donderdag 4 juni 2020

Interview met Electronic Visions

Een Nederlandse synthwave producer die ik al enige tijd volg is de 18-jarige Luc aka Electronic Visions. Afgelopen maand verscheen zijn debuut album ¨Sound System¨ op het Amerikaanse label Polychora Records. Een fantastisch album die elke liefhebber van chillwave moet bekoren. Tijd voor een interview!

A Dutch synthwave producer that I have been following for some time is 18-year-old Luc aka Electronic Visions. Last month his debut album "Sound System" was released on the American label Polychora Records. A fantastic album that should please every fan of chillwave. Time for an interview!

Electronic Visions

Luc, can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Luc, I'm from The Netherlands and I'm 18 years old. I've been into synthwave and it´s subgenres for a few years now, but it was not until mid 2018 that I actually wanted to produce it. I listened to HOME, 憂鬱, Miami Nights 1984 and other artists a lot and you can hear a lot of those elements in my earlier songs. My latest work took a more progressive and sometimes even symphonic turn compared to my older work. I've learned a lot in the last year and a half and I'm hoping to learn a lot more in the future.

Congratulations with your new album ¨Sound System¨. How was it to work on this album?
I wanted to make a debut album for quite a while now and it was not until January this year that I actually started working on one. I made an album before in early 2019 but I eventually took it down because of bad mixing and production and I was just not happy with it. For ¨Sound System¨, I just started working on a lot of demo's back in January and I had no idea what I was gonna call the album and what the theme was gonna be. Then the Corona Crisis happened and then I finally got some inspiration for the theme: I wanted to make an album that was gonna be an escape from all these bad things that are happening in the world right now. A day with no TV and news on. A day without hearing what kind of bad things are happening right now. Just a moment where you recluse to your sound system, listening to songs, going into your own little world.
So I did. I experimented a lot with new sounds and new synths and I also put a lot of 70's/80's progressive rock elements in some of the songs (guitars, cello's, violins, choirs, ethnic/world instruments, etc.). I'm happy with the end result and I'm very grateful for the support that I've gotten over the last week.

The album is released by Polychora Records. How did you end up working together with this label?
I've known the owner of the label, Nick, for quite a while now. We sort of met in the Chillsynth Discord Community and we became friends. I don't really know the full story, but he once said to me that he thought it would be cool if he started his own label. I told him that if he did, I would be interested in joining. So a few months later he told me that he did and he invited me to join his label and release my debut album with them. It's really chill working with him and I hope to release more music on his label in the future.

When you start working on a new song, how do you begin?
I usually start with asking myself the question: do I want to make a song in a Minor or Major key? Then I try to find the right key and start making some chord progressions. What I've been doing a lot lately is for example making a C Minor progression and then dragging the progression along the piano roll in my DAW to find the Minor key I think suits best for what I want to make. Then I try to make melodies with the progression that I made and then I try making sounds with the virtual synths that I have in my possession. After adding the bass, I usually play around with the effects (Reverb, Delay, EQ, Compression, etc.). Drums are the last part, and for that I use samples that I find on the internet. I mostly use retro drum machines samples; TR-707, TR-626, TR-909, Linndrum and Oberheim DMX for example. Then the challenging part comes in: making a song out of a loop that you've created. For that, I always listen to existing songs from other synthwave artists to get some inspiration. Despite the handy tool of just listening to other artists and how they do it, it's still hard to find a way to make your sequence sound original. This is still a struggle for me and I hope to learn a lot more about that in the future.

What equipment do you use in your studio?
I use FL Studio 20 as my main DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I used to have a MIDI keyboard but it broke unfortunately so I hope to get a replacement soon. I mostly use VST's (Virtual Studio Technology) for synths and effects. I always use Serum, the Arturia V Collection, Sylenth1, Xpand!2 and Omnisphere (for acoustic and ethnic sounds), Kontakt and Roland's D-50 vst for synths. For effects I mostly use the stock FL Studio plugins, Fabfilter for mastering, the Valhalla bundle and the GoodHertz plugins. Like I said earlier, I use samples that I find on the internet for drums.

What other musicians do inspire you?
Quite a lot at the moment. A lot of other Chill Synthwave artists inspire me such as 憂鬱,Forhill, Voyage, Memorex Memories and others. A lot of 70's progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Supertramp and The Alan Parsons Project have inspired me as well. In my early producing days I also got a ton of inspiration from actual 80's Synthpop bands like New Order, Depeche Mode, The Human league and Tears For Fears.

What are your further plans for this year, though life is not normal nowadays due to COVID-19?
I don't really have plans for this year. I'm just going to finish school and when that's done in a few years I hope to be able to travel again because that's something I really miss at the moment. I also hope to learn a lot more about music and production and I hope to do more collabs with fellow Chillsynth artists. I definitely see a bright future for Electronic Visions.

What do you like most about the ´80s?
I really like the music and movies from that era. I listen to a lot of 80's synthpop and rock bands and I enjoy watching 80's movies and series. Also the fact that Social Media didn't exist back then is definitely a good thing in many cases.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
I'm really grateful for this awesome community and for the amazing people that I've met the in last year and a half. Keep on cranking the good music out!

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