WAY OUT WEST INDIA TOUR: Up, Close & Personal with Jody Wisternoff

UP AND CLOSE WITH JODY WISTERNOFF

Tell us a little bit about your process and set up when you play live, who handles what?

I’m in control of the Ableton Live setup, using the APC40 mk2. I have the backing tracks stripped down and have key elements spread over 8 channels that I can bring in and out, adding effects / filtering etc etc. Nick is firmly placed behind the Roland SPX SD sampling pads, armed with a pair of drumsticks and giving it some welly. Our set-up is very compact as we do a lot of club shows where we need to squeeze into the DJ booth.

We read that Nick comes from a background in sampling records, is the ethereal vocal on your title track “Tuesday Maybe” a sample and what’s the story behind the track itself?

All the early WOW stuff was very sample heavy , mostly because we didn’t have many synths at the time but also because we come from an era where samplers were the cutting edge of technology and copyright laws hadn’t been updated to deal with what was happening. I do believe that creative sampling is almost a forgotten art nowadays though, there doesn’t seem to be that much crate (youtube) digging going on and a lot of tracks lack that unique character and roughness that samples can provide. As for the vocal in Tuesday Maybe, the wistful wailing is something I cannot reveal but the “Tuesday Maybe” hook is from an English 80s band called Scritti Politti.

Your influences range from Deep House, Progressive, Techno to break beats. How do you go about incorporating all your influences in your music and your sets?

Because I am musically schizophrenic and it just makes sense to bring all the elements I like together under the house music umbrella. I get very bored sticking to one groove for too long and favour excitement and dynamics above smoothness and perfect blending. Saying that, I am a great believer in keyed mixing and preparation. However, this quite often goes out of the window in the heat of the moment.

Any new projects that you’re looking to put out sometime soon?

The WOW album is coming out on June 16th and I am working on Anjunadeep09 which is scheduled for release this fall.

Tell us a couple of your favourite artists on the Anjuna roster?

Luttrell , Yotto and Cubicolor are firm favourites.

Jody’s practically a resident of India by now, touring as often as he does, tell us about your most humorous experience here?

Ha, yea I’ve probably been over half a dozen times by now. Love it here, such warm people and very enthusiastic clubbers! The last time I was playing I decided to after party it until the very last minute, staying up until the airport run for the 7am flight home. As luck would have it the flight was cancelled, which resulted in a drunken every man for himself situation at the airport check-in. Slightly more desperate than humorous, but memorable nonetheless..

LANE 8 – THIS NEVER HAPPENED INDIA TOUR

The concept of “This Never Happened” tour seems to be one of quite an esoteric nature. How has the responses been so far?

The response has been terrific, we’ve been pleasantly surprised how much the concept has resonated with our fans. It feels like something that the music community wants and is ready for, so I’m really glad that we decided to take the plunge.

Do you find the response from the audience matching your initial idea of the same or were there some surprises along the way?

What has been really cool to see is that people are enjoying the shows so much more when there are no phones allowed. It’s letting people get much more lost in the music, and allowing them to connect with their friends and even make new friends around the communal experience of going to a club. It’s exactly how we dreamed it up, but perhaps a bit better because it’s real!

As we all know this is your very first performance in India. Do you have any expectations from this tour?

I’ve heard that the crowds in India are really responsive and up for a good time, so I have high expectations for this tour for sure – I’m also really curious how the response will be since it is my first time here.

As you’ve mentioned on your page that “This Never Happened” is solely about the music and the experience in itself. How do you and your team go about achieving the same through the night?

I think the most important thing we do is communicate with the fans ahead of time, so that people know what they are getting into when they buy a ticket. We don’t want people to show up the night of the show and be surprised that they can’t use their phone. So we focus a lot on communicating the message of the concept beforehand, because we want people to be ready and excited for a phone free experience where they can really get into the music on a new level. The night of the show, we tape over fans’ phone cameras, hand out little cards outlining our principles and politely police phone usage inside the club. Luckily most people buy into the concept and just keep their phones in their pockets.

Was there a particular instance that inspired the concept?

There wasn’t one particular instance that inspired the concept – it was a realization that phones and cameras had infiltrated the live music scene to the point where people weren’t connecting with music anymore. Music had become a spectacle to capture on your phone to post to snapchat or instagram, not an experience to immerse yourself in. I have always found comfort in that immersion in music in a club, and I want people to be able to get that feeling at my shows.

Exclusive Interview with Jody Wisternoff

INTERVIEW WITH JODY WISTERNOFF

Hi Jody, Welcome to Euphoric! How has the year been so far?

Thank you very much! Generally, it’s been an amazing year. Super productive both on the production and touring front. My family is healthy. All is good 🙂

Talking about this year, you may have seen more airports than you may have ever. So, what are you exactly doing now?

Yea totally, I’ve literally just got back from a 9 date tour of the states and I was only there for 12 days! This year has been pretty ferocious, to say the least. Right now I am dealing with jet lag lol!

“My dad said, ‘Right, you better be making money within a year or you’re going back to school.”- How much of an impact did your dad have in your career? What kind of music inspired you to keep you going?

My dad managed Way Out West for about 10 years, so a huge impact. At this early, crucial stage I was still into hip-hop but slowly morphing into breakbeat/rave/UK house (bleeps + bass).

UK’s rave scene in the 90s was amazing. What has been your fondest memory from then?

The Universe raves (R.I.P Paul Shurey) were mind-blowing experiences, and the first one was pretty much the catalyst for me quitting education prematurely and going full-time music. Risky, in retrospect!

With busy work life, which can sometimes be very challenging, how do you think you have been able to balance both your musical career and your family life with poise? What advice would you give to others who find it as a challenge?

I actually think they balance each-other out nicely. Without a family, I would still be staying up all night making music and waking at midday. Not a healthy lifestyle, so this enforced change is fully a good thing 🙂 Everything in life is a challenge, just roll with it and be the man to the best of your ability.

Which was your ‘biggest break’ or ‘ greatest opportunity’ that made a difference in your musical career?

Possibly the success of Way out West’s “The Gift “which charted highly in 1997 and opened a lot of doors for us. Being on the TV show “top of the pops “was a childhood dream come true!

‘Way out West’ made its own stand to the electronic music audience. Tell us more about your experience & your WOW tour with Nick. How has that been so far?

Yeah, Nick & I have been together now for 23 years, it’s been a minute lol! Currently, we are finishing the new album and did a US tour in March, with another one scheduled in 3 weeks’ time. It’s always a pleasure working and touring with Nick , we respect each other’s solo endeavors but recognise the magic is still there when we collaborate , which is nice 🙂

Your productions are organic and groovy. Please share about your upcoming ‘Way out West’ album with Nick, when do you plan to release it?

Thanks! Yea, as mentioned above it, is almost finished and is scheduled for a late summer release on Anjunadeep. Watch this space.

Talking about Way out West, how differently do people in countries like the USA or Canada respond in terms of underground and progressive music compared to countries such like Europe or Argentina?

This sound is very popular right now in the States/Canada and has always been hugely supported in Argentina over the years. Europe is a slightly tougher market generally, but places like Hungary in Eastern Europe are really up for it.

What was your first major breakthrough into electronic music? Name 3 of your all time favourite tracks?

I was really into oldskool hip-hop, which counts as electronic music I suppose. Mantronix and all the early electro stuff. DEVO was a band I was also really into as a kid, kind of alternative rock but with heavy electronic influences.

1. Grandmaster Flash – The Message

2. The Beach Boys – God only knows

3. Massive Attack – Unfinished Symphony

With tight work schedules you are also managing the A&R side of Anjunadeep. What are some of the unique challenges involved in that role?

I really like to get involved with a track and maybe take the A&R duties to the next level (requesting stems and trying re-works etc.), whereas a lot of labels will just pass on a track if it is not 100% right from the get go. Interactive A&Ring, if you will.

Who are some of the newer talents to look out for?

Amateur Dance, who remixed the latest WOW single is definitely worth watching. Tinlicker has something huge coming up also.

‘Yes, things have changed, Hard work pays’…. We’ve all heard that, but there are these talented artists who still struggle to make their sounds heard. What do you think it takes to make a mark out there in the midst of so much competition in the industry today?

Possibly a really fucking good name. For example, Eats Everything or Friend Within. Something that captures the imagination and is visual. This is maybe more important than the music, in the current climate.

Is there any other collaborations you are looking forward to?

Working on more collaboration with James Grant for the forthcoming Anjunadeep 8 compilation. When I have the time in the future it might be nice to work with others, but for now, it is strictly WOW / Nick and stuff for Anjunadeep with James.

Where do you fetch your inspiration from? What do you normally do when not working on music?

Tons of travelling which is super inspiring, meeting likeminded people from all over the place. Chilling with the family is also good for vibes which can be translated into music. A bit of pain too, sometimes bad experiences can produce the most heartfelt sounds.

What is your studio setup like? Any recommendations & favorites on the software, Plugins, and other gear?

Protools and Ableton Live based, generally, all processing is done in the box but we have tons of analog synths which I definitely prefer using over vsts. Jupiter 8, Prophet 5 and Macbeth M5N being a few of my favorites. As for software, really feeling the Brainworx stuff at the mo for processing and love U-He’s synths.

Thank you for your time, Jody! We hope you have a great year ahead.

It’s been my pleasure 🙂 See you soon!

Interview with Herr

INTERVIEW WITH HERR

Hello, Hernan, correct us if we are wrong but it is your first time to India and also marks the entry of FACT worldwide onto Indian shores with Deep dictionary. How important is it to have a presence here?

From the beginning we had it in our minds to try to expand the way we organize events and reach out to as many possible territories. Of course Asia is a tremendously interesting scene on which are many things to discover, and India is very promising in terms of exchange of European sounds specifically. I have the feeling that there is much to discover in this large country.

Tell us about FACT, what inspired you to take a step forward and form this organization?

Our current purpose is very similar to the initial one; the only difference is that our goals have become more ambitious because of all the experience we gained. Five years ago we were just three, and nowadays we’re seriously thinking about an office move because we do not fit more. The main goal is still promote quality events based on a personality and grown from our day to day discoveries. Imagination is an essential element for us.

In a landscape that has hordes of brands and artists, especially in Europe and the United States standing out is always difficult. Yet fact has achieved this, what sets it apart from other crews?

That’s a great point, I think one of the strengths of all the work done so far is possibly our constant associative predisposition, as well as how to display different electronic shapes without the need of be always carrying on current trends or hyped artists. Each occasion requires its own music, and nowadays there’s loads of exciting music out there, so we try not to limit ourselves to a particular style. I think that our weekly events at Pacha Barcelona on Sundays exemplify it perfectly.

With brands such as awakenings making their entry into India this year, is FACT planning on doing something similar?

At the moment we’re getting first contacts but of course we’re quite open to keep working on it in the future! We are currently working on 2016 projects and it would be really nice to include India in some future gigs!

You recently played at a boiler room show with Maceo Plex and the Ellum crew. What was that like?

One of the greatest and funniest experiences I had so far, not only because of the streaming thing, that event was, in a good way, a really challenging one in production terms. All the brands on board worked at their best for reaching the highest event quality. I know Ellum’s crew for a long time now and we putted out all together with the venue Cova Santa Ibiza and Boiler Room crew quite easily. When I was finally playing there the context was just blurred, I just did my thing the better way I know, as always, and as far as I know people really enjoyed my set and others’ too. We can proudly say that Cova Santa was one of the most magnificent event we have taken part. Loads of insights happened, still smiling when I get back to that night.

How important has Barcelona been to you in terms of your growth as a professional DJ/Producer and as an owner of FACT?

Well, take note that I’m Argentinean and I’m based in Barcelona for 14 years now, so back in 2001 the whole clubbing landscape was quite different from what we have nowadays. But yeah, undoubtedly Barcelona is one of the finest European spots if you want to push your career, either on make contacts, discover new and fresh sonic inputs or to get involved with its artist community. The flow of artists who visit the city is constant, that’s very important in my opinion.

Could you guide us through your studio set-up?

Sure thing! It’s mostly based on Bass station, my beloved Korg, Maschine and several virtual synths too, there’s some gear in mind to be honest, and we’ve been discussing a lot about this at the office lately. I guess that’s something common when winter arrives if you’re living here in Barcelona.

Are working on any new compositions that will be released anytime soon? If yes, then what labels may we see them on?

As first step there’s this V/A album that will be released later this month on Serialism Records featuring Andre Buljat, Christian Burkhardt and many more; “Atalaya” is the track that will be included. Aside from that I’ve got several drafts and projects on their way that only requires a final touch, some of those tracks are placed to Yakazi Music label.

I didn’t have enough time to get into it properly, sometimes it’s challenging to find a balance between family, work, gigs and spare time but I’m really enjoying my studio at the moment. It works as a creative oasis that I want to keep facing for 2016.

What are you looking forward to the most on this visit?

I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep my eyes open 24/7 trying to avoid all the clichés floating around the country. I shall face this adventure with all senses activated!

Lastly, 3 artists you really look up to?

Barac, Makam, Tin Man…

Rapid fire with Edu Imbernon!

INTERVIEW WITH EDU IMBERNON

Sprouting from city of “valour” – Valencia – songwriter, producer, remixer, DJ and label owner, the multifaceted artist Edu Imbernon is turning into a truly global electronic music proposition.

Edu’s blend of electronica, house and indie has seen him release original compositions on Bedrock and Get Physical and has curated remixes from the likes of Pleasurekraft, Blond:ish, Hot Since 82 and Solomun.

We caught up with him for a quick chat before he boards his flight to India:

Name a country you have been wanting to play for a long time.

French Polynesia

Which is the song that you have been humming off late?

I have spent the last week producing another song with Los Suruba, we haven’t come up with name yet but it’s on replay in my mind.

If not a DJ, what would you have become?

If I wasn’t a DJ I would probably be a chef.

How did the name Elektisch come up for your music label?

Eklektisch means eclectic in German, and I am an eclectic person when it comes to music.

Music festivals or dark intimate gig.

Dark intimate gig!!

Paella or Butter Chicken.

Paella.

Song writing or label owner. Which is more fun?

Songwriting!

Tomorrowland or Ultra Music Festival?

Tomorrowland.

Lastly, tell us one thing you’ve been wanting to do in India.

Waiting to eat proper traditional chicken tikka masala. Indian food is one of my favorites.