The pair behind the best computer game soundtrack of 2015
gigwise intern
11:06 15th June 2015

Having previously seen radio stations curated by everyone from Flying Lotus to Karl Lagerfeld, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto soundtracks never disappoint.

The series most recent album - Welcome To Los Santos - goes one step further by enlisting producers Alchemist and Oh No. to create 14 original tracks. Their masterstroke? Combining everyone from Future Islands' Samuel T Herring to Run The Jewels' own Killer Mike on the record. To celebrate the release the pair - speaking to Gigwise from opposite ends of America on a conference call - discuss breaking down genres, overplayed production tricks and touring with Action Bronson.

Gigwise: Apparently Earl Sweatshirt was most excited about Samuel T Herring's dance moves. What excited you most about getting him on the track?
Alchemist: His range is so crazy musically, with that particular voice that he has. It was crazy getting him on the record. Just doing something a little different to what Future Islands' music sounds like but when we talked to him he was a fan of everything: he even raps very well! That was what was crazy to me. He sent us back a verse at one point: just straight rhymin'. We were like "Wow! He can definitely hang with us or any rapper out there if he wanted to." But he chooses to make the type of music they make - thankfully because I think they have their own sound.

Has the reaction to the record surprised you?
Alchemist: For me and Oh No who've been doing this music for a nice stretch of time already and built a style up. People were refreshed to hear us hook up with different styles and genres, flex our muscles a little different with the project but still stay in our vein of what we do. Not afraid to step out but also conscious of what we've always done. They helped us push a little bit with this by getting different styles of artist like MDNR or Phantogram. Although you had certain artists like Curren$y or Freddie Gibbs who we've worked with in the past you had a lot of different artists that we never had done. Rockstar Grand Theft Auto 5: who could ask for a better platform? It was a good look.



Oh No what games are you playing at the moment?
Oh No: I'm just playing stuff with the Oculus Rift DK2. Honestly I was waiting for the PC version so I could go through the whole thing all in first person. I got this crazy thing that I'm using in it. I'm just really playing Grand Theft right now seriously.

What game have you devoted more man hours to than anything else?
Oh No: I played Zelda like nothing ever. I also like Uncharted - that was a good series. I just beat Mass Effect 1 for the first time a couple of months ago and I probably put a little time into it. That was a good game too.

What's your favourite lyric on Los Santos?
Alchemist: Man I can't quote one line but I think it's a big deal we got MC Eiht on the record. MC Eiht we all grew up idolising. Just a legend in both of our eyes: and E-40 as well while we're saying that. Both of those were artists that we had both never worked with in the past and they were both legends. That's a big thing. Bucketlist.

What really impressed you about working with Killer Mike?
Alchemist: Killer Mike has been dope for a very long time. He's one of those artists that have been dope for a long time and then they finally switch a couple of wires and things just pop for them. Then you think "Yeah - this supposed to be." Like when Twista blew up or Three 6 Mafia - they were already so dope for so many years. I look at Mike and Run The Jewels like that now: he always was that dope and just deserved a bigger platform. He's always been on that A game: kill that mic.

Alchemist according to Action Bronson you're a big fan of Eastern European psychedelia - is this the case?
Alchemist: There's so much music out there. Holy shit: just when you think you've gone through all the genres! As a producer you go through your phases - I started out going through jazz records, then skip to some soundtracks, soul and then once you dug into the world music it's like you fall down the wormhole of music. I'm just always discovering new things - Oh No as well. Just also from travelling too: the last five years in different countries. Man it's unlimited. Just when you think you've heard it all you could never heard it all. And certain artists like Action they get it musically. They like to hear different styles of music or stuff that I'm going to sample even before we make the beat sometimes. I appreciate those artists: there aren't a lot of them but Action is definitely one of those guys?

What's been your most memorable food experience with Action?
Alchemist: One time Action made this Alabama Trouser Fillet. [laughs] Nah, he's an amazing chef. He does this thing.
Action Bronson: Yeah, I made a nice Clean Heel. [laughs]
Alchemist: That was Action: You got a special appearance. We on tour right now. He makes a good spring heel too.

Oh No what's been your toughest ever gig?
Oh No: Toughest? They're all pretty easy man nothing's too hard for me any more. It was never hard. I'm blank: it's all easy to me. Simple.
Alchemist: Which makes shit hard for me. He's a tough guy to spar with over here.

What musical trend needs to die out this year?
Oh No: I'm just tired of the simple lyrics: just the slowest beat, talking about nothing. Alchemist: I think they got to get rid of the sprinkler hi hat. You know the one that goes 'DADADADADA' like a sprinkler? They need to give that a rest so they can bring it back one day.

Oh No: who is impressing you live at the moment?
Oh No: I really like how Kendrick be killing it. His new album is crazy. And Action at Coachella: he tore it down. He's definitely on the radar.

What's next for the pair for you?
Alchemist: I'm going to be out in the UK with Action soon and also Gangrene going to be out there too - we're finishing up the new album right now. It's crazy: expect that next. I look forward to the summer and the rest of the year, just ride out with this Gangrene album. It's nuts. Oh and I we clicked on the first record so it was always a passion project that we both have. We both do other stuff production wise. It's just comfortable. We designed the record for stage so that we can rock with this one. We'll see how it goes.

Welcome To Los Santos (Mass Appeal) is out now.