Interview with TX Connect

insider.fm: Hi TX Connect, thanks for joining us here on insider.fm. In 2013 you burst onto the scene with several releases on some high profile labels. How did this come about and how long have you been making music?

TX Connect: I would like to say I got lucky with those releases which to an extent I did, but truly I’ve been working hard on music for quite some time now. Music has been a massive part of my life since I can remember and have always been making it or at least attempting to since I got a guitar in the third grade. I’ve been tinkering with electronic music since early college with natural progressions from Fruity Loops, Cubase, Reason, Ableton, to a hardware-based studio. My first release on L.I.E.S. can be attributed to the man Speculator for putting in a good word for me to the big boss. The release on DABJ I owe to some other nice people; the fellows Kuri & Shawn over at Night Gallery encouraged me to send some tracks I had been working on over to them.

i: You live in Dallas, Texas. What kind of impact do your surroundings (if any) have on your music? Would you say there is an underground scene in Dallas and if so, how involved are you?

TX: I wouldn’t say the physical surroundings of Dallas impact me all that much or possibly they do and I’m not all that cognizant of it. One thing that has changed is that my studio is in a little tiny apartment as opposed to where it used to be in a legitimate rehearsal space where I could get loud as shit at any time of day or night. Back then (about a year and a half ago) I think being able to pound out tracks through huge powered PA speakers led me to make a bit more aggressive music, now that I’m in my apartment and have to make everything on studio monitors or headphones, I find myself making some deeper and more ethereal stuff as of late. As far as the scene goes, we do have a strong underground movement. It is not as centralized as I would like it to be but there are many extremely talented DJs and producers who live here. I try to involve myself as much as I can either DJing or performing live when I get the opportunity. The next step for all of us here is to put all of our heads and efforts together to truly put us on the map and enable ourselves to consistently throw parties that people will remember for years.

i: You have a very clearly-defined sound, defined by analogue hardware. What appeals more to you as a producer - being a ‘torch bearer’ and perfecting your own sound or experimentation and sonic diversity?

TX: I would not consider myself to be a torch bearer but I do find it more important to have a unique voice in the underground that people will hopefully remember. It took me a while to get to where I am in regards to the abilities and equipment I have. I am glad that my sound is considered to be clearly-defined as I feel in this modern-day oversaturated market it’s more important than ever to do what you can to set yourself apart from all the others. When I listen to music of course I love tracks that follow time-proven formulas for great deep house, acid, or techno, but what really gets me going are those tracks that confuse me and don’t really remind of anything else. Being that dance music hasn’t always been in my life I feel I may look at the creation process from a different angle. One thing that is for certain is that when I get behind the desk I never set out to create anything specific. What ever comes out of me at that specific point in time is what it is. I like to capture things as a specific moment in time that can’t really go back and be edited. This is one of the many reasons I prefer to record stereo to tape with no multi-tracking.

i: What came first for you, production or DJing? How often do you get the chance to play out and do you have a specific approach to putting together your crate?

TX: Production most definitely came first. To be honest I have only been DJing for about 4 or 5 years. At the moment I have one monthly event here in Dallas called “Deep Shade” and another bi-weekly event called “Tropic of Sound.” Putting together my crate really just boils down to what I feel like playing that day and what I’ve acquired recently. I do like to keep things mixed up as much as possible and find that balance between what I want to play and what the crowd is or isn’t responding to. You’ll always find a combination of decade-spanning house, deep house, techno, electro, acid, Italo, and disco/boogie in my crates.

Doc L Junior Interview

For those of you who are not familiar with him, Doc L Junior (Kolbjørn Lyslo) is a Norwegian DJ & producer from Tromsø. Starting in the mid-80s, Doc L Junior began dabbling with synthesizers, pursuing his lifelong passion for music. Some of his early influences include: Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Meat Beat Manifesto, KLF, The Orb, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Carl Craig, Larry Heard, MAW, Frankie Knuckles. His first release (http://www.discogs.com/Aedena-Cycle-The-Travellers-Dream/release/3262) came in 1994 on Apollo (R&S sublabel). Kolbjørn continued working on different projects together with numerous Norwegian artists and relocated to Oslo in 1994, becoming involved in the club scene and spinning records. Doc L Junior’s productions are greatly influenced by classic Detroit & Chicago sounds, as well as disco.

In recent years, Doc L Junior has had releases on the notorious Sex Tags Mania outfit and also a track on Acido Records (http://www.juno.co.uk/products/soundtracks-for-no-film-vol-1/488443-01/).

For more info on the Norwegian electronic music scene and interviews with Bjørn Torske, Doc L Junior and Mental Overdrive, visit http://northerndiscolights.com

insider.fm: You come from Tromsø ̧ in Norway, which is home to a number of famous musicians such as Bjørn Torske and Röyksopp. What was the electronic music scene like there in the 80s and 90s?

Doc L Junior: We all started out at a very early age. I bought my first synth in 1985 (a Korg Poly 800) and started a Depeche Mode cover band with two other guys. Two years later, I met Torbjørn Brundtland and we got together a band with two of my oldest friends Gaute Barlindhaug and Svein Berge. After a couple of years we put together a demo tape that we sent to various labels - this was in 92 I think. Carl Craig called us and wanted one of the tracks and asked us to make some more in the same style. We never did that, but we got the impression our music was ready for a release some place. Then Geir Jensen (Biosphere) brought a tape to Renat at R&S/Apollo in Belgium the year after and that resulted in our first release - The Travelers Dream EP (As Aedena Cycle).

Meanwhile we became friends with Bjørn Torske and me and he worked a bit together in this period. After this, I moved to Oslo, and after a while Torbjørn and Svein went to Bergen and started their work on the first Röyksopp album.

i: For the last decade or so Sex Tags and all its sub labels have really put Norway on the electronic music map. What can you say about the label and what are your 3 favorite Sex Tags 12”s (in no particular order)?

D: I really like what those guys have done. They really don’t have any limits for what they can put out as long as they love it - which is kind of unusual. Norway was already on the map, but they have discovered some unique producers. And it is difficult to find three favorites, but Sex Tags Amfibia release number 6 from 2008 (blue 10”) is great – and also features a very unknown remake of the music from level one in the original Sega Master System game Sonic the hedgehog, that I did just for fun. Bjørn got it from me, put in some extra snare drums, and gave it to Stefan (but Stefan did not know who made it, so it is uncredited).

i: You have recently released a track on Acido Records called Modul 32, which is quite different from your other productions that are more dance floor-oriented. What can we expect from Doc L Junior in 2014?

D: Hard to tell. Right now I am working on some disco-oriented stuff right now that is on its way to Ben Davis from Paper Records, but I’m also in the process of making a live set for some gigs this summer and then I think differently than when I produce tracks for dj’s. Module 32 is actually an example of that – it was an intro for a live gig in 2006 I think…

i: Finally, what is the idea behind your mix and what do you think is the perfect setting for it?

D: My Idea was to make you a mix tape for your Walkman (I miss my Sony Sports Walkman every now and then

Leskin

Q: Hi Leskin, can you introduce yourself and tell us about your journey into (electronic) music, how did it all start for you?

A: Hi, this is Leskin (Pellegrino Snichelotto) from Naples, my connection with music began when I was a kid, I started to play drums and bass guitar when I was 12 or 13 probably.

Electronic music has always been in my interests but not as a producer at first. I began to produce few years ago, and I’m still learning day by day. 

Q: Can you tell us about how the Early Sounds Collective came together?

A: Well at that time, I think it was 2009-2010, I was studying in Spain, me and Rio we are long time friends, so we decided to put together some ideas and start this label thing, he was already releasing stuff for labels around Europe and I was starting to produce music with more diligence, so Early Sounds Rec. was a natural step I guess. In that period Rio and Massimo Di Lena were working together on some duo projects, so Massimo joined us and our label was born !

Q: Was there a particular idea behind your label, Early Sounds Recordings? Do you plan on releasing music from artists outside of the Early Sounds Collective?

A: It started as a “friends place” where we wanted to release our stuff, but we are not close minded and we don’t want to have a restricted label, so we will open doors for those who deserve it. Actually, we are already planning some “new entry ” releases, guys who are not directly part of the “collective” but people who follow us and with whom there’s a common respect .

Q: As a producer you have only released a handful of tracks, is there a reason for this? Can you tell us about your approach to production and where you find inspiration?

A: The reason is that I’m lazy! :)

Well that’s partly true, probably I’m just too demanding with myself and the stuff I produce, even if I have to say that this was an old state of mind and things will speed up a bit in the future.

I’m not an analog fanatic but my approach to production is based almost exclusively on hardwares, I think that the most important thing is the concept of sound and its peculiarity that makes a track a good track.

Q: Can you name some current producers or labels that you are excited about?

A: early sounds crew!

Ehehe, jokes apart there are a lot of people and label producing and releasing great music out there, as long as I can’t list them all, I prefer to remain silent.

Q: You come from Naples in Italy, what is the music scene there like and specifically the electronic music scene?

A: Well Naples has a huge music history as well as electronic music history, I can remember that when I was younger the BIG names from US house scene they came regularly to dj in Naples as well as the Neapolitan Techno scene that was huge with a lot of great producers. I think that nowadays there are several promoters here in town and generally in our region working hard in this business, trying to offer better quality party after party.

Q: How and where was this mix recorded and what was the idea behind it?

A: it is a sort of mash up between a dj set and a studio session, I wanted to play some records from my bag as long as unreleased stuff from me and the “early sounds crew” , actually there are some early sounds future releases in this mix. Try to guess!

Q: Finally, what’s next for you and for Early Sounds Recordings?

A: I’m closing my EP on Early Sounds plus some collaborations and  VVAA to come, about the label  I would say that we are going to release records.