Dachshund talks to MEOKO + Exclusive Podcast
- Published on Friday, 14 September 2012 15:10
How has your early love of Reggae music influenced your current sound?
Reggae music is what I learned first, when I started to play guitar. Then I became interested in dub music, as I was impressed by way the Jamaican sounds engineers take part of the production of a track, mixing and arranging in real time on the multi-track-mixing-desk, playing with the echos, reverbs, frequencies etc...So my first try of music productions was with dub music. 15 years later, I'm still influenced by the reggae/dub sound, I think in many different ways: the sound warms, the importance of the bass lines, the hypnotic effect, the real time arrangements, and much more.
To give you a real example, on my album track called "Infinity Dub", I'm using an old trick that you can't do with software: I'm sending the drums into my Space Echo, with the return of this "treated" sound, driven into an analogue mixing desk, then sending it back in the Echo creating a feedback loop. By controlling it with the mixing desk, I play with the frequencies and the auxiliar, the result is that I create this fluting and raw feedback sound, reaching to distortion. This old trick was more used to have a longer echo/feedback or to modulate the frequency of the feedback.
What was your first big piece of studio equipment and how did it help take your production sound to the next level?
Every piece of the studio equipment have been important, but when I started to get into music production, the sampler (it was an Akai S1100), was the craziest thing on earth. After touching it, it was a non-return - I left my guitar and got involved with the machines. I was using the studio of the conservatory in Geneva, experimenting with wonderful synthesizers like Roland System100, EMS Synthy A. But what I bought the first are my speakers, and today I am still using the same ones!
How did you first get involved with 'Music House' in London?
Going to "Music House" in London was like going on a quest for the Holy Grail!
If you can imagine, I was a dreadlocked youth, speaking only few words of English, and I was also a fan of Drum 'n' Bass music. I’d take the plane from Switzerland and would only be going there to cut my tracks on dubplates, and sometimes meeting my music-heroes too (also waiting in the lobby of the studio to cut dubplates). In the cutting room, the bass would always hit me to the maximum sound pressure level possible, and the engineer would always be asking me if I wanted some more?
I was coming back home with the smile on my face but no money in my pockets. And eating pasta for the rest of the week!
What was your first big club hit and how did it feel when you first saw a dancefloor really react to it?
The term of "big club hit" is maybe a bit too strong, but my first track that have reach the chart and been played by a lot of international Djs was "Somehow". It really helped me to be part of the scene and to start playing out of Switzerland. To see the crowd react to a track you've done is always a big pleasure, no doubt about it!
Who have you most enjoyed collaborating with and why?
An old and interesting collaboration was with a reggae band called Resstless Mashait. The concept was to record the rhythmic base of a reggae track: drum, bass, keyboard and guitar on analogue multi-track tapes in Switzerland. Then once that was complete, I travelled over to Jamaica to record the other instruments and the singer. That is what lead me to a studio in downtown Kingston. I was amazed to see the sound engineer dubbing the track in real time. It's another reason I love Dub so much.
How did you come to work with Highgrade Records?
Tom Clark contacted me via myspace, before that, we had never met for real before. He proposed me to make some tracks for the label and I was happy to start a collaboration with Highgrade Records. I did my first track for the compilation called "Group of Connected Heads". After that few EP's and now the Album!
Tell us about your new album 'Eleven Ridims' and what were the main influences for it?
Eleven Ridims is my first album, I didn't ask myself too many questions about the concept or how it should sound, I just wanted to have the occasion to present something various but not overproduced, something spontaneous. So the result is eleven tracks with different taste from tracks for the dancefloor to duby sounds for the living room. Of course I'm influenced by my background in Reggae and Drum 'n' Bass, and I like the way it colours my sound.
There is only one collaboration on the album, it's on the track called "Give Thanks". The vocal samples come from a track that I recorded in my studio with a Jamaican artist and friend called Nello B.
Your playing at Beatfreak + launching your new album - what can people coming to see you expect from this party?
It's the first party of the "album launching tour", so I'm really excited, and I will be playign the more danceable tracks of the album!
How are things going with your label CLAPPER?
I would say slowly but surely, hahaha! Clapper isn't a big structure with many artists, and the goal is to release one EP every month. It’s more about it being a personal project with my friend Quenum. We release whenever we want, and try to put no pressure at all on ourselves...
The next release will be a remix compilation, but I can't say the release date yet because we're still collecting the remixes, but we've got already got lots of good stuff in the bag for it!
What keeps you awake at night?
Beat or Freak?
Words by Anna Wharton
Dachshund next at Beatfreak at Basing House 22nd September