"Three machines, two people, taking you to a pocket galaxy all day." Daniel caught up with Chicagoan duo Hakim Murphy & Ike Release for a talk about their blossoming project Innerspace Halflife ahead of their upcoming first tour of Europe.
Simple, raw, nasty and uncut, that's what Innerspace Halflife is all about. The two producers are making authentic and honest Chicago house music on well respected labels like M>O>S, Machining Dreams and Episodes and they're about to go on tour in Europe with their live PA. Kicking it all off in Stockholm on February 8th for the release party of their latest release - The Post Industrial EP on Latency Recordings, this is one house music tour that should not be missed. I had a quick chat with Hakim and Ike about their background, releases, live setup and future.
Dee Brown: How did you meet each other and when did you start making music together?
HM: We met one day at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Ike had a girlfriend at the time who coincidentally went to the same high school as me. So that was just through passing, then one day he walked into Groove Distribution (A record shop located in Chicago) where I was working in shipping, and Ike was the assistant to the owner. So slowly we got to know each other. Then one day Ike decided to move to Berlin and was gone for three years. One day he decided to send me some new tracks that were more of what I was into, Chicago’ish jacking style, which I really liked, so I decided to remix one of his tracks. Then later he moved back to Chicago and at a party called the Cooler in Chicago we were sharing a bottle of rum while DJ Qu was playing, and he asked me if I wanted to collaborate with him for a 12" on M>O>S Recordings. So I came through to his house, and we got to work. It was just a very natural workflow for both of us, and we got lots of tracks down in very short time. The sound was very fresh and since we were both Reason users we put our techniques together, and lots of good stuff have come off the collaboration ever since.
DB: Do you share a studio together in Chicago?
IR: Our 'studio' is basically my modest apartment in the Noble Square neighborhood of Chicago.
HM: We just put our gear together. I just bring whatever I have over to Ike's place.
IR: Ye, we setup whatever gear we are working with on the coffee table in front of the couch and record beats, nothing more than that. At some point we'll have to get a studio though, but for now we are pretty productive in this situation. It's probably quite hilarious (or maybe typical nowadays) to most producers, but I think our setup now contributes to the ruggedness of our output.
DB: How did your first records get released?
HM: Well I told Ike we could split the costs of the first release on my label Machining Dreams. So that was the first IH vinyl.
DB: Are you looking forward to your upcoming tour of Europe?
HM: I think it will be amazing just because of all the culture and people we get to meet. Plus I really enjoy working the live PA.
DB: What does your live setup consist of?
HM: We rocking with the Korg ER-1, MicroKorgXL, a MPC-500 and some mixer... Ike knows the name of it.
IR: Allen & Heath ZedFX mixer
HM: That's right!
DB: Your EP for the parisian label Latency Recordings was released a couple days ago - what's special about this release for you?
HM: Well all the tunes are special in their own way like kids, so these tunes are made at different times, so we think of concepts after the pieces are picked out for releases. So what's special is that these are all tracks from our first studio sessions that came to life with a beautiful book and jacket.
DB: Last but not least - what's next for you guys?
HM: There will be single releases on Finales Session, Machining Dreams, and a double pack with Syncrophone, and later in the fall an album on Synapsis Records.
IR: We also have a record coming on Skudge and a follow up solo EP by me on M>O>S Deep coming springtime.