It must be a real mind trip for an everyday non music techno American listener to see this.
“Russian techno party in the forest.” – marteenp
For more info: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia
Frank Kvitta is a well established german techno DJ and producer. I met Frank when I performed last summer in Spain at the Monegros Festival. He was in the same van traveling to the show from the hotel. We clicked, stayed in touch and next week we will release a monster techno EP called Electronic Pleasure. Frank knows everyone and was able to gather remixes from Ben Sims, DJ Rush, Patrick DSP, Dave the Drummer, Submerge, Alex Kvitta, Boris S, David Christop and more. To start the promotion here’s an interview to let you know a little but about who Frank is.
1. Let’s start with software. What DAW to you prefer and name three
plug-ins you can’t live without.
Hello Oliver, thank you for having me for your great blog. My favourite software for producing used to be fruity loops in the very beginning 10 years ago. After that i started using Reason for many years but i was never satisfied with the sound engine. Then i found Ableton Live and since i found it i use it the most or let´s say, only Ableton Live. I like the workflow and the functions. It´s superfast and easy to use and i can be very productive as i can just concentrate on making the beats and not concentrate how to make the beats. My Top plug ins i never want to miss anymore are the “Waves” of course, Nexus and the FM8 and some secret plug ins ;)
2. What is the oldest piece of hardware you have in your studio?
The oldest piece in my studio is my keyboard M-Audio Oxygen 8 hehe. I sold my old stuff long time ago already, as i just use digital software and some midi controllers and the Presonus digial mixer for productions.
3. When you have been working in the studio too long and you need to
take a 30 minute break what do you do?
Mostly i go outside (if it´s not too cold), have an espresso, do some phone calls, listen to different music (hip hop, rnb, 80´s) and then i go back to work. My ears need a break too, otherwise after too many hours you can´t concentrate anymore and everything sounds the same because ears get tired too.
4. Do you think DJing makes you a better producer? Do you grab loops
from records/tracks or always make your own beats?
I think without beeing a dj or performing in any other ways music, you can be a good producer too, but while you perform you have the chance to see reactions on specific sounds, breaks, melodys which inspire me again to do my next tracks. Also when you perform you have also a great feeling for music and beats which can be very usefull with producing too. It depends, sometimes i mash up loops and sample and cut things out to make new ones, sometimes i start all over and create my own sounds and loops. Really depends on which track i m doing and which style. And i have enough time for a track or not, deadlines are sometimes really tight hehe.
5. How many songs do you finish per month?
Well i can have days where i finish a whole track in about 3 hours from starting with the mainloop until the final arrangement. Sometimes it takes much longer, even days or weeks. IT depends always on the mood, creativity, ideas. If my head is full with ideas and i m in a great mood to produce i can be pretty fast. If those things are not given, thx god we can hit the save button and continue the next days.
6. If you found someone breaking into your music studio what would you
do to the person?
I would take him next to my side and show this person how much work and love and passion has been spent to create all these tracks on this computer and how hard it was to achieve a studio like this over all the years, then i would slap the shit out of him and call the police haha.
7. What is the best snack to have around while making music?
I always have a sandwhich with melted gouda cheese and a “BiFi Roll” and of course loads of drinks. I love snacks.
8. Do you think buying new gear and software helps with creativity
Yes sure, always when i buy something new i get excited like a little kid and start playing around with the stuff and get always new ideas. I think everybody knows the feeling of getting something new and playing around with it.
9. If you were not a DJ/Producer what would be your profession?
hmmm good questions. to be honest i don´t really know. Probably still something with music. Sound engineering or selling hot dogs.
10. Tell us briefly what your master plan for world domination is in 2012.
I have many big plans for 2012. We plan enhanced music podcasts (which actually started already), alot of releases of other genres with new music partners (including you for example), expanding the bookings agency with more people, promote all of us more in the media again (videos, photos, tv) and many more which are my secrets and i can´t talk about them, otherwise this emails explodes and if you survive i have to kill you hehe…kidding…
For more info: frank-kvitta.net
My next big music project is a collaboration with Germany’s Frank Kvitta. There are two songs “Lick the Sweat” and “Destroyer” which are being released on Frank’s label. The remixers include: Ben Sims, DJ Rush, Dave the Drummer, Submerge, Patrick DSP, Alex Kvitta, Mario Ranieri, Boris S and David Christoph. Lick the Sweat is what people know me best for aka a dark sex fueled dance track. See you on the dancefloor!
“As one of the most booked german based techno artist, he is playing worldwide all important club and festival gigs from japan through europe, to north, middle and south america.” – frank-kvitta.net
I’m off to perform two live shows in East Germany this weekend. One of the events is in an underground cave. I’ve played a underground cave before in Germany but I’m not sure this is the same one. Last time we drove miles (kilometers!) into the middle of nowhere to find thousands of cars in a field. Then at one spot people were just walking into a hole. It was pretty crazy, cold and the acoustics were much better than you would think. I’m not sure vibrating tons of rock above your head is a good idea but hey nothing ever goes wrong at these things right?
By the way I’ve recommended MadMimi before (article: here) for letting your fans know your doing something via email and here’s the latest promotion I sent out last night regarding these live shows: http://mim.io/570f2
If you want to get on that email list: click here
Here’s some music I recorded for a German female producer. It’s in her court to add vocals for this and send it back to me. You’re hearing two slightly detuned Yamaha CS5 lines. Both are going through D16 Devator’s. You also hear white noise from the CS5 modulated through Ableton’s Auto-Pan. Assorted booms are my own recordings and swing is up.
Here’s two videos that bring you back into the techno 90s. Above we have a pretty cool remake of Joey Beltram’s classic track Energy Flash (iTunes link) from Vinyl Life. Next we have some video from one of Peter Gatien’s clubs The Tunnel. I first went to the Tunnel around 1986 (I was 16). The dancing around 1:00 in will get you laughing.
I have a lot of stories from The Tunnel none of which I’m going to commit to “print”. Do you have any you care to share?
Well I finally have a few hours this afternoon to chillout. Day job plus night job took its toll on me. After my weekend in Malta I had to report to the energy business early Monday. I’m not complaining at all its just coffee isn’t working on me anymore. As you can see from the video above I did my best letting the people of Malta know where they live, “Malta!”. I know its silly in the video but at 2:00AM it worked just fine. I played a new intro and a new song during the set and I was pleased. I love surprising DJs who don’t know my show with my antics. Billy Nasty took it in stride and smartly played some good party techno after my set.
“Malta, officially the Republic of Malta (Maltese: Repubblika ta’ Malta), is a developed southern European country and consists of an archipelago situated centrally in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km north-east of Tunisia, with Gibraltar 1,826 km to the west and Alexandria 1,510 km to the east.” – WIkipedia.org
The promoters of this event SHIFT are always fun and professional. Visit them here: shiftmalta.com
Tom Cosm always gave his music away for free. When his life went online he gave his music away and also started giving away free sounds and tutorials. When Tom’s computer died many of the people who enjoyed all the free gifts from Tom helped him out. I really liked the video above. I’m sitting in the center of Manahatan as a write this so seeing a nice New Zealand landscape is going down well with my coffee. Also quite cool is to see a few N.Z. techno parties. It’s a nice feel good story and it’s well needed in the music “business”. Tom printed all his contributors names in a tag cloud on the cover of his new Macbook.
“In the last 24 hours, Well over 1000 USD was raised to help get me a new Macbook. I am both amazed and overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankyou thankyou thankyou to those who chipped in to make this possible. I’ve had to stop accepting money for the Mac… I now have enough to not only purchase it, but upgrade it to it’s highest specs! (and probably get a nice carry bag) How exciting.” – www.cosm.co.nz
If your looking for a few tips, tricks, sounds or tunes why not stop off at Tom Cosm’s place: www.cosm.co.nz
Today’s edition of Sunday Sounds is a playlist of early Rave tracks. I was deeply involved with this era so this playlist could be really long but for my own sanity I just picked 10 tracks. So go take some E, crack a few glo-sticks, find your most retarded clothes and press play.
“There’s a rainbow inside your mind!” – Praga Kahn
You want to make music like this? For gear I suggest an Akai S950, discs of breakbeat samples, Roland Juno-2, Roland TR-909, Roland TB-303.
Cihan Kaan is a Brooklyn native who in the early ninety’s made a ton of underground electronic music under the name 8Bit. In fact as he will tell you he’s the original 8bit. Last week I was chatting with Cihan and he mentioned he recently performed live in the online game Second Life. When he told me he made money I knew I had to interview him for Wire to the Ear.
You grew up in Brooklyn saw the rise of techno take place just blocks away from your house with Frankie Bones, Groove Records and the Storm Raves. Tell us in brief your interaction with the “scene” as it was called! Who were some of your friends and what were you guys all doing?
Yea, everyone lived within a two mile radius of each other, Sheepshead Bay/Canarsie/Marine Park/Avenue U. Lenny Dee of Industrial Strength Records had barbeques at his mom’s place (now a russian health insurance fraud clinic) with all the acts on his label so I was there as much as I could be without being invited, hehehe. Frankie and Adam were over on the west end of Avenue U and I had street beef with the west end Avenue U Boys (AUB) so I couldn’t really stretch over there too much without threat of escalating my beef (in a nutshell, my best friends brother was Avenue U East Side crew leader who was missing so ppl thought I had some connection to that). Heather Heart was making the Under One Sky zine and lived the closest to me and on any day you would see her wandering Neck Road with a tb-303, hunched over walking home. Thats a clear image for me because I was a drugstore delivery boy and I would see Heather all the time walking around with some vintage acid toy. Most of my crew was the “younger” lot of rave kids, so although I was one of the first promoters of Storm Rave I was primarily converting skaters and punks to the new rave scene of the time. There was never a full acceptance into the older generation of techno ppl, most of the kids I brought in were still wide-eyed about techno and there was a sense that this optimism made you less of a hardcore head. I don’t think that was true. After the Storm we all became NASA elite and I remember Moby performing every week. One night me and Moby talked about my new demo I was pimping around on Cassette (the OHMZ cassete) and he wanted to meet after his show, but that night my bag of tapes got stolen so the transfer never happened. Later in the night I was depressed in the chillout room and Ernie (a kid who ran around with an Ernie doll on his neck) found the bag, but it was too late. Around that time I hooked up with Super Mario who was starting a hardcore label with Joey Jupiter of Atomic Babies and put out my first 8Bit record Tweeked, which he took privilege to completely cut apart to make DJ Friendly. That record actually is mostly all that red box you gave me along with the Oberheim you also gave me. The 707 I bought from the buy-n-sell for $50, and the Amiga I used for samples obviously was left over from before the scene. After Tweeked came out (it was a white 7″), Curious George and Deitrich Shoenemann from Prototype 909, hooked me up with job at Moby’s old label Instinct and I packed his records in boxes all summer. I hope that answers your question, I’m really flying over lots of details and probably forgetting lots of people along the way.
Tell us a few of the most memorable events (dare I say Raves?) or nightclubs from back then.
The Storm Rave in ’93 the warehouse in Shaolin was like the Thunderdome scene in Mad Max; burning cars, people dancing on rusty metal barrels. It’s a root memory I have I always mine from when I’m making a track. Frankie screaming into the mic that we were future. Never seen party like that since. Also, remember we had no style back than, so for the most part it was a diverse set of kids (not yet called ravers) all gathered listening to this new future music. It wasn’t a poseur thing at all — in all these academic papers on the rave scene I read about, people seem to forget that techno really emerged as a movement, not a style. It was Dinkins’ New York when you were still allowed to break in to places and bring in Speakers and equipment. Storm raves were always great parties but other events that stood out were the outlaw parties thrown around the neighborhood, the Gerritsen Beach swamp parties were nuts, not only could i ride my bike to the party, but everyone would be there and the music was insane, all in a swamp marsh. I tried to recreate that in the scene in “Refuse to Fight” when the crew is staring into the fire, the video I directed for Frankie. Seems like parties were all over back than, under the highway, under the bridge, whereever we had access to a dark spot with concrete around.
Darker memories come later when I was too hopped up on psycedelics particularly at NASA, one night I lost my mind and the beats sounded like machinations from Hell and I thought the dancefloor was a shark infested pool. I actually leapt into my boy Evan’s chest trying to get some of his positive “E” vibes. Of course that didnt work and I quickly fell into a fear and loathing type of head and pulled a blade out on the guards who were trying to quell me (I was trying to jump into Dante’s chest, Scotto’s chest, etc). They threw me out and all i remember from there is walking around in the winter on the west side of manhattan with my clothes ripped off.
Since this interview is for a music tech blog let’s talk gear. Compare how you made music in 1994 to 2007. What was your computer set up then vs. now? Continue reading →