We Go ‘Inside The Track’ w/ Martin Landsky

Landsky’s extensive discography reads like a chronological guide through electronic music’s hottest sounds, and through Germany’s most vital labels; from deeply chilled dub house for his own Efforil/Intim imprint, through sampladelic Disco-influenced sounds for Dessous, to his long association with Poker Flat that journeyed with him through Electro experiments, driving Techno, and flirtations with Minimal. Whether uplifting and anthemic, dark and contemplative, or somewhere in between, Landsky’s unwillingness to be pigeonholed has taken him to the uppermost echelons of Berlin’s club scene.

With Martin Landsky latest project ‘Da Geh Bo’ via Poker Flat out now on Traxsource. We sat down with him or an in depth look ‘Inside The Track’ and more with this Exclusive interview.

1) Congratulations on your new “Da Geh Bo” release via PokerFlat. How is it being received in your sets? & How are other club DJs responding to the release?

Thank you. I am very happy; I have just received the DJ Promotion feedback and these absolutely floored me. I“ve been playing the track out in my DJ sets for quite some time now, and it works pretty well. At least in the context of my sets :)

2) Tell us more about “Da Geh Bo”. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?

The track is quite simple, and the arrangement is rather sparse, which was definitely the intention. The main drum parts as a whole are just dropping in and out as if they were a single drum loop that creates a certain straight feel with just a very few distractions.

The organ pattern more or less plays the same basic sequence throughout the whole track. It takes some time to settle but then it provides atmosphere, filling out the space without being obvious to the listener anymore. The track just unpretentiously rolls along and only gets disturbed by the main lead that is introduced quite late in the track and gets buried away quickly in order not to disturb the atmosphere too much.

The vocal snippets and the claves just make the whole idea of this basic, unpretentious track a bit more interesting to avoid boredom, I’d say. The idea or the inspiration behind it (as you call it) was to create this rolling, atmospheric and simple track that has the potential to carry you away when listened to at the right moment. The most important un-exchangeable ingredient is the organ sequence that was created on the Yamaha DX 100 (from a very simple sinewave patch). This also gets all its movement, and excitement from my favorite analog chorus ever built, the mighty Boss CE-1 and from some quite not so humble distortions. My custom made analog tape saturator by Steffen Müller is responsible for that.

Click the images for large versions

3) Production wise, what is it about “Da Geh Bo” that makes it work?

As explained above the combination of simple things and keeping the structure all straight and sparse is probably the key to the way the track works. The effects and processors also play a distinctive role here. The Space Echo, the custom made dual channel Urei 1176 (Steffen Müller), the lovely gritty Roland DEP 3 and the lush DRP 20 were used heavily in this production. And last but not least the mixdown by Hannes Bieger, in his übercool analog room, brought things together. His skills to adopt the energy of the track and to glue it together proved once again why he is one of the honchos in the biz here in Germany. Thank you, Herr Bieger once again.

4) What is the one machine, program, sound or technique that characterizes your sound?

Hard to tell as it all comes down to a combination of a lot of small things. But as I am crazy about all things dubby, delay-ish and spring verby, I might have to say: “Roland original RE-201 Space Echo” here. :)

5) What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?

Is it boring to say Space Echo or Boss chorus again, hmmm…..?Ha! One piece people mostly forget about (at least me) is maybe the most important part, your DAW. I am strictly on Ableton Live these days, and there are several reasons for that (with max of course).

6) Any advice for your fans on how to make it in today’s fast paced game?

In my humble opinion, it’s kinda odd from the start when thinking in terms of career and how to make it up in the biz. It’s also quite weird to me these days when people start learning how to write music, start to DJ and such just because they want to make a living from that and seeing this as their future profession.

Music is about passion in the first place and writing and performing it, is an artform, so that should be your initial motivation. And then when you feel you want and need to express yourself through this art form, then it’s time to learn your tools and practise in order to get closer to what you want to achieve. Then later maybe you will realize if you really want to make it your “job”.

So being one of the old guys with this romantic old school way of seeing things, I am definitely the wrong person to give any advice to the aspiring upcoming artist who seeks success. All I can say is, try to make and play (producing or DJing) music that satisfies yourself and touches you emotionally. Then I swear, there will be tons of other people enjoying your art, too.

Martin Landsky artist page and releases on Traxsource.