Next up on the EPM Podcast is Swedish producer Kristian Heikkila with an exclusive live set previewing his soon to be released debut album ‘Kombinations’ on EPM. Featuring recent single ‘01’ and previewing album tracks such as the big room techno of ‘We Want Techno’ and ‘Filter’ Heikkila even manages to show off his hip hop roots with the inclusion a certain well known rap acapella.
With a history of producing some of Sweden’s finest underground Hip Hop artists, Kristian Heikkila went back to basics a few years ago. Techno and House has always been the real passion of his life and after a few releases on different labels he teamed up with Christian Lundqvist in 2006 to form Kristian & Christian. After a digital release on Kupei Musika, they ended up on Thomas P Heckmann’s label A.F.U. Lab. Some live gigs later Kristian & Christian decided to take a pause. Now Kristian Heikkila returns with the essence of what they did, delivering productions influenced by Acid House, Hip-Hop, Drum & Bass and Techno.
Tracklist EPM Podcast 33 – Kristian Heikkila Live
1. We Want Techno & 01
3. Filter (Re-edit)
4. The Plipp
5. House Track
6. Vibe (incl. acapella renegade master)
7. Acid Play
8. Diet (Re-edit)
9. Death with the record
10. DOT (Re-edit)
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Q&A with Kristian Heikkila
1. How do you programme and select tracks to work in your live show? Do you already have an idea before hand or is it quite an organic process?
I do a mix of loops from my songs, both audio, effects and synthezisers in to separated files in Reason. Then I rework them and do re-edits of my own songs to fit a live gig. In addition to this I use my Kaoss Pad and program drum loops etc. in my Electribe ESX. So it´s a mix of an idea and an organic process with hardware.
2. How different is it for you to collaborate with hip-hop artists and vocalists as opposed to making your own music?
The process in the beginning is about the same. You make a loop and the artist/vocalist writes the lyrics and we record the voices. When it´s recorded I usually divide the song into verse, chorus and bridge. I then go to mixing. When it comes to my own music I don´t have to follow the same rules or wishes from artists. I´m in complete control over my production and it´s up to me to do the whole process, not saying that´s always good but it´s a freedom not having to wait for someone or have to re-record voices in the process.
3. What makes Sweden such a hot bed for house and techno music talent? Is it those long winter nights?
Yes, one factor I believe is the long winter nights. But also I think we have a natural tradition of making quality music. Everything from producing commercial music such as Abba, Ace of Base, Britney Spears among all the other world leading pop to Swedish Metal. So a history of Techno producers and artists who have always been in front is not that strange for me.
4. How would you begin to describe your style?
A mix of new and old, Hip-Hop, Acid House and Dnb. I do like to mix styles but always try to keep that focus to techno.
5. How do you work in the studio? Do ideas come to fruition quickly or do you tinker with lots of ideas at the same time, going back and forth until one clicks and you focus on it?
Usually I start with programming a drumloop or a chord. I put a lot of emphasis in finding right kick and right bass. It´s a lot about feeling. But mostly I do the loop in maybe half an hour and if it feels good I continue, if it dosen´t I put it aside and sometimes I find something else in the loop that I use again. Other times I play around with my Electribe or Maschine to find a feeling and export it to Reason.
6. Which modern day producers currently impress you?
Adam Beyer, Joel Mull, Alan Fitzpatrick, Len Faki, Sbtrkt and Marcel Dettmann among others. But also producers like Liam Howlett, DJ Pierre and A Guy Called Gerald that have been doing music for so long.
7. What plans do you currently have for your own music productions after your album release?
2nd of July EPM Music releases my debut album. So far this year I have forthcoming releases and remixes on Australian label Gynoid Audio and the Swedish label Clubstream Label Group. Besides that I want to focus on playing live as much as possible this year.
8. If you could program a whole club for one night, what would your ideal line up be?
Burial and SBTRKT following up with Len Faki and finishing with Carl Cox.
9. How did you hook up with EPM for your debut album?
Actually through My Space. Oliver from Detroit Grand Pubahs messaged me and Christian and told us that we were on their Ibiza playlist when we released our 12” on A.F.U.Lab back in 2008. As both me and Christian are fans of D.G.P. we were very happy to hear that. A year or so I connected with Oliver again and started sending him demos.
10. Please give us your top 10 all-time favourite Swedish techno / house tracks:
Adam Beyer Pump EP
Adam Beyer Drumcode 1 EP
Joel Mull Själ i köket EP
Adam Beyer & Joel Mull Drumcode 12 EP
Mikael Jonasson Absent Minded EP
Andreas Tilliander Back To The USA
Tomas Andersson Washing Up
Samuel L Session New Soil
Alexi Delano Mute