Earlier this year Groundislava (Jasper Patterson) released his self-titled album, resulting in critical acclaim and a massive increase in his fanbase. The jump he made from the Book of Tech EP was pretty special, and pretty much cemented his position as the Wedidit Collective main man, which is no mean feat considering the talent involved (Shlohmo anyone?).

We caught up with Patterson to talk about his music, the Wedidit Collective, his influences, video games and what music he's been digging.

How are you doing?

Pretty tired today. I should probably sleep more. But things are good other than that.

Earlier this year you releases your debut LP. How do you feel now that it's out there for people to buy?

I was a little scared about it initially, but the reaction has been generally very positive. Reviewers are picking up on subtleties that I wasn’t sure were apparent. I put a lot of emotion and thought into my music so I just hope people who buy it see it for more than just another album of bass-centric instrumentals.

How would you describe the music you make?

When people ask me what kind of music I make it’s hard to come up with an answer. My major influences are from hip-hop, pop, and house music, without a doubt, but I wouldn’t necessarily describe my sound as simply the product of the three. Unlike either I like to work with a more conventional song structure so I can highlight melody and progression, rather than build solely on repetition. I have trouble making tracks by building loops and chopping samples…my workflow is more about sketching out a whole composition, then going back and meticulously creating all the details that make it a song. I guess at the end of the day it falls under some sort of broad hip-hop headline but only in the sense that it’s most relevant to the hip hop audience.

I’m not gonna deny the fact that I use a lot of video game sounds and “8-bit” synths, but I never really had the intention of making this type of music. I think it’s just that the sounds I gravitate towards are tinny square waves and shit. I’m actually pretty surprised how often my music is being classified as “8-bit”.

You're part of the Wedidit Collective. How did that all come about and how is helped you to get where you are now?

It was basically some shit in high school that we made up. Nick (Melonius Drunk) and Henry (Shlohmo) came up with the name and we just kinda rolled with it from there. The original crew was us three, plus Joseph Cool. We had a lot of big ideas, but most of the time our creative outlet was just making tracks, exchanging them, and building ideas. We also would freestyle a lot, say a lot of stupid shit. Eventually we got a bunch more members…we met cats like Jonwayne and eLan through Myspace… Zeroh caught on once we started kicking it at lowend and shit. I think it really solidified and got more serious when people we met specifically through music, not just high school buddies, started to join up.

I think what impressed me most about the record is how you've managed to put the more video game style tracks ('Stealth River Mission' etc) next to the slow jamz ('Panorama') and make it work. These seemed like a big jump from the Book Of Tech EP, which sounded like NBA Jam slowed right down. How important was it to you to put together a record with this sort of depth?

Book of Tech was interesting because it was basically the B-Sides for the record. I originally had like 20 songs or something for my LP, but I realized how unfocused the album felt…I think with the varied approach I take to music, it’s important not to spread my self too thin. Book of Tech was the extraneous tracks, the ones that hindered the album from creating a full, linear experience. I think the tracks with vocals are important, as they break up the sections of the album and kind of give the whole thing a slight pop sensibility that I really dig.

To answer the question, I think it was important for me to make an album with this sort of depth to avoid giving the illusion that I’m a one-note producer. I’m definitely not just a beat maker, or a house DJ, or some circuit bender sequencing on a gameboy or some shit, and I don’t claim to be some masterful jack of all trades… I just like draw from a lot of different pools of influence.

Did working with Weary help? The Vocals seem to really compliment your music really well.

I like working with Weary. He’s a really nice guy and he’s really fucking efficient, he’ll step into the booth with the mic and walk out 30 minutes later with like 15 vocal tracks for me to fuck with. I try to portray a lyrical and vocal quality with my melodies, and I think, for the most part, it’s one of my strengths as an artist or producer or whatever. So it’s a lot of fun to leave that space blank on the track for once, and then work directly with a vocalist in the same manner that I’d build a set of melodies. I really know what I want to hear when the track is finished, and Weary really knows how to work with my specific requests. He also let’s me fuck around with making pop music without fully going off the deep end with it. I’m not gonna lie, I listen to a lot of top 40 shit, sometimes ironically, but a lot of times not. A lot of it is horrible…in fact at least 80% is awful, but there’s something magical about good pop music, so I study what I hear and try to apply those positive elements when I do tracks like 'Panorama' or 'Final Impasse'.

Where do you go from here? Do you already have your next project in mind? We hear you're planning a split release with Shlohmo...

I have a lot of new shit I’m working on…I’m working in a lot of new styles too. I really want to buy a Yamaha DX-7 and see where that takes me. I think it would work nicely with the shit I’ve been doing lately. I wanna get in the studio with more vocalists as well, but probably for a different project.

As for the Shlohmo split, that’s definitely the plan. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but, for right now, that’s definitely the plan. A lot of the content is actually already there.

Who, or what, would you say are your biggest influences?

Biggest influences… when I started making music probably back in like… 2004(?), it was definitely a tie between a few different artists. I was really into M83 at the time… maybe even obsessed. I would listen to Red Seas, Dead Cities, and Lost Ghosts and also Before The Dawn Heals Us non-stop. I found the later shit to be pretty damn disappointing and gimmicky. Around the same time I was also bumping Boards of Canada super heavy, particularly Geogaddi and Music Has The Right to Children. Later I got into house music, particular minimal and minimal techno. I dunno. I bought a Juno 106 in 2007 and it opened my eyes to how much a synth could be fine-tuned and crafted. I guess you throw all this in a blender with a few SNES cartridges and you have my sound. Maybe mix in the AFX Analords series, too.

If you had to pick five videogames to take on a desert island, what would they be?

Let’s see…in no particular order...

1. DotA/Heroes of Newerth: DotA is this raw ass mod for Warcraft III that spawned a huge competitive subculture and eventually it’s own subgenre of RPG games. I never had the focus to play shit like WoW or Everquest after the age of like 15 so I always dug these games more. It’s like the whole MMORPG experience squashed into a 40 minute team-based competitive action RPG, with all these large scale strategy elements. Heroes of Newerth is the unofficial remake… it has pretty graphics and its much more streamlined. This shit is so nerdy though, the learning curve alone scares away the vast majority of beginning players.

2. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: I’m all about competitive games. I like talking shit and winning and then acting like I don’t give a shit when I lose. This game is so fast paced its almost silly. It’s a fighting game that is so intense that it becomes slightly comedic. I love it.

3. Portal Series: These games are so dope. I never was into puzzle games, but as soon as you put the puzzle genre in the context of a story-driven first person shooter, I’m sold. I’m like half way through the second one. It’s blowing my mind.

4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl: I don’t care what anyone says, this is the best of the three Smash Bros games. I’ve poured so many hours into playing this game.

5.There’s a lot more shit I wanna put, and I know people probably want to hear about the classics like Super Mario World and shit, but honestly, I’m all about the new shit, even though I love the old shit too. I’m gonna go with Minecraft for this last one. Just back into it recently… I have a server with Devonwho, it’s mad fun.

What artists/bands should we be looking out for?

I really like this guy Wax Stag… I don’t know shit about him but I listen to his album all the time. I don’t know if you should expect any big break with him since he hasn’t released anything in a long time, but he’s super dope. In terms of some hip-hop shit I think everyone should be looking out for fuckin Zeroh aka blaqbird (one of the wedidit homies actually). He’s such a ridiculous rapper and a bomb beat maker. He’s been making super ill mixtapes lately.

Every week the 405 staff pick one song to go on our weekly playlist. If you could pick one song to go on it, what would it be?

Trey Songz “Love Faces”