Simbad, CDR Knowledge 2009
Simbad, CDR Knowledge 2009

My First CDR… Simbad

Rarely seen without a smile (the photo above from a CDR Knowledge in 2009 an exception), Simbad’s graced numerous CDR sessions with his positivity, soulfulness and audio expertise.  We caught up with the ever-on-the-move DJ/producer while he enjoyed a Caribbean trip in Aruba.

When and where did you first attend CDR? What do you recall ?
I attended the first CDR nite in the early 2000s at this venue (the name escapes me) [Bridge & Tunnel?] that the Nuphonic guys had opened, I remember it was really an exciting time as we were just entering the digital era that would change our music industry (amongst other worlds) for ever. Started with a bunch of friends, producers, musicians & DJs who came to play work in progress and nu tracks in the making . Everyone was loving the concept .

How did you hear about CDR?
Tony Nwachukwu was sharing his studio with Charlie (Attica Blues) in the same complex where I had mine so we became friends rapidly. Hence I saw CDR grow from the start…

What has CDR meant to you?
A good ‘muso’ hang out to meet nu talents & see your peers and always inspiring . Some tunes would blew me away. And of course the moment your tune would get played and you’d be thinking, ‘Aaah shhhh the bass is too loud in the mix’ (in my case anyway, hahaha).

Have you collaborated with, or hope to, any artists via CDR sessions?
Yea definately collaborated with a few. I think one of my sickest beat (using Kung-Fu movie samples) was done after a CDR session, I came back to the studio with an MC/Poet that I met that nite and we laced the track. Unfortunately I lost it (computer & hard drive crash) and every time I bump into him he’s reminding me hardcore of that tune. Back up your shizzle many times peeps!

Any other noteworthy CDR memories?
There were a few memorable nites for sho’, at some point some artists performing live were brought to a few sessions, not sure if it was a CDR event (pretty sure tho) at Plastic People but when my brothers Jeremy Ellis & John Arnold from Detroit came & play everyone left the club changed for ever LOL !! They de(s)troyed the club! Absolute bonkers. Also the first CDR compilation party was quite an exciting moment too…

Please could you describe your work life/creative life tussle. Any tips or tricks for managing to keep making music?
I travel all over this planet sharing my love for music and playing what i consider to be the freshest shhh, old or nu & try to find time in my studio to finish projects, productions or remixes. Tips? Damn I’m still learning everyday. You just gotta put your heart in it. Watch your ears if you wanna last. Back up your shhh many times (I repeat myself i know…) . Have faith. Be yourself & keep on workin’. Spread Love. Live & Laugh 🙂

Have you a favourite club and/or soundsystem?
Quite a few yes . I mean some of the best soundsystems & clubs are in Japan for sure, Cielo in NYC & The End Up in San Francisco are always great to play at, also some great places in South Africa. Actually there are many many good clubs all over. My favourite festival is the Worldwide Festival in Sète no doubt (best sound on the beach!). Plastic People used to be the mecca in London for an intimate spot (Funktion One style) but now for me Corsica Studios & Plan B are two great clubs to play in London.

Please give a brief (as you set fit) description of your current production set up.
Few analog synths, a Mac running Logic, analog compressors & FX units. A pair of Adams monitors & Yamaha HSM80 speakers. Live instruments & various toys.

What are you working on at the moment?
Just released the Mala in Cuba album that I co-produced (Brownswood Recordings) and we’re about to start touring live, still loads of forthcoming remixes (for Alice Russell and Quantic, for Jose James and a few other artists) and still a bunch to finish, a nu Simbad single called Re-Connect planned for Nov 2012 & a nu label adventure … This African music project I recorded this year to be released in spring 2013 . Aaaah just stuff here & there really …

Finally, have you any advice or words of warning for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?
Keep the bass in MONO & make space for your frequencies 🙂

You can connect with the man @djsimbad and