So along with my first guest mix (you can also hear it below after the interview), which I did for Cloud of Silence records with whom I will release a techno single near end of this month, I also had to do an interview. The interview given below is reproduced from the original interview on Cloud of Silence records published on September 1, 2015).
Sound Forest interview
Hi Sound Forest! What is music for you?
Hi! Music means a lot to me. Just like art, it makes life colorful and interesting. It’s primordial, essential, ubiquitous, something that absorbs and moves me – mentally, physically and spiritually. And this love for music made it somewhat essential for me to express myself musically, as a musician. It was something I knew I would always do, just as simple as knowing things like we age physically with every passing year.
You know, I was flying to Japan a couple of months ago for my yearly ski trip and with all these flight crashes in the news, I was thinking about what would it be that would make me want to survive a plane crash? What purpose in life was it that I would most want to fight against all odds and survive? The answer came very quickly with me visualizing drum machines and synths. So yes, listening to and writing music is something which defines me and is probably my highest purpose – writing music and adding on to a body of art which never existed before.
Describe us your first contact with electronic music. When was it, why did you like it, which songs were your favorites?
Great question actually. I was already into heavy metal by the time I was in sixth grade – a lot of Slayer, Anthrax and stuff like that. I used to love heading down to the record store trying to figure out what tapes to buy with my pocket money. I noticed 2 Unlimited in the rack and thought I’d like to check it out looking at it’s multicolor Andy Warhol silkscreen kinda album cover. ‘The magic friend’ was my favorite track from this album. That’s what my first taste of electronic music was and I enjoyed the rhythm structures, TB-303 basslines, use of flangers, and big and somewhat dreamy synths. From then on, I immediately started getting my hands on whatever techno, trance, ambient, breakbeat and (a bit of) dubstep (though I quickly moved to psytrance a couple of years later, trance was just quite unappealing for me by then) I could. Future sounds of London’s ‘Ill flower’, Autechre’s ‘Second bad vibe’ and Aphex Twin’s ‘We are the music makers’ were some first tracks I think I really enjoyed.
When and how did you decide to become a DJ and producer?
I was the vocalist of my school rock band and found school during my senior years quite boring, so I would bunk school and hang out with college kids in rock bands. Besides hanging out a lot at rock concerts, they once asked me if I would like to come and check out this open air party which was playing psytrance and I said I would. The music totally blew me away and I said, “Not bad, I quite like this stuff”, and then psytrance became a very staple thing for me. That’s when I really shifted focus from rock and metal to electronic music and I would never miss a party. Soon enough, I was hanging out with the organisers, deejays and artists and I learned how to deejay through them because I found it very interesting.
At the same time, I also discovered Impulse tracker, a DOS-based music sequencer where you had to enter notes through the keyboard. I used that for a couple of year experimenting around and then moved to FL Studio which I have stuck to ever since. When it came to production, I preferred learning through trial and error which is what I do to date because I simply enjoy it that ways. I finally released my first single, a techno track called ‘Gone by dusk’ on Picche records in 2010. By then I probably had around a 100 unfinished tracks with me. I have this habit, even today, of writing new stuff, stopping mid-way, and then writing more new stuff. It’s not necessarily bad in my opinion, because I can always complete them when I feel like continuing on them.
How would you describe your unique style?
I think it is the fact that when I write music, I am least concerned about making it fit in a genre. However, as of right now, anything I write has a touch of psychedelic in it somewhere, and that is probably because psytrance is something I have enjoyed for the longest time in my life so far. To sum it up, I’d say my unique style is boundary blurring, emotional and melodic with a touch of psychedelic. I always say, ‘music should make you visualize’. That’s what I want my music to do when people listen to it.
Which producers had the most influence on you?
Hmm, I’m not sure if it works that way for me. Oh wait, there is – Astrix, any day. What a great production and tracks. I am just so impressed by him.
What are your top 5 electronic songs of all time?
- Felix The House Cat – Madame hollywood
- GMS – Midnight sun
- Osom – Over game
- Boards Of Canada – Davyan Cowboy
- Astrix – Scientific reality
How would you describe present electronic scene? Is it good or bad? Compare it with music 10 years ago.
I think it’s great. Compared to ten years ago, the biggest difference is the fact that it is incorporated into commercial music. Every commercial or pop track is more or less electronic music which is good. This often serves as a gateway for kids to try out better music like house and techno so I think it’s a good thing. It was just more underground ten years ago. Also, more and more people have the opportunity to create electronic music now than before because there are just so many tools out now that never existed before, especially for mobile and tablet devices. You can now begin writing a track on the go. You can download an app and check it out, and if you find it interesting, you will move on to learning better established software. So yes, the scene can only get better. I am really not a fan of the whole “things were so much better when we were younger” thing because it’s simply not true.
What about other music genres? What do you like to listen?
Besides electronic music which is mostly techno, chillout, ambient, house, deep house, I love disco and retro pop. I’ve always loved rock and metal. Megadeth is my all time favorite band, God, they are just so amazing.
Your top 5 non-electronic songs?
- Imogen Heap – Hide and seek
- Megadeth – Hangar 18
- Don Henley – Boys of summer
- Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Aeroplane and
- Republica – Ready to go
Tell us something more about yourself, your other interests, hobbies?
Besides music, I love travelling and extreme sports like skiing (my favorite), snowboarding, wakeboarding, surfing and wind surfing. I like boxing and kick boxing too, but I’ve taken a break since I broke my little finger a couple of years ago.
Your favorite films?
How Green Was My Valley was really interesting, I remember, watching it as a kid. Also, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Blow, both were really emotional so they stick to my mind.
Do you like to travel?
I love travelling a lot. I think travelling is enriching. It’s like music, the more you experience it, the richer you grow as a human being. You experience new cultures, people, ways of life, food, celebrations, environments. I travel quite a bit, usually covering around 10 cities every year.
And the last question, what are your future plans?
I plan to make more and more music, complete those 200 plus unfinished tracks that I have, use more analog equipment to write, preferably retro gear, and be as influential as I can as an artist, because this is where I truly believe I can give to the world and make a difference.