Hi, Darren! The beginning of your journey with music is quite interesting. Were you 100% self-taught person? Did nobody even show you the basics?
Hi! Yes, I am 100% self-taught. I had a very small keyboard Christmas when I was young and I taught myself basic chords and stuff and I grew into it very well. With production, it was almost 10 years of trial and error but I was a teenager and had no intentions at this point to be a music producer it just kinda happened.
Talking about production, not everybody knows that you have started in a completely different field. Similar to Arnej, who started with video games sound design, you started with film scores. What is important when producing film scores and what is essential in trance production?
Writing music for what you see on screen is a lot more difficult, you have to translate emotion into music and being able to create these emotions in music is essential, also an understanding of how instruments work with each other. With trance, it’s vital to have energy flow, tension and releases and ambiences.
You took up professional production of electronic music in 2003 however, Termination, your first release, was in 2009. What have you been doing for those 6 years? Obviously, I’m not asking about working on your style and skills.
In 2003 I had just got out of college where I studied Music technology, but back then the technology of today didn’t exist so it didn’t really help much ha! I began to play around with music composition in 2003 and still only made trance music as a little hobby but it was very different than today. After I spent the majority of time in scoring I eventually came back to trance in 2009 and there was a Dave Pearce producer contest for original tracks so I sent in “Termination” and it won and I thought that I might be able to give it a go in the scene. I have also been working nonstop literally every day since 2009 to improve production techniques.
The fact that you have been waiting so long with presenting yourself to the world as an artist proves that you wanted to prepare yourself thoroughly for the producer role. Do you think that as of today you would be able to tutor in production?
I am able to tutor production, but I will only be able to tutor production my way, there is no right or wrong way to do stuff, there may be efficient way, different way etc. I would like to start passing the techniques at some point so maybe I will end up a tutor! ha!
Arnej claims that being a perfectionist is a curse because there is always something you would like to change or improve. As we already mentioned you have waited with your first release till 2009 which makes you a perfectionist as well. To what extent paying attention to details may disturb or help with your work?
I think this is down to the producer, because after you heard the same melody 200 times you want to change it and perfect it but the first melody you had would have been perfect just that you tend to keep tweaking and tweaking so I think if you put enough attention into each aspect of a project it’s a healthy habit to get into.
The year 2012. The track called Foundry. I have to ask how did you come up with the title?
I wanted to try something different, something other 140 bpm banging driving trance, so I took elements from many different genres into the project and left it at 130 bpm and tested to see if I could achieve the same power and drive as 140 bpm, so all the elements blended together to create the track – hence “foundry”.
So far we have heard a lot about your collaborations with Ferry Tayle, Gareth Weston, Sean Tyas and Manuel Le Saux. Also, John O’Callghan speaks highly of your productions. Can we expect soon the collaboration with the latter or maybe you are planning to produce a track together with a completely different artist?
I would welcome a collaboration with John of course! And very humbled by his comments but we haven’t spoken about it and nothing planned as of now but hopefully that may change in the future, I’m a big fan of John naturally.
When we hear your name we usually associate it with one thing: strong, intensive beat. It is similar with e.g. Indecent Noise. However, when I listen to your Springs Scent or Daytona I see a significant difference in style between those and, for instance, Malware. Is it because your style is evolving and changing for the last couple of years or maybe you’re not “140bpm artist” in 100%?
140 bpm is where my heart lies of course, but back when I produced Daytona and Springs Scent I was starting out in the world of production and just beginning to grasp and nail down production techniques so as I grew in confidence and experience over the last 3 years or so I have challenged myself to create more than just 140 uplifting. Malware is a good example of hard tech-trance, the Neptunes’ projects with Ferry Tayle were an example of uplifting but with slower bpm, and Terraforming and Spellbound were 140 uplifters. When I remix I tend to go down the 140 route but I would not call myself a 100% 140bpm artist. I hope to be a little more diverse as a producer.
Transfusion Power of Elements is ahead of us. You are among trance elite that performs in Prague. Do you have any ideas about what you’re going to play or will you improvise?
I think I will have an idea of what I would like to play but that can always change, the crowd is more important and if they like what I’m doing then great, if not, I will change it of course.
Finally, can we ask for a few words for WeLoveTrance.pl readers and your Polish fans?
Thank you for the interview, hope to get to Poland for a gig really soon and I very much look forward to it.
Thank you very much for the interview and I’ll see you in Prague!
Interviewed by: Marta Waluś