Defunk brings some Canadian style groove to the table in this exclusive interview for his chart topping debut album.
Image: Welcome to Groove City [High Chai] 8/10/2013
Canada’s Logan Anderson is a humble guy. I had to pleasure to meet him when he came to Falmouth to headline a rather stomping evening with the Hong Kong Ping Pong club, we chilled out in the smoking area and talked tattoos, festivals and producing. I managed to get his details and then half a year later, he goes ahead and releases a phenomenal album that tops both the Beatport Glitch-hop chart and Simplify chart. All three of his Beatport releases have hit number #1 in their respective genres with the newly released “Welcome to Groove City” LP hitting #10 on Beatport overall. With dates around Canada and the US flairing up, Defunk is on the fast track to festival season – he has come on leaps and bounds since his inception.
I contacted him a little while ago with the intention of getting the low down on his new release, and he was more than happy to oblige.
Hi Logan. So, you have released an album, you have toured the US, Beatport loves you and your fanbase seems to be hitting heady new voluminous heights. Does it feel like everything is in fact skyrocketing a bit? How are you taking it all?
Its very exciting for the most part. Lots of great things are happening, slowly but surely. Things aren’t happening as quickly as I’d like but I guess that’s part of having to be extremely patient as an artist. In recent developments I just signed on with Majestic Entertainment out of Denver as well as a yet-to-be-named glitch hop agency in the UK. Still waiting on when I’ll be able to release that info but it has some GREAT glitch artists and both of these will mean lots more gigs in a big way.
Absolutely. So how would you describe your release to a fan of EDM?
Welcome to Groove City was a hell of a lot of fun. It was thoroughly an experiment in a lot of ways, but I wanted it to be driven mainly but a glitch hop sound. This means most songs are upbeat, around the 100 bpm mark, and they all have a funky groove to them. In general the album has a darker feel than what I had done previously, and inspired by Opiuo’s progressive songs in the last few years I not only set out to make new and interesting grooves, but to make the songs bend, change tempo and progress. Looking back, I’m super proud of it because it is EXACTLY what I wanted to achieve, however it was not the most play out friendly for dj’s.
I’ve noticed a considerable amount of Genre mash ups in there. Lonely Road is full on Drum & Bass, but you also have some more chilled out soul and bluesy elements too. This dynamic interplay gives the record a lot of contrast. Do you that think it takes away a sense of “oh, this song is 100% the DeFunk sound!” identification or is this kind of variation integral to how you will be making music in the future?
Totally. I think the one thing people can always expect from me is hearing something they won’t expect. I have an extremely varied taste in music and also in my live performances. It translates into my music. I did ghetto funk for a while, did the swing thing, I’ve dabbled in drumstep and dubstep in the old days, explored some blues, and now I’m bringing in new shit. I am always trying to push the envelope for myself, so yes I would say variation is integral to my sound. Whatever it is, my main focus is to create something with soul, emotion and something with some serious groove and heavy fucking bass attached. I keep telling fans that they should not expect me to stay with one sound.
How would you describe the touring lifestyle? Is it hard?
Well its definitely not as glamorous as people idolize as kids, but its also pretty fun as fuck too. On one hand you spend most of your time travelling with a hangover from the night before trying to get an internet connection so that you can let your fans know where you’ll be the next night. Then you try to get yourself a nap, but don’t have time because the next promoter is taking you for dinner and showing you to the venue, right before having to get get ready for the night. Its a lot of constant movement, but its a first world problem. You get to meet so many amazing people who become friends, and this happens in every city you travel to. The experience of landing in a new town you didn’t know how to pronounce and finding people who are rabid fans of yours is pretty much the most exhilarating feeling I’ve found. I do find after a couple of weeks of shows, life can start getting a little hard, with the bad diet and lack of sleeping and all. But the positives always seem to stick out above the negatives when you look back.
How about equipment, give us a rundown of your hardware and software.
My equipment is pretty simple for the most part. I use timecode cd’s with cdj’s, that send a signal to my Traktor program, allowing it to turn the signal into any song you choose on your laptop. With Traktor, I have the ability to quickly mix through songs and add effects, cue points and looping. Most of my mixing is done through looping and building and mixing out of those loops by dropping bass or bringing in highs (heavily influenced by the Bassnectar style of mixing) Other than that I have a wee little midi controller that allows me to do all of those little adjustments without needing to look at my computer. What I’m investigating after my album is done is how to bring my live bass into the mix. I’ve found a way to translate real guitar sound into midi notes that can then be turned into any sound or synth I want. I could even play saxophone parts with my bass if I wanted to, that will be so cool.
That patch sounds hot as shit, man. You’re from Calgary, in Canada right? But I hear you are moving over to Bristol in the UK – looking forward to it?
I am. My friend Sarah A.K.A. Vindaloo has already made the move and said its wonderful. I’ve also got a lot of plans being made for my arrival, including festivals and shows around the UK, so I’ll be met with lots to do. I’m up for a change for a little while, and Bristol seems like one of the music hubs of the world. No joke. Bring it on!
Which festivals are you hitting in summer?
It may be a little too early to say fully, a lot of them are waiting to be confirmed and some are still in the works. All I can say is I’m excited because not only have I not been to these festivals, but I’ve heard lots of great things. Look for me at a wicked one in the UK this Summer though!
What digital DAW do you use? Do you find them user friendly?
I use strictly Reason, and not the most updated version either. Reason 5.5. Its not as user friendly as say Ableton, but the sounds are very unique to that program only because it doesn’t allow external plug ins. For that reason I like the fact that my music already has a unique sound to it over the mass of Ableton and FL Studio users.
What is your go to instrument? And what new software have you got your eye on at the moment?
My go to instruments in Reason are Maelstrom and Thor. Maelstrom allows me to make wicked frequencies and wobbles, which lots of innovation to spare. Thor gives me great warm fuzzy basses and the ability to make snappy almost metallic sounding bouncy basses. I’ve currently got my eyes on getting the newest Reason package which has loads of new gadgets and effects. As well, I’m also looking at this bass to midi setup like I said before. That will totally change my live show.
Awesome. So all three of your Beatport releases have hit number #1 in their respective genres with the newly released “Welcome to Groove City” EP hitting #10 on Beatport overall. How does that feel?
Well it feels pretty damn good, I’m not going to lie. But I’m also not one to dwell on anything for too long, that just means that I’ve got to keep that speed up and make sure everything I do is at the highest quality possible. As much as I know getting Beatport sales is important for my exposure and growth as an artist, I would much rather put my music out for free. I’ve put out just as much music for free as I have on Beatport, and that really says something to the fans. I’m still unsure if I’ll be selling my newest release or giving it away for free, we shall see.
You have a new album in the works right? Where would you say it differs from your last? Is it stylistically similar or is it a whole new vibe?
I’m always changing it up. This one is a whole new vibe. Its actually a bit different. For instance instead of 9 very long, experimental tracks, there are more songs that are a little shorter and more to the point. It is a lot better for dj playability, and its a lot less dark. Its more party vibe and good time dancing. There are lots of influences on this from 80’s montage music, to west coast hip hop, to jazz and disco. Lots of saxophone, lots of funk guitar, lots of piano. I am extremely proud of this one so far, and I think there will be a little bit of something for everyone. Its extremely bass heavy, like always. I’m also doing my first international collabs on this release, including one of my favourites K+Lab. I’m hoping people enjoy this.
I have been requested to ask you l’Oreal or Nivea?
I don’t use either, I use straight up funk.
Thanks for your time Logan. Do you have anything to say to any potential fans?
Stay groovy my friends, I’ll see you soon!
Here’s a sneak peak from the ‘Back to the Funk’ album being released this Summer