Sunday, 23 February 2014

4bstr4ck3r & Otist Reading: Digital Whomp interview

Abstracker and Otist Reading are making waves on the continent with the launch of Paris’s freshest new glitch and downtempo label Digital Whomp. With some awesome parties under their belt and a debut album now available from Bandcamp, Terrorbyte hit them up for some exclusive guest mixes and thought it only right to get a brief low down on their lo-fi exploits. 


Explain the name? 

It came from my love for abstract art and especially abstract music. Thing is, abstract arts let you interpret the way you want, and you give the meaning of it. I wanted to have the same with my music. Editing samples and programming virtual synths allows me to draw some pieces of music that can suggest what the listener wants to be suggested. Then at that time, my good friend Animal Beatz from our collective TSF Sound System was called Labtracker, so I looked for a name with tracker in it too in order to make something like a team name. I finally used the leet alphabet to make it more visual and secret.

How would you describe your music? 

Well I just can't. There are so many influences in it, such as Hip Hop, Dub(step), what is called world music, and all the electronic music range. With my older tracks I tried to make something that has no clear frontier between all these genres. I generally choose to write mid-tempo grooves, but it can be anything else really.

You’ve been running some parties in the French capitol. How has that been going? 

Yes, since I discovered the free parties with TSF something like 10 years ago, I immediately loved it and helped organising cool nights. A few years after, I decided to spread the Glitch Hop madness in France because nobody seemed to do it. I organised a small party with Mouldy Soul and William Breakspear but in the meantime I had the opportunity to host an event with OPIUO in one of the greatest places in Paris, le Divan du Monde (an old and beautiful theatre). I called those nights Digital Whomp because Whomp is THE name for this music style and wanted to make an echo of the other Whomp parties in other countries. The first one with Opiuo was a real success, I couldn't believe it, we filled the room and everybody loved it. Then we did the one with Mouldy Soul in a more intimate place. After those two episodes I couldn't stop the adventure and I managed two other nights in another club called Glazart, with AMB ,Vent, Flatmate, MC2, Opiuo again, ... These were great times and I felt that maybe the Glitch Hop movement could have its chance here.

You’ve just released your debut album on Digital Whomp, tell us about Whompadellic Trip? 

The Digital Whomp adventure has been so exciting and I wanted to push it forward by creating a label. I also chose that the label would focus more on the newcomers of the scene because there are so much talent out there that don't have the exposure they deserve. So I talked to producers I really believe in and proposed them to enter the team. It gave birth to a compilation of 8 smashing tracks, with artists such as Dephicit, Groove Status, CloZee, NiaTrine, Otist Reading, Filip Rasch, Orphic, and Master Minded. It is a free/donation release on bandcamp.

I quitted my job last year to focus on my music, but I can't do only that. I mean I can't focus on myself only and love to share the music of others, so I chose to manage this project that is super motivating. I also always dreamed to run a label since I was young and I just felt it was the good time to launch this project.

Who’s been your biggest influence? 

In Glitch Hop, I think it is Opiuo. I entered this music through The Glitch Mob, which I loved, but Opiuo was the one that brought the real funk in it. His live sessions are gold too!

What is the first thing you do when constructing a track? 

It depends, I generally build a basic beat and bass with older or new sounds, then I struggle editing and programming until I find something that's soulful and gets my attention. It's hard to say but here is an example: you have a cool track but nothing crazy, but then you add a new synth or vocal that makes the thing coherent and full. Finally I come back again on all the different elements. Sometimes I can work hours without having this subtle change, but once I have it, I fell I can start a track.

Any special tricks you swear by in the studio? 

Hum not really, I write everything on my laptop with my fingers. I have a midi keyboard but rarely use it and the other gear is for live performances. No real tricks I think, I am not super fast when writing tunes. Anyway I just wait to feel inspired enough, I generally write music for 2 weeks then stop for 2 weeks, approximately.

What equipment do you use in the studio? 

Ableton Live (still verson 8), Massive, Z3ta, rarely FM8 and Blue, and a lot of samples (i freakin love editing them)

Where do you see yourself in a few years? What’s next? New years resolution? 

Haha I'm not an ambitious person, but I hope music will allow me to travel and meet crazy people. I love sharing, I think that's all on a label side there's a Rob-o-tek track we will release with remixes of some Digital Whomp artists. Filip Rasch will drop a EP soon too. Other cool projects are about to come but I prefer keeping things secret for now.

Top 5 tracks of 2013? 

Wow this is so hard to say, 2013 has been a huge year ! But here I try:

AMB - Dirt Forever
Cheshire - Get Down (Staunch remix)
Skope - Good To Me
Tipper - Shatterbox (VIP)
Culprate vs Dodge&Fuski - Vice
And special big up to Mr 50, Qubit, MC2 and Beat Fatigue for their top notch funk ! But i'm feeling guilty now not selecting everyone I like ^^


Explain the name? 

When I started electronic music, I knew some artists who have used the misappropriation of famous names! I liked it because humour helps people to easily remember your name! And there were already so many dj and producer who used short names like "Kwak", "push", "wook", "zoom", "dash" and still hundreds more! I chose a name from the legendary artists that I like and whose sounding was well anchored in people's heads, I changed a letter here and there for me and that name is "Otis Redding" became "Otist reading" Otist = autist, because I think every producer of electronic music (especially me) have a side "autist" when they create their sounds! "Reading" because the music binds and connects!

How would you describe your music? 

Well, before making electronic music, I self-taught acoustic instruments such as guitar, piano, bass, double bass and accordion, and electronic music came to me! Before the Glitch Hop, I experienced many musical styles like Breakcore, Electronica, Ambient Dub, then Dubstep! But Hip Hop was always present in all my compositions and when I listen to the first Glitch Hop tracks, I said to myself: "This is it!" A mix between powerful basslines of Dubstep, Groove Funk, Hip Hop rhythms, the disintegration of Breakcore, accompanied synthesizers that have'm crazy glitch, that's what I try to do!

You’ve been Paris too, what’s the scene like there? 

Yes, Paris is an amazing city for events around electronic music! I was very happy to have a few dates there, and each time, the public was beautiful, there are all kinds of people and there are a lot of things, people really have a choice, so you know if they are there, it is to see you play!

Who’s been your biggest influence? 

Hard to tell ... then in chronological order, I'll say: Pink Floyd, Black Bérurier, Assasin, Cypress Hill, Amon Tobin, Label Wordsound, Aphex Twin, Broken Note, Tipper, Koan Sound, Opiuo and many more

What is the first thing you do when constructing a track? 

I do not have a usual recipe, I like to let me go on the sounds that catches my ear but I usually start by working on the beat on a basic melody I have developed then work on a bass line.

Any production tips you’d like to share? 

Yes, when I'm sure with my melodic phrase, I very often transpose my MIDI track in each VST on my composition and I often have very good surprises!

What equipment do you use in the studio? 

I have a computer of course, pregnant HS80 yamaha keyboard, Akai APC40, one pad sampler roland SP connected to the turntables with many records of all genres, and a microphone to record any acoustic instruments such as drums, guitar, etc.

What’s next? New years resolution? 

Next year, I see myself in my studio to compose more fresh tracks again, but mostly I see myself around the world doing a maximum amount of live performances! I dream of playing in the biggest festivals on the planet! There may be a mini tour of Canada planned for spring 2014! Travel is the most beautiful thing that music can offer us!

Top 5 tracks of 2013? 

Feel Roll in - MC2
Get Funky - Habstrakt
We Want - Khurt Velkro
Velkro Envy ft Thankyou City - Opiuo
Fluxillary - Mr Bill & Hedflux

As previously mentioned, Whompadellic Trip is now available from Bandcamp. Grab your own copy now!

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