Introducing : Auxx
When you think of “beat” music the immediate connotations that spring to mind include L.A, Flying Lotus, Dabrye, Brainfeeder, HW&W, J Dilla etc etc. – anything associated with the US, basically. So when Louis Sterling aka Auxx got in contact with us, we were pleasantly surprised to hear a UK artist with such a heavy US theme run through his music something highlighted by his off-beat and experimental tracks – and something immediately brought home by his work with his LA counterparts. I think we were more surprised that Sterling is producing the kind of music he is at his age.
“I’m 16 years old and currently living in Bath, UK. I’ve been seriously producing hip hop and experimental music in the last two years. If were talking in a general sense of how long, I’d say that the first time I even laid hands on Cubase software was about 6 years ago.”
It’s certainly refreshing listening to a 16 year old kid turn out a flavour of music that isn’t particularly borne from the UK. There’s also great solace being able to give young artists like Sterling the platform to be recognised, not least because his music is worthy of recognition. He brings a unique sensibility to the strains of hip hop, electronica and beats, and successfully excels with his execution of heavy-lidded head-nodding music. His Pixelated EP is a fine attempt to marry elements of said genres with a 4-track EP that swings assuredly and confidently along.
“I can’t really say that I’ve been involved in a ‘music scene’ at all. Really, it’s just me making my music in my room and then hearing from certain people that they listen to/have downloaded my music onto their iPhones and know what I do.”
In an age of internet self-promotion there is great opportunity to find like-minds and, naturally, Sterling’s music has filtered through to his peers in California:
“I have been involved with labels and artists over in Cali and LA. There are very few beat based labels in the UK at the moment, so I’m grateful for Collective Resonance and Lunatick records for holding me down over here.”
With a musically inclined family – his dad being a producer and his granddad a singer – Sterling has been exposed to a wide variety of musical genres. His tastes and output have been well-shaped by his up-bringing, and while possessing a clear affiliation towards hip hop (specifically reference to Dilla), it’s more the beat scene, soul, classical and jazz music that have had the most impact on his work.
A listen through his Soundcloud reveals a sophisticated breed of music that far belies his age as a producer, and the influence of US beat makers across his music is there to see – tracks like Mirage, Buzzkill and SinknRise are infused by stylistic sampling techniques, loops and off-kilter sequences, bringing together soothing melodies and sharp rhythms.
At 16 there’s plenty of time for Louis to enjoy pure experimentation as he works towards shaping a future sound. And judging by his output so far there’s plenty more we can expect from an artist who, quite refreshingly, is pushing the UK beat scene.
“I’m most likely going to be releasing a project on 7″ vinyl or cassette via Collective Resonance, as well as an EP/joint collab tape with my brother Montavious Jackson out in Georgia. That’s the main thing that I am focusing on now really. As well as a few collabs with some fucking dope ass artists. Really hyped for properly releasing my new stuff. Stay tuned.”
“I don’t quantize my drums. Trying to hit the rhythm that you thought never existed.”