Affi Koman Takes Us "Inside The Track"
Lyceum Social Club is back with another stunning release. The Glasgow label has gone from strength to strength, with just three releases under their belt and already garnering massive support from all corners, the brand new label is showing us that they are a serious force to be reckoned with. For their latest signing, they’ve recruited Affi Koman (an artist the heads will know from Huntleys+Palmers famous free comps) for the ‘Snuggle Monster’ EP. Koman drops an awesome package of two Disco House dancers plus ‘Snuggle Monster’ – An exploration into the weird and wonderful, great late-night stuff.
We went ‘Inside the Track’ with Koman to discover how to construct that trippy late-night feel.
Congratulations on your new release. How is it being received in your sets? & How are other club DJs responding to the release?
Hey, thanks very much – I’ve been more focused on trying to stay out of trouble and just making lots of music over the past year so been festering in my studio. I have been told by my label bosses (Illyus, of Illyus and Barrientos, and Idamos) that they’ve been getting a great response when they have played them out.
Tell us more about the track. What was the main inspiration behind it and what prompted the musical direction on this?
I guess I just wanted to make some vibey, happy house music. The style I have mainly focused on over the years has been more of a progressive sound so I went through some old disco/funk tracks and acapellas looking for samples that I liked and took it from there. Or conversely, if I had a project that I was stuck with that started life out as being quite dark and moody, I removed all the musical elements and rebuilt the track around the drums with a happier mindset.
Production wise, what is it about the track that makes it work?
There’s nothing too complicated about any of the tracks and I think that’s why they work. It’s all about the arrangement, selecting the right samples and getting the most out of them. In “Snuggle Monster’ for example, I thought about how I could make sections of the vocal stand out more so I started stretching certain words and then messing about with audio envelope cuts to create a stuttered, rhythmical effect. With “Time Out” and “Vicious Circle” – I wish I could say I was performing some mind boggling studio techniques but it’s really just lots of filtered samples!
What is the one machine, program, sound, drum machine, the technique that characterizes your sound?
Technique wise, I use Ableton’s frequency shifters and ping pong delays on pretty much everything I make because it’s just very easy to add some spacey edginess to melodies and drums. Also, I add a varying degree of the Erosion effect on most elements in a track to add subtle or extreme crunchiness. I just like playing around with sounds by sending them trough delay fx like D16’s Sigmund or Effectrix and seeing what happens and how I can fit any interesting results into the arrangement. So I guess it’s not about one specific instrument, drum machine etc. it’s more how they are processed that characterizes my sound.
What is the one piece of kit that you simply cannot do without?
I don’t think there’s one specific instrument that I go to – I always start with a basic default project file I’ve saved and go from there so I’m going to have to be very boring and say my DAW. I started my music making journey using Fruityloops, then moved on to Reason and now, Ableton which I’ve been with for 6 years and can’t imagine using anything else. It’s such an easy program to use for working with audio files which are great when you’re using lots of samples like on this EP. I use Ableton effects all the time and even if I was deprived of 3rd party VST instruments and FX, I would probably still be able to get the sound I wanted.