Emerging Manchester-based DJ & producer Loz Goddard is the latest name to pop up on our Inflyte Radar, following a number of strong releases with labels such as Church and Whiskey Pickle.
Loz prepares for the release of his forthcoming long player this month, Balloon Tree Road, which will see him make his debut on Oathcreations, a label which has previously released tracks from Hidden Spheres, and Seb Wildblood.
We got the chance to ask him a few questions, including his thoughts on making an album, what he looks for in a potential label partnership, and what he thinks of Manchester when it comes to club music. Get the full discussion with Loz Goddard below.
Hey Loz, you’re on our Inflyte Radar this month, tell our readers what you have been up to recently?
Hey! So, in terms of music, I had a mini break from studio time in August / September after wrapping the album up which has been much needed. However, that was partially due to the fact my Macbook was taking in excess of 20 mins to load a project, so it became pretty unworkable towards the end & put me off making music at all for those months.
In mid-October though I made the move back to Windows and treated myself to an absolute spanker of a studio PC, and the workflow has been increasing massively. I set myself a target of starting & finishing a new EP before Christmas, which I’ve now done – and in fact I think all the tracks work really nicely together so it might just stay as is for a future release!
Outside of music I’ve been making sure I don’t neglect my other hobbies. I’ve been out fishing & climbing a lot – two things that I am really enjoying and will be concentrating on more this year. I’ve also been jumping on various video games too, and when the weather’s half decent, getting out to play Airsoft. I’m a proper little nerd when it comes down to it really.
You mentioned your new long player, what made you decide to put together an entire album?
You know what, it’s been an idea in my head for a couple of years now, but I never wanted to force anything. I have been happily making EP’s for ages and thought ‘I’ll just collate the ‘album style’ tracks together until I have enough I’m happy with’, but that was a lot harder than it sounds.
I found myself making tracks and thinking they were perfect album material, only for them to get used on an EP. That happened with Far From Home from my FINA release, actually.
Once lockdown hit the UK, I saw it as a perfect excuse for studio time. Unpopular opinion, but I have actually enjoyed the break from club culture to an extent, as I ended up unconsciously surrounding myself with lots of the music I just don’t listen to as often anymore.
Having ambient, electronica, drum & bass, and IDM back at the forefront of my home-listening was what resulted in me experimenting more in the studio again and in turn, resulted in the album.
And you recently dropped the second single from the project ‘Orange Blue Green’, tell us about the track?
This was possibly one of the most naturally occurring tracks I’ve ever made you know. My girlfriend sent me over a recording she took on her phone while walking by a canal. She was walking through a tunnel in the rain and the water droplets from the tunnel ceiling onto the canal surface water had such a nice natural reverb. She sent over the recording as I said I could do something with it, and that formed the basis of the track.
That sound of water in the recording inspired me to mess with a few hardware & software synths to bring out that extra bit of ‘aquatic-ness’. I haven’t tried it myself but I bet if you loaded up some underwater sea life footage on YouTube and played the track as the backing, it would fit fairly well!
In the past you have also released music with Church, Quintessentially, and Whiskey Pickle, what do you look for in a potential label partnership?
If I approach a label first, then I always make sure that the tracks I am sending are what I would call a ‘good fit’ for the label in terms of how they sound. If a label approaches me first, I will check out lots of their past releases to see if their sound is a good fit for me. It kinda works both ways.
As well as the music, I’ll always try to hit labels who have put out records from artists I like. A labels roster is a really good way of checking at-a-glance if they might be a good fit, provided you are aware of the artists on there.
The second and probably just-as-important factor for me is the labels artwork and promotion. Artwork for me is such a huge part of a release, especially when releasing vinyl, so that has to be absolutely bang on for me. That is why Oath has been such a perfect match!
With regards to promo, I just like a label to do it subtly and tastefully rather than peppering their fanbase with endless posts across all social media platforms. As well as that, I like bit of mysticism. Post some artwork with absolutely zero text, get people wondering, y’know.
By the way, digital artwork has to be bang on to, I spend a good chunk of time every week deleting promo emails from labels who think that a woman in a bikini on a beach is still a good thing to use as artwork, that’s without even listening to the music.
And which other labels might we expect to see you on soon?
Very difficult to say I’m afraid. I have one or two in mind for the EP I finished just before Christmas, but still early days.
We read online that you started playing the drums at just 9 years old, we imagine that comes in pretty handy when it comes to making dance music?
Learning a musical instrument can only be a plus point when producing music, I reckon. No matter what instrument you chose to learn, you will always be able to incorporate it into your productions in some way.
Weirdly, my first few releases made use of programmed drums, drum machines and samples. I never actually used any live drums in my tracks. Now though, I use live drums in just about every track I make. Sometimes the live drums form the basis of the idea and then they’re removed, but it’s so nice to be able to sit down and play a beat in your head rather than spending a lot longer pissing about programming it in.
I just wish I’d learnt the piano or keys, as I couldn’t for the life of me sit down and play back any chords from my past tracks. I’d have to re-learn them.. They are all trial & error!
You’re based in Manchester, a city which has produced countless club talents over the years, but who are some emerging Manchester-based artists that you recommend we check out?
You can’t go wrong with Contours, Yadava, and Hidden Spheres to be honest. They’ve all been doing bits for a while now on various top labels, get ‘em searched up!
On a slightly tougher tip, Blasha & Allatt for all things techno. Some mega techno mixes on their Soundcloud page that have sound tracked a few gaming and drinking sessions. Finally, I must give a nod to SNO. Always with a solid selection oof soul, jazz, afrobeat, disco, and funk.
And what’s your favourite club to play at in the city, and why?
Hands down the best place in Manchester I’ve played was Hidden. That was all the way back in 2015 with Session Victim. It’s so fresh in my mind though as I remember being well impressed by the sound in there, not to mention it was a top night.
It’s one of those dirty & dusty clubs, like Sankeys was. I think it reminds me of those nights at Sankeys when I was 18-22 years old.
Loz Goddard – Balloon Tree Road LP is out February 25th on Oathcreations.