Sunday, 29 November 2009

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Circuit Freq (FREE 320 inside)

Interview by Benjamin Vial.

We've been hearing about Circuit Freq for some months now, as an anonymous duo from Los Angeles releasing dark tech funk bombs on their own Circuit Freq Records, teaming up with top rated remixers in the past like Stupid Fresh, Dopamine, Calvertron, Vandal, Pablo Decoder, Z-Listers, Electrixx, Charlie Fanclub, Joe and Will Ask?, Acid Jacks, and for their next single "The Filth" releasing in a few weeks with Zodiac Cartel and Will Bailey.

- Hello Circuit Freq, there is a kind of a mystery around you and your music. Are you really human? (Don't say "we are the robots", it's been used already!)

Yes, still human for now, but not for long if you believe Ray Kurzweil! He figures that with the exponential advances in technology the “singularity” will happen (he hopes) in his lifetime, and he’s in his 60s I think. That refers to a point in history where the exponential changes really take off, including (he hopes) transferring his consciousness to a machine. They are up to the level of a cat’s brain now in computing power so we’ll see.

- On your Myspace page, your influences are listed as machines only. What artists brought you to the kind of music you're producing now?

Ah yes, well we do have a love for machines but in fact, our friend Joel (Deadmau5) actually gave incitement to start Circuit Freq. I’ve also loved DJing and listening to Club music for many years which is why we are so active in having our projects remixed by dance producers for club use as it inspires new directions and ideas for all our groups.

- How would you describe your sound to someone who doesn't know you?

We have been told we sound very “U.S.” or “L.A.” but I hope we will move beyond that. We are still very new at this so we are continually evolving our sound and style. I think when we first started we wanted to come out with our guns blazing! So we did a few “bangers” now we are moving into more techy, funky and bouncy tracks.

- How do you start a new track? What inspires you?

Lately, something will spark an idea for the title and it just grows out of that. Our new track “the Filth” was inspired by a picture I took of a neon sign, and it was easy to imagine what that track was going to sound like! Sometimes it’s just the need for a certain kind of track in one of my DJ sets that will send us in a certain direction.

- What is your setup for production?

We both have studios at our homes with fairly close matched Protools systems which form the recording hub. We’ll do the bulk of the work together at one or the other studio and then instant message the session file with tweaks of the final mix back and forth. I’ll invoke a laptop running Logic to get certain kinds of grooves going that it does well. There is no sacred piece of gear that is always used but a Frostwave analog sequencer most often gets the bass lines started because of the unique results of a hands on way of programming. That’ll typically feed CV to an old Arp, Little Phatty, Oberheim Matrix 6 or Korg MS 20. There’s a Future Retro Revolution for a varietal of that approach. Sometimes we mangle things up through a Sherman Filterbank, or heat up the input stage of a Universal Audio 6176. We’re not analog purists either and happily grab a digital unit or softsynth. I devised a CV patchbay that will probably get its first test on the next track we do, and there’s a Moog MP-201 integrated into that as well.

- Seeing your interest in analog material, what is your favorite vintage machine?

The ones we don’t have yet! The good shit is getting rare and expensive. Damn you ebay! You used to be able to pick stuff up from little old ladies at a garage sale: “I think it’s broken, it only plays one note at a time”. Now everyone can find out what shit is worth, haha.
Arp 2600 donations would be graciously accepted. But of the stuff we have, the Matrix 6 is pretty sick. I always feel we scratch the surface of its capabilities, but now that all of its CV/gate inputs are wired to the patchbay it’s ready to go deeper.

- When can we expect the release of that new EP with Zodiac Cartel and Will Bailey remixes?

We are hoping to get it out before the end of the year!

- Tell us a bit about your label Circuit Freq Records.

The label was basically created to release our own music and our friend’s music. We’ve also had a lot of requests to release other artists on the label so we must be doing something right! We will be gradually starting to take some of them up on it and gauge whether the responsibilities of running a label are too distracting from making music.

- What is planned in 2010 for Circuit Freq?

We will continue to release original tracks every quarter and I will start DJing some selected gigs under the name Circuit Freq. In the future we want to do more of a “live” performance together as Circuit Freq but only when we have enough material to make it a full “show”.

And specially for the Tech Funk Manifesto, they're giving away their first track called Black Chrome! Thanks guys! ;)


Buy all their tracks at Beatport!

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