The 274th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Futur-E.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
My name is Stavros Karavasilis born in 1988 and raised in Elefsina of Greece, a place 10km outside Athens with huge historical meaning. In my 12th year (2001) I had my first touch with the world of electronic music production and then a year after I started playing some CDs and spinning vinyl in several beach bars and clubs.
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.”
As a child I remember my parents were totally inside the 60’s – 70’s sound like Beatles, Animals, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple e.t.c, Then I was attracted by my brother’s favourite kind of music that was Psychedelic Trance and Goa sounds like Astral Projection, Man With No Name, Psychaos and Juno Reactor, so my first attempts in production were on 149 bpm. But that was not for so long, a bit after I changed my music orientation in House music and quickly I started playing my own beats. Later in 2005 I met a great man M92 (DJ Zuss) that helped me to understand the difference between mainstream and underground music. Then in 2006 I met two guys in my hometown Alexandros Politis and Panos Diasinos (Midnight Pulse // LFCs) that we work together for almost 10 years. Then in 2008 Futur-E was born producing music influenced from Minimal to Techno and Progressive House.
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 can’t say that was really difficult but it needs really much time to improve your skills and achieve your own sound and style and of course music knowledge is needed that I had from my 8th year. There was not any production courses back then but I had the big help from my friend and sound engineer now Panos Diasinos that he actually made the masters for many of my tracks. These days it is much easier for a newcomer to make quality sound because of the big sample banks and the 21st decade’s VST instruments, so the scene is overcrowded but that makes difficult the part of gaining fame.
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?
2 o’clock after midnight is the best productive time then a nice idea comes faster and easier, also good or bad mood helps in its way. There is not easy and difficult part for me in music production, it is what it is and everything is in uniform. It comes a point that every idea is involved naturally and that comes after really hard work and trying.
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?
I studied electrical and electronics engineering and automatism but hopefully I haven’t taken my degree yet. So now I mainly deal with programming in general and by the way I’ve made and programmed my own VST instrument that I use in a lot of cases.
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?
I like British and American Rock from 70’s that are mentioned before and until now but also Greek Rock bands like Xilina Spathia, Trypes, and Diafana Krina. To be more specific I like all kinds of music that includes quality, but of course that depends in each person’s fancy, so I trust my own taste.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
My first ever bought CD was a Progressive House Compilation by Klik Records and my first vinyl was from French favourite producer DJ Gregory and Julien Jabre from Faya Combo.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I had my first release in 2007 under the name “Funky Wizard”. Also now I have my debut album finished which is more in electronic, nudisco and indie genres that I’m planning to release under another name, I haven’t found the label for this yet.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
The universal Ghost producer.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Difficult to say where inspiration comes from, I guess it’s more or less everything. From the view outside of the window to the latest mini weekend trip on a random destination. From the amazing sunny days to the rough and melancholic rainstorm. From my so favourite friends and all the love that comes from people around me. From earth, space and universe.
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?
If you want to achieve your own sound you have to start using much less ready samples and more VST instruments if there is not any analog or physical gear. For sure some short of drum machines and a monophonic synthesizers for bass or a polyphonic virtual analog for pads, leads and chord stabs would be great for warmer sound. But technically my main advice is to use properly the VST Equalizers in every part of a track for the best possible mix. Don’t try to copy other producer’s work, sound or ideas, music supposed to come from our own mind, soul and heart. Try to be true and never give up.Also I’ve seen many artists to be very competitive and that’s so wrong, music supposed to get people together.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Midnight Pulse & Futur-E – 110 db (Original mix)
‘Organic’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here