Introducing a new editorial series between us and the artists we love.
Ahead of his return to Inspected and the release of the “Metamaterial” EP, we ask Vorso a series of quick-fire questions.
1. Tell us everything there is to know about your new EP, “Metamaterial”
I started making this EP pretty much straight away after I finished The Imperative. I knew I wanted to have some heavy stuff on there but I also wanted to work in a bit more melody and emotion. The first tunes that really came together were Voltage and Wannabe, both of which are pretty riff-centric. I can remember the moment that Wannabe really clicked was when I made those big pluck sounds for the intro. I immediately wanted to explore that kind of physical modelling sound throughout the EP.
Going a bit further outside of genres, classifications and rules was something I had wanted to do for a while. As a result the tunes on this EP are a bit more non-linear than my other stuff. It’s also why I’ve got so many tempo changes (feel sorry for anyone trying to DJ this stuff).
Backstory for the name: I did a brief bit of work at a company doing research into new engineered “Metamaterials”, which are materials made up of lots of repeating subpieces. The resulting surfaces have all kinds of weird properties like negative refractive index. I liked this idea of characteristics on the small scale combining with structure on the large scale to give an overall effect. It works as a nice parallel for how each sound in a piece of music combines to create a vibe, and how tunes on an EP combine to create an experience. Inspired by this, I shared a lot of musical ideas between each of the tunes to make it a continuous experience to listen to.
There’s a few stories behind the ideas which went into each tune, with probably the goofiest being for Liquid Crystals - it was the weekend after I played my first gig at Black Swan and it was a nice day on campus. I was in a good mood and started whistling a couple of notes... eventually thought hey i could make a tune out of that.
I got a great boost in motivation and inspiration for the project after meeting Oscar Opiuo about this time last year in Bristol. The guy is a hugely talented musician and all round legend. I’ve really enjoyed working with him on Photonics and a couple of other bits. I’ve actually been listening to his tunes since I was at school!
2. What’s the most useful piece of equipment or software in your musical toolkit?
Tricky one! I use a lot of stuff.
A fun one has been this Reotube Microphone Preamp, something recommended by Dan Smith (mastering legend). It has a tube amp in that distorts very nicely, something I used to totally mangle all the basses from Voltage. Its a nice way of breathing some life into otherwise pretty digital sounds. I’ve yet to actually use it as a preamp…
3. How did the name Vorso come about?
I was trying to come up with a new alias with some friends and my mate Tim pulls “Vorso” out of nowhere. Turned out it wasn’t taken so I just rolled with it. I’ve never really cared about aliases all that much… the more you think about it the weirder it gets. Bunch of people going on the internet and using code-names like they’re soundcloud superheroes or something.
4. What’s your most played song this year?
That’s hard! I get through a metric shit-ton of music in 12 months…
Would probably have to be the Malux remix of Mandala by Camo & Krooked & Mefjus. I’m a mega-fan of all three artists. Both C&K and Mefjus have been pushing a really refreshing techy dnb vibe which I’m all about, and Malux has a very sick raw sound. That remix manages to be super cinematic and melodically engaging while also having a seriously ANGRY drop. AND a bonus halftime final bit, dunno what else you could ask for in a tune.
5. What obsessions do you explore in your spare time?
Music - when I’m not making it I’m normally listening to it. I’ve been doing a computer science degree and I’ve really enjoyed combining this with music for my dissertation project, which was making gesture-based performance augmentation. Will definitely be working on this more in the future, I reckon it would be something fun to combine with bass music. I’ve recently got very into bouldering as well, would love to get more time to practice that if they ever add an extra hour to the day or something!
6. What is something that you believe that other people think is insane?
Birds are easily the best living creatures by a wide margin. Afraid that’s not up for debate.
7. If you could merge 2-3 musicians/artists into one super musician/artist, who would you choose?
Aphex Twin, Tipper & IGLOOGHOST. Whatever they’d make together would have to come with a seizure warning.
Vorso's “Metamaterial” EP is released on May 22nd as INSP039.