Jamie MacGregor aka temporarytruth
With over a decade of experience in music production, Jeremy Howard, aka Sinistarr, continues to produce a catalog that’s as fresh as ever. The Detroit native has maintained his distinct brand of D&B by continually learning about all aspects of production and the music creation process.
“My sound is a product of me remaining a student of music, from making it, playing it out, to writing about it – anything goes,” he said. “Certain genres and sounds I experience as a listener always become something for me to add to my productions.”
His latest D&B drop on Defrostatica Records was initially released on the Everything On Time EP. Featuring syrupy vocals by Morgan Neiman and beats that ebb and flow in the producer’s signature oscillating sound design, the euphoric tune showcases the artist’s adeptness in juxtaposing soft and hard textures and sounds.We caught up with him to learn about the artist’s early musical influences, favorite festivals, and what he has in store for fans in 2022.
Tell me about your earliest experience with music.
For music in general, the radio in Detroit was my haven in the mid-late 90s as a kid. The stations that played R&B and hip-hop in the city had mix shows on the weekends playing a ton of music – house, techno, hip hop, and what we called “ghettotech” – a massive mix of all the styles I mentioned into about 150-160BPM tempos. My parents were not musicians, but they were into collecting music, so we had CDs and cassette tapes of all sorts of music around the house.
There were some DJs and some kids doing live sets during my sophomore year in high school, and I got curious. My junior year, I got a set of turntables and started collecting vinyl, then learned about production software from another friend and played around for a few years. One New Years’ Eve in 2006, I went to a wild drum & bass party, and after an amazing night of music, I was ready to start making my own tracks and start getting music out there. After about six months of learning as much as I could to make a track from start to finish, I got my first signing to a small label from California.
What have you been listening to lately?
Lots of hip-hop and rap – I have a personal playlist on Tidal that’s about 24 hours of it, covering all eras! I’m enjoying a lot of the productions and engineering on newer music – it sonically matches with a lot of the dance music tracks I’ve been playing.
Are there any artists whose work inspires you?
Where to start? Haha – there are so many artists that inspire me, honestly… it boils down to anyone who’s in my DJ mixes or sets. If your music is in my mixes or I’m playing it out, you’re 100% someone whose work I’m inspired by or look up to!
You've been touring, performing at shows, and festivals—can you tell me about a festival or event you played in 2021 that you're proud of?
I played in the countryside of Iceland [last year]! I’ve been playing in Iceland since 2014, so this was an extra special trip for me. This was my first international set since the lockdown for the Nutopia festival, playing a set with my good friend Agzilla. We were all in a massive field about two hours outside of Reykjavik, and it was such an incredible time.
The bonus gigs for me were playing for Noisia at two of their farewell parties, one in NYC and the other in Denver, where I live now. I was definitely honored to be a part of such a historic event!
Is there a festival or venue you especially enjoy performing at? or one you enjoy attending as a fan?
Here in Denver, it’s The Black Box – the sound and overall vibe there is fun, and I love playing there – the crowds are always ready to dance.
Movement Festival in my hometown of Detroit is my go-to festival. I’ve been attending for 18 years now! It’s unlike any other fest I’ve been to, really… There's a groundbreaking lineup every year, and I get to see longtime friends from Detroit and around the planet in one place. I’ve also performed at the festival a few times, and being able to do that in my hometown, at the place that really helped jump-start my journey into where I am now -- is a really powerful thing.
What's next for the Sinistarr project in 2022?
I have so much on the way for 2022 that I can’t necessarily talk about yet, but I do have a few EPs and remixes I'm finishing that are on the way...
I’ll be active on my Bandcamp page a lot more, so be on the lookout for singles, collaborations, and other tracks.