The 298th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Dust Yard.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m 23 years old and I currently live in Paris. I started producing 5 years ago and I’m DJing for 3 years now.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
I have such a classical musical background: I started playing piano when I was 7 and electric guitar when I was 15. So I listened to a lot of classical music and rock music when I was younger. I listened to techno music when I was quite young though, I started at 8 with my brother I think, and electronic came back in my life when I was 17. And I don’t really consider that I’m doing it too seriously; I’m just having a lot of fun being a bedroom producer and mixing in parties. I’m inspired by a lot of producers but I don’t think I’ve ever been influenced by a particular artist to do what I’m doing.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
I’ve learned everything on my own, I just spent a ridiculous amount of hours understanding how electronic music works and how to produce a good quality track. It wasn’t that difficult but it was a lot of time and dedication, sometimes at the cost of my social life haha.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
I find it hard to know how to start and how to finish a track, without being too repetitive from one track to another. But I enjoy a lot the whole process of starting from nothing and build a unique track. When creating music I try to keep the groovy elements and ask to myself “is this element necessary or not?”.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
Yes I do have a job, which is really time consuming. I wake up at 8 and go to work (I have an engineering diploma and I work as a consultant in real estate), I work my music at night until 1 and go to bed. During weekends I go to Parisian clubs with my friends, a simple but happy life!
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
Yes, as I said I really like listening to classical, rock, a bit of rap music, world music and experimental stuff that inspires me. I love bands like Hot Chip, Friendly Fires, Foals… or artists like Muslimgauze, Asian Dub Foundation… They do have a direct effect on my music. But most of the time I listen to electronic music (house, deep house, tech house and techno).
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
The first CD I’ve ever bought was a techno compilation made for car tuning festivals (no shame haha) and the last one is a vinyl from Sebastian Mullaert.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
The fact that I practice yoga and meditation regularly can surprise people. It really helps me in my daily life and I’ll never stop.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
A lot of great producers are underrated and a lot of average producers are completely overrated, this is how it is and I don’t have any problem with that to be honest. I think I don’t have enough visibility on the electronic musical scene to give you some names.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
There are a lot of amazing producers and DJs, but I’d say my favourite ones are Martin Buttrich, Marco Carola, Mathew Jonson, Luciano, Raresh, Nick Curly, Barac, Marc Antona, Maya Jane Coles, Oxia, Nic Fanciulli, The Martinez Brothers, Loco Dice, Andrey Pushkarev… and many many others. My inspiration comes from tracks I love listening to and from anything that can give me an idea: a video, a movie, a natural or urban sound, a night in a club… anything!
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
The best advice I can give (and even for myself) is to be honest with yourself and to take as much pleasure as you can during the creative process.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Perpetuum Mobile – Raumzentriert (Original Mix)
Dust Yard’s remix of Mangaka ‘Tetrahedra’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here