Dirty Freud

Dirty Freud
Dirty Freud
Dirty Freud
Dirty Freud
Dirty Freud

Dirty Freud’s giant Electrodub sounds have won him equally giant amounts of radio play, and taken him to festivals like Boomtown and Glastonbury with his live show. The Sheffield-based musician, DJ and producer has an exhilarating new release ‘Ninja Man’, out now, and we talked to him about his sound.

London / Sheffield

New release Ninja Man

Dirty Freud

Dirty Freud Port photos by Danny Allison, Creative Direction by Ben Tallon

Dance floor and experimental sounds

Dirty Freud glides easily between dance floor and experimental electronica - his music contains elements of dubstep, 2-step garage, bassline, and reggae, and has been coined Electrodub. He’s had support from the likes of Ninja Tune and Rough Trade, and is originally from London, finding success since moving to the North of England. His new release ‘Ninja Man’ is a brilliant ‘banger’ full of twists and turns.

Ninja Man is such a big electro-bass track, with a hint of acid vibe, how did you set about creating it

Well I’ve been working a lot with acid bass recently and I was watching a bunch of martial arts movies at the time and then one had a really wild fast based theme and I wanted something which gave that sense of build and urgency within the track.

Where was it recorded and produced, is there a lockdown story

So the track was almost made in a studio, but I had to finish it at home luckily my house has a nice sounding attic so was able to really get a hold to all the delicate sounds I wanted to punch through within the bass and drums

It’s bursting with amazing synth sounds, what were you working with to get them

Thank you I was trying to combine hardware with software, so I’m using some software synths from Alchemy and the other synth sounds you are hearing are from a Minilogue and Korg synth-based instrument.

What’s your go to music gear generally

Most of the time I work with a lot of different textures so I need an interface which works well with my laptop, synths, midi keyboard and MPC1000. So for that I’d use a Focusrite.

Ninja Man is an instrumental, but you also work with artists like Eckoes. Tell us more about the Dirty Freud experience

Well if you want the DJ experience you’re gonna get hard bassy dubby sounds and a lot of instrumentals. However recently people have wanted to hear my live music so I’ve been concentrating on getting my lyrics right and working with the right people to make my live show as good as possible. This features vocals and writing from myself, Ruby Tingle, Eckoes and had some great work with other instrumentalists like Lewis Jones and Jono Allen so it takes on the look of a proper band out there and we love it.

Dirty Freud

Is Dirty Freud part of a big Sheffield electronic scene

100%, the scene here has really been kind to me and I’ve learnt so much about performance and skill while living here. Love the music, love the people and been opportunities for me to seriously experiment and collaborate.

What are some of your favourite live shows you’ve played

I’ve got to say I used to love play The Arches in Glasgow and Harley in Sheffield as both venues it was like you were playing in the crowd everyone was on top of you and sweaty, I love that. Oh and of course playing two stages at Glastonbury blew my tiny little mind.

Dirty Freud, Eckoes, at Glastonbury - by Elspeth Mary Moore

When and how did you first start playing music

I first started making as a teenager and working on producing Garage, 2 step and UK hiphop using fruity loops and then started making beats for local rappers in the area. But it was only when I moved up north I really got into production as I met some people who were just as passionate about listening and creating music as me. This was when I met some people off Ninja Tune and my sound just grew from one thing to another till the sound you hear today really.

Who inspires you

I love music that doesn’t fit in to a box yet has that familiarity and the artist has a strong identity, like The Specials, The Prodigy, Kano, Björk and Skunk Anansie all of these artists have great sounds and have carved their own sounds within a genre. This has always been the route that I’ve wanted to take with my music so I draw upon these artists regularly

How have your plans for this year had to change, and what are you up to next

This year I planned on playing a few gigs over in Berlin and Glastonbury again, however things change. I had a lot of material that was unfinished and was on the back burner so all through the lockdown I’ve been finishing off work and collaborating with people digitally so from July through till December I’ll have a new release every month as well as a New EP coming out called Love In The Backwater. Which is all about how people have found love for doing things during lockdown in the most unlikely of places.

  • Dirty Freud’s new single Ninja Man is available now to buy / stream