In this week’s edition of The Journal, we interviewed the producer behind Underground Modular Techno, a booming, boundary breaking collection of modern techno. We discussed multiple artistic influences that inspired this release, including the heavy use of modular euroracks, which make Underground Modular Techno a unique, pounding, and analog collection.

Tell us a little bit about Underground Modular Techno (title subject to change) and how you prepared for this release.

The great thing about Underground Techno is that it is an open canvas and as Jeff Mills once mused, techno is about future music more than anything else, all other confines and constructs are nonsense. That said, the only limitation I had to work with here was to keep all elements in the modular environment, which for me was more of an absolute pleasure than a restriction. My modular system is a Groovebox (bass, drums, synths, sequencers) made up of eurorack modules. I have tried out many Grooveboxes over the years and always felt like something was missing, so it was a logical progression for me to build my own. I prepared for making this pack by listening to all my underground techno favorites!

What got you inspired during the creation of this release? Any particular influences?

Well, there are two types of forces at play here, one is the music, the other is the amazing gear. Let’s start with the music I listened to:

Jeff Mills, Surgeon, Kenny Larkin, Model 500, Basic Channel, Terence Dixon, Drexciya, Anthony Shakir, Underground Resistance, Porter Ricks, Monolake, Convextion, Bandulu and so much more. As far as the gear, Harvestman, Intellijel, Livewire, Qu-bit Electronics, Mutable Instruments, Vermona, Befaco, Doepfer, Make Noise, Acidlab, Fonitronik, Studio Electronics, Soundmachines and then some!

 

What was your biggest challenge in creating this sample pack?

As with every pack I do, the greatest challenge is to make sure every single loop and sound is incredible and stands on its own. I want the end-user to get stuck listening to every element.

Tell us a little bit about your current studio setup.

My current set up 756hp of euroack case filled with modules and a huge selection of effects processors and guitar pedals. I probably have more reverbs than I need but am addicted to verb. J I use a MOTU 16A interface and a Macbook Pro running Ableton Live. I also have a Roland JV1080 with four expansion boards.

You recently sold all your Roland’s and a few other pieces of gear in favor for the euroracks. What prompted this change and do you have any regrets?

No regrets at all. Building this eurorack groovebox is a dream come true. This is now my instrument of choice and man oh man is it powerful. I feel like I can happily use this for the rest of my days. Expandability is also appealing. If ever there’s a sound or tone I need, you can bet there’s a eurorack module out there for it!

What’s a unique, unconventional production technique that you would like to share with our readers?

Everything sounds better with analog spring reverb!

What DAW do you regularly use, and what are some plugins you typically use?

I use Ableton Live Suite and have since they launched. Love it. Some of my favorite plugins are U-he Zebra 2, Soundtoys, K-research KR-Space, NI Komplete and all Max for Live patches by Hyakken!

Any tips or advice for aspiring producers?

We are what we do every day.