In terms of electronic music producers who bring something completely original to the table, Om Unit is practically in a league of his own. The man responsible for the Cosmic Bridge label has put out a wide variety of sounds all while dropping a number of releases on labels like Astrophonica, Exit Records, Metalheadz, and Civil Music, the latter of which put out his latest full-length album, Threads. In the midst of his North American tour, this former DMC World DJ Championships finalist took us into his studio to tell us about a few of his favorite machines.
Audio wizard. Archeologist. Big wave surfer. Deep sea diver. Street Fighter II champ. Beantown house and indie-dance phenom Tanner Ross is a man of many musical personas. Growing up in New Jersey, he moved to Boston to attend music school. Since graduation, Ross has made a name for himself producing notable tracks like 2013’s “All the Same” and 2012’s “Straight to the Moon” for quality labels including Wolf + Lamb, Double Standard, and Touch of Class, among others. On top of that, he just dropped a brand-new Beatport Mix entitled Ice Cold Chillin @ Dharma Beach. We caught up with him in his East Boston studio to learn more about some of his preferred gear—and the importance of having patience during the recording process.
Scan X has been kicking it in Paris since the early ’90s as one of the original pioneers of the French techno scene. His first EPs, Satori and Scan X, were one of the very first techno albums to appear on French mega-retailer FNAC’s in-house Dance Division label, which led to frequent collaborations with the legendary Laurent Garnier (with whom he’s currently working for a contemporary dance show) and the LBS Crew. With said Garnier collaboration, “Everyday Life,” out last week, we talked to the artist also known as Stéphane Dri about some of his favorite pieces of studio gear.
It certainly is not a stretch to describe Andreas Tilliander as an innovative producer. Operating under a number of different aliases across his long career, the Swedish artist penned some of the most seminal records in the rise of glitch-techno for labels such as Raster-Noton and Mille Plateaux. Tilliander has continued to push the envelope as a forward-thinking producer, most recently issuing icy, hardware-driven live techno under his TM404 alias. With TM404′s self-titled LP of techno lattices still giving us chills after dropping in April, we decided it was time to take a peek under the hood to see just what Tilliander utilizes to craft his unique brand of techno. Turns out it’s all the magic of the classic Roland TB-303.
Berlin-based DJ, producer, label owner, graphic designer, and event organizer Alland Byallo has been making fantastic electronic music for over 10 years on such seminal labels as Poker Flat, Liebe Detail, and his own Nightlight and Bad Animal imprints. With a slew of upcoming releases and remixes on Real Tone, Thoughtless Music, Bad Animal, and Bpitch Control, we asked him about his top five production tools.
For the uninitiated, The NAMM Show is one of the musical instrument industry’s biggest events. Like the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit, NAMM (short for the National Association of Music Merchants) is a tradeshow where manufacturers from around the world debut the latest tech toys and musical instruments to literally tens of thousands of attendees—think Winter Music Conference but for production tools, and you have the general idea.
This year’s NAMM was a mashup of recently announced gear combined with some truly incredible surprises from companies like Korg, Dave Smith Instruments, and Moog. After assessing the announcements, we picked our 10 coolest products at NAMM 2013. And here they are…
Land of Light is a new production duo consisting of Jonny Nash, one of ESP Institute’s founding members, and Kyle Martin, who also records as Spectral Empire. Their self-titled debut album, which landed on ESP Institute late last year, featured all sorts of slo-mo disco and Balearic sounds, made, presumably, with some interesting bits of studio gear. We chatted with the North London pair to see just what went into the album’s making.
Google “Zombie Nation” and you can forever be sure that the artist’s hockey-arena anthem “Kernkraft 400″ will appear within the first few results. It’s likely both a blessing and a curse for Munich producer Florian Senfter, who probably never intended for the track to find such huge success—but who’ll never be able to shake it from any mentions of his name.
That said, Zombie Nation’s latest LP for Turbo Recordings, RGB, does its fair share to distance its maker from his now-classic bombastic tune. RGB‘s 16 tracks dig into deeper, more subdued techno territory with the odd groovy excursion thrown in for good measure, and sound much more suited to dark dancefloor frenzies than the fist-pumps of drunken frat boys. Here, Senfter gives us a look at some of his favorite studio gear, which he used to construct this newest opus.
Trailblazing artists, genre-blending DJs, and world-class clubs are the forward-facing trends that shape our industry. But behind the scenes, new production tools are the unsung drivers of progress in electronic music. For example, Native Instruments’ Massive softsynth is at the core of both dubstep and complextro, while Roland’s classic TR-808/909/303 boxes arguably served as the launchpad for everything we hear in clubs today.
So, if you want to get the inside track on the future sounds of dance music, you need look no further than the newest toys of the trade. Accordingly, here’s Beatport News’ take on the most interesting and innovative musical products of 2012.
Newcomers Skip & Die epitomize how the internet is breaking down global borders, bringing artists from different worlds together and creating a whole new wave of different sounds. Formed originally as a collaboration between South African vocalist Cata.Pirata and Dutch producer Jori Collignon (of C-Mon & Kypski), the group expanded their lineup to create a multi-instrumental, Afro-house, electro, digital cumbia, moombahton-styled live group. Touring intensively, they’re currently breaking through with their new album, Riots In The Jungle, and will more than likely be playing a festival near you soon.
We caught up with Collignon to find out what special ingredients went into making their unique, genre-defying sounds.