junk-E-Cat Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty. You have just performed at Melt Festival. What was that experience like? And can you tell us about the team of people that assisted you and their roles in the performance? 

The experience was quite overwhelming. Getting the opportunity to perform three sets at such a special festival and getting such an amazing response was something the creature will never forget. 

I feel so privileged to have a team built out of people who are friends and partners in crime rather than hired hands. They have joined one by one over the last three years and have seen the operation grow from just a crazy idea to what it is today. 

We played two of the days at 5am with the creature performing on top of the moving vehicle luring people from the festival area to the so called sleepless floor – a bit like a new age pied piper. 

For this operation you need a driver you can 100% rely on while performing, a sound engineer to check levels and some helping hands to set everything up and to escort the truck during the performance – to make sure that everything goes down safely.

The last set was played with the truck stationary and an 82“ screen to the side of it with a live camera feed and visuals. The show itself is run by three people. The creature on the roof, one camera operator and live VJ putting all the images together. 

And finally you need a manager who makes sure that everything runs smoothly with the festival and I must say that the MELT team treated us really well. 

We set up a camp with the fire truck behind the main stage and I think we added a nice vibe to the backstage area 🙂

Credit: Yvonne Hartmann 

Can you tell us about the set-up of keyboards and instruments you like to use playing live? What can ‘real’ instruments give you that electronic ones can’t, and vice versa?

My setup is a hybrid of electronic and acoustic instruments. In the center of the electronic side is a Maschine MK3 which allows me to perform and produce beats and patterns in real time. A Maschine Jam controls the arrangement and manages different patterns and effects. The horns – bass clarinet, soprano and alto sax – add a natural and special texture to the music and allow me to also play freely on top of my tunes whenever I feel like it. The main challenge is to merge both worlds in the most natural way possible. It creates a beautiful symbiosis where the result becomes bigger than the sum of the electronic and the acoustic elements. 

From the technical side, everything comes together in an Ableton session with the Maschine software running as VST with two looper plugins for the horns. Additionally there are some knobs and foot controllers to trigger and control effects, filters and transitions on the fly. 

From the musical side, I feel like the journey has just begun and I will keep exploring the boundaries of both worlds.

What does wearing a mask signify? And what does that feeling of anonymity give you?

The mask frees the creature from the performer’s doubts and original background. It eliminates facial expressions and therefore emphasizes gestures and movements.

The creature’s mask is a Venetian Bauta which allows whoever wears it to speak their mind. In junk-E-cat’s case, the mask enables him to create and play the music he always wanted to make. 

You recently released the excellent KREATUR EP containing the track Levitation, now backed up by a series of remixes. Can you talk us through how you produced it? 

KREATUR is the result of two years of touring and creating beats and performances in special locations. Last autumn it was about time to take some of the live tracks to the studio and to produce them properly. With the help of Antonio de Spirt – a Berlin based producer and sound designer – we took the stems based on the live performances and added textures and transitions to five of the tunes. The EP was finally mixed by Martin „Lucky“ Waschkowitsch – a Berlin based producer and mixing engineer at BeWAKE Studios who not only mixed the latest Parcels album but also has his roots in hip hop beatmaking and a profound knowledge both in the electronic and acoustic world. We clicked instantly when we met. Lucky also helped translating the newly produced sound back into the live performances and the BeWAKE Studios became junk-E-cat’s musical home in the process.

After an all-important and highly skilled mastering session from Zino Mikorey, the recordings were ready to be released into the world. 

Therefore KREATUR is not only the EP but also set the path for long term allies and friendships for the project. 

buy/ listen http://smarturl.it/junk-E-cat_KREATUR

Jazz obviously figures highly in the creative process for you. Where did that influence originally come from, and who for you are its most important players?

I love Jazz music and young junk-E-kitten listened a lot to Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Michel Petrucciani. While my project could not really be labelled as Jazz, there are some specific sounds and chords that I use that have their roots there for sure. I always wondered what would happen if you play this music in front of a dancing / clubbing crowd and junk-E-cat is the experiment whether this could work… 

Outside of music where do you take inspiration from? Any favourite writers, painters etc?

I take a lot of inspiration from comics – the dark aesthetics mixed with a dry sense of humour. I’m a fan of street art and love the idea of artists showing up really special places and leaving their own unique mark.

How do you see club culture developing over the coming decades? Will clubs as spaces to express yourself still exist, or might it just become about the festival experience in the future?

We’re living in such fast-moving times so it’s pretty impossible to make a long term prediction for such a multi-facetted culture. Both club and festival cultures have historically been places where acceptance, diversity and togetherness can thrive. I feel in these increasingly politically difficult times we need those spaces more than ever and I hope we can find yet more ways in which they can be even more accessible and welcoming.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

My four favorite instruments are the bass clarinet, the alto saxophone, the soprano saxophone and the Maschine. And hell yes – I own all of them.



Your recent video’s feature industrial landscapes. Are these an inspiration for you? And what is it about them?

The creature feels comfortable in urban industrial environments. These landscapes represent the technological progress of their time but also the decay and transience. For some reason these sites have a magical aura. 

And finally. What comes next for junk-E-cat?

After playing a couple of new tracks that I’m really excited about at MELT, the creature can’t wait to get back in the studio and record them. 

Junk-E-Cat Socials
https://www.instagram.com/junk_e_cat
https://www.facebook.com/junkEcat
https://www.youtube.com/c/junkecat
https://open.spotify.com/artist/6qhSGJyEHb6plhGsjaYxAV

Mutterkomplex Socials
https://www.facebook.com/mutterkomplex
https://twitter.com/mutterkomplex
http://label.mutterkomplex.media

Share

Delos Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Marc and Denise. Tell us about how you first met and decided to create music together?

It was a very natural happening since the start. Marc and I have known each other for over 20 years and we met thanks to music. Marc was producing music and I was a regular party-goer who highly enjoyed his music! The 90s in London were, to me, a precious time for the underground music scene so when I arrived in the city, a 20 years old girl who searched for like-minded people. We both were part of a community of people that were involved, more or less professionally, in producing electronic music. I also did engage in the process of experimenting with music but my life took a different direction. That didn’t stop us from being friends and growing around the same music and parties. Only a few years ago I found my voice while picking up a string instrument and as Marc heard my voice during that time and he felt that we could create something together. In no time we were at his studio in Hackney. It was actually a rather rough time for both of us right then and before we decide to collaborate musically, Marc had written lyrics to express in words what he was going through. As Marc started producing the music base for our very first track ‘I Forgot My Family’ to be released on Echolette Records later this year, I naturally came up with a melody for his lyric on the music that totally made sense. The whole process of producing that first track helped us both on so many levels and as our artistic compatibility felt genuine we knew it was the beginning of something exciting.

What is the idea behind the title, Life can change in just one minute. And why is that philosophical thought important to you?

The title and lyrics were inspired after Denise had a dream the night before coming into the studio to work on this track. I wrote down the synopsis as she was telling me about the dream and the lyrics were formed out of that.

Saying that, it does have a deeper meaning as sometimes things can happen in life that really plays with your emotions and being so it is important to stand tall and hold your head up, chase your dreams and don’t waste any time to achieve your goals as life can change in just one minute…

buy https://www.beatport.com/release/life-can-change-in-just-one-minute/2657203

Talk us through how you produced the single, including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use? And what are your thoughts on using vocals in Dance Music today?

In all our tracks we like to use live recordings, not just everything coming out of the box, I feel this gives a certain characteristic to the end result. I used a bass guitar to record the bass in this track and the vocals use a vintage Neumann microphone and vintage mic preamplifiers which I find work so well. I also like to bounce things through my desk to give an analogue feel. Vocals are important in all music, not just dance music all depends if you have something to say.

Obviously, Life can change in just one minute comes steeped in past influences. Can you tell us about what in particular attracted you to the post-punk and funk sounds which inform it. Which artists from that era mean the most to you?

It was the whole vibe and transition of the post-punk area that inspired this track, it was a time of musical experimentation and change and at that time there was a lot of new technology being introduced that eventually formed the sound of the 80s and beyond and the crossover into the whole disco scene, so it’s the whole concept of the feeling of experimenting with a new sound which so many of those artists had the opportunity to do. Bands like Joy Division, Talking Heads, ESG, PiL and The Cure were inspirational as they were influential during this experimental period of music.

In contrast, Marc. Can you tell us how you are able to express yourself differently as an artist via your Darc Marc guise?

Quite easily really, I’m into all sorts of music electronic, metal, punk, ambient, jazz whatever takes my fancy. And I find it really rewarding to work on different sounds rather than getting stuck into the same thing all the time. It’s more important to me that I am doing music all the time.

Given the direction that politics and the world is moving towards. What role and influence do you think Dance Music can play in shaping people and the future?

Dance music and all music and people in general really in all walks of life. Music is a great platform for spreading a message to help reduce the hatred in this world and the more that can be done to reduce any form of racism and hatred, then all the better.

And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans for 2019 and beyond?

We are working on new material and already have the next release on Echolette coming out later this year. Also, we are planning some DJ shows to incorporate elements of live performance in our Delos style. We like to experiment with our sound so expect some new sonic gems coming your way.

https://www.instagram.com/delostime

For info about Darc Marc view https://www.facebook.com/darcmarc909/

https://www.instagram.com/echoletteandechoe

Share

Alex Dimou Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Alex Dimou. Let’s begin with your excellent new single for Crosstown Rebels: What Keeps You There. What was the inspiration behind the track and can you tell us about the notable vocal which features so beautifully?

Thank you so much for having me! I think that the main inspiration behind the structure and the sense of the track was s summer festival i played a couple of years ago. I imagined a track like this. About the vocals, it’s all on Vili! She wrote the lyrics and she did a great job with her vocals. I really believe that her talents will take her far in the industry!

pre-order/ listen: Alex Dimou – What Keeps You There https://lnk.to/CRM222

The release comes with two remixes by Cevin Fisher and Avidus. What informed those choices?

Cevin is an artist I really admire! And i am lucky enough that we have the same manager, Christian! Christian was the one suggested it and the result was more than great! Avidus was Damian’s choice. And I believe the Avidus remix has a new vibe in it. The structure and the idea behind it is perfect!

Can you talk us through how you produced What Keeps You There, including any favourite software/ hardware to like to use?

I am not into hardware. I never was. I know most of the producers really love hardware but that’s not the case with me. I believe that with the right knowledge and the right software you can have amazing results. I use Ableton as the main DAW and my favourite plugins are Kontakt for sampling, Soundtoys for vst and Sylenth for vsti.

Songs and vocals aren’t as prevalent as they once were. Do you think that is something missing in Dance Music, or can the same message be conveyed via rhythms instead?

I do enjoy both. A nice song with a beautiful vocal can take you places. A weird and clever rhythm can loosen up your body. I believe dance music has to make you express yourself through dancing. And I think both can do that!

Can you share with us any forthcoming plans for playing live this summer? And what are your thoughts on the culture of festivals which seems to be taking over from weekly club nights?

I’ve been trying to “buy” myself more studio time for the last couple of years. It’s something I really enjoy and when i’m in the studio I can express myself more than when i’m playing somewhere. Now, about the festivals and the weekly club nights, I think its two different things. When you have a weekly residency you can actually shape the audience and the impact you have is stronger. On the other hand, festivals are like big celebrations. You can go on stage and show the world why you deserve to be up there.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

My favourite instrument is definitely the classic piano. And i’m lucky enough to own one! Not a great one, but it gets the job done! Almost every track I make, has to go through the piano first!

There are lots of different styles, moods and atmospheres in your music. Can you tell us about your main influences both within and outside of Dance Music – any favourite writers, artists etc?

Yes they are. For years I thought that this is a bad thing. Like, you have to have an identity and I believe that mine was missing. But as the years passed and I saw my music growing, I understood what my identity is. Every track I make has a cinematic feeling. I really get inspired by movies. I have imagined all of my tracks as a part of a movie soundtrack. My favourite artist is definitely Philipp Glass.

Given the direction that politics and the world is moving towards. What role and influence do you think Dance Music can play in shaping people and the future?

I strongly believe that dance music bring people together. People can dance with their eyes closed. It can almost feel a bit pagan! And when you find yourself in that situation it’s easier to meet other people, to talk to them, look at them. People at a festival have the privilege to be together for a couple of hours, without their phones. And that’s important. It gives the message that we can all be together, enjoying ourselves, conversing and smiling, away from the loneliness we experience almost everyday in, out everyday lives.

And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans for 2019 and beyond?

I used to make plans. And when I did and thing didn’t turn out as I planned, I got really frustrated. So I actually try not to make plans regarding music. Hopefully the record does well, hopefully people will like it and hopefully I will get inspired to make another record that speaks to me first, as this one does. Other than that, I have no plans.

https://www.facebook.com/alexdimouofficial
https://www.instagram.com/alexdimou
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4xrRlNWnUnlkYoAyQLXaNj

Share

Noha Q&A

Margherita Castriota Photography

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Noha. Let’s start with your stunning release for Oscillat. Can you tell us about how your relationship with label happened?

Well, everything started one year ago, with me meeting up with Sam (S.A.M.) when I moved back to Berlin. I went to hear him play as we already chatted and exchanged some music without ever meeting. Few days later we were already becoming good friends and making some beats together at his place.

In a very spontaneous way I then started sending him lots of unreleased tracks that he eventually started to play. That’s how the other two components of Mandar, Charlie and Nick (Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie) discovered my music. In the following months I started chatting with Charlie and working on a remix for his “Time Guard Ep”, and I finally met face to face with Nick, as he was visiting Sam. When, months later, they asked me to send them something for Oscilalt, It felt it was the right thing, as I understood that beyond being friends we shared the same vision on music in general.

The title track, Nobody revolves around a series of voices. What’s the story behind them, and how important is the human voice in music for you, as opposed to purely rhythm?

For me integrating voices is a very good way of giving an intimate feeling to the track. It might be used as a percussive element, but I prefer when it also brings emotional content, a story.

The track explores an exciting series of ideas. Can you talk us through some of you influences both within Dance Music and from outside of it – any writers, painters etc who have also inspired what you do musically?

As I was finishing high school I was getting deeply fascinated by the idea of Minimalism, especially applied to architecture, design and painting. I guess American Minimalism from the 60’s became the main focus. Especially Mark Rothko. I remember that I wrote with a marker “Simple expression of complex thought” on my Wallet, taken from the manifesto written by Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb. Yes, I was young and naive. But I understood back then how I wanted to express myself.

Can you talk us through the process of how Nobody was produced, including any particular favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

I was working on this loop for days, and I got stuck with it, wasn’t going anywhere. I understood that I was trying to force a direction, not really letting my intuition dictate what to do. I suddenly felt a heavy sense of melancholy and I said to myself “ok let’s try again now”. In a few hours the entire track happened, and If I think about it, I get the feeling that the track did itself.

Regarding how it was made, like most of my track it was a mix between analog gear and software. This track will always remain an important lesson, a reminder that intuition and acceptance of where I am emotionally should guide me.

buy https://www.deejay.de/Noha_Nobody_OSC015_Vinyl__353125

How would you describe the importance of Dance Music culture in today’s world, relevant to political and social life? As you have lived and visited different cities would you say there are there certain things which unify us through music?

This is a very controversial topic. Clubbing can be an escape from reality and at the same time a chance to embrace a primordial connection with others through dancing together. It comes down to what one wants to make out of it, it can either be a moment to get fucked up with your friends and finally let loose after working as a machine for an entire week, or the most enlightening experience. I am not here to judge anyone.

It sounds terribly cheesy, but for me Music itself is a universal language. The most interesting part of touring, apart from sharing the music you love with a big crowd, is to meet up with local djs and producers, get to know their stories, visit their studio and share experiences. We all have to thank the music for this, a common love that creates a community free of racism of any kind. And we need that more than ever right now.

And finally. Please tell us about any forthcoming plans for the summer and remainder of 2019?

Summer is going to be busy, there’s the Nobody ep coming out followed by the next Patagonia release (me and Alex Tea joining forces) coming on Panickpanick and the launch of an edit label where I’m going to finally share edits that I have been playing for the last year.

The next gig that I’m looking forward to is an all-nighter at Underbron in Stockholm, the 26th of July.

Aaaaaand, for the first time in 4 years I’m going to have a 2 week vacation, a road trip in Sicliy with my best friends. No studio time! Time to switch off.

https://www.facebook.com/nohabekind

Share

Nico Stojan & Timujin Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Nico Stojan & Timujin. Let’s begin with your new release for Rebellion: Oktoberfest. Can you tell us about where the title originates from and how your relationship with the Crosstown Rebels’ sister label happened?

Hello hello, thanks for having us!

The main track of the EP is named after the big folk festival in Bavaria. We both have never been to this festival and always wanted to go…the voice in the track is manifesting it for us.

The release moves across moods and atmospheres impressively with sublime use of guitar and both Satsang and Higher Altitude. Can you tell us about the influences which have informed those more musical aspects of what you do, and in particular about your favourite guitarists?

It is a beautiful instrument with a lot of charm if you know how to play it. Our friend completed the idea that we had in exactly the way we were writing the notes for him. We wanted him to play it in the mood of joy. We also blindfolded him and told him that he couldn’t leave the studio until he delivered the final piece!

Can you talk us through the process of how you produce music together: how initial ideas are realized and then turned into tracks? Are there any pieces of software/ hardware that you always like to use when creating music?

It’s pretty simple. Just searching for the right dead body in the cellar and try to reanimate it with combining the skillz of our musician friends while putting a lot of pressure into the session so they will deliver what you want and rounding up the track and make it alive.

How did the two of you first decide to work together? And can you tell us about the studio you like use?

We were both playing one night on two different art cars at Burning Man and the drivers were totally lost in the sandstorms. They crashed into each other and all over sudden we ended up playing b2b until the sun came up. So we decided to keep on collaborating

How do you feel about the place of nostalgia in music as your sounds feel very new and contemporary?

Aren‘t we all a bit happy and sad at the moment. That is how we would describe nostalgic.
If we can put that feeling into frequencies and make people feel the same way when they listen to it you can call it a big failure at the end.

Can you tell us about the favourite places you have DJ’ed? And what feelings/ thoughts you like to convey to the people who dance?

When my great grandmother was turning 90 we took her to Fusion Festival and played house music for her. She loved it and got her groove on!

Outside of electronic music which artists, writers, painters etc have most influenced what you do?

Definitely Odem, Phos4 & Banksy and of course not to forget Damian Hurst.
We just bought him in a glass container sitting on the toilet reading the news.
We think Everyone should have his own Hirst!

And finally. Tell us about your forthcoming plans to work together?

We will see what happens but right now we are busy learning more about reincarnation and life after death.

Thank You!

Nico Stojan & Timujin – Oktoberfest. Released 24th May 2019 on Rebellion.

buy link: https://lnk.to/_RBL065

https://www.facebook.com/nico.stojan.music
https://www.facebook.com/TimurSardarovOfficial

Share

Rich NxT Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty Rich. Let’s start with your new EP: The Four Slip co-produced alongside East End Dubs. Tell us about how you first met, the decision to work together, and what the title refers to?

Cheers and thanks for this chat! I am very happy and excited that East End Dubs and I finally got together to make and finish an EP. We first met when FUSE was still at 93 Feet East every week. It was the summer of 2012. I had been on Beatport that week buying new tunes when I came across his stuff. When I heard them and saw the look of the artwork, I was thinking ‘hold on a sec this must be someone out of our East London scene’ and sure enough he came and said hi that very Sunday. I was playing his tune Jazz Me, we got on and have stayed in touch ever since. It took a while before we got into the studio together and that good because when we did it was nice an easy and natural, good timing. The title refers to when we work in his studio, we would wear slippers, so two pairs of slippers became the Four Slip EP.

buy Rich NxT & East End Dubs – The Four Slip Ep https://lnk.to/FUSE036

Your production style is very intense and feels like a rush of ideas all at once. Who and what have most influenced what you do in terms of Dance Music? And are there any artists or writers etc from outside of the electronic world that have impacted on you creatively?

I have been influenced by many different types of music, from rock to hardcore, jungle to pop and loads in-between. In the early 2000’s it was more about club music, different shades of progressive, then new wave electro, then minimal house. I always want my music to have an impact, both physically and emotionally. People get the same amount of listening pleasure from so many different styles of music so it’s important when writing to stretch the boundaries a bit and do things a little differently. That said it would be wrong of me to try and pretend that our music doesn’t have a framework. Some things just don’t work on our dancefloors, but nevertheless the parts of our brains that might interpret the grunge angst of a Pearl Jam song are the same as those which respond to the intricacies of a subtle bassline harmony in a minimal house record. The maths and science are the same and music and its effect on feelings can be really subtle in its execution.

Can you talk us through the process of co-creating one of the tracks from the EP, including any software/ hardware that you like to use?

We just went into the studio and dived in. He had a basic loop that he was working on. I find it’s always better to start a collaboration with a loop, just to break the ice. We’d go through software, plug-ins and techniques that we enjoy using and as we talked and showed each other stuff, the track layers naturally started to build up. We left quite a long time before getting together again for another couple of sessions where we reviewed everything and started to realise the path of the tracks and way take forward to completion I really like using Native Instruments Battery 4, particularly for adding touches of percussion and FX to an almost finished track as glue to help the flow and feel. Whenever I am in the studio with a friend, I like to go through this piece of my arsenal.


Rich NxT & East End Dubs
The Four Slip EP

In terms of the Art of production. Do you feel Dance Music is in a good place? And what are your thoughts on the function of nostalgia in it all?

I am really excited about where my dance music scene is. All of my label mates from FUSE and INFUSE are producing incredibly diverse, well produced beats with dancefloor impact. I am being sent loads of interesting music and taking it to DJ with real excitement. On the next What NxT Various Artists, I’ll be featuring as always tracks from established artists (Cuartero, Kepler and Nico Maxen) alongside newcomers (Antss, Aaran D and Marvin Morgan).

Regarding nostalgia, like any music, our music’s relationship with nostalgia can be criticised. Nostalgia for me works on lots of different levels though. My party experience travels with me everywhere I go and I want to recreate the vibes I have experienced for other people. Music always goes around in cycles, sampling has been around since the inception of the technology getting caught up in too much discourse around this or the merits of bootlegs, or whether it’s right to take from a sound that’s gone before, kind of takes away from the fun of it all.

You have been resident and involved with the development of FUSE since its inception over ten years ago. What for you are the most vital ingredients for running a party? And what is the most special thing for you being a resident DJ, rather than playing as a guest somewhere?

The most vital ingredients for a party as simple for me. Sound, music, people, venue and security. These need to be right or the rest doesn’t work. The most special thing for me about being a resident is the long term knowing of your sound and development, that feeling ‘coming home to play’ to our home party crowd, now that we all tour regularly, is a good one too. The party started here so just as important that as we take the sound on the road to all the great parties around the world, we still supply it here, where it all started, otherwise what are we?

Tell us about your history with 93 Feet East and what makes the club so notable for you as part of the FUSE story? How was the recent Bank Holiday event?

93 was really important as part of the evolution of my musical style. Being able to take my early tracks down week by week and test for the brilliant crowd and atmosphere along with the other tracks I would be playing helped me to learn what my DJ’ing style really was. When we returned for the 10th birthday after party last year, with all the people who were there from the start, reminded us of where this all came from and also showed how its grown. The recent bank holiday INFUSE event when I played b2b with Rossko was another perfect reminder of how we can still take it back to the roots and it still feels just as right as if we take it to Amnesia or Tobacco Docks.

And finally. Tell us about any forthcoming plans? Have you been thinking about developing what you do via an album?

My forthcoming EP with East End Dubs is dropping on Fuse London on 14th June, a month later I have an EP on Sante’s AVOTRE. After the summer I will release my 7th solo EP on Fuse London and the 6th release on NxT records which for first time has remixes on the label. What NxT is going to be producing two digital releases this year with some absolute dancefloor gems. Alongside all of this, I have completed remixes for Steve Bug on Snatch and Darius Syrossian on Moxy. About a possible album I don’t currently have active plans to seek to make it anytime soon. That said if it happens, it happens. Gig wise I have lots of look forward to like Cocoon In the Park, FUSE at DC-10, Deeperfect at BPM, Mint Festival and loads more… Nice speaking! 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/richnxt
https://twitter.com/richnxt

Share

Noah Souder-Russo Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Noah. Your excellent new album: Therapy is Expensive sounds like a trip through the life and times of sound and experience. How much of it is an observation of growing up in New York and do you think it would have been possible to create the same piece of music without the city?

Hey! Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and for your kind words. Conceptually, the album is very much a conversation between me and New York City; filled with love, hate and everything in between. A lot of the songs were conceived from a place of conflicted emotions about a city that has so strongly shaped my identity. Looking around and being like…”wait, this isn’t the same place I fell in love with as a kid and I’m not even sure I identify with it anymore.” I’m not sure I would have created the same piece of music elsewhere.

A few years ago I broke up with my therapist because it was really expensive and my health insurance at the time wouldn’t cover it. I channeled a lot of my frustration with NY, existential crises and a myriad of other issues into making music. The demos I made got put into a playlist called “beats I made cuz therapy is expensive.” And here are are.

The album contains many hints of different styles of music, including a nod to classical. What for you are the most important elements in making music transcendent?

I think I’ve always been drawn to the emotion behind music: the way it makes me feel, the feelings evoked, etc. Regardless of what “genre” it is. I hate to deduce it to something so general – a “vibe” or a “feeling” – but to me, that’s what it is. That’s how I grew up playing, making and listening to music. In NY, we listened to everything. We had to.

If it’s authentic and it makes me feel something I don’t care what year it was made, who made it, what instruments (or lack thereof) and so on. If you make shit that’s authentic, no one can take that away from you. To me, that’s what keeps me inspired.

https://noahsouderrusso.bandcamp.com/album/therapy-is-expensive

Can you tell us about your connection to Flocabulary and what it means for you to be part of it?

For sure! So, I also work as a recording artist for a company called Flocabuary – a learning program for all grades that uses educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement across the curriculum. I write and record songs on all subjects which are later animated to videos and shown in classrooms all across North America as supplementary learning tool. I got involved with Flocab four or five years ago through my friend Lynas and have been working with them ever since.

I’ve been rapping since a teenager so it’s something that comes natural to me. I grew up freestyling in cyphers, battling in the park and making rap records with my friends. My mother, father and sister are all social workers – I’m the deviant artist child. So doing this works allows me to bridge that gap and use my talent as an emcee/writer for something greater than myself. Making and performing music can feel really self-serving at times so I’m always looking for work that I find fulfilling and meaningful in other ways. I also teach skateboarding to elementary and middle school kids through a weekly after-school program.

Can you talk us through how you created one of the tracks from the album, giving us a flavor of your studio set-up including any favorite pieces of software/ hardware you always like to use?

Sure. I have a pretty minimal set up because I get super overwhelmed with too much gear + I’m a shitty musician. I use an MPC-60 & TR-8 for most of my drum sounds. I spend a lot of time digging for samples, field recording with my Zoom recorder and tweaking sounds with plug-ins my engineer friends tell me to get. I record vocals on everything even if I end up scrapping them in the final stages or just using them as a layer in the track. My voice has always been my instrument of choice, so I try and use it as much as possible.

I don’t really have a specific formula for creating. I used to share a proper studio with friends and would come in during my time block feeling like I HAD to make shit even if I wasn’t feeling inspired. Now, I’ve moved my studio to my apt and can chase the creativity whenever it strikes.

One of my favorite songs on the album is 4eversforever. Probably because it came together really organically at a time when I wasn’t making much music or feeling creative. I was deep in a YouTube hole and stumbled on this short documentary about NYC in the 80’s and I was like, “oh this would be cool to layer into a track.” I ripped it, opened up a new session and just went from there. I had this folder of breaks my homie Devon gave me plus a ton of drum sounds I made but never used. Somewhere in the doc these dudes were letting off fireworks in the streets which I thought would be cool to add in. I chopped the drum break, arranged it with these other hits I made then laid down the bass and lead. I liked the vibe and pace of it so I tried not to overthink it and add too much more instrumentation.

I plugged my mic in and did the vocals I did in one take. I just freestyled it then played around with the pitch. The vox were initially supposed to serve as a reference which is why there’s a lot of mumbling and they aren’t that pronounced in the mix. But after I played it for a few friends, they were like, “nah, that’s it, just leave it, fuck it, it’s cool.” It’s significant because it was one of the first tracks I made where I was didn’t overthink everything. I just allowed the ideas to form naturally and then moved on to the next.

Love the cover shot for the album. Can you tell us about it, and why the choice of a black and white image?

Thanks! The original idea was to shoot an old Victorian therapist couch in the jungle but then I discovered the difficulty behind that so I decided to use a photo I took. My girlfriend and I each shoot disposables on trips we take together. This is her at the Bahai Gardens in Israel this past winter. I decided on black and white because it fit the mood of the album.

I’m also intrigued by the influences which have gone into inspiring the album. Who for you are the most important both within the musical sphere and from outside of it?

Musically, I draw inspiration from so many artists across the spectrum. I grew up on Seattle grunge, hip-hop & punk rock primarily. My parents played a lot of classical and folk around the house. My mom sang in a choir. When I first started making music I idealized producers like J Dilla, 9th Wonder, Large Professor and DJ Premier. I definitely carry that influence with me today and anytime I get stuck creatively I dig for a sample, try to be Dilla for a second, realize it’s not possible and move on. I think Dilla probably led me to Moodymann & Theo Parrish / Sound Signature who had a profound impact on me, especially when I started DJing.

Outside of the musical sphere, I’ve been really inspired by contemporary dance and movement. People’s ability to move their bodies in certain ways and the choices they make in performing is beautiful and fascinating to me. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Alvin Ailey here in NY and I always come away inspired. Also, my friend Lir and I worked on a video for “Mish Mish” where she directed a group of incredible dancers. Excited for that to drop.

What for you can the human voice add to music that sounds and rhythm cannot? What is the most important thing (or things) that music can say?

The human voice is the oldest musical instrument so its importance is obviously profound. The human voice can be used as a tool or instrument similar to any other you would play. I often use it as a statement or to add movement & texture to a track. The human voice devoid of the lyric is a versatile instrument.

Photo by Nick Johnson

What informed your choice to self-release the album? Would you recommend it for other artists?

The choice to self-release was tough. It truthfully came down to this: a few labels wanted to sign some of the songs but no one was interested in the whole project and it was all or nothing. For me, this album is extremely personal and even though the vibes differ throughout, there is a sonic and emotional consistency that I didn’t want to break up. I was also kind of on some “you don’t get it and I don’t need you” shit – haha. I didn’t feel like I needed to compromise. Which in today’s climate is true to some degree. You can do it on your own and control almost every aspect of the release, rollout, marketing, etc. The problem is, you don’t have a machine behind you.

My advice for those that thinking about self-releasing is save up enough money where you can invest in other aspects outside of the music itself; PR, merch, visuals, are all really important. Get creative with the rollout of your project. In my experience, if you can reach people in an interesting way on a personal level, they are more inclined to listen.

And finally. Where can people hear you play live? And what plans do you have for the remainder of the year?

I’m taking a few weeks off from playing here in NY and trying to put together a few special shows for July & August. We did a Therapy is Expensive takeover at House of Yes in Brooklyn a few months back so I’m looking forward to taking that concept to some other venues. Also working on putting together a live show that includes DJ’ing, vocals and a drum machine that I’ll hopefully get to premier soon enough. Until then, I’ll be in the streets lurking at my friend’s gigs.

If you’re in Miami I’m playing at Floyd on June 29th. Really looking forward to that one.

Thanks for the chat!

http://www.iamnsr.com

Share

Philippa Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Philippa. Let’s start with the brand new label you have launched: At Peace Music. Tell us about the meaning behind the title and the decision to start your own imprint?

Thank you 🙂 There is a personal story behind the label name At Peace, of course, but I like the idea of it meaning whatever it needs to mean for people. The decision to start the label came from a few factors.. Really it was about timing – it’s time for all this music I’ve been sitting on to get out into the world.

The debut release is from yourself: Pronoia EP featuring three emotionally charged productions. There is a real sense of musicality weaving throughout the music and I was wondering about the artists who have influenced you most over the years?

Yeah that’s an easy one – I’m heavily influenced by 70s disco and soul (am currently a little obsessed with Leon Ware and anything produced by Chic in the late 70s / early 80s), and Detroit deep house, the likes of Theo Parrish, Rick Wade, Moodymann. I’ve also had a huge long term love affair with Chicago House, and I’m loving the resurgence of quality French deep house right now. I value song writing as a skill – by that I mean an expressed love of melody and harmony, and an understanding of the sweet magic that can come from a properly executed harmonic hook… weirdly I think it’s pretty rare to come across it done well in house music, but with Detroit house there’s often a soul based bluntness – a simplicity – that is super compelling. I also listen to a lot of classical music, and am a big fan of Sakamoto, as well as 20th century French composers such as Ravel and Debussy.

You relocated from your native New Zealand to Berlin a number of years ago. Tell us about that decision and how would you compare life living in the two locations?

I used to describe the feeling of living in New Zealand in winter (European summer) as the rest of the world being at a party you hadn’t been invited to. NZ is an amazing country – at the bottom of the world. It’s geographically isolated. I knew I had to come to Europe to be part of the huge international electronic music scene, and in the end it was an easy decision but a difficult journey. The culture shock was immense, it’s taken years to find my feet. I coped by throwing myself into music production – it saved me. Berlin couldn’t be more different from Auckland – politically, socially, culturally, historically, musically. It’s given me the space to grow and focus – I’m really grateful to have been able to live here.

Can you talk us through how you produced one of the EP’s tracks? From how you created the music, to any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you always like to refer to? And how you like to approach life in the studio?

I’m an early morning music writer – ideally I spend the first three or four hours of the day in music production. I tend to start off with samples, used mostly for harmonic inspiration, and from which chords are built. I draw from jazz, blues and disco mostly.. Sometimes the sample becomes a non-removable part of the tune – but often I pull the sample out completely. Once the actual tune writing has come together I move into vintage studio spaces at the Funkhaus – happily I have access to these amazing studios via the school I teach at.

Been enjoying listening to your recent Mix For Kate amongst others on Soundcloud. Can you talk us through how you put that mix together and about your choice of music for it?

Glad you like it 🙂 The mix was made for a very dear (and inspirational) friend who recently celebrated a significant birthday back home, which for obvious reasons I couldn’t attend. Kate used to throw a party in Auckland many moons ago and I was one of the resident DJs – as such there are classic records thrown into the mix which I knew she’d love, such as Mood II Swing “Do It Your Way”, DJ Sneak’s “Feel Your Body Talkin” and Moodymann’s “Shades Of Jae” – which was a massive record in Auckland back in the day.

How did you first get into producing? And can you tell us about your time teaching music, and what that has in turn taught you?

I’ve DJ’d for over twenty years – having begun in the late 90s – and DJ’ing is a serious passion. But when I got to Europe I didn’t have the 2-4 gigs a week I’d had for fifteen years in NZ, and that space freed me up to focus on music production. I was also teaching at dBs Music, and one of the amazing things about teaching is what you learn – the constant upskilling. There’s no doubt that teaching electronic music production has given me a firm skill base to create from, and I’m really grateful for that. DJ’ing is fun in the moment stuff – the right dancefloor with the right DJ at the right time can be pure unbridled magic.. But music production is a deeper more rewarding long term gift. I’m happiest when I’m productive in the studio, it’s by far and away my favourite thing to do.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

I own a Prophet REV2. But my fav instrument (whilst not technically an instrument) is probably the voice – which is the focus of the MA in Creative Music Production I’m currently undertaking.. Which I guess is slightly odd – as I don’t use the human voice much with House. Watch this space I guess.

https://www.atpeacemusic.net
https://www.instagram.com/djphilippa
https://www.facebook.com/deejayphilippa

Share

Vesy Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Gabri. Let’s talk about the launch of your new imprint: Morbidyne. Tell us about the meaning behind the name and the decision to start a label?


Hallo, nice to meet you all and thank you. The decision to start my label comes from the need to create my very own spot, where I can convey my idea of underground music and where I can release tracks by me and by artists with something new to say. Morbidyne will mainly feature Deep-Techno, Electronica, Deep-Tech but it is open to all kind of high quality electronic music. I think it is important to risk and invest on what we love, and Morbidyne is meant to be my contribution to electronic music. The name of the label comes from the Italian word morbido that means smooth, soft. The cotton flower logo mainly define this feeling.

buy https://www.beatport.com/release/you-saved-me-ep/2603088

The first release is from yourself: You Saved Me. Talk us through how you produced one of tracks from the EP, including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

Yes I think it was important to start the label with a release of mine. You Saved Me is the second track of the EP and contains a vocal got from an interview of Dave Grohl, explaining his conflicting feelings after the death of his friend and frontman Kurt Cobain, and the chance to get back up with the music. I sometimes create my music starting from such a kind of input that inspires me. Then I create the drums (at the moment I use Elektron drum machine but I use to insert further samples on the timeline) and when I find the perfect bassline on which I build the melodies, I start with the arrangement of the track. For the basslines and the melodies I use hardware by Elektron, Moog (Sub Phatty), and software by Native Instruments and Spectrasonics to name a few. For the mix I use Waves, Plugin Alliance, FabFilter and more.

Tell us about your involvement with r12 and what it means for you?

My involvement in r12 school is very important to me. As the Director of studies I create the programs of all the courses and I help the students to define their own study plan. To do that I work side by side with the teachers, who all are professional dj’s, producers, label mangers, journalists etc. We created a community of artists and people who works in the electronic music, and it is a great opportunity to share the knowledge, studying and working in an open laboratory where you can grow in the music day by day. I am learning a lot at r12, I everyday breath music and I have to deal not only with the technical skills but with all the aspects you need to be aware of if you want to start a dj producer career.

What is club culture like in Milan at the moment? Any favourite bars/ clubs you would recommend?

The club culture in Milan at the moment is growing. There are a lot of good clubs and huge parties all the weeks, at every corner of the city. Most famous organizations apart, that make tens of thousands of entrances all the weeks, there are a lot of smaller realities that I personally appreciate more. I am speaking about underground parties like O.D.D., Aquario and Closer at the Masada, Electronic Barbecue, Killer Kiccen and The Garden, where you can listen to good music from afternoon to night, always presenting fresh artists from all over the world.

You also co-produce with Ricky Leo as Flatless. Can you tell us about the history of that project and any future plans?

Flatless is the first project of electronic music I was involved in. Ricky and I started producing music together and we have been sharing the dj booth for years. As usually happens in a duo, we got to the point where we decided to take our own way. We are still in good relations and sometimes we play together, but at the moment we are both concentrate on our personal career. Actually I am working on another project with my girlfriend, the duo Babi&Gabri, so at the moment I am very busy on different levels.

Love the Artwork for Morbidyne. Who creates it and how important is the visual aspect of what you do?

Happy to hear that cause I create it. I have usually created the artworks for my parties in Milan for years, and I still like to deal with it. The visual aspect is very important for sure. You always have to be cool, original and very recognizable. It is one of yours calling cards.

And finally. What plans do you have for expanding the label and for yourself as a DJ?

I want to enter in the industry releasing high quality underground music, made to be played in the dj booths all over the world. Next release for example is an EP by Chicago duo Mia Wallace, including remixes by Hiroko Yamamura and me. To expand the label I think I will plan good releases once a month, I will organize label showcases starting from my hometown and will use the right channels for the promotion. The feedbacks of the first release are great, in about a month I got in contact with a lot of artists, labels, radio and magazines, so I am sure this will open the doors to something big.

https://www.facebook.com/vesy.vesy.vesy
https://www.morbidyne.com

Share

Nadja Lind (Lucidflow Records) Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Nadja. Let’s start by asking about the beginning of Lucidflow Records back in 2009. What was the original idea behind the label and how would you say it has evolved since then – what sorts of things have changed in terms of the business of running a label?

Thank you for having me. I started Lucidflow together with my best friend Helmut in 2009 in order to have a platform for our own music in the first place and from there it’s developed to being a presentation for other artists from high renown like Silicone Soul, Brendon Moeller, Steve Rachmad aka STERAC, Funk D’Void to very talented new and upcoming artists.

You are celebrating the labels tenth year anniversary with the release of the: 10 Years Lucidflow Vinyl. What words best describe the sound of Lucidflow and which are the most important elements you look for when signing a track to the label?

Quality, deep, complex, driving, timeless, dope…

buy https://www.deejay.de/Various_Tenth_Anniversary_EP_VLF010_Vinyl__355131

The EP a number of your own and co-produced tracks. Can you talk us through the process of how you produced the beautifully deep: Weltenwandler? And what pieces of software/ hardware do you always like to refer to when producing?

The process is the following: First we do a short energy clearing session e.g. Ho’oponopono & EFT. We synchronise our DAWs via LAN cable, routed through the Scope XciTE Soundcard Mastering unit to the Soundcraft Si Impact mixer. Including all our gear we chose for a particular session. In case of ‘Weltenwandler’ I used the Korg Minilogue & Omnisphere 2.6 (with its wonderful HW control. Thank you Eric Persing and all involved at Spectrasonics!), StylusRMX, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5, some filter & effect chains, Push Controller, and Helmut used Moog Subsequent 37, Omnisphere 2.6, Keyscape, and what not…

First we agreed on the title ‘Weltenwandler’ which is a new approach. In the past we usually thought about the title after the music was final.
Then we jammed around looking for sounds and atmospheres that would fit the title in Ableton session view and clean the frequencies with e.g. FabFilter ProQ. When we had all sounds ready we start recording the track in Ableton arrangement view as we want it to be in it’s final version.

This usually only takes one take since we’ve been producing together for over 12 years. I guess that’s the main reason why Klartraum tracks sound so organic and unique. The mastering is always being carried out on the fly by Helmut.

The artwork for Lucidflow always looks stunning. Can you tell us who is behind it?

Thank you! I’ve been creating them. I like taking heaps of pictures everywhere I go and use them to create the artwork. In addition the Lucidflow spheric ball are objects we create in Cheetah3D.

Besides producing the more Club orientated sounds you also create Ambient music. What influenced your passion for this particular style? And what do you feel can be said through this medium that perhaps cannot by beats and basslines?

Yes, I’ve been creating Ambient with underlying binaural frequencies since 2011 naming it ‘Turning in’ series.

Initially I started creating them for myself to help me cope with stress such as flights, odd time zones, in between hotels, clubs and airports.
Since I’ve always been interested in neuroscience, brain plasticity and neuro hacks I came across the power of brain entrainment and wanted to check it out. In order to be 100% sure what’s inside the binaural track I started creating the binaural frequencies myself without using any readymade tools. They do by the way! In the ambient drone music I also use a lot of my ambience recordings I’ve been taking on all my trips e.g. Masai Mara in Kenya to give them an additional flavour and vastness.
What this music conveys? It leads me into completely different dimensions. It calms me down, slows down the sympathetic nervous system and therefore activates the parasympathetic ventral vagus nervous which immediately relieves stress and anxiety, helps dealing with sleeping disorders, sleep deprivation, PTSD, chronic pain. It’s a true gem and I am very grateful for this music. So many people are writing me how grateful they are and what the Turing In drones do for them. I would not have believed the impact of this music when I started producing these kind of sounds.

They will even be available on vinyl on a superb ambient label Astral Industries (London) where such brilliant artists like Echochord, Wolfgang Voigt…are
I recently started creating epic ambient as Klartraum as well. Look out for Ambient Attitude(s) from June on. Pretty mind-blowing stuff!
I want to take this opportunity to say to my fans and ambient friends how grateful I am for your support and feedback. This means a lot to me and keeps on motivating me creating new material. Thank you!

What is your favourite musical instrument? Do you own one?

My musical instrument is my whole studio-verse where I am lucky to have all the instruments and more I possibly want.

Where do you see Dance Music culture ending up in ten years’ time – any positive/ negative predictions?

I imagine a 3D wireless surround engine/controller where a bunch of friends can sit together and create their music of the day/evening via a VR studio on the fly inviting their favourite holographic idols to the jam session. Imagine you could sit in the middle of your living room jamming around with your friends and Jimi Hendrix! It is going to be FUN!

Outside of the world of electronic music where do you find inspiration? Are there any favourite writers, artists etc?

What’s been inspiring me a lot is the topic of neuroscience, energy medicine, quantum reality, quantum psychology, yoga, meditation, holistic medicine and so on. I’ve been working out on a daily basis. I love my little beautiful roof terrace/garden where I plant as many flowers and herbs as can possibly fit in and I care a lot for animals e.g. I don’t eat meat or dairy. I feed/water the little birds and insects every day (esp. in winter when everything is frozen I put fresh water out every day in order for the birds to drink). Meeting other empathic souls who care for our environment and see the bigger picture inspires me and touches me big time.

In addition I started a project ‘Holistic Kit – smart tools to renew yourself’ together with my best friend Julia where we individually guide people who are interested in quickly releasing stress, chronic pain, enhancing their productivity and finding their personal way of meditation, yoga, workout and transformation.

Heroes who inspire me are Sadhguru, Dr. Stephen Wolinsky, Dr. Gabor Maté, Dr. David Brownstein, Hal & Sidra Stone, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Thomas Hübl, Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Alice Miller, Alan Watts, Nisagadatta Maharaj, Rüdiger & Anette Nehberg, Nile Rogers, Moby (because he’s an advocate for animals), Alida Gundlach, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Jean Houston, Tim Ferris to name just a few.

And finally. How would you describe the experience of DJ’ing in 2019 and where can people hear you play next?

I’d describe it as a Lucidflow experience of resonance and connection.
At Burning Man.

Thanks to all our fantastic and incredible fans and artists for have been supporting Lucidflow for all these years! I am very moved by your support, comments and feedbacks. You making a difference!
Thank you Magazine Sixty for the inspiring interview!

Klartraum
http://www.klartraum-music.com
https://soundcloud.com/klartraum
https://www.facebook.com/klartraumberlin/
https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/klartraum
https://www.discogs.com/artist/696753-Klartraum

Lucidflow Records
http://lucidflow-records.com/
https://soundcloud.com/lucidflow
https://www.facebook.com/lucidflow/
https://lucidflow.bandcamp.com/
https://www.residentadvisor.net/record-label.aspx?id=3281
https://www.discogs.com/label/284900-Lucidflow

Share