Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Apnoea. Your new single was in part inspired by Frankie Valli’s ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’. What is the story behind how you first encountered the words – and which version of the song did you hear?
The lyrics of ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ were, and still are a big inspiration for many international musicians. Due to the romantic meaning, it’s a great fit to our style and the type of beats we produce. On the other hand we wanted to try something new with vocoder effects on computer voices, which gives these words a mystic and unusual vibe. On top of that we tried to match the feeling of the original song with our live recorded percussion, instruments and effects, which you can listen to in our ‘Deep Dive Edit’ – the original and first mix we made. Of course we know several songs using the words, but we think that nothing beats the original version.
Talk us through how you produced the track which has a particularly wonderful sound. Are there any favourite pieces of hardware/ software you always like to use?
In our two studios we use 90% analog gear, like drum machines, synthesizer, external effects, outboard gear, sequencers, and of course our collection of microphones for live recordings. We both use Ableton Live 11 as our DAW, which controls all studio equipment. Our favourite hardware is a Moog Voyager, otomachines bim, bam & boom, Roland TR-909, Roland Jupiter-4 and many more. Software-wise we like to work most of the time with Fabfilter, Softube and Arturia plugins.
Do you have certain speakers you value most when producing? Do you have a regular pattern to working, day or night?
Oh yes! We both use Adam S3H monitors in our studios, which are amazing. The positive thing is, that if we meet each other, we do not need to reconfigure our ears. As a second pair of monitors we use the small Avantone Cubes. They help a lot in finding harsh frequencies and bad resonances. And we use some headphones and our hifi system in our cars as a reference too. We do not have a pattern, because of our jobs and family. So we use all free time to do music in our studios.
How does the collaborative process work between you as you create music?
As we both have our own studios, which are about 500 km from each other, we usually work alone in our caves. But we regularly speak by phone or Facetime, and exchange projects, sounds, recordings and ideas via our Dropbox. So in the end we remix each other, send song feedback back and forth – we love that way to create new music! Sometimes we meet at a studio for a week or two to dive more into sound design and starting bigger projects together.
As DJ producers your collective careers have spanned decades. What has remained inspiring about club culture? Has the rise and predominance of festival culture been an entirely good thing?
Good question… Of course is clubbing for us is a big part of our lives and is important for our creative process. But the electronic music business isn’t that cool, exclusive, innovative and outstanding anymore, as it was decades before. That’s a pity. Nowadays it’s so easy to create, finalise and release new tracks, build up new labels and start a DJ career. This means, that there are so many new faces and songs every day, so that it is much harder to find and collect good music. Second thing is that this culture is becoming more and more commercial. We have to deal with it – and that’s why we try to create and produce cool, outstanding and timeless music.
How do see the future for recording artists in terms of generating music from streaming etc?
We already had several changes in the music industry and music business: vinyl – cd – mp3 – now: streaming. We do not want to criticise this modern way of spreading and presenting new music. It’s part of our life as a musician. Of course it leads to less income from royalties, but on the other hand it is a nice marketing tool for us. Sometimes people from several countries write messages to us, that they’ve found our music in a Spotify playlist or Apple Music recommendation. That was absolutely not possible in the vinyl and CD era.
Outside of Dance Music who inspires you most in terms of artists, writers, thinkers, cinema etc?
We like to listen to Massive Attack, Depeche Mode, Yello, David Bowie. And we love to listen to the words of our friend and poetry slam mastermind Ursula Rucker.
And finally. What are your hopes for 2023?
No war, no political incorrectness anymore, no unusual viruses floating around – and more acceptance to underground music culture.
Buy Apnoea – I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/ Empty Streets – Stripped Down https://www.beatport.com/release/i-cant-take-my-eyes-off-you/3845029