As Reso Launches His Own Label, RXZero, We Grabbed Him To Chat About What We Can Expect
Posted by Adam on 13th July 2017
We all know who Reso is. His incredible, and sometimes unfathomably complex and intricate, drum work has been wowing us for years. This, combined with sound design skills worthy of scoring an entire game (more of that later), equals a very exciting and unique producer.
As he embarks on the next chapter of his career by launching his own label, RXZero, I had a chat with the man himself about what he’s been up to since the release of Ricochet, why he decided to start his own label and what we can expect from it.
Hi Alex, how are you mate?
Easy man, i’m all good thanks. Just had a cracking time at worldwide festival in France, saw some amazing performances, Cinematic Orchestra in the theatre de la Mer was a highlight. Probably smashed a bit too much cheese and wine as well but you have to really.
We’ve just passed the half way point of the year – any highlights so far?
No, life is just a thankless struggle from one bitter disappointment to the next until the sweet release that is death finally takes you…
Only joking, it’s been fairly quiet for me so far, just been wrapping up my game project and getting everything ready label wise. A big highlight was finally announcing RX0
So what have you been up to in the 2 years since Ricochet was released?
Mainly I was working on a soundtrack and some sound design for a game called Starblood Arena.
It’s a PSVR project that’s an arena based, multiplayer shooter with 6 degrees of freedom of movement. Kind of like if the games Descent & Overwatch had a baby. It’s just a fun, hectic combat game that works well in VR.
It’s meant to be a infinite loop hence no real start or finish. I had to make a lot of those, plus all the menu and tutorial music plus other bits n bobs. It was basically making an album’s worth of music.
It was good fun making some of the SFX for the game too, like various gun sounds and level ambiences. It was a very different experience to make stuff that sounds good in game, trying to complement the gameplay, but won’t annoy you when you’ve heard it for the 100th time.
Apart from that I was still making Reso tracks of all kinds and I started a little prog/shoegaze side project called Realms (https://realrealms.bandcamp.com/releases). I’ve some more of that in the pipeline, it’s mainly just for fun. Also i’ve made a lofi hiphop album under an alias called Maru which I’ll get out there at some point.
How did you get into working on soundtracks for games – does it pose any unique challenges compared to writing an album or EP?
Initially it was the head of Whitemoon who got in touch with me via my facebook page years ago just asking if i ever wanted to do some game soundtrack stuff. Fast forward 2 years and he reached out again with the idea of Starblood arena and would i be interested.
It’s certainly been a learning experience, understanding how an indie development company is structured, what’s required and when etc. It was great as i got to go to LA a few times for E3 and geek out as well as just see the game being made and play it at various stages of development. In terms of challenges it’s very very different to writing and ep or album. Mainly for those I just do whatever i want.
With gaming there’s a number of caveats involved, such as what style is the game, what’s the piece of music for in game, does it need to loop, is it going to be non linear/stem based etc. I still kind of had free reign to make it what I wanted but within reason. As it isn’t a narrative lead game the music is more functional, facilitating the action rather than giving you emotional cues and help propel the story forward. As i said earlier if it’s a loop it needs to be hype enough to make you excited to play but not so mad that you’re annoyed with it after hearing it 5 times.
The big news is of course that you’re starting your own label, RXZero. What made you decide now was the time to start your own imprint?
I just thought that now is as good a time as any. I think I’m just about established enough to self release something and it not bankrupt me, plus it gives me the opportunity to build something for myself. It’s a new challenge, it’s exciting so hopefully it goes alright!
There’s a recent trend of artists doing this – is this a reflection of the deals that artists are being offered now? Do they perhaps not work as well for established artists like yourself?
I guess it’s down to the fact that it’s certainly easier to self release if you already have a bit of a following built. The people that like you will hopefully support you wherever the music comes out.
I’m not a big fan of exclusive deals, so maybe that’s why others are choosing to self release as well.
Those deals certainly work if you’re up and coming as you and the label can grow together. You, as an artist, get to use the prestige of that label to help establish yourself, and the label get to foster new talent. Ultimately it’s about sacrificing some freedoms for potential gains.
For me personally I just wanted to try something new, I’ll still release stuff with other labels if they like it but it’ll be nice to have 100% control over what comes out and when, at least for RX0
You’re known for making music from multiple genres – what can we expect from the label, will you be putting out vinyl?
100% putting out vinyl of key releases, not massive runs but enough. In terms of a label ethos I’m kind of aiming for a more progressive sound, anything with great drumwork & atmosphere basically. I really respect what Om Unit is doing with Cosmic Bridge & Fracture with Astrophonica plus other labels like Paradox Music and 20/20. I don’t just want to do another straight Neuro or Liquid label. You gotta push the shit you like right?
Is it an output for your music only or will we see other people appearing on the label?
For sure I’ll be releasing other people’s music. I’ve signed a couple of tunes already but am on the hunt for more. If people want to send beats to firstname.lastname@example.org that’d be sick.
And can we expect a new album from you any time soon…?
Probably not hahaha. Albums take a long time and right now i’m just concentrating on making self contained tunes as it were.
I have some ideas for how I’d like a new album to sound but right now i’m just having fun getting RX0 up and at them.
Alex thanks so much for your time mate, is there anything else you want to tell us about?
You can preorder RX001 here: http://bit.ly/Reso_RX001
If you could give these a follow that’d be grand: