Crystal Waters Q&A

Hello Crystal and welcome to Magazine Sixty. Your vocal features on the new single by STED-E & HYBRID HEIGHTS: I Am House. How did the collaboration come about and where did the idea for the words come from – What is House for you?

Hi , well I’ve known Eddie and Carlos for a long time, we’ve collaborated on 2 other tracks Synergy and Believe both went to #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. I posted a pic of me on facebook wearing a t-shirt saying IAMHOUSE and it really resonated with a lot of people, I decided that I would name my album IAMHOUSE. When I heard the track it just all fit together, I decided that would be the hook and commenced to writing. Kenny Dope heard me sing it at the ADE and said he wanted it for his label..couldn’t turn that down lol.
House for me is a community, it’s about the people and the connection to music. It’s always been such a positive vibe, I’m happy and proud to be a part of it.

https://www.traxsource.com/title/920041/i-am-house

Having been involved with the music since the early days do you feel House is still the best description for the music, or has the genre now evolved into something else?

Yes I think it’s still the best description , it’s still the root of all the other offshoots..I must say it’s nice to see it still evolving. When I started they said it was just a fad, bullshit music that it wouldn’t last. Great to prove them wrong.

Taking it all back to where you began. Who influenced you most in deciding to sing as a career, and what advice would you give to someone starting out?

Well I come from a musical family.. my father was jazz musician Jr Waters, my Great Aunt was a very famous Actor and singer Ethel Waters. My brother played bass and guitar so there were lots of band rehearsals at the house. Every summer I went on tour with my Father. The turning point for me is when I need some extra cash and took a gig as a background singer on an album project. Once I got in the studio I knew this was it, never looked back. My advice? Study you’re craft first..a lot of people get caught up in the business part of things, trying to outsmart everyone when they don’t even have good music. I’ve seen a lot of people make this mistake.

One of last year’s biggest hits was HiFi Sean’s ‘Testify’ which you also performed on. What made the song so special for you? Do you have plans to record together again?

Ralphie Rosario introduced me to Sean. At the time he sent me the track to write to I was receiving
a lot if EDM , I was getting so sick of all the same rise and fall arrangements..When I got Sean’s track it was like a breath of fresh air!
Finally something different and new. I put everything aside and started writing. I loved the fact that that the track gave me room to put some attitude on it, love that.. Yes we have plans for 2 more tracks , one to release spring/summer and the other one is for my album.

A lot of Dance music is now primarily instrumental. Do you feel something has been lost since sixties Soul, then Disco and House all continued to be based around vocals and songs?

I had a conversation once in Ibiza with several people about the lack of vocals, someone had a very interesting stance about it, the reason they said for the lack of vocals was the fact that most new Dj’s don’t know how to mix in vocals when they play, it’s too hard for them so they just play instrumentals and also the fact they don’t know how to produce vocals in the studio. Something to think about. I do know for a fact that there is a big difference between a Dj and a Producer. Some of the Dj’s think they are producers but they are not..I can tell what they are as soon as I listen to a track I’ve been given. I can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve spent on arranging and editing tracks. So if anything has been lost I would say production quality.

Tell us about your working day and where you draw inspiration from when writing, plus can you describe the actual process of recording vocals?

My working day ..let’s see ..it depends on the day , most weekends I’m traveling doing shows. Mornings I mediate and workout.
In the afternoons I handle all the business ,calls, emails ect. I’ve recently launched a skincare line for men called Boyface , so I’ve been dealing a lot with that lately ..Then its off to my songwriting studio in my house, it’s just an 8 track enough for me to get a good idea down. If I’m lucky I’ll have a track that doesn’t need an arrangement then I listen , count bars decide where the verse and hooks and bridge are..Then I go in for the melody. If I get a great melody then the rest is easy. Sometimes it takes days to get it right but that’s the fun part. When I get it right then I go for the lyrics..Usually somewhere In that melody I’ve unconsciously said some words and I can pick up on an ideal of what the song is about..there’s a lot of pacing going on lol..this processes may also take days.. once I feel its close enough I head to a studio with a great engineer (this week I’m in NY at Bass Hits Studio with Dave Darlington) Then it all gels together once I’m in the booth. Since I know what I want the vocal to sound like with effects and things I usually send the vocal totally produced wet and dry. All they have to do is lay it in..

Do you have a favourite microphone? Do you own one?

Yes! my favorite is the Manley and no I do not..

And finally. What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

Well I few more releases coming this year that I’m excited about. One with Hifi Sean “Heavy”, another “Without You” Paige & Crystal Waters on Armada .The others the contracts aren’t signed so I won’t say who.. I’m also trying my best to get an album done. I have the boyface skincare line..and my agents are putting my tour schedule together for the summer. i think it’s going to be a fun year…

http://iamcrystalwaters.com

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Yoni Yarchi & Tal Tager Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Yoni Yarchi & Tal Tager. First of all thank you for ‘Tel Aviv Morning’ one of my favourite records from last year. Could we start by asking about how you translate the visual into music and is observing images more inspirational than beginning with a singular sound?

Well first of, thank you very much for honoring us with this interview and for the genuine compliment about “Tel Aviv Morning”. We couldn’t be happier about the love, support and positive feedback we’ve received because of it. So let’s begin. As far as visuals, as we produce our tracks, lately we have gotten pretty deep into what’s called “Emotive House” now a days. Those dreamy sounds which makes your body and soul feels as if you were floating somewhere magical, peaceful, maybe somewhere better where you can be your 100 percent true self. I guess that answers the visuals and inspiration. As we produce, hoping to reach such a place, if not physically, then definitely mentally and emotionally.

Your new single for Loot Recordings ‘In Another Dimension’ is equally life-affirming. Can you talk us through the initial ideas and how they were then produced, including any favorite studio hardware/ software you particularly like to use?

We have produced the track in two different sides of the globe via remote control. Yoni is based in Tel Aviv, Israel & Tal is in Houston, Texas. In a way it was feeling at times as if we are communicating through different dimensions. The only way for us to communicate during the work flow is via social media and other devices. During moments of writers block, we were messing around at times until we came up with the idea to name the track “In Another Dimension”. Reflecting our communication between the dimensions. Mainly we have been using the base of every track, Logic Pro X with Adam Monitors, RME Babyface Card, Bluebird Mic, Zoom H4N used to record Tribal Kids, Birds and Forest Atmosphere, Dynaudio MK2’s.

You aren’t afraid of using more traditional instruments in the production such as guitar and piano. I was wondering about the sorts of musicians that have influenced you outside of Dance Music?

We are huge believers in the organic aspects of live instruments. Yoni comes from a classic background of piano and guitars. As for me (Tal), I’ve been a drummer and percussionist since I can remember myself tapping on whatever moves at the age of six. From there it was all self-taught. We love and are influenced from basically almost all types of music. We are both huge fans of Enigma, 80’s and 90’s freaks. So that means anything from Sade, Genesis, The Cars, Tears For Fears, Billy Idol, A-HA, Mike & The Mechanics, Santana to early 90’s Hip-Hop & Rap, 2Pac, Notorious, Warren G, Coolio, as well as the standard stuff like classical symphony music, such as Hans Zimmer. Sure most Deep House producers will include him in their inspiration for the fact that the man is simply a genius with every creation.

Tell us about the choice of remixers for the track: Powel and Rancido?

Well for the fact, this time we both really value the track and think it deserves nothing but the best creative remake. There are only certain individuals out there which are leading the scene musically that we’ve both, including Kered from Loot Recordings – the man with the plan, we would like to give that opportunity. The purpose was to aim big so we offered it to many. Some were occupied with busy schedules and some just don’t do remixes no more. For the fact we all agreed on two different remixes then we wanted each to be as different, but unique and we couldn’t ask for more. Powell of “All Day I Dream” which everything about the label and the army of creative minds behind it is influencing us, plus he’s got a very unique classical style to his tracks that we love. We admire Rancido and his music, especially his affiliation with “Innervisions” of Dixon & Ame which we’re both huge fans of for years now. The tribal, African roots of his deep melodic productions fits perfectly.

How did your Technique Radio Show on HFM IBIZA come about? Why do you think radio is still such a powerful force in the on-line world after decades as a medium across the airwaves?

Technique Radio Show actually started from a weekly podcast Yoni and myself were mixing on a weekly basis. We share this weekly with a solo mix from one of us and alternate. The shows slogan is “TECHing you on a musical journey with our own unique Technique” For the reason each mix is totally improvised and recorded on the spot with a variety of different mixing skills and techniques unique to each one of us. Then here we are a few episodes in with some lack of consistency and there came that huge offer/opportunity to get featured with a weekly radio show on one of Ibiza’s biggest radio stations among some of the pioneers we grew up on. Chus & Ceballos, Roger Sanchez, Chicane, Ferry Corsten, RobbIe Rivera & Cosmic Gate and many others have shows too, as well as some of the leading acts of today’s scene. Guys like Claptone, Coyu, Oscar L and more. Yoni and I have both dreamed about going to Ibiza and eventually spinning there some day and ironically, we are broadcasting a weekly radio show without stepping foot on that magical island. Maybe someday!

What is the best thing about DJ’ing?

We’re glad you asked this! We’ve been waiting to be asked so we can shine some light on that. It can mean many things to many different individuals, but when comes to me (Tal) and in general to the both of us, it goes deeper than deep. Djing is literally everything. It’s like water which equals life. Wouldn’t change nor will you be able to go without it. It keeps us alive during life’s rollercoaster, which at times can be pretty rough ride. From the day of the gig, as you’re getting new music and preparing yourself, it takes you and the dance floor on a musical journey. As it depends on the night, the venue and hours, if we get the chance to go deep and emotional, then it means something deep and meaningful to us. In a way, which is hard to explain at times, it ends with some lessons learned, but it always, without a doubt, also finishes with a big smile and satisfaction. To be able to give such a gift on the dancers, DJing is the best feeling. You are giving people the therapy they need to let go, be themselves and also weather they are aware or not, the only way for them to communicate and see the natural human connection without the decision of color and race.

What for you makes music underground – is sometimes feels like a debate between melody, emotion and rhythm? How do you see the balance between protecting it from ever expanding commercial interests and big money?

That’s as well a great question. What makes music underground for us is the forward thinking, blending tons of elements and creating something unique that one must be advanced with intelligent in order to like and to get for the fact now a days a lot of the House/Techno tracks has got no lyrics whatsoever which means you have got to understand sounds and frequencies to really get the message behind them which is done only with the spirit and body cause of emotions/feelings. Underground music speaks the truth. Anyone can produce something catchy with lyrics that rhymes, yet means absolutely nothing or creates a division with hate to one another. Guns, clubs, popping bottles, degrading sex with catchy beat? No no, that isn’t the message here. Love, unity, joy, happiness, moving and grooving as one under one roof, yes that is definitely how we see it. It’s about cutting edge, and in a way, trying to “break the rules of music”. Being what’s called a sheep, but not the one who follows, the one who leads and make others follow. Now that is our definition of underground house music!

 And finally. What are your plans moving into 2018?

2018 is gonna be big, busy and productive for us as we are planning on getting a full Live PA going, a debut artist album, weekly up and coming acts on our Technique Radio Show, maybe change or should I say add to our sound a bit more verity as we are both coming from more dark percussive tribally tech/techno? And overall, one of the main goals is to take our sound internationally with more club gigs in order to share our vision, spread the unity message for hours on the dance floor. Yoni is the brother I’ve never had for life. We are not just music partners, but share a special friendship that goes very deep!

https://www.facebook.com/yoniyarchiandtaltager

https://twitter.com/yoniyandtalt

https://www.instagram.com/yoniyarchiandtaltager

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Moonboots (Aficionado Recordings ) Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Richard. Aficionado is due to celebrate twenty years in 2018. Congratulations and what do you remember about, and the reaction to, those first nights you ran along with Jason Boardman?

Hi. Yeah it was a funny time back then. Both Jason (who I knew as a customer from Eastern Bloc) were both bored with the scene in MCR. We’d tried and failed with a couple of experimental nights before starting Aficionado as a Thursday night party at the (now closed) Agua Bar during the ‘98 World Cup. It was only due to run for the Summer until we ended up moving it to a Sunday at Zumbar. That’s when it really started to kick off. It was crazily packed out in there, if you turned up after eight o’clock you couldn’t get in. Think they paid us £50 each and a pizza. Good times.

What makes the night and its accompanying label, Aficionado Recordings as important to you after such a long time in existence?

The night is definitely the place where myself and Jay can play whatever we like. We’re not restricted by genre, tempo or fashion. If we like it, we’ll play it. The label runs off the same ethos. If we like it, we’ll release it.

You are running an exhibition of artwork at Electrik in Manchester. Tell us about the history of the artwork and who currently has been designing it?

The current exhibition has just finished unfortunately. It was the work of our designer, Topsy Von Salkeld. She’s done all the label design, club/gig flyers and also the cover of my compilation. Super talented.

https://www.sarahsalkeld.com

Tell us about the process of compiling your ‘Moments In Time’ compilation for Music For Dreams? And do you feel it’s more important to listen to the message conveyed by an album’s entirety, rather than random choices generated by streaming?

It’s been a slow burn. Kenneth from the label is a good friend and he asked me to start thinking about it 18 months ago. I came up with around 25 tracks which had been whittled down with a couple of new bits added later.

With regards to listening to the album as a whole, that seems to be a generational thing. I love listening to whole LPs. You pick out tracks you like first listen and the tracks that aren’t the most instant end up being the tracks you love the most. However, I have no problem with people cherry picking tracks on Spotify. It’s the modern way.

Buy https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=118570

Does DJ’ing and playing vinyl ever feel ‘old-fashioned’, rebellious and simply a good thing to do, in the digital age?

Ha! No not all. It can be a pain in the arse lumping a heavy bag about sometimes. Plus if I’m playing abroad I’ve been know to play the odd CD or two now. No USBs yet though. Proper witchcraft they are.

I remember you telling me about ‪Danny Rampling‬ playing at The Hacienda (I guess in 1988) and you finding yourself the only person dancing to ‪Barry White‬ ‘It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me’. At what point did the club and the music being played there began to lose its appeal?

That was the Shoom night (12th Oct ‘88). I still have the poster. I think it was Mike Pickering on before him, banging out some Latin acid stuff. I was on the stage, Rampling comes on, first track is big Barry and the stage and dance floor pretty much emptied. He totally tear gassed it apart from a bunch of Shoomers who had come up for the night. They were all going crackers on one of the podiums. I loved it. The Hac was an incredible club. Those two Summers of ‘88 & ‘89 were amazing. And yet by 1990 I was happy never to go in there ever again. It got far too moody.

Do you think Dance Music culture has developed in a good way since then? And what appeal, if any, does it still hold for you?

Yeah of course. It’s such a splintered scene now that you can take whatever you like from it, loft parties or mega festivals. I still love getting on a plane, visiting beautiful settings and playing records to people I’ve never met before. Who wouldn’t?

Who are the most influential artists for you, musical and/ or otherwise?

I’m very fortunate to have many talented friends who make incredible music too. People like Begin, Colorama, Cantoma and Brenda Ray who kindly let me listen to their stuff way before it gets released. Hearing great new music develop is what excites me the most

And finally. Please tell us about your and Jason’s plans for moving into 2018?

Not too much I can tell you right now bar our first party of 2018. It’s an intimate live gig with our dear friends John Stammers, Luca Nieri & Miles Copeland from Wonderful Sound: Jan 31st @ Night People. All future events will be announced via our Aficionado Recordings Facebook page though.

https://www.facebook.com/AficionadoRecordings
https://www.instagram.com/aficionado.recordings

 

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Khristian K. (Moira Audio Recordings) Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Khristian. Can we start by congratulating you on the launch of your new label Moira Tools, the sublabel of Moira Audio Recordings. What is the purpose of the additional label and can you tell us about the philosophy behind it?

Hello everybody, thank you for asking me! Thanks your cute words about Moira Tools. The purpose is to make a real heavyweight imprint, with undoubtedly outstanding productions. You know, the place for Music.

The first release is from yourself: Eruption and from Reclame: Riaffiorire. Can you talk us though where the inspiration came from for Eruption and how you then produced the track?

Yes the first one is by me and my friend Reclame. Inspiration for Eruption came actually quickly, when I listened some fieldrecordings we made together with my girlfriend last winter while visited the Danube riverside to watch icebreaking. So I just put a tape delay on one of those recordings started to play with and it’s just catch me, hypnotized me and in the next „moment” it was almost done. So „Eruption” is typically a one-run tune. I use Ableton Live with several controllers to let me adjust the details and used to record my tunes live in few runs. As happened with Eruption too.

buy: https://www.deejay.de/Reclame_Khristian_K_Moira_Tools_001_MOT001_Vinyl__286258

You began DJ’ing back in 1996. Which DJ’s/ Clubs first inspired you to do so, and can you tell us about what the scene is now like in your native Hungary?

Hahh Omg yeah it was 21 years ago when I started dj’ing in Moment Club at Szolnok in the teenager disco parties. I really loved at that time Jeff Mills’s dj sets. His mixing style amazed me to start doing it properly.

About the Hungarian scene, the best thing is we have many musically different hubs now, so the „menu” for a partyhead is very colorful. You can and you will find an eventseries serving your kind of music even if it’s dubtechno or tech house or techno. Sometimes even it is simply overdosed with headliners but it’s should be a good thing. So we like many kind of music.. For example during the forthcoming weekend will perform at Budapest: Ame, Monika Kruse, Andrea Oliva, Sis, Gilb’r, Saboar…

You are outspoken champion of the ‘The Underground’. What does the term mean for you? And how do you see the future of ‘The Music Business’ in terms of making a living from it and also about how music is consumed?

Haha, I don’t think so I am champion of anything. I just doing my mission. Anyway, underground means less audience, in pretty short term. But underground should mean that where music is not served FOR the audience linked to 1-2 purpose. Is where the music discover and expand it’s own boundaries. And nowadays we live in an era where there are no boundaries anymore.

In fact, I think we go to a wrong direction with Music Business. Everything is changed and now artists pay for it to show their new content for their own followers. It’s bad. It totally changes the direction and the purposes too. I would not be the person to tell it’s a good thing or not, when a producer is have to be a good social media manager, needs to know about marketing and targeting (wtf) instead of be an outstanding producer/dj. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I cannot believe this is the right way.

How do you feel about songs/ vocals in Dance Music? What do you think can be said without words?

Well, is a hard question. Because I believe we can spread without words. But a voice used as an instrument is organically can make a trustfully and positive vibe within a song. I mean speeches or as effects are okay, but we don’t need singers. We all imagine different things while listening a song, so it’s better for all of us, to not put in our mouth what we should feel or think.

Who designs the Artwork for label? And how do they represent what Moira Audio Recordings is about?
I am who made all the artworks on the labels. The main idea is a connection. This kind of music can be called as lonely music because we usually dance alone on the dancefloor. So that’s why I usually use space or landscape photos and edit them. All in feeling is somehow connected to the music.

You have a label showcase happening in December which looks very exciting. What’s the story behind that?

Oh yes! It will happen on the 2nd of December at RNDM Bar, Moscow. It’s a very meaningful thing, because it is our first label showcase. And it’s happening in Moscow, where I always wanted to play. And I am super excited because finally I can meet with the Russian Moira boys, Vadim Lankov, ENTER and Dip among with Weltschmerz who is the keyperson for this event actually. He came few months ago with an idea to make a Moira Audio Showcase at Moscow. And suddenly it’s happening now.

And finally. What are your plans for moving into 2018?

There will come 2 vinyl releases with me and the third is under negotiation right now. Several interesting collaborations also will pop up with friends, also I would definitely love to continue the showcases around. But my plan is simple: more vinyl’s, more gigs.
Thank you for your time!

https://www.facebook.com/Moiraaudio

https://twitter.com/mmmhungary

https://moirawhite.bandcamp.com

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Solo Collective Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Solo Collective. Let’s start by asking how and why you first started to play together, and about the origin of the name?

Seb – We first met through the Berlin music scene. Anne and I worked on one of my tracks (Holy Island) together, then came up with the idea of performing together with Alex, and Anne came up with the idea of Solo Collective, of us being three independent artists, who support each other musically in turn. Our styles and methods of music making are quite different, but complimentary.

Alex – the coming together of the collective is quite mysterious to me, as I started working with Seb as my publicist for the UK without knowing him in advance and than noticed that he had collaborated with Anne, who grew up in the same quarter in Berlin as me, but we had never met or worked together before, although we play cello and violin and obviously should have done that earlier than meeting via Oxford based Seb…

Anne – At first the two words (solo collective) were meant to be a description for a flyer I made for our first concert. Sebastian initiated to organize a concert in Berliner Volksbühne based club “Roter Salon”. He asked Alex and me to play each a solo set and asked us to join him in his set. It was very interesting to finally meet Alex because I already knew of him – we had both been playing in the same Berlin music scene band for 10 years, connected through the music collective and label “Sinnbus”. Sebastian and Alex were very keen on the term and concept “solo collective”, it is neatly self explanatory. We recorded the Roter Salon concert, and decided to compile a record featuring a live track from each of us “Solo? Repeat!”, “Don’t try to be” and “Ascension” on a record (Part One), alongside a studio track each.

Your debut album, the stunning: Part One feels very much Classical in nature yet resolutely contemporary in feel. How, for you, does the past inform the present, and is it more (or less) important to concentrate in creating new sounds and music?

Seb – I think all three of us have a very open and direct approach to music making, it’s about finding a creative vehicle for what we want to express musically, that is reflected in the process. Whether it is a piano trio arrangement of one of my pieces, or a track of Anne or Alex’s that involves a solo performance with a lot of looping. Live looping is an interesting musical tool, because it appears to be a very new technology, but it also connects very much to the ancient tradition of group singing, where one voice repeats and echoes with repeating melodies, and of course Steve Reich and the minimalists further explored this, which then fed into the birth of Techno and modern electronic dance music, which is based around ever more simplified repeating patterns, what we’re doing is another chapter in the exploration of what a repeated idea is, Solo? Repeat!

Alex – lucky us, that we are alive in the modern age, and aren’t stuck with just classical music and its numerous limitations! I think, it’s very important to each of us to create music, that hasnt been done yet, and to be part of the present and future…it makes me happy to read that you find the album contemporary…

Anne – In university as a classical cello student I was trained just to perfectly interpret already existing written music. But we forget sometimes, classical composer like Bach and Beethoven were also soloist and were playing there own music in concerts. It is not such a long time ago when composing and being an interpreter split into separate professions. In jazz and rhythmical music this separation didn’t happen. So I was very interested as a classical musician to express in my own way, how I feel the music. It makes me happy to play around with sounds, using electronic devices to help develop new creations but with already known sounds, too.

Solo Collective “Part one” to be released on November 10/ 2017.
http://phonofile.link/solocollective-pt1

Could you describe the writing process involved with one the tracks from the album. From where ideas are found, to how you record together and then realising the final production?

Seb – All three of us have very different working processes, I tend to be quite conceptual. For “Holy Island” (one of my pieces on the Solo Collective record), the main melody is a cyclical, repeating pattern that first repeats and adds a beat, then alternates between growing and shrining, then for the ending repeats and loses a beat, birth, life and death, and the electro ambience and cello tones were crafted around it to bring out the sentiment of the track. I invited Anne to contribute her vision for the string arrangement, and to help shape the structure. We generally write and record separately, then invite each other to collaborate on the live performance of particular tracks.

Alex – I wrote “Cell to Cell”, while I was preparing for the first live show with the collective at Roter Salon Berlin…I started with an harmonic pattern, that looped in and built up more voices and the electronics around…the piece is pretty much inspired by the art of Mariechen Danz, with whom I was working for her contribution to La Biennale di venezia 2017…”Cell to Cell” is a part of her lyrics, that cycle around the ways of communication inside and outside of the human body…

Anne – Writing music is for me more like painting with different colors. A little dark sound here, a bright dark melody there. In the end I draw a picture but in sounds. In “Silbersee” for example I finally had in my mind even a concrete picture of a landscape with a lake, dark but shimmering water waiting for something or someone.

Your current tour sees you performing across the UK. Are there any challenges in recreating what you have recorded on record in a ‘live’ setting? Or does each night suggest its own path?

Seb – We’ve all performed a lot prior to us coming together as Solo Collective, so it’s more a case of working out how we structure our evening of music so that it is a satisfying experience for us as performers, and for the audience.

Alex – Actually we play at least 2/3 of the material from the record , which is quite a good result I guess…as the structures of most of the pieces are quite free in time, it can differ from night to night in length and intensity…also depending on the reception.

Anne – Yes, I agree. And it’s a lot of fun to get on this journey.

Can you tell us about your most important influences?

Seb – One of my biggest inspirations is Bleeding Heart Narrative, an incredible band from London who are sadly no longer together. They had a really amazing way of mixing up orchestral arrangements with lo fi distorted ambience and piano melodies.

Alex – I am influenced by the light darkness of my grandpa Leonard Cohen and most of the contemporary electronic music from Berlin and the UK mostly…too many names to list…

Anne – Oh if I would mention all names, the list would be too long. Like you can hear in “Solo? Repeat!” I’m a huge fan of J.S.Bach. I literally grew up with classical music in an opera house where my father worked. And my parents are both music scientists working closely with contemporary composers. I think there is a lot of influence from classical music I listen to and played myself, but also of minimal music from composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass I was very into when I was a teenager. And of course in current modern music I’m very interested, too. Not to forget to mention the inspiration I get from my Erased Tapes label mates.

What for you can be created via instrumentation that can’t be achieved through use of vocals? Would you describe Music as a physical force, political or purely emotional – or even all three!?!

Seb – I don’t have singing in my music because I can’t really sing, and am not particularly good at lyric writing. But I do have a track which is based around a reading from Joseph Heller’s novel Catch 22, and I am very interested in using the voice, and thinking about it, my track Ascension is based on loops of my voice and another, so they are hidden in there!

Alex – Music is everything to me , political, emotional and a must-do… but most of all : it’s a way of being alive and to leave emptiness…

Anne – I have a kind of same problem like Sebastian. A lot of my music friends are amazing singer songwriter and that’s unfortunately not my talent. I really would love to. But using the voice like an instrument and including it in my music is very interesting to me. I see the voice as an instrument that is always available to us, and the cello is very close to a human voice, too. Even when I don’t use words I’d like to create an emotional physical experience, make the listener feel happy or sad, sometimes even uncomfortable, too.
Music generally can be everything of those three things and much more. It’s just naturally, deeply human.

And finally. If it’s not too soon. Do you have any forthcoming plans for the project?

Seb – we are touring the UK again in February, and hope to be touring in Europe also, and all three of us have solo records coming out, so plenty to come!

Alex – the Solo Collective Part one states, that there should be a Part Two, and we have already recorded new material , that might be part of part two…
in terms of time, Part one was the initial moment to establish my label Nonostar Record, and to continue releasing new and uncommon intense music for open minded audiences… see you soon!

Anne – working with Seb and Alex inspires me to write new music. That’s definitely challenging because I’m very slow and my ‘creations’ take a long time to finish. I’m looking forward to Part Two.

http://www.sebastianreynolds.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/annemullercello
http://alexstolze.com
https://www.facebook.com/nonostarrecords

 

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Los Pastores Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty Snna Oblack & Nacho Arauz. Can we begin by asking a little about your background? How did you first get into DJ’ing/ Producing and which artists/ clubs initially inspired you?

Hello, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.

When we both started out and were still very small we worked individually but when we met we decided to form what is now Los Pastores, from that moment we began to produce together we were influenced by artists like Luciano, Loco Dice, Matthias Tanzmann, Marco Carola or Hector Couto among others. The clubs that inspired us most at the time were Barraca (Valencia), Florida135 (Huesca), DC10 (Ibiza), Amnesia (Ibiza).

You have been running the label since 2012. How would you describe the state of the record business and can you tell us about the importance of vinyl to you?

We started with our Oblack label in 2012 with two formats, vinyl and digital. The vinyl format has always been very important for us, but we must bear in mind that this format is only used by a relatively small number of people, and from our point of view we have to accompany it with digital releases to reach as many people as possible.

Your current release is by Ogni – Point Of No Return. What do you look for when signing something to the label, and do you think it is harder or easier with today’s technology to be an original artist?

Yes, it’s a great EP!! Hehehe When we sign EPs for vinyl release we always look for the music to be atemporal, however for the releases of the Digital Series we look for a sound with a dancefloor focus. This year we have released our new series of digital music called “Raw Series” in which we release more avant-garde music.

We think that it´s much easier to be an original artist with modern technology, since there are so many different ways to produce electronic music nowadays.

Talk us through the creative process for you when making music, and can you tell us about your studio set-up?

We use several types of machines in our productions but the most outstanding are undoubtedly the Nord modular, Moog Sub 37, Nord Rack 2 or Roland TR-8 among others. In addition, we have always combined the old hardware technology with our favourite software, Logic.

Who creates the artwork for the label? Do you have a favourite cover to date?

For the design of our covers we work with different designers and illustrators, all the ideas are thought by the team, and after this process we materialize them. Our favourite cover so far is the latest vinyl EP OBLACK021.

What inspires you outside of the world of Dance Music?

We are inspired by good food, sports, good books, and generally healthy habits.

How did your collaboration with ARBG on Sit Down Recordings happen? What was the inspiration behind the production?

We met ARBG through an EP that he signed for our Oblack label and as a result we started to share music before collaborating with him. We are very happy because this EP is receiving very good feedback and has just been charted by Matthias Tanzmann in his Closing Ibiza Chart 2017.

And finally how do you see the label and yourselves as artists moving into the future?

Our label is well positioned within the European electronic scene, in our next releases you can see artists such as ONNO, Chris Wood, Diego Krause, DJ T, Alex Arnout, System2, Javi Bora, Justin Harris, Mihai Popoviciu, Christian Burkhardt, Sascha Dive, and many more.

As Los Pastores, we are going to be releasing on labels like Deeperfect, Roush, Oblack, Sanity, Yaya Records and many others yet to be confirmed.

https://www.facebook.com/lospastoresmusic

https://twitter.com/los__pastores

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Francesco Mami Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty Francesco. Let’s start with your latest release “10191 EP” on Rhythm Cult Digital. Can you talk us though where the inspiration came from for one of the tracks and then how you produced those ideas as music?

Ciao Magazine Sixty-thanks! It’s a” terrific” pleasure to answer these introspective and detailed questions!
The inspiration comes from a question that I’ve been always wondering about myself during my DJ sets, specifically when I’m playing my favourites ‘bangers’ and people are going nuts. I ask myself: “Frankie, you should have few killer tunes from yours in your deck of trump cards, don’t you?” So I got really focused on what I like to play at that precise moment.
Writing music, for me, is such an instinctive act that for me it’s conceived in the club and gestates in my studio.

https://www.traxsource.com/title/859264/10191

Going right back to the start and growing up in Rimini. Which DJ’s and Clubs influenced you most and how would you describe the Dance scene and the city at that time?

I’m too proud of my hometown to talk about it honestly! “La Riviera Romagnola” – all the area around Rimini’s coast, it’s the actual nest of the club culture and legendarily where the art of DJ’ing is born! (Don’t try to prove me wrong, have a look to DJ Mozart)
Clubs like Baia Degli Angeli, Altro Mondo Studios, Cocoricò, Echoes, Paradiso, Classic. They were all pioneers of the dance scene.
The first time I stepped into Cocoricò club and listened to DJ Cirillo playing it’s there where I was most definitely inspired.
P.S. Try to have a “piadina” at Ilde’s after a couple of days of raving, and you’ll know why I’m so proud of my city!

Where did you learn about music production? And can you also tell us about becoming an Apple Logic Pro Certified Trainer and Music Producer and what it means to you to be able to teach others about creating music?

Teaching and co-working with other artists is my everyday source of further inspiration and energy. It may appear on the outside that its just help and guidance for them, but most of the time it’s the straight opposite.
Everything started from my friend Marco, when he was mocking me about my “geekyness” in the studio. He said once: “Frankie, you are such a Logic-Pro-nerd, why don’t you teach other people?”. So I had a look, found a workshop in NYC, went there twice, got my certifications, met my wife at Paul’s Burger on 2nd Ave and Bowery.
How I learned to use Logic? I read the manual. How I learned to make music? I’m not sure I did it yet…

You currently live in London where you are resident and Music Director at the Mayfair Club – MNKY HSE. How did that come about? And how do you feel about the way club culture appears to moving in terms of festivals taking prominence over weekly club nights?

I have to be honest, it’s still confusing how I ended up there. I think MNKY’s crew embraced my vision and patiently accepted my quirkyness. I’m blessed to Direct an amazing spot like this – it’s a true diamond.
The “festival-shifting” has a more sociological meaning: the new generation is so over stimulated that music is not enough to entertain them. That’s why it’s an impelling mandatory act to have massive visual shows or to be in the VIP area sharing your pictures. The clubbing scene, as we loved it, has changed.

What does the word Techno mean for you? And how do you see the music moving forward in time – do you think it will ever become a set of clique’s like the 90’s House sound has become?

That’s a tricky question. I’m a spoiled kid from Rimini who loves Lucio Battisti and Star Wars. I’m not from Detroit, nor from Berlin. I experienced Techno when I listened DJ Saccoman playing some rare wax from R&S and when System Of Survival gave me a folder named “History of Techno Music” to learn – where the Techno sound comes from. So, for me, techno is knowledge and amazement and of course it’s that suspended fraction of a second right before the kick-drum drops.
More than anything else, Electronic Music is a wave, repeating itself in circles, so I think all this “labelling” has no sense for the music-lovers out there; but you know, non-music lovers worship labelling stuff – don’t they?!

What for you is expressed though rhythm (instrumentation) that isn’t expressed though words (song)?

I personally think that Rhythm is one of the many ways to meditate and enter a transcendental state of mind. Rhythm is the medium to carry yourself into an altered condition. Repetition, patterns and accents drive you and your body. That, for me, is the biggest expression. Alternatively, songs carry a message: they share feelings.

Which artists have had the biggest impact on you both in terms of music and in the world outside of it?

I’m a sucker for 90’s Electronic Bands: from Chemical Brothers to Air; Prodigy to Daft Punk.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet all my heroes and legends, to talk with them, to understand their journey. I really hope to get to that level, amount of wisdom and peace.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

My wettest dream is to be a classical trained piano player and movie soundtrack composer, I have keyboards, theory and score books everywhere. I keep on dreaming though… and that’s why my favorite instruments still remain my trusted AKAI MPC2000XL and its digital version Maschine.

And finally can you tell us about your forthcoming plans?

Re-patching and setting-up the studio is my first priority right now, as well as going back to piano classes (for the 99th time ahahaha)
Jokes apart, I’m finalising a six track album I wrote during my journey in Nepal: it will be released by a Berlin based label of really good friends.
New music in collaboration with my mate David Hasert is soon to be released, same for an incredible amount of tracks which I produced with the tireless Salvo aka SB-Unit.
Of course, to be a classical trained piano player and score composer is top priority!

Francesco Mami
www.francescomami.com

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Ryan Vail Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty Ryan. Can we start with your breath-taking new single: SHADOWS. Can you talk us through where the inspiration came from for the track and how you then transformed those ideas into music?

Shadows was a song I had written quite soon after leaving my place of employment for the last 10 years. I was toying with the idea of going full time for way to long. The security of full time employment was great, but it really prevented me from pushing my music. This song kind of talks about that. It’s a struggle that most artists never see through. I can understand that, it’s a total gamble.
The idea really started with the pretty massive analog bass line. I wanted the track to be very minimal and to focus on a solid vocal delivery. This was something that I previously wasn’t very comfortable doing. As the lyrics progressed more elements where added. I used a lot of synth sounds that haven’t been used in a musical sense such as the modular style glitches. This was to sonically push my synth skills and sound. Finally the string sections. Strings are something I’m absolutely obsessed with. I had Rachael Boyd & Laura Mc Cabe brought in for that. Both stunning players.

Your recent session for Across The Line highlighted your use of analogue synthesizers. Which artists first inspired you to use those sounds and how would you describe the difference between the sounds they produce and those similar instruments recreated by digital plug-ins?

Yeah this topic is something I get asked by a lot of people. I grew up listening to loads of different genres. I’ve never really pin pointed one artist that inspired me.
I kind of started learning synthesisers when I was about 16. I’ve been collecting ever since.
I was never really against computers as such. It was more the case of synths were cheaper to buy at that time rather than computers and software. I’ve heard amazing software that can out do hardware and vice versa.

A lot of electronic music these days is more or less instrumental (especially Dance). What does your voice say about you, and do you think that there is anything that the human voice can’t convey which instrumentation can – or vice versa!

I think a combination of bought is now a good happy medium.

(Pics by Wrapped in Plastic Photography)

Your studio has an amazing array of keyboards. Do you have a favourite and why?

I would have to say analog my Roland Juno 6. Digital would have to be the ROLI GRAND.

How long did it take you to acquire them all? Where did you source them from?

This has been built up over 15-16 years of collecting. I’ve bought from all over the world now. Ebay has been the main search engine I’d have to say.

Tell us about how your involvement with Quite Arch and Northern Ireland Arts Council came about?

Quiet Arch was a label that myself and Lyndon Stephens started up to release an album called Sealegs. The album done so well that Quiet Arch began to grow.
The Arts Council have been amazing. They noticed me about two years ago and have been helping me develop. Support like that is vital these days.

How do you see the future of record distribution and sales in the digital world?

Vinyl unfortunately is dying off again along with CDs. Streaming is how us artists are going to survive.

And finally. Please share with us your future plans for live performance and your next album?

Wednesday I play in London with TALOS, Thursday I’m in Belfast & Sunday Dublin. Festivals are over, now the gigging begins.

https://www.facebook.com/RyanVailMusic

https://twitter.com/ryan_vail

https://www.instagram.com/ryanvail

http://quietarch.bigcartel.com

 

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David Berrie Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty David. Your latest release: A.D.D. EP is out now on Hottrax comprising of four equally energetic tracks. What elements are most vital to you as a producer? Do you think it is important to be seeking out new sounds as an artist or do the older ones still do it?

The bassline is usually the first element I start with as I think it’s the most vital element of a track. As for newer or older sounds it’s definitely a healthy mixture of both. I love my classic 909 hats and claps with futuristic spacey synth elements to compliment it.

Can you talk us though how you produced one of the tracks from the release. From where you get your inspiration from and how you then turn those ideas into an arrangement?

Usually when I start a new track the inspiration comes from a new machine or plugin that I just bought. For instance with A.D.D. i had just bought the TC Helicon Voice Live Touch 2 and used it with my voice to create the A.D.D. hook. This was the same case with Playing in Space. I put down the drums, a few elements, and then just improvise an arrangement on the fly recording in Ableton and tweak from there.

https://www.beatport.com/release/a-d-d-ep/2098106

How did you get together with the label? And how important is it to you to have your music signed to a certain label?

I passed some music to my long time friend from NY Lauren Lane, who passed it to Jamie, so shout out to Lauren for linking us together. I think its very important to have your music signed to a certain label, because everyone will associate you with it.

Listening to your DJ mixes it strikes me that you have a wealth of differing influences going on. Who has inspired you most both within and outside of electronic music?

Well I started out as an hip-hop/open format DJ so for many years I did all different types of events. From high fashion events to ghetto hip-hop, so growing up playing like this has kept me open-minded to play across the spectrum.

Tell us about life in New York and how Dance Music has evolved for you there? Do you have a favourite place you like to play at?

Life in NY is great, there’s so much energy and diversity, but the dance music scene has definitely changed. Seems like every year NY is getting stricter with codes, shutting down parties left and right. It’s a bit discouraging, but I hope this changes. As for places to play in NY, my favourite room at the moment would probably be the Panther Room for its intimacy.

What for you is expressed though rhythm (instrumentation) that isn’t expressed though words (song)?

The instrumentation for me ultimately expresses the mood of a track. Words just compliment it.

And finally what are your future plans for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018?

Will return back to my apartment in NY after a long first summer in Ibiza. Looking forward to spending most of the fall in the studio to finish some open projects and collabs I started. Have a few collaborations with Guti and a collab with Jessie Calloso that should be out on Cuttin Headz in October.

https://www.facebook.com/davidberrieofficial

https://twitter.com/dBerrieofficial

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Lavvy Levan (Friday Fox Recordings) Q&A

Hi Lavvy and welcome to Magazine Sixty. You founded Friday Fox Recordings in 2013 along with Christian B. How would you describe the highs and lows of running a record label since then?

Hey Greg, thanks for having me…. well we all know that the music business is not what it once was, so first and foremost you have to 100% love what you’re doing, cause if it’s just about the money then I don’t think that’s really sustainable. But we knew what we wanted to achieve with Friday Fox, and we also knew it might take a while, but we’ve stuck with it and I hope people feel the love and dedication that we put in. For me personally all the hard work is worthwhile when you get sent a video of one of your releases being dropped all over the world and you see people dancing and smiling. Nothing better than the feeling that you’ve helped people forget their worries and have a good time.

Your current release is by London Fields: Find Our Love. What attracted you to the track, and what do you look for when deciding to sign something?

We really loved the fact that the artist behind the London Fields project is a well established producer, most known for slightly more pop-driven dance, but he wanted the chance to stretch out and experiment somewhat.. and the result is very strong, this adventurous side is perfect for Friday Fox; the whole EP is really varied. I am naturally drawn to the unusual and quirky, for me that’s how we innovate – and this EP really fits the bill, especially the title track ‘Find Our Love’ which is warm and beachy, but has enough quirky features to appeal to those who are seeking something a little more avant-garde; a great balance.

buy: https://www.traxsource.com/title/850874/find-our-love

The label’s releases are often defined by their musicality. How important are traditional musical aspects to you? And do you think anything has been lost through technology and the ready availability of the Internet?

Most of the team at Friday Fox are ‘of a certain age’, so we cling to traditional music and production values where possible – I think it makes a stronger track. Certainly, on productions from Christian and myself we always try to use homegrown elements including drums, percussion and mouth-effects, that way it feels unique from the start. I think there is an element of production being too easy to do these days, but you’ve still got to find your own unique groove and that takes talent. We are always trying to push musicality whether it’s the live trumpets of Michael Oberling, the jazz-funk keys of Rapson or my vocals, and we have plenty of projects in the pipeline that will continue in that vein.

Which records and artists have inspired you most (Dance or otherwise)?

Personally, I grew up in a House filled with Funk and Disco, and I pretty much have my parents to thank for my taste in general. I did find my own way in my teen years getting caught up in the Hardcore/Jungle sound with artists like 4 Hero and Goldie really shaping me. Looking into the samples used in the 90s led me back to Disco, Jazz and Funk and then I finally came full circle back to House. I do find that I am drawn to those who just do their own thing, the non-conformists – artists like Roisin Murphy.

How did you get into DJ’ing? How would you describe the music you like to play?

My first experience was in 93, DJing as a youngster on a local pirate station with Christian, this was mainly back in the Jungle days. I caught the bug, and with my friend Matt Rozeik, we explored DJing with vinyl and played around with different techniques – even to the point where we would have the same record on both decks and offset them by a half-beat to create a syncopation, then bring it back in time to get some natural phasing. I still try and DJ with vinyl where possible, but it’s an expensive game these days, so I do incorporate digital alongside. I play what I like – simple as that really. Mainly disco infused housey grooves. I try not to by defined by genre and like slipping in the odd surprise. I try and play as much fresh underground music as possible – as I think that’s a key job of a DJ; to bring fresh music to people.

Can you describe your studio set-up and where the inspiration comes from when creating music?

We have two studios’ that we use… I have a simple home set up to work on Solo material, and then for bigger joint productions we use the main Friday Fox Studio that Christian B runs. We really only write and produce music when we have something to say, or an itch that needs to be scratched. It always comes from the soul and heart. Inspiration comes from all over… lyrically I just try and write how I feel about things; for instance, ‘Got My Love’ was written shortly after my mother passed away, and ‘No Trouble’ was inspired by rioting in London. Musically we get inspiration from everywhere… we usually start most productions with a sample or a groove we like – that inspires the rest of the production even if the finished product is completely different.

How do you see the future of Dance music in terms of both releasing tracks and the function of Clubs?

Well, the scene needs to return to those who completely and utterly love the music, not those out to make a quick buck. It feels like the soul-less era of EDM has passed, and I think people are seeking something deeper with more soul and real-feel. We need to get back to incorporating more organic material in the productions, supporting talented live players. Also, I think NuDisco needs to move away from straight up lifting entire Disco tracks with no credit to the original artists, sampling can be a great thing, but it’s all gone too far and we need more original fresh music. Clubs needs to get back to basics, show some down to earth originality and let the clientele speak for them.

And finally. Can you tell us about your forthcoming plans?

Lots in the pipeline, fresh music from South Africa with Rudi Botha & Miggza, a new Christian B & Lavvy Levan EP and we’ve also just started a major project with Marc Rapson – so plenty to look forward to – including lots of Friday Fox parties! Christian and I also have several remix projects coming including remix work for 2 Bad Mice, Deepkeen, Joe Fin and Yoversion Records. I also have some fresh solo work coming on a brand new label from Tommy D Funk.

http://www.fridayfoxrecordings.com

https://fridayfoxrecordings.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/fridayfoxrecordings

https://twitter.com/FridayFoxRecs

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