On this day, five years ago, J Dilla passed away, aged 32. I interview a lot of bands for Dollars to Pounds and his name crops up more than any other. There’s a whole generation of musicians drawing influence from his soulful, psychedelic thump. One of them is Darren Williams, better known as Star Slinger. He’s spent the last 10 months building an impressive body of work, from eccentric beat tapes, remixes of artists as diverse as Cocteau Twins, Deerhunter and Nicki Minaj and a saucer-eyed collaboration with Teams. Like Dilla, Star Slinger makes dense, weird music that’s fun and accessible, beats that bare scrutiny and “tear the whole fuckin’ club up.” He made us this fantastic, exclusive mix and I spoke to him about old cartoons.
1. UGK – International Player’s Anthem (Feat. Three 6 Mafia)
2. Lunice – Purp Walk
3. Star Slinger – Baby Mama
4. Hourglass Sea – L.A Lights
5. Hudson Mohawke – Rising 5
6. Blank & Kytt – Thursday & Snow
7. Dntel – Paparazzi
8. The Extra T’s – ET Boogie
9. Pariah – Prism
10. Fantastic Mr. Fox – Sepia Song
11. Pete Heller – Big Love (Extended Mix)
Download: Starslinger’s Dollar to Pounds/FADER Mix
I read that you make a lot of your music in bed late at night. Lots of people in music work like this at the moment, which is maybe why so much music sounds nocturnal or kind of space age. Do you think where you make your music has an effect on how it sounds or does it just depend where your head is at?
Yes! I do have a tendency of slicing up audio in my bed. I tend to record the vinyl or synths or whatever at my desk first, and then lay down in bed with my laptop and the wav files, and then chop it up. Don’t know about others, but it’s a tried and tested method for me anyhow.
Do you still work at an art-house cinema? What is the best film you’ve seen there recently?
I recently went full time with music, so I don’t work there anymore. Last film that truly amazed me at the art-house was Enter The Void. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s about DMT, and “Death Tripping” – an idea conceived in the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk did the sound, Gaspar Noe directed it, and Paz De La Huerta is in it. It’s just full on stunning. Beautiful yet nauseating. I watched it like four times.
Your name always reminds me of that old cartoon Bravestarr about about a cowboy from space. The intro was awesome.
It’s hilarious, that intro. The most hilarious intro ever for me though is the intro to Conan The Barbarian, the cartoon series. It has a bit where The Evil Lizard Wrathamon casts Conan’s parents to Stone! WHAT A FUCKING BADASS! “Wrathamon” – sounds like a gothic rasta from name alone.
My name is inspired by my love of Word Association and the first record I sampled. BT Express – Cowboy Dancer. First it was just a track name (it’s the last track on Volume 1), and then I started calling myself Star Slinger.
If they remake Bravestarr you could do the soundtrack. Would you like to do soundtrack work?
I do love soundtracks but not a ton amaze me. Willie Hutch’s Foxy Brown OST is my favourite right now.
Who will play you in Star Slinger: The Movie?
John Goodman. Or some other bad ass big guy. He spends most of Gigantic laid on his back, and still he’s a legend.
Is there anyone you’re interested in working with?
I’ve got a lot of people in mind. I think I’d most love to get a sick 16 from Project Pat though.
What can we expect from your next album?
Expect a lot less obvious sampling. A bigger production value, but also keeping the party vibe. I’m expecting to drop something by summertime, even if itís not the album!
Tell us a bit about the mix you’ve made for us.
I mixed this on the train to London before playing a show. It contains some of my all time favorites (the first and last track) and some current favourites like Lunice, Blank & Kytt and Pariah. Its an eclectic mix without any genre restrictions, and you can definitely expect that when I DJ out too. I played a similar mix in Slovenia recently and it went down a storm. It’s an exclusive for The FADER, so please – Enjoy!