As many loyal subscribers of the PB YouTube channel already know, we frequently invite respected industry figures and artists to take part in guest masterclasses and interviews. The idea behind these features is to gain valuable insight into the creative processes of successful figures, load up on industry insight and, of course, uncover good anecdote or two. Following last month’s Guest Artist recap which showcased some of the more recent guest artist spots, we decided to delve deep into our archive to resurface some of our biggest hits. Again, the spectrum is broad – from Orbital to B Traits, Claude Von Stroke to Goldie – and spotlights in-depth interviews, off-the-cuff messages and full-length production masterclasses, both here at the school and on the road (but always under the Point Blank banner). I guess you could call this the VIP mix.
Remember, if you want to be the first to catch these interviews and live events make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel. Of course, if you can envision yourself doing your own guest masterclass one day, the best first step would be studying with us at Point Blank in London, Los Angeles or online.
Orbital: Gamechangers Interview
Orbital broke new ground when they released ‘Chime’ in 1989. A rave anthem that crossed into the mainstream and landed them on Top of the Pops, it’s considered a key moment in British dance music history. In this video, recorded in a pub in Brighton, Phil and Paul Hartnoll tell the story of the track to Point Blank, the equipment they used and the trajectory from its humble beginnings as a jam recorded into their dad’s tape deck to the massive reaction that ensued.
Sasha and Darren Emerson: Five Minutes With…
British club veteran Sasha and fellow producer and Underworld originator Darren Emerson take it in turns to answer quick-fire questions in the Point Blank studio. Subjects include everything to favourite DAWs to collaboration and whether it’s important for producers to be good DJs.
B Traits Interview and Guest Lecture
We think it’s crucial to tap up fast-rising names to offer advice to our students, not least because they have the potential to really inspire students. Now, of course, B Traits is a key figure at Radio 1 but back in 2012 – when we invited her to PB’s London HQ to give a masterclass – she was a one to watch. Here she talks exclusively to our Radio Production students about how she made it in the industry. From her early exposure to electronic music in small town Canada, going out underage clubbing to drum and bass raves, through to working for the BBC, hers is a story all upcoming producers and DJs should take note of.
Mark Ronson In the Studio at IMS
Award-winning producer and DJ to the stars Mark Ronson records a message for the Point Blank students, straight from the Ibiza Sonica studios. Well, why not?
Goldie: Recording Drums
We teamed up with Goldie – undisputed drum’n’bass legend and long-time friend of PB – to give our students a chance to record drums for a project of his. The result was an inspiring and insightful session with Goldie recording three drummers simultaneously at Assault and Battery studios in London – watch how it played out in the video above.
Richie Hawtin Performance Masterclass: US CNTRL Tour
In April 2015, Richie Hawtin’s CNTRL tour took off on an eight-city, 12-day trek across North America. We went along, hosting masterclasses with some of the most innovative artists in electronic music including Matthew Dear, Dubfire and Chris Liebing. For the final masterclass, we were joined by techno legend Richie Hawtin to get an insight into his live performance ethos and to go in depth about how his live setup works.
Annie Mac Radio Masterclass
Reigning queen of Radio 1 Annie Mac visited Point Blank in 2014. The hugely respected DJ and tastemaker currently presides over the early evening spot, breaking new electronic acts to a massive audience, five days a week. She came to our London HQ to drop some serious insider knowledge for our radio course students and you can read an interview that we did with her here. Bonus points for spotting a pre-fame Monki in the above shot – it was Annie Mac that would help get the young DJ noticed at the BBC.
Back in 2014, on the eve of the release of his massive fifth record Live Life Living, we caught up with singer, songwriter, rapper and unlikely prince of dance-pop, Example. In the insightful interview, he traces his background as a fan of grunge to the songs he writes now, his creative process and working with Stuart Price.
Zane Lowe Interview
Zane Lowe is one of the most recognisable faces and voices in the UK music industry. Having made his name on MTV as presenter of alt rock show Gonzo, he went on to become one of the key voices and influences on BBC Radio 1 before his high profile switch to Apple’s Beats 1. Zane came to Point Blank London to talk to us about his career, what moves him and how to spot the next big track. He also spent time listening to students’ tracks, giving feedback and advice along the way.
Nile Rodgers & Eats Everything IMS Anthem Behind the Scenes
As part of the 2013 International Music Summit in Ibiza, Point Blank was proud to present the 2013 Anthem, produced by Nile Rodgers and remixed by Eats Everything. This video is a behind the scenes look at The Anthem and the collaborative remix that was produced in the Point Blank Remix Lab, in association with our friends at Pioneer, during the summit.
Claude VonStroke Music Production Masterclass
DJ, producer and mastermind behind San Fran’s Dirtybird label Claude VonStroke signed up to Point Blank’s Ableton Live course to finesse his skills with the DAW. He liked it so much he has since taken two more online courses and even got his Dirtybird label buddies J.Phlip and the Martin Brothers to do the same. The tables turned in this session as he gives an exclusive behind the scenes look at his track, ‘Le Fantome’ in Ableton Live.
Point Blank Presents Superstylin’ – Groove Armada
Part of the Gamechangers series in collaboration with DJ Mag, Tom Findlay of Groove Armada discusses their hit 2001 track ‘Superstylin”, delving into the techniques used to make the massive track and the story behind its creation. Naturally, Findlay also finds time to reflect on the duo’s origins, inspirations and how they’ve developed over the years.
Disclosure Interview at DJ Mag’s Best of British
PB was at the DJ Mag Best of British Awards in 2012, microphone in hand, eager to collar the night’s big winners. Here, Luke Hopper catches up with one half of Disclosure, Guy Lawrence after they scooped ‘Best Remix’ for Jessie Ware’s Running and ‘Breakthrough Producers’.
Pete Tong is a guiding force in dance music, both here in the UK and internationally. In 2009, he dropped by the studio to record a message for anyone thinking studying with us (spoiler: you should). We have since worked closely alongside the pioneering BBC Radio 1 DJ at events, including the recent IMS College Malta.
If you want to benefit from Point Blank’s exemplary network of connections, learn from industry professionals and kick start your own career in the music industry, you should join us. Our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree is the pinnacle of what we offer and gives you a 360-degree view of your options in the industry. Our courses are developed by professionals who have worked with Pharrell Williams, Chemical Brothers, Swedish House Mafia and Massive Attack and modules cover music composition, DJing, live sound engineering, music business and much more. Validated by Middlesex University, you won’t find a better way to immerse yourself in your passion for music. Find out more about our BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering degree here.
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