“I’m obsessed with music…” Scottish producer Hypnokid finds his own wave.

Scottish, musician/producer Duncan Black aka Hypnokid initiated his creative journey back in 2007, directing his inventiveness into the creation of hip-hop beats after pouring his creative juices into singer/song-writing and guitar playing for a while. 

After a series of live performances with his guitar, he began to realise that he wasn’t feeling comfortable on stage and took time out to figure how to tap into his authentic expression, and channel his creative flow.

Through a natural process of self-awareness and acknowledgement, he found the power and creative fluidity he had been seeking through electronic music, and threw himself into the myriad sub-genres of electronica, extracting influences from strains of witch-house, trap, grime and liquid drum & bass. 

He found himself focusing his craftsmanship within the interconnected, evolving sound of wave music, popularised by labels like wavemob. For the uninitiated, wave sits in the overlap of the venn diagram of pretty much all of our electronic and hip hop collections and playlists, taking aesthetic cues from dubstep, ambient, hip-hop, trap, rave, and more, yet it’s something distinct and special.

We spoke briefly with Hypnokid about what music means to him, and his musical inspirations. 

“I’m obsessed with music. The cathartic nature of it has helped me massively in my life,” Black told Revel Rousers. His instinct is to try any musical form he encounters, as a production challenge: “If I hear something new that I love, I’ll most likely attempt to create something myself.”

That journey has taken him closer and closer to the complex hybrid aesthetic of wave, he explains. “I’ve been leaning more towards the wave side of things which contains elements of dubstep, jungle, house, techno and hip-hop. The wave artists that I look up to are Skeler, Kareful, Deadcrow and enjoii.”

Hip-hop and rap remain touchstones: “In terms of hip-hop my main influence is J Dilla and I’ve always been a big Bonobo fan… Simon Green has influenced my sound in terms of liquid drum & bass, but overall my main influence is a northern Irish D&B producer/DJ, Dominick Martin aka Calibre.” 

The hauntological approach of Burial and other Hyperdub artists runs through the veins of Duncan’s production work, with his echoing keys and sampled provoking a strong sense of dusty, dystopian nostalgia through contorted samples and spacey, dream-like instrumental elements. Great swathes of emotion and melody are enfolded in a claustrophobic tension between past and future, like an echo of an imagined retrofuturism. Hypnokid’s music inhabits the spectral present, haunted by dreams of a broken future.

His most recent ten-track liquid d&b album Hear Your Voice was released 30 May. The tracks explore an elegant array of jazzy, groove laden themes, that are equal parts beautiful, graceful and emotive. Hypnokid incorporates some of the more chill wave elements from his other productions to impressive effect, augmenting the mix with live harp-string instrumentation laid down by friend and creative collaborator Anise Pearson.

It’s evident through Hypnokid’s most recent album and EP releases that he has been finding his way to creative distinction, acquiring increased nuance and complexity in his production style with each release. It is an approach uniquely suited to wave music, which continues to evolve as a genre.

Also last month, he released the evocative EP In My Mind, which presented elements of trap and witch house, bringing back a welcome echo of that genre’s chopped and screwed hip-hop soundscapes.

Hypnokid is a young producer just beginning to flourish in ways his early career could not perhaps have predicted, but that early musicality and sense of melody serves him well as he explores the realms of sub bass and epic drops. His progress has been increasingly interesting to watch. Keep an ear out for his forthcoming releases and collaborations, and prepare to be hypnotised.  

Author: Miff Morris

In many senses, I am still discovering myself through the complex tapestry in which life continues to weave, gaining unique physical experience in order to aid the progression of my precious spirit, this will continue for the rest of my fated days and my understanding of who I am shall be determined through how I learn to react, act and adapt towards the circumstances I face. I do sincerely hope the span of this life is enough to fully come to terms with the potential of my unique existence, through deep-rooted understanding, compassion, and love, and that I may fully acknowledge the absolute full potential of my existence through the network of others. Thus far the core of my being has learned through unique experience and individual perspective that I am most certainly a creative soul who takes solace in the truth & liberty of artistic expression. Freedom lays behind the eyes within the evocative realm of one's imagination, transforming originality through individual perspective, this is when my art becomes yours. Inspiring, motivating different modes of expression to overall influence and shape a better world, to help elevate to a higher consciousness. We are part of the great web of life and in this way each and every one of us are interconnected, to create a major shift in consciousness. We must wholeheartedly start to believe in what can be created for the greater good of this world, in my view it is most certainly the power of thought and intention which connect us, no matter how near or how far. Being understood has always been of paramount importance to me, self-expression is something I have been aware of from a very young age. From my point of view, artistic expression has always been the most liberating and uniting mode. When I am not caught up in life's cogs I love to write poetry, short stories, and shoot photographs. I adore and feed off music, so I highly enjoy capturing the live music scene in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. I also enjoy writing for Uk Entertainments website, Louder than War, as well as run my own music blog www.Revel Rousers.org, Amalgamating my love of music, writing, as well as photographic expression (Music, Landscape, Street, Wedding), which gives me a great sense of creative release, therefore forging a strong sense of purpose in the way of documenting life's remarkable moments. I find working with creatives within the music industry is wholly inspiring even though at times it can be quite challenging, after all, the greatest realizations and lessons learned are born out of challenges. I figured, seeing as I have a platform for my music reviews, interviews and photography I thought it would be time to create a platform for my creative writing and poetry.....It takes courage to expose oneself through the intimacy of poetry, However, that is how we truly unite and grow in compassion and understanding of each other's true essence. I am a deep thinker, I understand the power of words and their meanings. I also understand how empowering artistic expression can be. There is a raw truth buried within each original idea combined with a power to help change the world. Artistic expression is forever transforming through interpretation, that is what I mean when I say "When My Art Becomes Yours" My philosophy is to understand more, in order to love more....... Love ~M~

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