Lars Sandberg (a.k.a. Funk D’Void) has been crafting techy house tracks for more than two decades. Hailing from Glasgow and presently based in Barcelona, Sandberg has continually evolved his sound over the trajectory of standout releases for Bedrock, Cocoon, Octopus, Suruba, Tronic, Tulipa and Urbantorque.
In addition to releasing music on his own label, Outpost Recordings, he’s lent his remix touch to tracks by a range of artists including New Order, Underworld, Kevin Saunderson, Deetron, and Laurent Garnier.
This month Sandberg presented his latest magnum opus called “Feels So Good” for On It Recordings, a new Manchester-based label run by rising producer ONYA. It’s a deep, melodic track with a tinge of ’90s nostalgia that effortlessly skirts the border of house and techno.
A handful of choice remixers — Tuff London, Brett Gould, ONYVA and Mark Holmes — have reimagined “Feels So Good” so we thought it would be interesting to have them interview the big man himself. Read on for an incredible Q&A touching on Sandberg’s early days and current studio set-up.
Out of all the tracks you have written, which one are you most proud of and why?
— Tuff London
Good question! I do lose the connection with my tracks over time after not hearing them for so long. I don’t dwell on my productions after completing them, but I guess “Diabla” falls into that category. I spent a good few weeks nailing that and knew it was sometime special after testing it out with friends whose opinion I trust. The arrangement and elements all fell into the right place.
I still remember Grooverider playing at a rave and making me think, Yeah, I want to learn how to do that. So did you ever have a particular moment when you realized you wanted to be a DJ, producer and get to the top of the game?
— Brett Gould
At school discos when I was 15 I was fascinated at the power of the DJ, high up in his booth/stage commanding the direction of the dance floor. That’s how it all started I guess … I’ve never had a plan to “make it big” or whatever. In the beginning I just saved up money for some bits of gear and set up a small studio (Atari 1040, TR808, Roland S10, R8, JD800, Novation Bass-station) in my bedsit at the time and carved together the Jack Me Off EP and went to Soma with a demo tape cassette.
Big fan of all your work over the years and tracks like “Diabla” have been a massive inspiration. What did you use for the sounds in this track (particularly the LFO bass) and do you have any musical training, or is it by ear?
— Mark Holmes
I used the Sequential Circuits Pro-One monosynth for bass, Roland JV2080/JD800 for strings/pads, microKorg for the vocoder sound, and an old rave pad intro sample as the basis for the melody. I’m classically trained up to grade 5, but I just play around and usually use my ear for making/processing sounds … I’ve been winging it since day one.
What does your current set-up look like and how has that evolved over the years? Could you also briefly describe your music-making process?
I used to have a museum of analogue gear, but I’ve sold most of it due to my home studio space restrictions. My basic set-up now is a 2006 Power Mac running Logic 9, a Korg Triton, Roland JV2080 with full XP cards, a completely fucked JD800 and a Yamaha Tenori-On all connected to a basic 12-channel Allen & Heath studio mixer. I’m about to pick up some of the Roland Boutique range, namely the TR-08, 09, SE-02, SH-01 and the D-05 ― the size of the units are perfect for me and look and sound like a lot of fun.