HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Adam Beyer

When thinking of Swedish techno, the name Adam Beyer automatically comes to mind as it's primary catalyst. He has globally influenced today's electronic scene, founding imprints, Drumcode, Truesoul and most recently, Mad Eye Recordings and has placed Sweden on the map as a center for techno.

www.higher-frequency.com caught up with Adam for a quick interview on his recent January visit to Tokyo as he was about perform is eagerly awaited set at Club Womb.

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> Interview : Laura Brown _ _ Photo : Mark Oxley


HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : So it's been only 7 months since you came to Japan last time. Does it mean Japan has become something special to you?

Adam Beyer : It has always been something very special. There is such a big difference from Europe and the rest of the world because of the culture. For me, the more I can come here, the better. I really enjoy it.

HRFQ : Last year, you started another label "Mad Eye Recordings", and released two tracks under the collaboration with Henrik B. You said Mad Eye was created for more experimental music. Can you tell us why you decided to set it up?

Adam : The stuff that I'm really getting into at the moment, and over the last two or three years, is a combination of what I used to do with Drumcode as well as Truesoul, with that whole minimal wave hitting at the moment, so I've been quite inspired by that and want to make my own mix out of it. So Mad Eye is somewhere in between. It's still techno, but it's not supposed to be hard. It's more a bit weird and different arrangements. It didn't fit with either Drumcode or other labels I knew, so I just made a little new imprint.

HRFQ : Can you tell us how Drumcode and Truesoul are going to be from now?

Adam : With Drumcode, I'm focusing to release other Swedish artists. There are so much people in Sweden producing good music and there are a lot of young guys are doing what I was doing a couple years ago and these days, maybe even better than when I do it. So I like to get ahold of them and give them a platform to release their stuff, rather than opening new labels for everything. So that's what I'm going to do with Drumcode. I might occasionally produce something myself for it as well.

For Truesoul, it's more about concepts and albums and music in general. It doesn't have to be a certain style or it doesn't have to fit for DJing or whatever. It is more just music that I like, or melodic stuff.

HRFQ : There are so many great Swedish artists around like Henrik, Aril Brikha, Cari Lekebusch and Jasper Dahlbek. Can you name any other new talents Japanese fans should be aware of?

Adam : I just released five records by a duo called Hardcell and Par Grindvik. They are also solo artist, but they made this package together. It has done pretty well and there are a couple really big tracks on there. So it seems like they are going to have a good year next year. They have a great live act as well. There is also a guy called David Rossor, which has been in the scene for a long time in Sweden as well. And he has some great stuff coming up. Hertz, Eric Prydz, he just had a number one hit in the UK. I released some records earlier under his other name@Cirez D, so there is a lot of people to work with, which is great for a small country like Sweden.

HRFQ : As a label manager, what kind of criteria do you have when you pick up new artists or tracks for your labels?

Adam : Up until now, it has been mostly friendship-related things because I like to work with people that I've know for a while and that I know where they want to go, what style they've produced and what they are going to do in the future. So that I know they will fit the concept for a longer period and not just like releasing one 12", if you get a good demo. I don't need to sign a lot of artists. I'd rather sign the Swedish ones I have around me, and the close friends that I meet on the road, people like the Italian guys, Marco Carola and Chris Liebing. They are all really well-known. If I would to get a demo that was absolutely amazing, I would probably release it, but I'm not looking for new material in that way. It's more about knowing people and exchanging -- I do a 12" for someone and they do a 12" for me. That's how I've been working and it's the easiest way for me.

Adam Beyer Interview

HRFQ : You have done a lot of work with Henrik B. Do you each have any particular role in your studio work?

Adam : It's actually changing around quite a lot. I guess I've always been good with programming drums. I used to play the drums when I was younger and I've been DJing more or less my whole life, so I know arrangements and programming. And he's pretty good with making sounds with synthesizers and stuff. But sometimes we change it around. We just work well together. I used to produce more alone in the past but lately as the music is getting more complex, we try to put more time into everything, to get something more special out of every track. And it's easier being two people, rather than just being on your own. Sometimes you get stuck and if you are two, the other can maybe give an idea. It's easier to move forward, faster.

HRFQ : What kind of software do you use for your sound production as host sequencer? Protools? Logic? Live or Cubase?

Adam : Right now, I'm working on Cubase SX3 and Ableton 4 Live. I use software samplers like Halion 3 and also a lot of free plug-ins -- everything that we can get our hands on basically. It's changing around. There is so much different stuff. Sometimes I go back in and use hardware as well, like synthesizers. I always try to have a different setup just to get a different approach.

HRFQ : What about your Bass lines? Do you have any favorite synths and compressors to generate that fat sound?

Adam : I used to have them more in the past because you were more limited - you only had a couple pieces of equipment - a couple of synthesizers and usually you used the same ones for bass. But today with all the software synths and stuff, you find new stuff all the time. Sometimes you sample something and you play around with it and you get something new out of it. So it really isn't like a favorite piece for bass lines.

HRFQ : How is your new album going? It's been almost 2 years since you released your last album, right?

Adam : It's kind of tricky. I know what I want to do, but I'm not really there yet. Hopefully it's going to come out next year. Between every album I've done, the first one was '96, second in '99, third in 2002, so next year should be the year -- every three years. We'll see what happens. I don't want to give away too much yet. It might just really get into a listening-type thing, or I may do a wide one, with vocals and a bit more all over the place. I haven't decided yet.

HRFQ : Detroit Techno is quite big here in Japan. I sometimes find great influence from Detroit Techno in your sound production. What does Detroit Techno mean to you?

Adam : I think it has meant a lot over the years. People like Jeff and Robert Hood, also Joey Beltram although he isn't from Detroit. All that sort of stuff, shaped the Swedish stuff. More on the harder level, but today I don't find that many records anymore that makes it for me from Detroit. Still the way they play the cords and the mentality is still a big influence on the whole scene. I think it's important that we keep it that way. The original idea was still the best idea, when it comes to Techno.

End of the interview

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