The 345th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer DaGeneral.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Getting old you know haha, I am 35 years old, and currently living in the north east of Scotland in a lovely little town called Carnoustie (you may have seen or heard of it as a golfing town).
I have been a DJ since the late nineties and have travelled around the UK in that timeframe. In regards to production though I have only been producing music for around two and a half years.
The pinnacle has to be right now with a proud dad moment, I worked on a collaboration with my son which has just been signed to Mirabilis Records. So keep an eye out for DaGeneral & Brandon Lumley – Broken
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.”
Wow good question this was a long time ago right haha, first memories of electronic music would be things like SL2 – On A Ragga Tip, Human Resource – Dominator, Joey Beltram – Energy Flash.
I mean these are all time classics as well to be honest, and are the tracks that got me into electronic music, but in regards to wanting to DJ would be the hard house and hard trance era when Jon The Dentist, Mauro Picotto, Lisa Lashes, TDV, and Fergie were all knocking out some full on music. These are the kind or artists then that got me started into wanting to know how to mix music and put on a performance. Of course over the years I grew into like a more mellow sound and got right into the techno and tech-house sounds which I still love and play now.
Let’s be honest TDV (R.I.P.) is a legend as are the other artists mentioned, and a good percentage of most the current DJ’s must look up to these guys in some form.
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?
It’s super hard in the beginning and still is now, as my good friend Bageera say’s “every day is a school day”, so you are always learning overtime you work on pieces of music. I haven’t done any courses or tuition at all. I would like to say self taught but have worked with some great producers on collaborations which I learned a lot in the process, from the early stuff with Moggi through to more lately even doing work with Bageera, and Blue Amazon.
In regards to best advice, I have had a lot of brilliant advice from Blue Amazon, Jon The Dentist, and Phutek.
I can’t thank Blue Amazon (Se-Lek Music) for all the support he has given me in trying to support and grow me as an artist over the last year and a half.
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 still find the productive process is always varied in regards to elements that can be tricky, from time to time. However, the hardest bit is the final stages, mainly mixing down, this is key in getting the sounds gelling together and really can be the difference from a nice polished track to a bundle of noise and nonsense. I think at this stage the creative block is generally caused from your ears getting tired of repeating the same sounds over and over again, therefore feel the best way to get through it is to just take a good old fashioned break, and possibly bounce down and get a second opinion if really struggling.
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 am pretty much full on 7 days a week but I do have a 9 till 5 as a Network & Systems Manager for an Automation company. But it’s like I have 2 full time jobs and every spare minute of my time goes into music production / promotion / dj sets / bookings. There isn’t room in the industry for laziness or motivation so I pretty much work every minute I am awake.
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?
Having a record label I don’t get much chance, so I will probably say that the artists on my label are a great bunch of producers and all have great technical abilities so I learn from them all the time on how they produce their sounds. I have been known to listen to some Dr Dre, Giggs, Wiley but at these points I have switched off totally on how sound is created and just chill out.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
CD : Mauro Picotto – The Album (2000)
Vinyl: OD404 – 9 BAR (I think was the last vinyl I bought can’t remember).
Cassette: Really my memory isn’t that good 🙂
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I was part of the committee for “The Linux Foundation” that created and wrote questions for the 2 Linux certifications they offer to assess and certify Linux professionals. These certifications are very current and running now.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
Been some consistent guys over the last year or so and by overlooked on this I mean guys you may have heard of but really deserve some recognition for the constant flow of excellent work coming from their production line. People like WhiteStar, Ninna V, and Zak Gee
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Excellent producers wow there is a lot of guys who I listen and go wow, you are good! At the moment Skober, Phutek, HP Source, Steve Mulder, and Mauro Picotto. In fact there is so much talent out there at the minute its unfair lots of people aren’t getting mentioned here. Personally my inspiration is hearing this big sound and thinking to myself we can do this let create and go with the flow.
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?
Keep trying, keep working! Don’t let all the knock backs and frustrations get you down, because in the end you will get there, you just really do need to keep up the hard work and motivation. It’s all about you only worrying about yourself and pushing yourself, don’t focus on the negatives around you, just believe you can achieve it.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
I would have to do a techno remix of Adele – Skyfall to finish off with the vocal “This Is The End” then right into some dirty rolling baseline and hard percussion.
But let’s not think that far ahead as I still have a lot of nice bookings and events coming up and don’t think I will be retiring any time soon.
FRI 07 This Is Techno Live (Radio), ClubbinHeaven247, UK, United Kingdom @ 20:00
SAT 22 B Se-Lek Tive, Aatma, Manchester, United Kingdom @ 22:00
SAT 29 Equinox Events, Buskers, Dundee, United Kingdom @ 23:00
FRI 04 This Is Techno Live (Radio), ClubbinHeaven247, UK, United Kingdom @ 20:00
FRI 25 B Se-lek tive, Aatma, Manchester, United Kingdom @ 22:00
FRI 02 This Is Techno Live (Radio), ClubbinHeaven247, UK, United Kingdom @ 20:00
SAT 28 B Se-Lek Tive, TBA, Prague, Czech Republic @ 23:00
FRI 03 B Se-Lek Tive, TBA, Forfar, United Kingdom @ 22:00
Check out DaGeneral’s Beatport discography: here