Sprawled over his deskspace, amongst basic office necessities, is a cacophonous array of sophisticated gadgets. Some he’s used, some he’s yet to, some he shares. That’s the first impression Zeek makes. His choice of band t-shirt for the day will be his second.
From the Keith McMillen Instruments’ K-Mix, a modular synthesizer, and then the Roland MC-909 workstation; you’d think the man had his work cut out for him. Work? What work? Some have said Zeek never bothered with a work-life balance, and others think he’s the only one who’s got it down to a tee. As BandLab’s beloved Audio Engineer, Zeek has landed the (un)fortunate task to outdo himself with every next loop he perfects. And boy, can he perfect one.
In the loop
“Every day I get to imagine sound, create noise, and help better the tools for people to make awesome music.”
We have over 2000 loops, and to be honest, I’ve worked on so many that I don’t have the exact number. AND we’re constantly working on more! Our next major project is to produce more loop packs for our mobile platforms so watch out for that!
Every day I get to imagine sound, create noise, and help better the tools for people to make awesome music. Officially I’m an audio engineer – which means I look after the audio content of the company, and that means testing the audio tools and making all the loop libraries in BandLab.
Creating loops involves a mixture of creativity, and technicality. We take references from existing styles, and use a mix of both virtual and real instruments, and the latter requires a lot more attention to detail. The process of recording requires the right microphones and specific instruments – down to exactly what type of guitar we use – to make sure everything is super high quality, sounding as authentic as possible.
Dream Pop was the latest loop pack that I made using real instruments. Dream Pop is a style which originated and took off in 90s, and has been a part of the indie pop and indie rock movement. It’s stylised with the use of rhythm and effects to make surreal sounds – you might have heard of Cocteau Twins or Slowdive? They’re both part of the Dream Pop movement. We used guitar, bass, and drums, and I also used a plug-in software that helps to synthesise more sounds.
Personally, my favourite loop pack is the Grime pack because it allows me to be aggressive with sounds. It’s not the typical radio-friendly genre – and it opens a lot of avenues for creative expression which gets quite fun! A lot of BandLab users use our platform for loops to express themselves – having a wide range of sounds that stretch to Grime allows creators to express every emotion.
“The music I make is abstract; there are no vocals – but the motivation driving my music is to paint the moments I’ve experienced and people I’ve met.”
Nom de plume
When I make music, it becomes a journal, or diary-like expression! I’ve been making music since 2009. My project, Zeekos Perakos, got its name from my IRC days – and it’s part of my internet history. My history with computers and the internet builds from that moment until now.
The music I make is abstract; there are no vocals – but the motivation driving my music is to paint the moments I’ve experienced and people I’ve met. It’s like my outlook on life being translated into music. When I perform, I use hardware; a personal preference because my style works well with limitations. I may be handling just one set of equipment, but I know its full capabilities. It allows me to focus.
As a creator, my favourite thing about the BandLab platform is its reverse function. You import an audio clip, click on the reverse button, and that reverses the audio. Easy, and that was the first thing that blew my mind – listening to everything in reverse. I have used that in my own work to make palindromic music!
A Work-Life Conflux
My personal creations and my work do influence each other and coexist perfectly. My personal creative journey has strengthened my understanding of the technical side of things, while the opportunity to work at BandLab with genres outside my usual tastes has broadened my musical vistas for the work I do personally.
Honestly – being at work feels just like being at home – I’m doing what I love; making sounds, experimenting, and creating. There’s not really much that distinguishes home from work, and work from home.
I get into my flow and just do it.