongly advise you all to check it because the album is dope as hell and constitutes an interesting entry point to discover Must Volkoff beat-making world (you can find it here, just in case!).
As the sound definer of the Melbourne based independent Hip Hop label Pang Productions, Must has accepted to be on our Production Specs column, so let’s have a glimpse of his approach. Enjoy the reading!
What was your first commercial beat sold or placed, do you remember?
Not sure exactly. One of the first was for Maggot Mouf’s track Animal Instincts, out on Broken Tooth Entertainment through Shogun Distribution, back in 2007. I remember staying up to see the video clip on TV at 5 am.
How long did it take you to produce something that you were proud of?
I was proud of my first beats at the time. I’ve always backed myself.
What’s your favourite production set-up to this day?
Akai MPC 2500, Akai MPC Live, Pro Tools software, a Fender Rhodes clavier, and Avalon 737 compressor, Technics 1200’s turntables and a Rane 57 mixer, a jazz guitar with wah and tremolo pedals, Fender P bass, and lots of jazz records.
What’s the best digging advice you’ve received from someone ever?
Go for records that just sound good and sound like the type of music you want to sample. Don’t listen for an actual sample in the shop and buy a record for that one bit. When you get home it usually doesn’t work out the way you expected.
Is there any producer, or beat-maker, in the last 3 months, that made you say: “Oh, shit, I have to go back to the lab!”?
I’ve been inspired by funk bands lately. Check out Surprise Chef from Melbourne.
The worst production mistake you’ve ever made was…
Adding too many sounds and extra instrumentation. Forgetting to keep it simple.
One essential mixing tip for the producers out there.
Listen to your productions at different volumes. Some things are more obvious with the monitors down low. Cheers, Musty