Friday, May 1, 2009
Alkan - Bosphorus Breathing
IF? Records has a new release out today, and it's the debut by Melbourne act Alkan - with remixes by some sensational guys including Takashi Watanabe (DJ Warp), Bitch Shift, Enclave and Dick Drone.
As self-indulgent as ever, I decided to bounce a bunch of questions off the new guy to see how he clicks, the latest in a long line of Melburnians on IF? over the past 14 years.
How did you get inspired to start making music?
"In school, as every individual had their own specialty, or hobby, I always stood out as the one in the class who knew every track that was out there. Music would follow me everywhere; at home, whilst studying, or even out and about. Just under two years ago a good friend of mine, who's signed to a major trance label—and after listening to bits and pieces of my random compiling—suggested I keep at it. And here we are."
What gear/software are you making most use of in the studio at the moment?
"From a software perspective, I currently use FL Studio for my productions, and Reaktor for that extra depth into my sounds. As for the hardware, I currently use my Novation 37SL midi controller to allow me to work easier on the software side of things."
What food/drinks keep you fueled throughout production time?
"Glasses of water, and surely my Starburst lollies!"
Which current crop of artists and labels are grabbing your attention?
"I'm currently digging sounds by Turkish producer Ozan Oner, along with Robert Babicz. I was lucky enough to catch Babicz while he was Downunder in late '08, which was pretty intense. I'm curious to see what Border Community has on for releases in 2009. James Holden said he will be releasing a few of his tracks this year, and there also is an artist album being released by Nathan Fake which should be exciting."
If you were pressed into a corner and forced to confess under great duress, how would you define the sounds/styles you're currently making?
"Ha Ha Ha, I'd give in straight away. Well, the sounds I make are purely based on how dark I can possibly go. I come in trying to make something, and it turns out really warped out, which sounds great. I try to add some melodic sounds in there also, which is my personal choice; I love melodic keys."
When we decided to switch some of the IF? back-catalogue to digital download, I got an anonymous email saying "You've sold you're [sic] soul to the devil!!!" (I kid you not!). So... have we?
"Heh-heh. From a user's perspective, I see it as a wise move. Most people prefer digital downloads over other forms. 'Sold you’re soul to the devil'...love it."
Do DJs really need to continue to use vinyl? Or can they instead construct entire sets out of stuff they've downloaded off the Internet?
"It’s a known fact that technology advances rapidly. My view on DJing is that vinyl is not a necessity. Many may object to that, but it's true. It's not like a lecturer teaching at a university uses a blackboard these days to express his ideas; projection from his laptop is used instead. So, either using CDJs or even a laptop in my eyes has made it much easier for DJs."
How about newer Melbourne producers like Craig McWhinney, Bitch Shift, Enclave, Koda, etc? Do any of these people stand out for you? Who do you currently dig cutting tunes in Melbourne?
"Bitch Shift and Enclave have both performed outstanding remix duties for my debut track, Bosphorus Breathing. Expect to hear more from them in the future, I say. Techno tunes coming out of Melbourne... well, I can definitely say IF? Records are bringing out the best from Melbourne producers; awesome guys over there, always willing to help. Every DJ across the world just loves playing in Melbourne, so I do feel privileged being born in this lovely city of excitement."
Posted by Andrez Bergen at 3:18 AM