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.


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!

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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.

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.


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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.

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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.

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

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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.


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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.

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.

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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.


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.

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Tyree Cooper Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty Tyree. Could we begin by telling us about your Jack The Box project with Bobby Starrr?

Hi how are you. The Jack The Box Project came about some 10 years ago when Bobby Starrr had the idea to do our own events in Berlin while that whole Minimal scene. We thought because at that time while NO ONE was really fuckin with House Music we could do something about it and that’s when it began and making records came shortly after that…

(Photograph by Marie Staggat)

Love your remix of Ricardo Baez’s – SA-2. Can you tell about how the remix came about, plus talk us through the production process involved in creating it?

Thank You very much for diggin my remix. Well, when I heard the track I thought immediately that my mix should be “Classic Sounding” because of Ricardo’s love for Chicago House and House in general. So I kinda put myself back in those times when life was rough and shit was fucked up, socially and economically but we had House Music in its purest moment, and that’s where my focus went..


You were present at the birth of House Music in Chicago. What for you were the key elements of the music, and why do you think they have stood the test of time?

Yes I was at the very beginning of House Music Culture and I am Grateful to have made my contribution to the culture, as well as admiring the fuck outta it. There are far too many factors that play into any one key element because it was always dimensional, so I can’t really say that this or that was actual key element of the music. If anything the key element should be that we were mostly black people trying to do something that nobody else was fuckin with and we pull it off with a freekin boom… And why it still has withstood the test of time, because out an oppressed society something creative can happen and revolutionize the planet, so we were all hungry and thirsty to make our mark on the world, by making some of the hottest shit to play in Chicago. Then the rest of the world caught on in a roundabout way..

What are your memories of working with the seminal DJ International label? And how would you compare the process of making music back them with today?

At DJ International I had great times and bad times, just to keep it 100. But that experience I would not change it for nothing, because I got the opportunity of a lifetime to witness the music business up close and how it REALLY works. I’ve met so many talented engineers, producers, singers, and of course MC’s. The difference in recording music today then yesteryear, it’s much easier because it’s all laid out for you in your DAW system.

What is your favourite instrument? Do you own one?

My favorite instruments are: Drums, Bass, Woodwinds, and Sax… And no I don’t those instruments anymore, those were my High School Days..

How would you contrast life in Berlin with Chicago? And why the move?

There’s a lotta difference in contrast between the cities, but my move to Berlin was about being where my job was, sorta speak. Meaning, I was playing more in Europe then in America so it just made sense to me to just move. There are other more personal reason that I will not disclose at this time, and fuck no i was not running away from any persecution of any kind…

From your perspective I was wondering how much of an influence European Dance music (and other forms) had on the Chicago scene in the early days of House? Or was Disco the most significant factor? And who for you were the most important DJ’s from that time?

I put it to you like this, if you lived on the Southside and in a certain areas of the Southside then disco would be your influence. If you lived in the Suburbs then more than likely Italo Disco was probably your influence. If you lived on the Westside then more than likely you like everything, because of the tricks you could do with two copies. If you lived on the Northside then you were probably influenced more by Italo Disco. Chicago was one of the most segregated cities in America at one time, so here’s a taste of that division of people that created that sound called Chicago House.

And finally. Can you tell us about what you are working on at the moment plus your forthcoming plans for the future?

At the moment I’m about to release my seventh release on my label Chicago Vinyl Records. It’s a Hip House song I did with my friend Pure G.O.D. and it’s called “Back Home”. After that I have song that Adonis and have collaborated on from back in 86, and a song just finished as of July 9 2017 with Harry Dennis. Also I will be releasing my greatest hits album volume 1 with a couple of new tracks on there as well. So I’m just staying on hustle and taking care of my family, that’s it….
Booking: Claudia Schneider

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Ricardo Baez Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty Ricardo. Love your new release for Music For Freaks: SA-2 EP. Can you tell us about the idea behind the title for the EP and where it came from?

Hello! SA-2 is a basic and super cheap model of a little keyboard. I bought it in a market in Pietrasanta and one day after a long studio session of trying to find something good, using all my main instruments… I took a break and I started to play around with this new “toy”.. and the track just came out. Everytime, it’s magic.


You have an album forthcoming this summer. How would you describe the music on there, and how have you found the process of making the album?

Making an album is a challenge as I love so many genres of music. I’m trying to find a common thread in the sound in all the tracks as well as making the order of the tracks a priority. At the moment the album is not quite finished yet, but it will be soon!

Do you work best at night, or during daytime?

Night or Day for me is the same. When I’m inspired and I have time to give (for real) space to my ideas, without thinking about problems or being preoccupied, this is the moment to start working.

Can you tell us about your studio set-up, including a favourite piece of software/ hardware that you like to use?

I don’t have a fixed set-up. I always try to change, to find the best way to release my ideas.. I use ableton with all my real machines (old or new but real) and some samples or recordings that I make. I have many cool pieces: moog little phatty, all the Roland boutique and Roland Aira, tr 707 and more BUT the most important for me are all the instruments that I buy when I travel around the world. The last one was a Whistle Maya that I bought in Teotihuacan (Mexico). Every single sound is important for me and they all have a meaning.

Tell us about the choice of the legendary Tyree Cooper as remixer for SA-2?

Justin Harris felt Tyree would do a great remix so approached him with the track. When he told me that Tyree had accepted, I was so happy. Chicago House has shaped me so much in the past, in the present and for sure in the future and to have a remix from a legend like him … is simply amazing.

Who are your main influences both within and outside of electronic music?

I don’t have that many big influences from electronic music, to tell the truth. I love some artists but they can’t (and maybe I don’t want) inspire me with ideas for music. I listen to their music as I read a book or watch a film, to understand their history and emotions. Smile or Cry. Dance or be bored. My only 2 big influences are 1) my mother and my father and all the music they gave me to listen to and 2.) the big knowledge I am very fortunate to have my life.

Can you tell us about Tropical Animals?

Tropical Animals was born to represent my little world and to play only the music that I love. Now it is one of the famous clubnight’s in Italy (they say!). The main difference between Tropical and many clubnights, is that we heavily research new artists from all over the world and not only the big names. For us the most important thing is the music not the name. We hosted for the first time out of his/her home, artists like DENIS SULTA, BAMBOUNOU, DJ BORING, etc and for the first time from our country many many more artists. Since 2010, every Thursday, you can find your home.

How would you describe the scene in Florence? Which clubs/ bars would you recommend?

The Florence’s scene atm is really positive for dance music.
If you want to listen to big DJ’s, we have events and promoters that host some of the best djs in the world. If you want to listen to new music or new underground artists and great djs too, there are clubs Like CLUB21 (the Tropical home) or TENAX.
In the clubs you dance, in the bars you drink.. and FUSION and LOCALE are the places where I usually drink a few cocktails!

(Photo By Ilaria Ieie)

And finally. Do you believe Dance music has the power to change society for the better?

Dance music can change the people. In a positive or negative way.
Only the People have the power to change society.
I don’t know, but every day me and many others djs, artists, journalists and promoters, through our work and passion, fight for this…and this is a good way.

Thank you!


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Russian Linesman Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty. Your latest series of releases: ‘The Eysenck Suites I-IV explore the psychology of Hans Eysenck’s four temperamental categories and the emotions they encompass’. Tell us the story of how you encountered the psychologist and what was it about his writing that inspired you to put that into music?

Well… I was back home for the weekend and foraging in my parents’ loft for vintage Star Wars figures that had survived my childhood, when I stumbled across a pile of old Psychology books. One contained Hans Eysenck’s personality traits chart – it has four sections showing the distinct types of personality and how they interact. Those four sections would eventually become the EP series titles: Melancholic, Choleric, Sanguine and Phlegmatic. It was perfect, especially as I’d been looking for a concept for my new recordings, and I do love a good concept! For me, it gives a project focus, an impetus to create and the see things through, so I was galvanised, the project had officially begun. I started thinking about ways to write music to fit each mood, and how some of my already existing recordings and sketches could fit.

‘The Eysenck Suite II – Choleric’ is the next release in the series and comprises of vocal snippets amongst the array of emotionally resonating synthesizers. Can you describe the process of creating the music from one of the tracks beginning with the initial ideas to producing the final track?

The catalyst for a song just appears – it might be a place, a sentiment, a person, an object or curio. Sometimes the melody is present already, other times I just know a song is there to be written. These occasions are what I love most about making music – the first idea, everything sounding like the best thing you’ve ever written. Most of my songs start life on guitar or piano, and then evolve into something more electronic as I start to incorporate technology. I normally finish a song and then record vocals live over it. I then chop and edit them to become something else entirely. ‘The Divided Self’ on this EP is interesting as it was created very differently to my normal methods…

I was stuck at Oxford Street in Manchester, so decided to take some field recordings of trains and Tannoy announcements. There was nothing else to do while waiting for my delayed train! Luckily, I had my tablet with me, so I started writing a rough sketch on the Android app “Caustic 3”. It’s a great little app for getting ideas down on the go, if you haven’t got an instrument or don’t want to look like a busker.

So, ‘The Divided Self’ was written on the fly, about the hassle of train travel – homeward bound, fun having been had, now I just wanted to get home. Delayed trains and ugly Sunday journeys, over-caffeinated fidgeting in confined spaces, your ears being force-fed other people’s opinions and grievances… Some days you can meet an array of fascinating people, but some journeys are just sheer panic room stuff… The chords are supposed to be tight and woven to encapsulate all of the above. I wrote the end of the song at home – that’s the part when the chords finally open up – I was home and could finally relax. Writing this way allowed me to create a live commentary of the experience. The title of the song is based on R.D. Laing’s book ‘The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness.’

Please describe your studio and your collection of instruments, and which is your favourite one?

My studio set-up is a ramshackle collection of gear! I have an old piano (in desperate need of tuning), an old 70’s electronic organ (bought from a charity shop) and an Art Luthrie acoustic guitar. I mainly use these for writing the songs, although they do creep into some of the recordings. I use a Tascam 4-track for recording the vocals, pianos and guitars, connected to an SE Electronics X1 Condenser Microphone, and fed through an Ultragrain tube pre-amp to try and give recordings that lovely warm analogue sound. This can slow the process down, as the tube needs an hour to warm up, but without it recordings can sound really thin. I also use a SE Reflexion filter chassis, which means I can generally record in any room of the house – it’s a magic bit of kit, absorbing all of the natural reflections of a room, giving really dry recordings. Dry recordings that can then be obliterated with effects processing later! I also recently purchased a Zoom H1 portable digital recorder with two condenser microphones, to improve the quality of my field recordings and found sounds. Our house is also full of kid’s instruments, toys, kitchen utensils and leisure equipment, and these can provide great sources of percussion sounds. The opening song on my new EP – “Poa Trivialis” – features recordings of me hitting golf balls as percussion.

My DAW of choice is the open source software Jeskola Buzz. It’s archaic, buggy and a total pain but it is perfect for what I do. I’ve tried other DAWs but always come back to Buzz. The main thing I like is that it doesn’t come with a map – each time I open it I take a different route. It’s a modular environment that can deal with all sorts of inputs, outputs and effects chains. It doesn’t cope too well with pre-sets, so most of my effect chains are built from scratch each time I start a new song. Again, this slows the process down but it really helps me reflect over what I am doing as I do it. Do I need to add this chain? Is there another way I haven’t tried? You also have to work with hexadecimal numbers, as it doesn’t understand denary! Once I get into a rhythm though, I get totally lost in the moment and hours can fly by. Recording live in Buzz is good fun too – the unstable nature of it can certainly lead to some interesting results… I recently did a live version of the first EP “Melancholic” for Bloop London Radio, which was very different from the original EP, full of interesting Buzz related accidents – happy accidents as Bob Ross from the ‘Joy of Painting’ would say.

Should Electronic Music be regarded as an Art form? What qualifies as good and bad art in music?

Personally, I think anything that someone has created or tells a story should be seen as art. This doesn’t mean we have to like it – art can and should be divisive. I can go to an art gallery and hate something, but still leave respecting the artist for taking the time to show their perspective of the world. When we’re gone it’s wonderful that we can leave something behind for others to discover, hopefully learning a bit about the brief interval in which we existed. As long as someone’s imagination has been provoked by some sort of catalyst – it could be an original idea or even a collage of existing ideas – if a song makes just one person think or it inspires them, I believe it is art.

How do you feel about ‘Club Culture’ in 2017 and the potential of music to inspire change?

In terms of music inspiring change… Music is often associated with historical change. Didn’t David Hasselhoff perform on top of a crumbled Berlin wall? A movement always needs an anthem, but my example is the “Hoff”, so I’m not a sure I know enough to answer this question properly? Interesting though… I will have to do some reading on this. I think music definitely has the power to change emotions. That was the aim of my latest series of EPs ‘The Eysenck Suite’.

Who are your most important influences?

I’m doing “An Evening With…” for Nemone on BBC 6Music at the end July to coincide with the release of ‘Sanguine’, the third EP from the series, where I’ve been asked to pick 3 songs for my perfect night out, but I’ve got a shortlist of 48 at the moment…. So, deciding who my main influences are is clearly very difficult! For now, I will cheat and look at my account… It says my Top 10 artists from the last ten or so years are: Stumbleine, BOY, Nathan Fake, Boards of Canada, Jon Hopkins, James Holden, Sigur Ros, Ash, Nirvana and Maps. I’ve omitted one from this list, as its far too embarrassing! Maybe you can ask me about that one another time? I think I’ve used the word catalyst about three times during this interview… As long as I can find a catalyst (four times), I am inspired to be creative. Creative reagents? Does that sound better?

How have you found the process of running your own label: Loki Recordings. What do you look for when signing a track?

I enjoy running Loki Recordings – as an artist it means I can do ambitious vanity projects… However, after 2013’s ‘Nostalgia Story’ I’ve learnt the importance of having trusted friends cast a critical eye over my ideas. That album was a little out of control! (Note: it was a sprawling thirty-seven-song flood of inspiration that was recorded live in one take!) It’s always been nice to have artists I admire come to me and ask to do something for the label. People want to be part of it – which is great! Also, discovering new artists such as Norsu. The label’s first single ‘Ammas Mountain’ is an amazing song and I am so glad we released it.

The label was on hiatus for a while, but we are back up and running now. Luckily the community is still interested – there have been lots of “glad you are back” and “long-awaited” comments. I’ve been sent some very interesting recordings by Mig Dfoe – so hopefully we can release that project later this year. Running a label is a lot of work, but worth it, especially when songs you are responsible for releasing are picked up by DJs such as Nick Warren and James Holden.

Who is the man dancing on the video for the labels first compilation in 2012?

Hahahaha… Amazing question, you really have done your homework! So… I dragged my wife to Washington State, USA, back in 2011. I wanted to visit every ‘Twin Peaks’ filming location possible, and she is a very patient woman. During the opening credits a bird sits on a branch, and I had found the location of that branch – it was on Bainbridge Island. We stayed in a Native American casino near the branch, and our balcony overlooked a grass area with a stage on it. A jazz band were playing to a huge crowd, with everyone sat down, nodding. I noticed this elderly man in a tie-dye shirt (the man from the video), and his wife had a matching tie-dye shirt! They were amazing! They suddenly jumped up and just started dancing insanely at the front, not a care in the world. They were free spirits, unsuppressed and there to have fun. When I’m old, I hope I will be as audacious and uninhibited!

And finally please tell us about any forthcoming plans?

The second EP from the series, ‘The Eysenck Suite II – Choleric’ is out now. This will be followed by the ‘Sanguine’ and ‘Phlegmatic’ EPs in July and September 2017. Then… I’m already in the process of putting together a remix EP for the ‘The Eysenck Suite’, as there has been a lot of interest from artists wanting to reimagine the songs. I’ve also started work on a follow-up album, so mainly writing songs at the moment. I have a concept but there is a long way to go. I’m in no rush and it will happen when the time is right. Someone also recently asked if I’m planning on doing an anthology type release. I suppose I have been going eleven or so years and it is something I would consider, but not yet – maybe in a few more years.

Russian Linesman – The Eysenck Suite II – Choleric (Loki Recordings) loki011 is released 29/05/17

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