In The Studio With…..ILL TREATS

Whats up Everybody? Here we go again with another Installment of the “In the Studio With..” Series of Interviews.
This time around I’ve chosen a Producer i came across on Soundcloud while browsing for new music one day…
“ILL Treats” is a musician, producer, remixer, engineer, dj, digger and record fanatic from Brighton, Britain (UK). His Music caught my attention, as you all know I LOVE that real hiphop/ grimey sample based beats with soul and feeling. These days not a lot of producers try to capture that essence of what hiphop is anymore. Its switched over to this red-lined digital “Crystal Clear” tinny, compressed overmixed garbage IMO. This dude ILL Treats understands how important it is to keep real hiphop alive and well and you can hear the love in his beats.

So without further adue. Lets jump In the Studio with.. ILL Treats

QCM: Whats up Man? State your name, How long you’ve been producing music and who you have produced music for..

ILL TREATS: Mark Canning– Ill Treats – I have been producing music since I was at college, got my 1stMPC in 2000! I produced for many artists including Louis Logic, Rasco, Moka Only and Cadence Raw.

QCM: What do you have kickin around the studio these days?…And whats your “weapon of choice” for beat making?

ILL TREATS: MPC60 (Weapon of choice), MPC3000, SP12 Turbo, S950

Technics 1210s and Vestax PDX’s

Lots of Vinyl (around 8000)

QCM: Word. Nice to see you still showing love to the 60 and s-950 combo!. What’s your take on the state of recording and the bedroom studio Vs the big name studio , and where do you do most of your work?

ILL TREATS: I do all the mixing and sometimes mastering in the Jazz Flat (my studio) this is where many releases have been constructed. If you have the money of course the Big Studio wins hands down.

QCM: Do you play any Instruments or have any Musical background/schooling aside from hiphop and beat making?

ILL TREATS: Yes I learnt Violin at the age of 7 then went onto Guitar and from theage of 13 was gigging as the main singer/lead guitarist and song writer of a Band. I also learnt bass guitar some piano and drums. I wrote all the parts of the material in the group I was in, bass, guitar, drums, lyrics of the group and we gigged and toured for 5 years! I also used to teach guitar and have a degree in music engineering!

QCM: Nice! Education is good! What do you think about the Hardware Vs Software debate with music production? Do you use 1 or the other, or both?

– Photo by

ILL TREATS: I use Hardware as I hate looking at a screen to make music, I still use a computer when mastering as its unavoidable really as the music eventually has to be in digital form. Though I don’t think it makes a big difference these days its all about the Man not the machine as they say.

QCM: Sampling and Record Digging is a big part of hiphop music…Do you look for any certain artists when looking for that next sample?? And do you agree with sampling other sources aside from vinyl?

ILL TREATS: I first and foremost am a Charity Shop digger, so I look for anything that looks like it may have some sounds on it! I also look out for labels of course, certain players, certain years and also go with what feel right! I have to say I don’t sample CD’s or anything like that, but I have sampled video’s before and notes from synths! Though I love the sound of vinyl so keep it this way! The process is one of the fun parts to me, the process of sampling Youtube just does not appeal to me at all as I find its not a challenge….

QCM: I feel you. Im an all viynl guy myself. Have you ever sampled something that you thought was untouched, then heard it used by others after the fact?

ILL TREATS: Yeah it happened once, but it wasn’t someone famous who flipped the same sample and they created their track after mine. Other than that I never ever had it happen yet…….

QCM: Walk us through your beat making process from start to finish…(.Drums first?Sample first?) Also, feel free to share any certain techniques you use along the way…

ILL TREATS: Pretty much the drums 1st as a rule, but sometimes I will be listening to a record and something jumps out then of course I start with the sample. The drums are always just a basic pattern too so that I can adjust it to the sample.

QCM: Do you ever go through “Beat-Block” (like Writers Block) and how do you overcome it?…

ILL TREATS: Yep it seems to happen more and more often these days! A lot of it for me is to do with peace of mind if all is going well in life then its easier to focus! Of course fresh new digs helps too, if I am really stuck I try and work on old material I may have done nothing with and try and mix it better or flip it differently! Though sometimes you can’t force music at those points I just relax do other things!

QCM: What do you think about beat makers calling themselves producers? Is there a difference? And if you think there is, what are the differences?

ILL TREATS: I don’t get to involved in the politics of music so it doesn’t really bother me…. ultimately music is about having fun!

QCM: That’s the way to be!! Stay outta the drama at all cost!. Who do you look up to on the beat-making production tip?

ILL TREATS: Wow well if its just Hip Hop beat makers I would have to go with the Golden Era Premier, Pete Rock, Lord Finesse, Diamond D, Beatminerz, Beatnuts, Dilla, No ID, Hi Tek (Americans)

Uk – Drumatic, Dirty Hairy, Lewis Parker, Eric Lau etc.

QCM: Any last words of advice for the young aspiring beatmakers out there reading this?

ILL TREATS:Just enjoy yourself try and be original don’t try and just sound like everyone else. Do your own thing, keep working at your game and don’t’ expect to be able to make a living by just selling records, you need to have your fingers in multiplepies!

QCM: Cool, Thanks for the chat homie!, One last thing…Where can we check out your work online?



9 Responses to “In The Studio With…..ILL TREATS”

  1. Thanks man!! Mucho Gracias! Peace Treats

  2. Ill Treats is dope..hands down. Props for the write up…Respect from Soundsci.

  3. Nice Interv! Big up! Keep Hip-Hop healthy!

  4. griffin aka Just Elements Says:

    Ill treats, my man. I fucken love it. Give us some more tracks up on Facebook, so I can keep spreading your sound to the beautiful people out there craving to be inspired. Can’t wait to see you again hommie, one of these day’s. I’d like to creep back and chill at the jazz flat, just relax and drop some lyrics over ill wax. Stay up, Peace’s!

    • Hahah thanks Griffin, longtime no speak bro! Hahah yes good times indeed when you guys came over!!! Thank sfor the love mate, be good to catch up soon! Hope life is treating you well! Peace

  5. Dirty Hairy Says:

    good stuff good interview Treats is the mutha fuckin man!
    R e s p e c t !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: