With Oovation having new music out this week on Flow Vinyl we catch up with him for the latest episode of 12 Questions.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’ve grown up in the east part of France in a very small town. A job opportunity brought me out of France straight toward Germany. Today, I’m 25 years old and still living there in a town called Saarbrücken, not the biggest city but a very familiar place for me.
I had my first attempts with music production 7 years ago, as my first releases where knocking at the door i had to start learning djing. But even now I’ve never felt like a classical DJ, i always felt much more comfortable with my regular studio work, that’s one of the reasons I’m playing live. It enables me to bring my studio experience directly to the stage and offers me much more freedom and possibilities in order to express myself either than a dj set.
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 was born in a musical family, which certainly helped me a lot. I learned to play the guitar at a very young age and made a internship at a local recording studio. My first release was published quite early after I’ve started producing, good vibes and reactions brought me on the path of being a professional musician, so i started working in a movie company half time and became a Mediadesigner specialized into audio and video, made some jobs as live mixer, built up my own company specialized into mixing and mastering of electronic music.
There isn’t any particular artist, probably my music is a result of my eclectic musical taste. I love so many genres and artists. My songs are some kind a result of all those different influences.
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?
You never stop learning, even now I’m still learning new things on music production. But yes music production relies on a very wide field, if you wanna produce good tracks you need to showcase very diversified skills from production, sound design toward music arrangement, mixing and mastering. I made my first steps into with Reason which gives you the opportunity, to patch you gear like in a real studio environment.. it helped me to quickly acquire a good technical understanding before i moved to Ableton Live.
I think most is self thought in this filed you need a lot of practice but my diploma as audiovisual designer surely helped, as well as the professional people i had the chance to meet and work with. I had several great mentors, especially MUUI believed in me and always gave me great advice.
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?
Certainly the most difficult part is finding the main vibe, the key idea which really makes the song stands out of the mass. if you have a good 8 or 16 bar loop running, you’re able to listen over and over again. Then you can be certain you made everything right and the arrangement shall come natural. Mixing is a very technical task and takes place usually once the whole song is sitting, if the instruments and sounds are wisely chosen, then the mixing and mastering stage comes natural as i have a very clear vision of how i want my tracks to sound like.
I think creativity can be trained, but like everyone I’m facing blockades too.. usually this happens after longer brakes from music production, then i usually keep pushing till it comes back. If I’m not directly hitting on a good song idea, then i design new sounds, try new instruments, new production methods and often this leads to a brand new song. I think motivation and determination are the key elements in order to face creative blockades in a efficient way.
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?
Usually i stand up, have a breakfast with one of my flat mates, brew a coffe and take it down to the studio. Once I’m there, i check my mails and messages and start working on one of my current projects, at the end of the day i make a little sport session to come down. So yeah, that’s my day nothing too special.
I’m happy and very thankful of being in the position of making music as full time job, i have a great team of people around me. Especially my agent Erik Ullrich is doing a great job, he always motivates me and pushes me to deliver great music.
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?
Well, my musical roots are very wide spread. I’ve always been open minded toward everything related to music, probably in result of my technical background. From some 90s Hip Hop toward modern rock, i can find enjoyment everywhere, even in classical music or movie scores. I got my first contact with electronic music by discovering Boys Noize back 11 years ago, i liked it because at the time it has this rebellish spirit inside I’ve know from Punk Rock.
Every piece of music i can hear and feel does in some way affect my own work, sometimes in a very unconscious way. We always need a benchmark to set our goals and also to know how we wanna sound like, being influenced by great written music is a key factor for evolution in the production process.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
My first vinyl was from Boys Noize, his album “Oi Oi Oi”. At the time, i was still really influenced by rock music and punk. His Track “Oh!”, brought the feeling of those genres but in a different way, i think even more upfront but abstracted by the synth lines who where holding the message instead of guitars and a singer.
The last piece of music i bought was “Una Mattina” by Ludovico Einaudi. Well, i love his piano compositions, this is real timeless music. He and Gonzales distinguish the style of modern classic music to my sens.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Usually people associate me with someone really ordered, with strict guidelines. Same for my music, people connect my songs with something very tight. The truth is that i love imperfection in most aspects of life and for me disorder is what brings beauty into things.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I’ve came across a young producer from London called Rudy, he released a fantastic track called “Transformation” on Subjekt which is probably one of the greatest melodic techno pieces i had the pleasure to hear over the last year. The melodic build up is simply stunning and the producer seems really underrated compared to his talent.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
I really own a wide musical taste which makes it hard for me to spot my inspiration from one single artist. It shapes over the time, the last artist who really inspired me was the producer trio Township Rebellion, the way they combine different genres inspired me a lot.
Usually i take my inspiration out of the daily life, simple things or complex once. A landscape can give me us much inspiration as a relationship. I’ve been always trying to bring myself into my music, writing a song is very personal and intimate. Once you hear yourself trough it, your memories, impressions, emotions then the music starts shining and becomes alive.
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?
Since I’ve started producing, I’ve always been creating my own sounds. I spend a lot of time on programming new synth patchs, building my own drum racks etc. This way i can always come up with fresh sounds, i can call my own. This is taking a lot of time but it is definitely worth it. As it will make your music sounds more organic and consolidated. Also never mind what other people are doing and don’t be shy to try new things out.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Thats a difficult question, for a dj set i know too many tracks i would like to play. I’m thinking about Azrael by HVOB which is super intense. If it would be for a live set, then i would pick “falter” i made with my good friend from Canada Amber Long, this song is so intense and i share so many fantastic moments with it, i would chose it without hesitation!
‘Falter’ feat. Amber Long is out now on Flow Vinyl, you can purchase the release: here