Stuart King on a Life of Music, Work in the Studio & Late Night Obsessions

Lauren Krieger

Late Night Obsessions showcases the studio prowess and musical power of Stuart King

The release of an album is always an exciting event, the culmination of endless days in the studio, a showcase of the hard work and dedication required to build a complete story through sound. Even more so when produced by someone who has as impressive and immersive of a life in the music as Stuart King.

Since the Acid House movement in the 90’s he has been involved with the electronic music scene. Producing music as a part of Sunday Club, his tracks were vital pieces of legendary moments in progressive trance. His impact as a DJ has also reached across the globe, with gigs at the biggest names in venues such as Space, Privilege, and Warung Beach Club. Today Stuart continues to be a powerful force, with a steady stream of top productions loved by peers, and a FRISKY show [Sequential] that always offers distinctive music for discerning fans.

Late Night Obsessions asks you to take the time to let a full experience surround you, to listen to the story that Stuart tells from beginning to end, to immerse yourself, get lost and found again. With an essence of nostalgia lying within the rhythm selections and distinctive vocals, LNO creates an inviting and heart filling space that transcends the usual. Each track is unique yet coherent, and though you are likely to find a favorite, I encourage you to listen to the complete journey all the way through.

With many insightful and interesting things to say about the music, I was excited to catch up with Stuart to discuss Late Night Obsessions and more:

How did the idea for Late Night Obsessions come about? Did you have the creation of a complete album in mind from the start?

Music is an everyday part of my life, whether it’s listening to or making music.

Having had numerous tracks out over the years, I wanted to throw myself into something so I just focused on creating an album. I was always starting a lot of tracks and never finishing them, and have hundreds of unfinished templates. I saw a few of Mike Mondays videos and signed up for his course which is brilliant. He’s like a life coach for the Music Producer, it’s called – Start Now Finish Fast. It’s genius really and a very simple strategy. I just decided to focus 100% on making this happen and it started to fall into place. Staying off social media, not checking emails when I was in the Studio and generally avoiding anything that can be a distraction and have an impact on my creativity. So I avoided all that when I was producing, became a bit of a recluse and after six months I had 24 tracks ready to be mixed!

How did you connect with Baroque for this project?

I have been a big fan of Baroque since the early days, they were one of the best labels around, always consistent with their releases, from Odessi, Innate, Quivver and Tilt. I used to hammer there tracks, if there was a release coming out on Baroque you always knew it would be a killer track. So after a few years I got in touch with Keith McDonnell as I had just finished some new tracks and he signed “Social Circles” and “A New Beginning”, “Static Patterns” and last year “My Life”, an emotive piano house Record. It seemed a fitting home for my album as we already had a good relationship from previously working together.

What is your production process like? Do you follow a routine or work as you are inspired?

I usually start playing around with the piano, and I start work writing a melody. I will get some chords and progressions together on Ableton Push and once I’m happy with it I will transfer the sound to a synth, pads, arpeggio or whatever, to add a different dimension to the melody. Add some beats from Native Instruments Maschine and then work my bass line around the melody. If I’ve got an idea in my head and I produce a catchy hook, I can see the whole track panned out in front of me. So I like to get the idea down quick before I lose sight of what it is I’m trying to achieve. For me personally, I find if you start a track from the offset working on drums, it slows down the creative flow as you can spend a lot of time tuning your kit and lose that initial buzz when you first get into the Studio. Also, if the track is flowing I try not to take a long break, maybe I will stop for 10 minutes every hour just to give my ears a rest. But if I’m on a roll, I’ll try and get the track mapped out and and arranged in full before I finish in the Studio.

What are some of your favourite tools in the studio?

I actually go between Ableton Live and Logic Pro and X. The album was mostly written on Ableton Live as it’s so quick to get your initial ideas down. I used to use Logic as my main DAW and rewire Ableton and use that for laying down Loops, FX and Samples. Ableton Push I use a lot, it’s great for playing around with notes and chords and quick for getting ideas together. Native Instruments “Maschine” is an essential piece of kit for my Drums and I’m a big fan of Native instruments and use Komplete Ultimate10, it’s got every sound you’ve ever dreamed of in that Box. Monark and Reaktor 6 are amazing and I use Guitar Rig for distorting sounds. Reaktor Blocks sounds huge, it’s like a Digital modular system, U-he – DIVA is a monster and the Roland Plug ins, System-1, Jupiter-8, System-100 are solid….

What do you feel is a quality that each of your tracks need to have?

It’s got to have some emotion in there, whether its Dark or Light so you feel the music, not just listen to it. Also, I wanted this album to be appealing to the listener, it covers all genres of Electronic music, Ambient, Deep House, Nu Disco, Progressive and Breakbeat. I think there’s a track for everybody on here, it’s quite diverse, it’s definitely captures my sound. When I’m DJing I don’t tend to play just one style, my sets are deeper than what I produce in the Studio but they still carry that emotive flair.

What is it about the music that drives you?

Music in my life, without it, or if I’m not involved with music at any point in my life I definitely feel like something is missing. From a kid I’ve always been into music, whether it was my Mum and Dad playing music in the house. All my family were big record collectors so I never had a quiet childhood!

My brother had loads of Kraftwerk LP’s and I remember him pretending to play Kraftwerk on a homemade Synthesizer made out of a Cardboard box, I actually thought he was playing it! I loved all the early Hip- Hop and Streetsounds Albums and I would go to town as a Kid with my Ghetto Blaster, Breakdancing outside the local shopping centre in Jersey. Then, hearing how the music started evolving, the Acid House Movement came and I was hooked on Electronic Music. I used to watch Jean Michel Jarre performing live with his Laser Harp and it always fascinated me. He was my idol as a kid, his take on the future with his music and his Performances captivated me. 20 years later we got to remix Oxygen 8 which was a dream come true. He went on to perform our remix live to 600,000 people under the Eiffel tower during the 1996 World Cup Finals. That sort of thing drives and inspires you…

You’re making people dance and your music is stirring emotions, what a great gift that is.

I’ve been DJing and Producing for over 25 years now and I’m still as passionate as ever,
I’d think more so now than I was when I started.

Also being a Creative person, and making something will be out there forever, something that makes people dance, think and feel and makes them happy.

That’s what life is all about………

Get Late Night Obsessions now on Beatport & listen to Sequential exclusively on FRISKY DEEP: