Funk D’Void Interviewed By His Remixers

Funk D'Void

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.

Related: Onionz x Funk D’Void: The Big Shot Interview

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?
— ONYVA

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.

Amy dB 5 Tracks of the Moment

Amy dB

Singing and playing piano since the age six, music has been a constant thread in the life of Chicago native Amy db. Her musical studies laid the groundwork for her career as a DJ/producer. She’s gone on to champion a warm, life-affirming sound that encompasses electronica, tech- and progressive house. Whether behind the boards, spinning at clubs or helming her Redemption mix show on Frisky Radio, Amy’s sound is something to truly behold.

Fresh from releasing The Revered / Ibizaaa EP on Stan Kolev and his production producer and friend Matan Caspi’s Outta Limit Recordings, Amy elevates her production career to the next level. Her EP is brimming with emotive deep-tech goodness. Kolev contributes a mind-bending remix of “The Revered” and Yuriy From Russia peppers “Ibizaaa” with an extra dose of euphoria.

Related: Listen to Stan Kolev’s Big Shot Guest Mix

We checked in with Amy and asked her to share her tracks of the moment. She was more than happy to comply! Continue Reading

David Granha 5 Tracks of the Moment

David Granha

David Granha is a name I’ve been seeing come through my inbox a lot lately. He’s been doing some incredible work in the realm of tech-house and techno.

In the past year the veteran Spanish DJ/producer has remixed “Slapstick” from Marc DePulse’s Famekiller EP on Selador Recordings. He’s also done a ton of great work for house label of the moment Sincopat, contributing to the imprint’s Been Touched series, remixing Darlyn Vlys’s “Discovery” and dropping his Stand Up EP featuring his “Ghost in a Shell” collaboration with Vincent Brasse this month.

Ahead of the release of his debut single for Coyu’s revered Suara label — a driving tech-house tour de force called “The Liver” — out next Monday, and a release on Kattermuke arriving in early 2018, we connected with Granha and asked him to select five of his favorite new tracks. Continue Reading

Digital 21 x Stefan Olsdal: The Big Shot Interview

Digital21+StefanOlsdal

Digital 21 (a.k.a. veteran electronic producer Miguel López Mora) and Placebo bassist/guitarist Stefan Olsdal teamed up and started making music remotely from their home bases of Berlin and London. The result is their triumphant debut album, Inside, featuring a cadre of guest vocalists from all over the world, including Cuushe (Japan), Margrét Rán from Vök (Iceland), Helen Feng from Nova Heart (China), and Julienne Dessagne (France/Germany).

The cinematic album boasts the techy romp “Who Are All Of You” featuring Dessagne, who is one half of genre-bending Saschienne with Sascha Funke. It’s driven by a sinister synth-driven grooves and Dessagne’s enigmatic voice.

Ahead of Inside‘s release on October 20, we wanted to know more about their project. Instead of asking them questions, we turned the tables and asked them to interview each other.

Read on to be a fly on the wall for their chat about music, inspiration and their captivating debut album. Continue Reading

Sébastien Léger 5 Tracks of the Moment

Sébastien Léger

With two decades of producing and DJing under his belt, house music stalwart and modular master Sébastien Léger continues his unwavering dedication to bringing innovative ideas the genre and dance floor.

Case in point is his recently released Model D EP on Marc Romboy’s revered Systematic label, a title we suspect is an homage to the iconic Minimoog Model D.

Related: Sébastien Léger Takes a Victory Lap

The three-track effort finds Léger presenting a cinematic soundscape of suspenseful synth-driven shenanigans, ranging in Sébastien Léger to straight-up floor fillers.

Constantly curating upfront tracks, we checked in with Léger and asked him to share his five new tracks of the moment. Continue Reading

Read a Lost 1995 Interview with Techno Icon Joey Beltram

joey_beltram

I remember the time I stumbled upon a lone, dog-eared copy of Generator, an indie UK magazine, in the magazine section at Tower Records on 4th and Lafayette Street. I thumbed through it and enjoyed the mix of artist interviews and reviews. I was writing for music and culture magazines here in the U.S. and had been profiling local DJs and producers who were underground celebs at home and superstars abroad. Seeing an opportunity, I typed up an intro letter, stuffed my published clips into an envelope and mailed a fat package to Generator‘s office in London. Not too long later I received a call from the magazine’s editor, David Fowler. We instantly hit it off, and I started contributing to the magazine.

I recently unearthed my Generator interview with New York City techno stalwart Joey Beltram, who got a shout-out on Daft Punk’s “Teachers” off 1997’s Homework. It’s a cover story where he shares his background, early success producing genre-defining tracks “Energy Flash” and “Mentasm,” and why he slowed down the pace of his career in order to get his creative bearings. The issue dropped in tandem with the release of his third album, 1995’s Places (Tresor/Logic). All these years later any of the cuts could do damage on a dance floor.

The sleepy bedroom community of Orange County, NY, is a little over an hour by car from Manhattan’s perennial state of mania. Graced with quiet, tree-lined streets and sprawling, well-manicured estates, this is the suburban oasis which Joey Beltram moved to six months ago, desperately seeking a much-needed break from life in the urban jungle.

A far cry from his previous, cramped apartment on Metropolitan Avenue in Queens (which overlooked a cemetery), he now lives in a roomy, split-level home, complete with all the trappings you’d expect—except the white picket fence, of course. Aside from choosing Orange County for its bucolic charm, Beltram had a definitive reason for making the move: he wanted to get his life together, take his production career to the next level, and use the new surrounding s as an inspiration for his music.

On most nights when he’s not DJing, Beltram is usually sequestered in On One, his well-equipped home studio, where he’ll tweak loops, beats, and samples into the small hours of the morning. Amongst the well-appointed gadgetry and heavyweight synth technology, Beltram is ready to talk about Places, his eagerly-awaited new album on Tresor. It’s already well after midnight — the time of the day when Beltram prefers working — and although the sun went down hours ago, the air outside is filled with the sound of chirping crickets. The night is thick and unbearably humid. Inside, one light illuminates the suite, casting cross-legged to Beltram in an almost angelic light. Continue Reading