Exploring the Depths of (Dirty) Cinematic Electronica | Dirty Freud
It's rare to come across music that's both mesmerising and energetic. Yet, the electro bass music outfit Dirty Freud has crafted a distinctive sound that blends decades of electronica into a constantly evolving sonic melting pot. The result? A wide-ranging, ambitious sound that both clubgoers and meditative listeners can appreciate.
Dirty Freud draws inspiration from and reinterprets the early underground dubstep and 2-step garage scene, bringing to life soundscapes that transcend musical genres and constantly evolve, with the ever-present heavy beats that energise their tracks.
Producer Danni Skerrit and lead vocalist Ruby Tingle first met in Manchester while Danni was running open-mic nights, and after some time, they started collaborating regularly. Since then, Dirty Freud has built a loyal fanbase, gaining support from iconic labels like Ninja Tune and Rough Trade.
Thanks to the support of MIF Sounds, Dirty Freud will be releasing their upcoming EP Native Immigrant, which will allow them to collaborate with international artists and further expand their sonic palette.
We read that you’d actually studied creative writing and worked as a scriptwriter before turning to music. What catalysed that shift?
Yes, this is true. I was a massive fan of creating worlds through the words I wrote, and I felt that a lot of things I wrote were very lyrical. That was the change for me.
I felt I could write songs within the stories, and that's what started to happen. Lyrics followed by beats. I liked writing for theatre, but my passion was always music, so I had to follow that 100%.
How do you think your background in writing has influenced your music?
Massively, it gives me the confidence to write lyrics and create not only instrumentals but the vocal parts too.
How does it feel to be included in the second round of MIF Sounds artists? What do you hope to achieve with their support?
It’s a massive privilege as there are some incredible artists who have done this in the past and are, of course, on the same scheme as me. I really hope to achieve a more consistent profile as an artist, so gigging regularly and making music for creative projects.
In your experience, what’s been the biggest barrier as an emerging creative?
I’d have to say the biggest barrier has been not having the support to back what you are doing. Having someone cheering you on and vouching for you is massive and helps people take you more seriously as an artist.
How did you find your sound? What was that journey like?
Well, that’s a huge question! I’m a massive fan of dubstep, and that's how it started: big breakbeat sounds with dubstep. But along the way, I got into more jazz melodies and then ended up combining the two with vocal tones – this was the beginning. I then added sax too.
But I hope my sound always evolves and gets bigger and musically more exciting. The journey has been interesting, to say the least, yet really rewarding.
And how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your work?
The sound is Dirty Live Electronica. You can listen to my music on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Soundcloud.
How do you personally discover new music or artists? Are there any local artists, events, or trends that you want to share with everyone?
I go hunting once a week on Bandcamp, recommendations, Spotify and anywhere else I can find music, really. I love new music and can’t wait to hear something I haven’t heard before.
Some of the artists I think are killing it: Oneda, Ruby Tingle and Kouba.
Besides music, are there other sounds that inspire you?
For sure. I love the sounds of nature, specifically water, and really love the sounds of industry-like machinery: it really feels like you can make some cool sounds out of all that.
What excites you the most about The Factory opening in Manchester?
The fact that it’s something new, free of what has come before, something that has the possibility of being anything.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to the next generation of emerging artists?
Stick to your guns and believe in what you're doing, and remember why you got into this business in the beginning.
Tell us a little about what you've got in store.
Next, it's festival season, so looking to play a lot of live events. But mostly, I’m looking to push the new body of work, Meet Me in The Real, which is available as a vinyl release on Bandcamp.
Rising Sounds: in a collaborative series between Sound of Life and Manchester International Festival, we’re visiting MIF Sounds: an incubation programme for some of the UK’s most promising emerging creatives. Join us as we explore the unbound creativity of Manchester – sometimes hidden, sometimes on the fringes – from corners brought to the light by MIF Sounds.
Cover Credits: Manchester International Festival & wacomka/Shutterstock
Writer | Marco Sebastiano Alessi
Marco is an Italian music producer, composer and writer. He’s the founder of Naviar Records, a music community and record label exploring the connection between experimental electronic music and traditional Japanese poetry.