‘Prod Week’. How Music Bootcamps Empower Smaller Artists. [Event Write-Up]

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Written by: Hamish Dorman

“You can obviously tell how much these guys put into their mixing and thought process when they’re given the time, because we all achieved super awesome results…” – Augmented Order

In a landscape so heavily reliant on social networking, forums, threads, and overbearing voice chats; the world of music production can seem bland, uninspired, lonely, and repetitive. 2020 has been the year we may have felt this the most, lack of human connection, an almost novel memory at this point for some. Though we are fronted with these potentialities, some still have found a way to bring the beautiful spark of collaboration into the process of music production before the year closes out! Enter the bass music production scene of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

This year a handful of producers (Skrybe, Manafex, Vital Mode, Space Prince, Into Ash, Augmented Order, and Mancer) ranging from the beautiful tones of colour-bass to the aggressive growls of dubstep and trap came together (safely and legally) for a week of nonstop song writing, music production challenges, memories, and good times. What has interested me was the new heights that the group has achieved since their last music production bootcamp (which they have abbreviated to “Prod. Week”) in the summer of 2019; some securing recognition from labels and prolific artists/personalities, others advancing in their abilities and skills as music producers, and all developing a greater sense of purpose and creativity. When asked about why opting to meet in person as opposed to online in a discord call or just chatting online, the responses showed clearly the advantages of this method of collaboration. Vital Mode, a recent resident on the label Rushdown Records, noting that his number one reason for attending these production bootcamps is “that it’s a good change of scenery. Instead of being in a dark room with a lamp and LED’s, I’m in a bright room next to a window with an amazing view.”
Space Prince, another one of the bubbly personalities in the group, confirms this sentiment by noting “regardless of the goal, it has never been anything but an uplifting environment… you are surrounded by talented people in every moment who are more than happy to lend their ears to help”, the comments from the other artist continue this sentiment, Manafex perfectly encapsulating it as a “social and productive environment” which apps like Discord have “no such power.”

So what about the activities? One can feel productive by surrounding themselves with others however there is always the risk of forgetting to do the work! When asked further, we found that productivity really is the name of the game with this group, the most seasoned producer of the group Skrybe, who boasted three finished tracks in the 2019 Prod. Week and a signed collaborative track with Jool six months after said Prod. Week, mentioned his finishing of his current works in progress before returning to his new computer back at his house where he can (now that isolation restrictions have eased in Victoria) invite vocalists and other artists to collaborate with; Manafex also chiming in saying that the new tracks he had started will feel easier to finish in addition to a newfound efficiency in his workflow.

Others in the group have attained more abstracted productive KPI’s in the form of being able to push the boundaries of their comfort zone and try new things in their art, most notably this is found in the form of the daily challenges that they engage in throughout the week with such challenges as:

● Randomly drawing the name of one of the other artists present and writing a song in their style
● Making a track from start to finish in a single day
● Make a “Soundcloud Rap” track
● And many other challenges that are agreed upon throughout the week.

After talking to the group of producers it feels clear to see why such an effort is put into this yearly event. By being in each other’s presence and embracing the collaborative and social aspects of the music creation process with open arms, these artists are all pushing their personal boundaries and their craft to new heights. This author keenly awaits what comes of 2021 for all involved.

Artist’s Soundcloud Links: (click to be redirected)




Augmented Order

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