Chat & Mix #35 – Lisson


We recently caught up with Sam Ellison, another extended Wizard Sleeve family member and Guildford resident. We first featured his music on volume 1 of our compilation series, which he contributed to with a brilliant track called ‘Let Go’.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started writing music

Well I’m Sam Ellison, I’ve been a musician since I was a little kid, but I only began writing my own music when I started a band at school. I sang and played guitar, though I was way more interested in effects pedals than guitar. I became interested in music technology and sound recording and eventually started learning how to make songs using just a computer. I’ve been making this sort of music as Lisson for about a year and a half.

Who are some of your biggest influences? 

Ooo thats a hard one, there’s too many… When I started out making songs like Let Go I was into dubstep, so I made tunes at 140 and was still learning… After that and through following labels like Hessle Audio and Hemlock recordings my influences developed. Probably the biggest influence on my sound is my peers – I’ve learnt a lot while studying and discovered new music through people at uni, Wizard Sleeve and Presha. Some particular producers I follow closely at the moment include Randomer, Dark Sky, Paleman, Mount Kimbie, Objekt, Dauwd, Joe, and all the producers I know at uni. Usually if I hear something I like I’ll look into who else is on the label they released on and listen some more. I don’t know how much they all influence my sound… I get hooked on elements of each of their sounds and attempt it myself and usually things evolve from there. Through Objekt’s dubstepforum Q&A I learnt quite a lot and still use the same spring reverb and tape delay plugins he uses quite a lot. That said, I heard about that Q&A through Wizard Sleeve.

How do you go about writing music?

I’ve recently got a Native Instruments Maschine. They’re great for composition – they make beat making really fluid, something I had problems with when I was just using Logic Pro since it’s so linear… I’m sure I’d like Ableton if used it, but I only have the lite version so I don’t play with it much. Maschine however is not a replacement for DAW, and I wouldn’t really want it to be anyway, so my technique recently has been to build beats in Maschine then record them live into Logic as 16 stereo tracks, changing patterns and scenes to create my structure, then I’ll add the fine details and edit in Logic.

 What have you got lined up for the future? 

I’ve got a new tune out for free download with Bad Panda Records tomorrow [now out – check above], so thanks go out to them. I’m also on the bill for Pride & Joy in Guildford next Thursday at Bar Mambo – one not to miss… Then I’ll be back to back with Ahadadream a week after for the last Presha of the year, in the Living Room. I’ve just started a new job too, working in a new studio opening up in London, so soon I’ll be moving up there and we’ll see what happens!

Any producers we should look out for?

Well producers at uni have been a big influence on me and I think have good futures ahead. I’m keen to see what happens for everyone. In particular keep your eyes on Tarquin – I’ve heard rumours of some big, big things coming soon…

Check out more of Sam’s music at


  1. Lisson – Umbira
  2. Mount Kimbie – Made To Stray
  3. Zed Bias – Music Deep Inside
  4. Boxwork – Specifics
  5. Lusine – Inside/Out
  6. Lisson – Not Looking
  7. Randomer – Stalker
  8. Mickey Pearce – Socks Off
  9. Zed Bias & Paleman – Furrrball
  10. Thefft – Third Year
  11. Randomer – Freak Dub
  12. Joe – R.E.J. Bit


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