S. A. Fred

S. A. Fred

S. A. Fred is my longest running musical project, and the pseudonym by which most people who've heard of me know my music. I created the identity around 1998 when I needed a name for my fledgling MP3.com account! The name is based on the character Bob Arctor (who goes under cover as Special Agent Fred) in the Phillip K. Dick book, "A Scanner Darkly". I can't exactly recall why I chose this name, other than I wanted a Phillip K. Dick reference, and the fact the identity of S. A. Fred is scrambled by a visual blurring suit, again, why I thought this was cool escapes me now...

I was just starting out making music using computers, which, after years of just using a 4 track was quite a revelation. I still used hardware gear however, and recorded my synth's a Casio CZ1000, Yamaha DX1000, and a Boss DR660 drum machine directly into the computer audio input (one by one). I also hadn't cottoned on to midi, so each part was played live. Software wise I used Cakewalk as a DAW, Steinberg's Wavelab, and Propellerhead's rather awesome Rebirth! "Drum & Bass Intelligence" & "Hallucinations - SAFMix" (above) were made during this time.

Interestingly, "Drum & Bass Intelligence" became quite popular at the time, and seemed to fit into a new genre called "Ambient Drum & Bass". Thanks to an MP3.com newsletter feature this track got an incredible amount of downloads in 1999, and enabled me to buy some new gear courtesy of MP3.com's "Pay for Play" feature. The track was downloaded over 100,000 times, which even now seems a bit unbelievable, but there we go! It earned me enough to shed out on a Nord Micro Modular synth, and later a Korg MS2000r synth.

"Hallucinations", my remix of Roy Budd's theme from the film "Get Carter" caught the attention of DJ Food (of Ninja Tune) in 2014, which of course was nice considering I had made the track in 1998!

The third track above "Star Watcher" is inspired by the work of Jean Giraud "Moebius", hence the use of his classic artwork! This piece is probably a good example of where my sound is these days under the S. A. Fred pseudonym.