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Peret Mako - Of Minutiae Detail

Author: NJ
Monday, 12 May 2008

3D’s NJ catches up with local musical maestro, Peret Mako, whose debut LP, The Devil’s In The Detail, is released on Future Classic this month.

You studied at the Canberra School of Music, has your formaltraining had an effect on your approach to writing production-basedmusic-
Definitely. Aside from the obvious technical impact (chord choices, writing charts for musicians etc.) it’s more noticeable in my appreciation for compositional music and how that comes out in my own writing. I tend to lean towards texture and colour more than rhythm because of the heavy influence of jazz and classical. I then try and meld that with my love of produced music: composers like Charles Mingus, Stockhausen and Ravel inform my sound as much as Premier, Herbert or Larry Heard.

Do you get an opportunity to DJ hip hop anymore-
Not really... I’m playing a bit more now, but I eased off after my son was born in 2006. I’m back practising my cuts again (f-f-freshhhh... haha) and really looking forward to playing out more and getting the live show together. I get booked to play house mostly but I drop as much hip hop as I can. No doubt I’ll spin some at Cut The Rug.

You attended the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy, was that the catalyst for you to begin work on this debut album-
No, it was the finishing prize! The writing was totally finished by that stage. It was off the back of the album that I got accepted. Once I came back from Europe I mixed the album and then had to extricate myself from the label I was signed to at the time (long story...) until finally I hooked up with Future Classic. Red Bull gave me the confidence to mix the album myself – when you’re talking to Bob Power or Alexander Robotnick you realise everyone’s still just learning, asking each other about compression tricks or how to pull decent reverb – everyone had to start somewhere.

The album is very finely detailed (as the album title suggests) and was all written by hand through experimentation, rather than sampling – is it safe to say you obsessed over the minutiae of the songs-
The short answer is YES! The long one is I wanted my music to sound like it was being played by a band. You never hear a drummer get exactly the same tone on each drum hit. I thought I’d try and do something similar with my programming. Then I got totally obsessed!

How will you bring this album to the stage- Are there plans for a live show, or are you looking at laptop or DJ sets-
I am working towards a live show. It will include a laptop as one of the instruments in a three- to five-piece live band featuring the people who played on the album. I play saxophone myself, scratch and attempt to sing so it will be all that and more (or less). I love DJing so I’ll be stepping that up as the album gets out there.

What are you working on now that the album is out and about- Remixes, or stage scores perhaps-
I’ve recently started a label with the Alphatown boys called Room To Manoeuvre as an avenue to release vinyl. I’m putting a lot of my time into that at the moment as vinyl is a real passion for me. I’m working on a remix for Bass Kleph’s Vacation records and a whole bunch of new Peret Mako tracks.

Finally, it seems the thing to do for Future Classic artists after they release an album is to head over to Berlin and do the club and publicity rounds, is that on your agenda-
I hope so! Future Classic have a really strong presence in Europe through all the hard yards they have done over the years. I have a day job as a sound designer for an upcoming PS3 title so I’m not exactly footloose and fancy free but once that’s done, “ich be ein berliner”!

WHO: Peret Mako
WHAT: Launches The Devil’s in the Detail at Cut The Rug at theLoft
WHEN: Sunday 18 May