When music brings two artists together magic can happen, and thats whats happened here for two unlikely producers making left of centre progressive. Gonzalo Oleaga (Gullen) began his solo production career very recently after years of club DJing showing amore considered, mature approach to previous incarnations. Anders Lygren on the other hand is something of a mystery, and was plucked from seeming obscurity by Dutch based label Cinematique sometime last year.
Together, their considerable studio craft, love of melodies and ear for a tune sees them releasing their first collaboration on Proton this month. So taken with the pair, head of A&R Simon Huxtable had to find out more…
Hi Guys, great to meet you both. How are you?
Anders – Doing just fine.
So tell us about yourselves. How did you both become interested in dance music?
Anders: I tried doing that band stuff, but I sucked at it, so I had to do something solo where nobody told me I was shit.
Gonzalo: I didn’t even try the band stuff hah, although I remember not liking dance music at all during my teenage years. One day I got inside a friend’s car and a Vitalic live from 2005 was playing. It was automatic.
Who were your heroes growing up, and have you ever met them?
Anders: My biggest hero was Frank Sinatra, and I can’t recall meeting him, BUT I also loved James Holden and Mathew Jonson and I did a gig in Bergen back in 2007 with my previous partner Terje Bakke and we warmed up for Mathew Jonson! I didn’t really meet him, but I said hello and gave him a CD.
Gonzalo: As I said before, growing up I didn’t really enjoyed electronic music. Even when I was 15 and I loved listening to Radiohead, I stopped listening to them when they moved forward into ‘Kid A’ for example. My first good “electronic” inspirations where Moby and RJD2. Then I discovered Trentemoller (the other Anders haha) and Poker Flat, Border, Kompakt, you can imagine the rest of the story!
Tell us about the scenes in your countries, what makes them unique?
Anders: What makes the scene in Bergen unique? I guess that would be that there is hardly any scene at all. I guess that’s kind of unique. There is a massive scene for normal music, but coming to electronic music, I wouldn’t say that there isn’t much of a scene. That’s what I call unique!
Gonzalo: For sure Barcelona has a huge scene. Although in my opinion it’s been related with the amount of tourism we get every year. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but in a way it’s been “made” to work like this. A quick summary of how Barcelona works: 2002 Ian Pooley is cool, 2006 Holden is cool, Pooley is meh, 2010 Justice is cool, Holden is meh and Pooley is dead, 2014 Holden is a god and Pooley has always been a god, who is Justice? I know the music scene is very fleeting, but I’d say Barcelona is the pure representation of what that means.
The new EP is out this month, and we are really impressed. Could you talk us through the process of writing the tracks?
Anders: Well… As I can remember it, me and Gullen met on this dating app called SoundCloud, and he did a remix for me on Traumwelten (a record label) and from there we just established that we liked what we do together. Gonzalo had some unfinished stuff and we just sent it back and forth until we had a final product as they say in Breaking Bad.
Gonzalo: The process has been curious because when we started to mess with the tracks, we both liked a lot what the other one was producing at the moment, so it was a bit like trying to be Anders for a few days.
Are you both using the same DAW, or do you need to bounce the parts out? How does this affect the overall sound of the track (if at all)?
Anders: I use Cubase, so we had to send parts individually. Stressful.
Gonzalo: I use Ableton, but I don’t think it has affected the sound at all. If anything, it’s given the tracks a cool particularity none of our previous tracks had.
Have you learned any interesting production tricks from each other?
Anders: I have learned that Ableton is a much cooler DAW than Cubase! ‘Cause Gonzalo does cool stuff that I don’t know how to do in Cubase! haha
Gonzalo: Hahaha, but Anders has got all this 2005 dreamy dry drums!
Alright lads… haha! The EP is being released on Proton, who are great. How difficult was getting these tracks signed, do you find it all a bit easier now you both have releases elsewhere?
Anders: To be honest, I don’t know if previous releases have any weight in what label sees you fit, but I do know that the tracks matter 90%.
Gonzalo: Yeh, of course it does help a bit… And even sometimes, unfortunately, good Soundcloud stats might even help, which makes no sense at all. I agree that in the end tracks matter 90%. In our case, the connection was cool because Proton liked a chart I did including Extrawelt’s Landside Remix (which is a monster by the way) so they wrote me and here we are now!
Anders, Holland has some 600 festivals during the summer, many paid for by government to boost tourism. Do you find the clubs during the summer suffer because of this?
Hmm… I would rather play a festival than a club. Festivals often have higher budgets which, in the end, turns out in free drinks and food for the artist!
Gonzalo, With WMC 2016 just around the corner, and SFX now in bankruptcy, do you think there will be such a big EDM presence this year?
To be honest, I don’t really give a f… I think the EDM scene has been slowly dying for the last 2 years. Similar to when a Komodo Dragon bites a Buffalo’s leg and waits for the poor animal to slowly die after 8 days. Not because of the bite, but because of the poison. EDM has been poison.
But oh well, after it’s gone, we’ll probably have something worst! If you really think about it, it’s good that shitty music exists; otherwise we would’ve never had the change of enjoying ‘The Idiots are Winning’, and we could be talking about this for ages.
Well, it’s been great to meet you guys, thanks for finding the time to chat to us at Decoded Magazine. Would you like to add anything else?
If there’s a special force reading this: Please make The MFA come back.
01// Anders. & Gullen – Marzo [Proton]
02// Christian Bachmann – TGIM [Manual]
03// Christian Löffler – Mt. Grace [Ki]
04// Anders. & Gullen – Nostaw [Proton]
05// Anders. & Gullen – Nostaw (Mondkrater Remix) [Proton]
06// Gullen – Folie [Petra]
07// Margot – Liuff Dub [Margot]
08// Stephan Bodzin – Luka-Leon [Herzblut]
09// The MFA – Motherload [Precinct]
10// Anders. – Gresset Er Grönnere Her [Knopje]
11// Anders. – Söh Möh (Gullen Remix) [Traumwelten]
12// Terje Bakke – Toulon [Back Home]
13// Gullen – Ursa [Petra]
14// Nathan Fake – Peary Land [Saw]