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Volume 2, Number 7, August 2004
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Digital Discourse: Glen Nichols - Funky Fresh Squad Hip Grooves with the UAD-1

Glen Nichols--A.K.A. Future Funk Squad
The FUTURE FUNK SQUAD was born in 1999 when Glen accidentally stumbled upon the 'Nu-skool' sound by making a Drum n' Bass track too slow. This was released on a limited number of whites (white label vinyl promos) and was instantly picked up by the likes of DJ Hyper, Jody 'Way out West' Tipper, Lee Burridge and many more.

His debut remix of the Raze classic 'Break 4 Love' put him firmly on the breaks map and is still played today by the likes of the Stanton Warriors & Terminal Head amongst others. Thirty-five remixes later including.... Moloko, SIA, Stanton Warriors, Koma+Bones, Mint Royale, Rob Dougan, Glen'FFS' has DJ'ed all over the globe and has become a well known name within the breakbeat scene.

Glen also owns 3 top breaks labels, Default, en:vision and re:connect, which house such artists as, C83, Kraymon, Madam Breaks, Merka, SFX BEATS, High Eight, D-Pimp and many more.

2004 sees the release of Glen's debut album where all his influences from the past are fused together and along with the help of his guest vocalists; Future Funk Squad should be a well-known name to a wide variety of music lovers...

I assume you are English? Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town called Market Harborough in the Midlands. At the age of 10, I discovered how to multitrack by plugging a microphone into my hi-fi, recording onto tape, then playing that tape and overdubbing! Technical stuff for a 10 year old eh?

Did you have formal music training as a kid?
No not at all. I really wanted to learn the piano properly, but get confused with all the notes and things!

How do you describe what you do now?
Basically I produce and remix. I am a massive fan of the whole virtual age but still have a tasty set of outboard compressors etc to give it that extra phatness. I have just finished my debut album 'Audio Damage' by Future Funk Squad, it features some amazing vocalists and all the music was created by myself in my Funk Vault Studio, based in south London.

"It is just amazing to be able to have the Pultec Pro and 1176LN in chain."

What is your main hardware/software set up?
The Main hub is Logic Pro 6 on a G4 and a Yamaha 03D mixer, I have all sorts of compressors from Joe Meek, TL Audio, DBX but my current favorite is the UAD-1 for sure. It is just amazing to be able to have the Pultec Pro and 1176LN in chain. I use the Pultec EQ for giving the vocals a crisp edge around the 16k range, and depending on the voice will trim the low end as the well, then apply a rather serious amount of the classic 1176LN compression sound with the 2nd ratio switch and loads of drive. I can't rave about this card enough!

How do you get your inspiration to begin working?
My inspiration usually starts by messing around with some sounds on a programmable synth or flicking through old breakbeats. As I am a DJ I will go through old tracks that have really worked for me and take inspiration from them.

Do you use any sample libraries?
Only my own which I have collected since I was 15. I have sampled loads of drums and loops from my record collection (which consists of about 10,000 records!) and other bits and bobs along the way. I never sample big chunks of music or straight beats as I feel I am cheating myself and prefer to program it all anyway.

Do you collaborate with other musicians?
I have worked with a number of different musicians including an amazing bass player, a crazy jazz pianist and am working with my live drummer at the moment on breaks for my next album!

Are there any classic or contemporary records or sounds that have a sound that you try to emulate or recreate?
I am a huge fan of the Moog bass sound and recently got the MiniMoog Plug In. When you put it through the Pultec it really warms the bottom end and sounds pretty darn close to the original synth.

Is there any live band or club event or DJ that gave a performance that "changed your life" or had a huge influence on you?
Just have to say the Prodigy. I saw them live 3 times and each time they blew me away! Real FULL ON energy and bass! That's what I like in a live show...

If you could have Universal Audio create a dream product for you what would that be?
Hmmmm, tricky as I already love all the stuff on the UAD-1 card. I would however love Universal Audio to make a PCMCIA card for my laptop as I take it everywhere with me and could really do with the UAD-1 on the move!!!!!

What are your plans for the future?
To promote my album throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland and then I'm back in the studio in a month or so to start on the second album. Plus got a few DJ gigs in Tokyo, China and Australia so very busy!!!! Here's a sample of my use of the UAD-1-the track is called Writers Blok and features a rapper called Mojo and is from my forthcoming debut album 'Audio Damage' on Universal Germany. Check out more of Glen Nichols.

-Marsha Vdovin

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