Lime interview - Clubs & Nightlife
We catch up with Dennis Ferrer before hejoins Yousef and Andre Hommen at the Circus Meets Objektivity Christmas Party on Friday December 20th at Egg London.
How has 2013 been for you and what were the highlights for you and why?
It's been a hectic and productive year. 2013 found me going back into the studio and reconnecting with my real self/inner me. Sometimes life gets in the way and it takes a while to figure out how to reconnect the cabling that makes you "you". I love making records…and the fact that i've gotten back to that in full is a highlight for me.
It's great to see you back in London and is this your debut set at Circus @ Egg and are you looking forward to it?
Great Britain is always a place I look forward to playing in. I love London and Yousef is very special to all of us here at Objektivity. Playing for Circus is not even a question to be posed…it's a complete no brainer to say yes to.
What can Circus fans expect from your set and do you have any secret weapons you can share with us?
I don't like setting expectations for people. I believe anyone can be a hero on any given night. With that being said…I'll just try to be me and set off good partying vibes.
Could you tell us about the processes that you go through when creating new music? Is there a formula you adhere to or is it a looser organic process?
I get asked this quite often and to tell you the truth…there's no magical way I go about creating music. Sometimes I'll sit down and play with a particular hardware synth…just fiddling around…creating patches and something clicks. The patch will inspire me to write a particular progression to which I'll write some lyrics to. Other times..it begins with doing some drums which I find interesting and I'll proceed to build around this. It's all a loose organic process to me with a can-do anything kind of feel.
If I could take you back to the beginning and ask you what first drew you to electronic music? What were and are your influences then and now?
Coming from early hip hop in NYC during the mid 80's there was always some dance influence. I went from buying Spoonie G, Kool G Rap and Polo to the "Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight"…lol ;-)So some of the many many early influences were early dance tracks on Trax Records, DJ International and soulful stuff on Mel Cheren's West End Records. Damn "Heartbeat" still thumps for me! This all fed the beast and began to draw me in as a teen. When I began to make music this influence went on to develop into very techy and experimental stuff including Ritchie Hawtin, Aphex Twin, records on R&S out of Belgium, some stuff from Sven Vath's early Hardfloor days, Atom Heart, Peter Namlock..I mean I was anywhere and everywhere. Not too mention I was still listening to 70's soul and disco. Nowadays my inspiration still comes from records of all these eras that I've never heard before and discover by mistake sometimes.
What was was your first big break or release and did it set you on your career path?
My first break was when I signed my first record to Big Beat which at that time was a small independent not yet owned by Atlantic Records. I loved the way I was treated when I walked into that office. I was so young lol;-) I felt amazed and proud at the same time. Like a big shot. lol :-) I had accomplished what most of my friends dreamed about. That fed me…the want…the hunger. It hasn't left and I'm so glad to have been honoured with this ability.
How do you feel the rise of digital software, which has help breed a new generation, has affected electronic music?
It's helped and yet it's destroying. Making a record should be difficult. Not everyone should be able to do it. Can everyone be a brain surgeon? For instance...Everyone is inventing a plug in….it's ridiculous. With plug ins all you need is a person with a vision and the person who can code it. While developing hardware is a more heavily invested situation. How many plug in compressors do you need? It just seems like they're milking the system. These plug in manufacturers are growing exponentially but the buying base is not and they're all fighting for the same purchasing dollars. This all translates into lower prices and marketing towards a Pro-sumer base. End result.. now anyone with a laptop can make a record with all this cheap software. Not to mention all the bootleg stuff. Some person takes the record they made and it is now uploaded to an online retailer who specializes in dance music. Since this online retailer is not a distributor with physical warehouse space with worry about a flop record taking up space that can be used for a hot record, they don't have to be picky about which release to take a risk on and carry, which dilutes the quality of records coming out and the need for the end consumer to sift through the 3000 records released in the dance section of an online record retailer. Not to mention that all these producers are ALSO fighting for the same amount of purchasing dollars from a small demographic in a niche market. LMFAO Oh…so NOW everyone wants to moan and groan about not being able to survive on just making records alone? How has technology helped when you factor all this in? If you can't eat or pay your rent then how do you justify staying in the business of making records? We're all not 18 and living at home with our parents and making noise in the basement.
On the other hand, this has driven the tech sector to continue to develop and invent incredible tools for the knowledgeable musician/producer/engineer.
What does the future hold for you ? Any collaborations/big projects/new releases you can tell us about?
If I knew the answer to this one..I'd go to the betting parlour lol:-) I think some people will be surprised this year though. Can't say..don't want to jinx it.
Have you any interesting/bizarre stories to tell from your time touring?
Tons….but I'm saving it for the book.
Dennis Ferrer joins Yousef and Andre Hommen at the Circus Meets Objektivity Christmas Party on Friday December 20th at Egg London.
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