Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interview: Cari Lekebusch & Joseph Capriati talk techno collaborations

Drumcode's latest four-tracker 'Missed Flight' sees two of its most-revered producers team up for the first time.

Longstanding Swedish techno legend Cari Lekebusch joined forces with young Naples-based producer Joseph Capriati for two twisting techno tunnels (the EP also features two solo tracks from Lekebusch).

It is the first time that the two DJs, who began producing techno decades-apart, have worked together. The Drumcode Blog sat down with Cari and Joseph to find out more about their special collaboration.

Cari, you have produced techno since the mid-1990s. Whereas Joseph began producing much later, around 2007. What notable differences do you think there are between the way you work, and the way he works?

It was quite a remarkable experience for the both of us I think. Joseph is 100% from the digital age, while I started up producing with analogue and ancient electronics.

Yes indeed, this is one of the points that makes a collaboration between us extra special. Fundamentally though, there were actually only a few small differences in the way that we work which really surprised me. We work pretty much with the same equipment, so we are actually thinking of doing something together in a 100% analogue situation in the future.

I know that Joseph has already tried situations like that, so it wouldnt be completely new to him. We usually start our projects in the same manner and we imagine the process of layering and structuring music pretty much in the same way, so this made our collab extra swift and we managed to make three well-executed tracks during a short period of time. By working together we still learnt a lot off each other though.

Joseph, what notable differences do you think there are between the way you work, and the way Cari works?

I have followed Cari’s work since my first steps into techno and I got a lot of my influences from his sound.

I hope you don’t mind if I put you on the spot and ask you to name some of your favourite ever Cari Lekebusch tracks?

I love lot of tracks from Cari, but one that always sticks in my mind is ‘Shaded’. It’s a kind of trip hop track that he made, something very special with a vocal on top. It also had a nice video. I love when techno artists show people that they can also do other kinds of music. This is what I like to do, and Cari does it best!

Anyway after our experiences together in the studio I learnt a lot of new things, and fundamentally realised that it does not matter if you use digital or analogue systems, the only key to realising music is creativity.

Cari, what about in terms of ideas? What are the most interesting things that Joseph brings to the production table?

Joseph is very fast on the buttons and knobs like me and we swiftly managed to form a working language to translate our various ideas back and forth.

Music is an abstract thing to work with so this is a very important step when starting collabs. When I say “blue” he translates it as “blue” not as “red”, and I don’t have to explain the idea all over again.

It was the same thing in the opposite direction too, thankfully. Otherwise our production could have been an overwhelming and time-consuming process.

Joseph has that young fresh energy and has absolutely no respect for theoretic boundaries, unwritten laws or even physical laws (!), which I think is a must to become a true techno producer.

It has always been this way to me anyway. When an element is missing he spots it very fast and it takes a lot of objectivity to be able to do that - believe me I have been at it for around 25 years now. And he has fundamentally a great “ear” and talent for music and rhythms plus a big warm heart and personality.

Joseph: Cari has an unnatural talent to explain how to make a sound! When we worked together in my studio in Napoli, because I was using a different kind of program to him I was in control of most of the work on the computer.

But I have to say that it was the first time that I have ever worked with another artist in my studio where they really influenced the track just through instruction, words, or a little bit of help on production.

What I mean is, when I have worked on collaborations in my studio in the past, you can in the end always hear that it was me who worked on the track for the most part, but in this case Cari was so incredible that you can actually hear both him and me on the track. Impressive!

Why did you decide to collaborate together on these two tracks for Drumcode?

Joseph: I have always wanted to make a release with Cari as I love his work but we never had the opportunity to be in the studio together. Then he came to Naples and played a show at the Old River and I happened to be there for the two days that he was there, so before and after the party we decided to go into the studio.

Cari: The main reason was that we both enjoy each other’s styles of techno, and that we really get along well together on a personal level.

Also Adam [Beyer] likes to encourage Drumcode's various artists to make collaborations, which I also imply for my label H-Productions.

Joseph and I are planning to make more tracks together as soon as possible. We work well together on stage too, and by making some collab productions we aim to play some of the same parties.

How did you guys work together on Missed Flight and Napoli 4AM?

Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player

Cari: Well we started out making ‘Napoli 4AM’ at exactly 4AM of course, after a great night at Naples’ Old River Park and its many excellent restaurants.

‘Missed Flight’ only got created because I missed my flight back to Stockholm, so we went right back to the studio from the airport.

Joseph: It was an expensive track!

Cari: It was probably the most expensive track that I’ve ever made, but it was well worth buying a new flight ticket. Yay!

The third track that we made during those sessions is called Napoli 4PM and it will be released on the upcoming 15 Years Drumcode project. That one we made at 4PM of course.

In terms of production, we think a lot alike when layering and arranging tracks. We kept mostly to digital realms since it’s easier to time travel back and forth to various versions.

We didn’t have too much time and we wanted to use our time well. We both like to create an almost full pattern or loop before we start manipulating the various elements to create an interesting arrangement.

Cari, Naples and Stockholm have a long history of connecting through techno. Why do you think that is?

I think that observation is absolutely correct. I have memories of Napoli from all the way back in 1995 and 1996 – when I met Gaetano Parisio and Marco Carola for the first time.

I think a key person who kept that connection strong is Adam and his long-time co-operation with Marco Carola.

Fundamentally I think that one of the reasons is that both cities seem to enjoy each other's way of producing.

If I look into my crates going back to the early 1990s, there are a lot of Neapolitan productions from Marco Carola, Gaetano Pariosio, Rino Cerrone, and Markantonio.

And now it’s also the same, with tracks by Joseph Capriati and Luigi Madonna to name a few. And that’s something that I know I share with Adam Beyer, Joel Mull, Alexi Delano, Jesper Dahlback, Pär Grindvik, Abi Bah, Aril Brikha and some of the younger producers from Stockholm like Nima Khak, Nihad Tule, and Kimono.

And if you put all these names together, and I didn’t mention all of us, you can see that that is quite a large group of noise-makers and connectors from both regions.

(Words: Terry Church)

Listen / download Cari Lekebusch & Joseph Capriati 'Missed Flight'


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