JoeFarr asks Insolate.
Thank you for taking part in the interview. The aim is to really get into your creative process and find out how you get your sound. Tell me about your production process, how do you start a track and where does it go from there?
Every time is a different process. Most of the time I listen to lots of music and then just start with the ideas. Sometimes I start jamming with the Analog FOUR and make some lead or with standard kick-bass beginning or I just play with percussion and process them a lot and end up doing some crazy rhythmic bass line. It really depends. There is no rule. What I learned is that the bass line is the heart of the song and if I get that right everything else comes much more natural.
How has that changed over the years?
Before I didn't have access to different hardware, I was working with software only. Process was completely different and I probably didn't experiment so much. Nowadays I have much more patience to work on something,to turn knobs for hours and maybe don't get anything from that session. I am getting older, i suppose :D
I’ve spied that you are a big Elektron fan. How do you use them in your productions?
Oh yes, big big fan! Till now I have bought four, rhythm, octatrack, and heat. And I love them each the same. [I am] Planning to start the live act too and I think they are perfect for that kind of performance.
I find your sound a kind of pure strain of techno, is that an aim when you are writing or does that just happen naturally?
Oh merci! Au naturel! :D
Your album just came out, it still sounds like you, but more epic. How did you approach the album?
Yes, I wanted to show all sides of me, Not just straight to the floor tracks, but to show much more deepness and variations that sometimes because of the nature of business we forget to show.
So I approached the album as I am having a wedding (laugh): "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue“. Meaning: I took an old track ’Werk’ I released on Deeply Rooted and made ReWerk of it. Then I also presented my current sound with ‘Lust and Order is Chaos’. I loved the feeling on some old records from 2000. I found in my collection and borrowed a similar feeling to make a track and made ‘Circulation’. Also I showed some ‘blue emotions’ in tracks with Sara.
It was a really fun process, I loved it!
I really like the two vocal tracks with Sara. Tell me about the process of making those.
Yes they are really special. And actually after we made these two we continue to work on more tracks, now we finished an EP and I am searching for a good home for them. They are raw, industrial , experimental and sentimental. I love that I have a chance to show that side of me too.
Actually, I heard Sara live for the first time at one festival in Osijek and I remember I thought “my god she’s amazing and so experimental” so strange to hear something like that in the Croatian scene. I was thinking that I would really love to collaborate with her in one way or another and when I started to work on my album I instantly thought about her.
First, I thought we should make one track and I sent her some loops I made. And she just naturally jammed on them and it sounded perfect. She hit it from the first. After that we met in my studio and just jammed for two whole days and after that we had hours and hours of materials recorded. Then I included one more track to my album and from the rest we made an EP.
Were they the first tracks you’ve made with a vocalist?
Actually I worked with one more vocalist a few years ago and these vocals I included into ReWerk that is also on the album. What monitors do you use?
I am using Neumann KH310, i was so happy when I bought them as these monitors are simply amazing! I would prefer if I could have an extra sub but I think my neighbours would not appreciate that :D What plugin could you not live without?
I love Devastor from D16
How do you know when a track is finished?
It is never finished :D One thing I hate is hearing my tracks behind a booth, it’s either all bass or no bass. Pretty much the worst place to hear your own tracks. For me I find that makes me second guess my productions. Do you get this problem? How do you deal with that?
Nooo, I love to play my tracks and sometimes I am just testing bits or pieces or small loops. I just love it. Love to hear them from that side too, to see people's reactions. You can see and hear a lot from that.
Do you find yourself referencing other tracks to see how your track is coming along in terms of loudness and production?
Yes, always. When I finish my track I love to mix it with other tracks and just jamm on the decks to see if I am missing something or just to feel if my low end is working fine.
Is there any part of the writing and production process you dislike?
I love to do the creative part, to build the song and make ideas but when I need to start to work on sound – it is killing me. I hate to do the engineering part. I think I don't have patience for that.
What’s coming up in your schedule, where can we hear your next set and when can we hear your next release. Or maybe a well deserved break after the album ?
You can hear me at my quarantine :D Preparing a few live streams but also working a lot in the studio and on my music. Next scheduled releases are remixes for: Illegal Alien and A-traction rec. Also I am part of the various artist vinyl release on NORD LTD and Immaterial Archives. One of my tracks is gonna appear on vinyl compilation by Jamaica Suk and I am also working on a new full EP and as I said before I just finished one experimental EP with Sara Renar. After summer I am gonna release vinyl and digital remixed album releases on my label Out of Place with 7 extremely good names, can't wait to reveal them! Also I started a digital division of my label and concept is to find fresh young names and to release their music. So for now I have signed Francesco Argentieri from Italy, Szmer from Poland and Anne from Greece. These releases are gonna be out in the next few months.
Thank you Insolate! - here is a short jamm from her studio.