Welcome to ON THE SESH! Tell us a little about yourself !
My name is Corin Bayley, I am 45 years young (pardon the cliché) and live in Winwick near Warrington in Cheshire. I’m married to Hayley and have two great kids, both boys. Always loved playing and watching football, like a true sucker for a kicking I support Nottingham Forest, I recently had a crack at skiing as well which was a bit nerve racking.
One of the questions we always like to ask is how it began for you… how did you get into music and at what made you start producing and DJ’ing ?
My parents were pretty Avant Garde when I was growing up and we always had John Peel on the radio in our family home. I was very much brought up on bands like Joy Division, The Cure and The Stranglers. When I was starting to get interested in music myself my mum was always playing a variety of electronic led music by the likes of Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre and Van Gellis. On the popular music front we had the likes of New Order, The Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode playing in the house and I really connected with the synth based music of the time.
Through rap, break dance music and hip hop, generally that love of electronic based music carried on right up until the birth of Chicago House and then onto Detroit Techno. It was all so new. When the North album came out and the likes of artists like A Guy Called Gerald and Baby Ford that was that and I was basically hooked on all things ‘dance’ and it just progressed from there.
Can you tell us about the journey from learning to produce and getting your first track signing ?
I first started producing music back in the mid-nineties. My brother and I had a fairly basic hardware studio setup consisting of an Atari ST running Cubase with a Korg M1 (borrowed from a friend), a Korg Wavestation, a Technox Quasimidi rack mounted sound module, a Korg Prophecy, a Boss DR660 drum machine and an Akai S2000 sampler. Everything got recorded onto a DAT machine (which I’ve still got!). It was enough to make decent sounding music but obviously getting tracks to vinyl then was really difficult and expensive. After that when music production was more about messing around with instruments that could churn out sounds quickly I was jamming with Roland Grooveboxes, the last of which was the MC909 which I also still have as well as my MC303. I did have the MC505 as well but foolishly sold it.
My digital studio was put together about three years ago when I got the point where I figured it was now or never!? My kids were a bit older and I got a pay out from a job I had and thought what better way to spend it than on a brand new studio set up. To be honest getting my head around the technology was fairly easy having worked on hardware and other step-based hardware synths and I hit the ground running. Luckily, I had been following Liam Wilson’s music for a couple of years and when I found out he lived down the road in Accrington, I got in touch and got him on board to give advice on DAW, hardware and software and also to show me how it all hung together. Will be forever indebted to him for that and was the start of a great friendship and also lead to our idea to start the label. My first track signing was signed to Casey Rasch’s ‘Unrstrctd’ imprint, called ‘Nightshift’. Seems like ages ago when that came out but still love the track.
What track would you say that you’re most proud of to date and why?
I would have to say ‘Crowd Vision’ as featured on Solarstone’s Pure Trance 6. When I started my journey one of my goals was to get a track on one of those albums as for me that is the ‘blue ribband’ of trance compilations. The amount of work that also went into that to make it sound like that was extensive to say the least. I remember writing that main lead melody and getting goose bumps when it was blaring out of my studio monitors. When I got the email from Rich telling me he loved it and wanted to sign it was probably one of the best feelings I have ever had and when I found out it was going on Pure Trance 6 I was over the moon.
Has trance always been your first love when it comes to dance music?
Even during the rave days I was always more fond of the trancier tracks like ‘Stella’ by Jam and Spoon and the stuff by Hardfloor and Hard trance. In those days the DJ’s seemed to play anything as long as it was cutting edge and that was the best thing about the scene then. I remember going to Bowlers (which was amore of a progressive rave club) in Manchester and DJ Welly played a track by Country and Western called ‘Reincarnation’. About two weeks later I was in The Orbit in Morley, the classic Techno Mecca and a techno DJ (can’t remember who it was) played the same track and it was so trancey; it blew my mind! A little while later though when I heard Sasha playing Paul Van Dyk’s ‘Words’ and ‘I Can Feel It’ from his seminal album ‘Seven Ways’ on an Essential Mix from Amnesia in Ibiza though that was that… sold!!
What do you think are the main differences between the track’s being produced now and the tracks from back in the late 90’s and early 00’s (often regarded as the golden era for trance)
A lot of trance now is just way too formulaic. It has been for a while though in truth and quite predictable. Advances in technology and the vast number of different plug ins, fx processors, mastering tools etc have meant that the ability to produce highly polished music has never been easier, even in ‘bedroom’ set ups. Unfortunately, I personally think that this has made producers a bit lazy in terms of coming up pushing to come up with original sounding music. The industry has its part to play in that in that people are encouraged to produce and only send music to labels that fits their typical ‘sound’. For me that’s not right. That’s why Mass is open format.
Who do you personally draw influence from when coming up with a concept?
This all depends on what type of track I feel like working on when I hit the studio but there are loads of guys out there pushing the envelope. Guys like Liam, Alex Di Stefano , Stoneface and Terminal, Everlight, , Paul Denton, Ciaran McCauley, Dan Stone and Temple One. I could go on. All these guys have their own sound/ style that I can really relate to. I really love the dance floor appeal of techier tracks but also when uplifting is done well I can really get into that.
How would you describe the “Corin Bayley sound”?
I like to think my sound is up to date in terms of production standards and sound selections however I love to use older school trance influences in my productions as a kind of nod to the quality music of the past. I absolutely love tight and driving percussion, punchy kicks, solid basses and trance acids.
What equipment and software are you working with right now?
OK, this changes from track to track depending on which direction I want to push it in. My DAW of choice is Cubase and synth wise, I love to use bass synths like Trillian and also Omnisphere 2 is great for original solid presets and is really good for making your own original sounding patches. I also have the usual array of digital VST’s. I’ve recently bought a really cool 303 emulation tool and invested in a new synth called ‘Lethal’ which is really cool.
In his interview with OTS, Liam said that you look for unique tracks that don’t sound like everything else.. do you guys sit down and listen to the demo’s together and decide? How do you get to that decision?
It usually depends on who gets the demo first! We are both a filter though for anything that’s not going to fit the bill. Normally we both listen separately and then if necessary listen together but normally it’s fairly obvious straight away if a track is going to make the grade.
Have you had any disagreements yet about a track?
Haha!! Now that’s a question??!! To be fair, we have very similar tastes and ideas of what we are looking for and so far we have never disagreed about anything we have signed…..?! I liked a track once and Liam thought it was crap so there you go.. I was borderline yes/no anyway!
Where do you see MASS as a record label this time next year?
Our vision is to be one of the best and most respected labels out there and we aim to do that by releasing consistent quality, diverse and original music that pushes the envelope for the genre. Hopefully we will be able to attract the best artists to share our vision. Ideally, we would like to be promoting Mass events by the end of next year and will look to support and promote our A&R roster.
Are there any artists you would really want to work with?
There are a few artists I wouldn’t mind hooking up with to collaborate but for me it would need to be in the studio together and none of this working remotely and sending the music to each other via the web. That’s not really a collaboration in my mind!
Tough one, but very necessary… favourite track ever, and what’s your favourite track right now?
Now they are tough questions!… I would have to say that on the tech side of things everything Alex Di Stefano releases really connect with me. On the uplifting side Dan Stone is probably the most consistent producers out there and his latest release ‘Forgotten World’ is doing it for me at the moment.
My all-time favourite? Soooooo many great tracks over the history of the genre – it would have to be something by Paul Van Dyk really so (and I know it’s probably a cliché) but the E-Werk Club Mix of For an Angel was THE track that really announced trance to the world stage as far as I am concerned and it still sounds great now all these years after the release.
Have you got any more releases due out you can tell us about?
Yes – I have a new track out soon on MASS which is a major uplifter called ‘First Light’ and a further release on FSOE Clandestine called ‘Decompression’ which is an all-out banger.. out on 7th December so watch this space.
Has a movie ever made you cry?
I am a man in touch with my emotions so YES!!.. it was the recent sequel for Independence Day.. I wept like a baby at just how poor it was.. I will NEVER get that two hours back..!
No, in all honesty there have been a few movies that have had me welling up but not for a while as the art of film making seems to be dying a bit if you ask me.
If you had to pick between getting kicked in the nuts once a day for the rest of your life, or giving up music which would you pick?
What kind of question is that?!! Hahaha!! I think the answer would be to castrate myself so receiving the blows to the nuts wasn’t so painful..
What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had ?!
Touch wood I have been quite fortunate with injuries although I am severely wounded every time my tracks don’t get a spin on ASOT!! HAHAHA!! Only joking..
I really screwed my ankle up once on holiday playing football that nearly resulted in me not being fit to fly home. I was also in agony and it ruined the holiday.. that’s one of the reasons I now don’t play football!
Thanks for taking some time out to speak with us buddy, we look forward to hearing more from you soon !