Belgian brothers Bert and Maarten who form the production duo Filterheadz are joining us today to give us an insight into all things techno. Thanks for stopping by lads.
The Filterheadz sound has evolved over more than a decade of stellar releases covering a number of styles. How has your sound changed over the years? How would you describe your current sound to those unfamiliar with your work?
When we started out we almost had 2 different styles running in parallel. On one hand we were part of the early 2000’s progressive scene with remixes for Bedrock, Renaissaince, Hooj Choons etc. and on the other hand we had our techno releases like Los Hijos Del Sol & Sunshine. Over the years we tried to fuse those sounds resulting in tracks like Yimanya. Later on the emphasis started to shift more to melodic releases. Last summer we did a total reset of everything. We did a few techno tracks, sent them to Marco Bailey and we just restarted everything from there. I would define our current sound as energetic techno with a strong rhythmical foundation and the occasional catchy melody.
The techno scene has a number of acts that consist of brothers producing together in the studio. Do you think your working relationship is more productive since you are family and know each other so well? Do you talk techno when you are around the rest of your family or does it stay on tour and in the studio?
It’s hard say if things would have been different if we hadn’t been brothers and yes it is techno talk all the time.
Do you have any pre-show rituals? Do you have a meal or drink of choice to get you in the mood to party?
Nothing specific really. A nice Italian meal or Sushi are always welcome of course.
Filterheadz have had a stack of massive collaborations with artists like Tomaz and Marco Bailey plus huge remixes for some of the biggest names in the industry. Are there any other acts you would like to work with? If you could remix any tune in the world, what would it be?
When we just started out we had our remix wish list with big major label artists. Having done a few of those you realise that those aren’t necessarily the best remixes in your discography. A great remix is all about getting great parts & the inspiration at that moment.
Your recent output includes tracks on some of the biggest labels in the business such as Bedrock, 1605, Toolroom, MB Elektronics and many others. These tracks have attracted fans from across the board, from those who like the banging warehouse tracks to those who like the more mellow melodic tunes. How do you translate this wide range of sounds into your shows?
Filterheadz in 2013 is all about techno. Since our return to techno summer 2012 our connection with techno is much stronger than before.
Can you please give readers some insight into your favourite pieces of equipment and/or software in your studio? Also, what equipment do you use during your shows? What couldn’t you live without?
We have a very simple studio setup. 8 core Mac running Ableton, all “in the box”. Plugin wise we stay away from the popular softsynths like Massive, Sylenth & Nexus. We rather go for more experimental Reaktor ensembles & samples. Taking any kind of sound source and dropping it in a sampler and using it in ways it was never intended for gives a much more unique and personal sound than using the presets everyone else is using.
Our preferred dj setup consists of CDJ2000’s (USB Sticks) & a DJM900 or DJM2000. Having DJ-ed with Ableton and dragged controllers & audioboxes all over the world for a couple of years we can really appreciate the idea of travelling light.
Your tour schedule seems to be stacked with dates all over Europe and beyond. Do you have any favourite places to play? Are there any places or events you would like to play in the future?
The thing is: You can have great gigs everywhere. It’s more about the actual event than a specific country really. Of course, and every dj will tell you this, it’s always exciting to play places like Japan or Argentina. The “being far away from home” always gives it that extra adventurous element. We have played pretty much all over the world except for Australia, so that is surely something we like to do this year.
What’s coming up for Filterheadz in terms of releases and tour date?
We have releases and remixes coming up on Bedrock, MB Elektronics, Intec, Bitten, 1605, MKT, Kombination Research, Beat Therapy, IamTechno & Natura Viva.
We have some excellent tour dates in Europe coming up playing in some of the best techno clubs like Florida 135, Industrial Copera, etc. We have an Asian tour early summer and some South American dates in between.
You have contributed a mix to the podcast series. What tasty techno treats have you got lined up for us in the mix?
The mix starts off on the deeper side of techno and gradually raises the energy level. Just like we would do in a 4-hour set. Only shorter this time.