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Steven B.C's New Album 'Heartaches' Is an Intoxicating Lo-Fi House Trip

Stream the Australian producer's double LP on DJ Haus' House Crime in full, then read what he had to say about it.

If you like distorted house melodies littered with inspired and nostalgic samples, gritty kicks, and fuzzy synths, you better know Australian producer Steven B.C., a.k.a. Steven Be Calm. Also known under his other moniker Stephane 1993, B.C's been turning vertebrates throughout the last year with releases on celebrated lo-fi house hotbed Shall Not Fade, gracing proper EPs and curious white labels with his trademark pitched up R&B samples, simple yet effective kicks drums, and an easy going charm that less chin stoke and more ear-to-ear grin. His latest work, a double album on DJ Haus' House Crime Imprint, continues his project with eight of his most intriguing tracks to date. Over the course of two discs, B.C lets us into his wonky mind. There's cheeky Isley Brothers (no, Biggie didn't invent this beat, kiddos!) sampling, smokey hip-house, and a few lazy numbers that sound like they've been marinated in promethazine. Along with a full stream of the record, we had a chat with B.C below about the record's concept, the whole craze around lo-fi, and how he makes his tracks sound so dope.

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THUMP: How'd this record come together?
Steven B.C: The record was a bit of a long process. I worked on it in bits and pieces over a year without the intention of ever making it into an LP. I'd say the lifestyle behind it consisted of eating pizza, phõ, and ramen as well as drinking black coffee while watching Twin Peaks, Peep Show, and most importantly late night Arsenal games, all of which helped me capture a sense of dread and depressing overtones in the record. My inspiration ranged from old Memphis hip-hop tapes to those hour long "Detroit Techno Megamixes" on YouTube. When I grouped the finished tracks together I started arranging them in an order that made sense, bounced a few of them to tape, bounced them back to the computer and sent them to DJ Haus. He loved the tracks and believed they would work as an LP so he made some suggestions on the order and we went with it.

Can you describe your studio process a bit and how you go about finding and arranging your samples?
I don't really have a set process for my music. I use a combination of hardware synthesizers, drum machines, and samples. Sometimes I sample from a record, sometimes I rip a YouTube video. Whatever works. I often flip between Live and Logic and sometimes record stuff onto tape. It's a bit of a mess but it keeps things interesting.

When it comes to selecting samples, I try to use something that I've never heard in a house style. Barring the Shall Not Fade White Label series of course. Someone will no doubt find a tune with the same sample I used now that I've said that…

You've been a part of the whole lo-fi crazy as of late. How does that feel?
Well I've always made music that has been saturated or crushed. Even my Stephane 1993 stuff has always had a bit of a raw edge so it doesn't feel all that much different to anything I've done before. In regards to the notoriety the style has gained in the press lately, I don't pay too much attention to it. I've always felt a little detached from the music scene in general. Not that I don't respect or appreciate everyone involved, it's just I do this for enjoyment and would rather not waste time worrying about politics or if someone wrote a bad article about a particular scene or musician. It's much more enjoyable this way.

What's next for you?
At the moment I'm putting music out under a couple of different names and projects and while it's fun, it's pretty draining. At some stage I'd like to merge and just go with one. We'll see. I'm going overseas for a holiday soon with my partner too which I'm super excited about. My agent and I discussed possibly doing a tour as we received a lot of interest from various promoters overseas but I kinda just felt like holidaying so we put that idea on ice for now. I'm still working a 9-5 and concentrating on studying as well as doing some web design stuff so I'm keeping busy.