Luna City Express take us inside their new album: 'Lunation'
Norman Weber and Marco Resman aka Luna City Express land their album ‘Lunation’ on Supernova’s forward-thinking Lapsus Music, recently home to an exciting generation of Tech talent including Shosho, Tini Garcia, Montel, Electronic Youth, and Prok & Fitch. We got with the guys to dissect the project and discuss the process on a few selected works from their brand new album ‘Lunation’.
This track wasn’t supposed to be on the album in the beginning. We offered it first to Matthias for Moon Harbour but unfortunately he wasn’t interested. The main idea of Monkey City was created after a jam session with Roland’s Space Echo and a microphone. We recorded our voices as well as a few different percussions with it. We wanted to keep it simple and added just the bass, which we wrote with the Operator from Ableton. Kick and Hi-Hats are samples from our library.
This track actually started just as a test session and we recorded almost every single sound from the iPad. We connected it with an audio interface from Alesis, which was made especially for the iPad. The sound quality was surprisingly good. We jammed a lot with the Akai MPC app and programmed the beats and the bass line with it. The vocals came from a Beatbox app. So much fun!
Victims Of The Funk
Our friends Ominous from Puerto Rico spent the last summer in Berlin and we had our long-awaited jam session together. Ricky is a thoroughbred musician and played all these funky sounds. Bass and keys came from the Roland Juno 102 and the guitar from Spectrasonics’ Trillian. It took us a while to re-open the project and to continue working on it. We stripped the track down, chose our favourite elements and arranged everything. The vocal is from DoMi, who’s a singer from Montreal. She got in touch with us via Facebook and we sent her the track. We fell in love with her voice and think that she really completed the track.
When we started to produce DJ Dynamite we had no idea in which direction the track would lead us. Everything came together step by step, but it was definitely a long journey. First of all we got these new vocals from Aaron Palmer, who was the voice of our Mr. Jack tune in 2009. Inspired by the lyrics from Aaron, talking about DJ Dynamite, we made these classic House beats, added an old-school bass line and combined them with the vocals. When we continued to work on it a year later we added all these little samples and this distorted vintage Organ from the NI Komplete Library. In 2015, 3 years had passed by since we started the tune, we invited Martin Klingeberg, who is an amazing trumpet player. His addition to DJ Dynamite helped us to finish the track.
When we started this project we actually wanted to do a Downbeat track. We found some Hip-Hop samples and put them into Ableton’s Sampler. We messed around with the MIDI note length and the loop function. Somehow this led us to make the song tempo faster and in the next moment we both were dancing and head banging in the studio. Our first Breakbeat track was born! The Bass is actually a modulated acoustic bass with a longer decay and came again from the Trilian library. In the track it sounds pretty much like a synthesizer. The bass inspired us to add all these crazy modulated sweep sounds, which we made with Sugar Bytes’ Cyclop as well as with Spectrasonics Atmosphere. To keep the tune deep and moody we added Pads and Strings that came also from the Atmosphere. The vocals are from the amazing Desney Bailey who’s a Jazz and and Soul Singer from Berlin. We invited her to our studio and recorded a couple of layers. It was a long process to finish the entire track, especially with all these vocals stems. 4 years from the first until the final version!
Unity is another track that came out after a long jam session. This time we used the Moog Voyager and the Eventide Space and recorded a lot of different layers. Everything is sequenced with help from an arpeggiator in Max for Live. The original version was more than 10 minutes long and we actually wanted to keep it like this. But since we decided to put it on the album we needed to make a shorter version, which wasn’t easy in the end.
Norman recorded a group of kids from the Kindergarden as he wrote the annual song for their farewell party. He did some extra recordings afterwards and convinced the kids to say the word lunation as often as possible. We layered our favourite parts in the studio and added this LFO modulated pad sound from U-HE’s Diva. Inspired by the free available NASA sample library we wanted to do an outer space sound and created this telecommunication sound in the background, which is actually also a sound from the Diva, but we heavily modulated it with the Tremolator effect from Soundtoys.