Interview A-Cray + TOP5 minimix
1. Hi Ondra. Let's start with the classic question. How are you? How was your weekend?
Hi Beaty, I'm fine, thank you. My weekend was very hard. I almost did not survive, maybe I should start to abstain a bit.
2. Last year I did an interview with Philip TBC. He's predicted that we will hear about you in the following years. How does a guy from Slaný become the best producer in the Czech Republic (according to Czech DnB Awards) and honoured producer abroad?
Hard to say... I always like to mention that I have started on high school already so I had a lot of time for production. Seriously, I could sit in front of my computer x hours per day. Moreover, I am from a family where music is kind of in the genes. This is probably the only thing others could envy me.
3. I know that you father is the person which showed you electronic music. He was a techno DJ. You don't like techno? Why did you tend to drum and bass?
Well, my dad played techno, but it was him again who introduced me to drum and bass - he gave me a CD from Logistics more specifically. Techno has never bothered me that much, but I liked hip hop before so this is probably why I'm a supporter of broken beats :-)
4. A few days ago your track "Nuclear Whatever" came out on the first Let It Roll compilation and a track "Hysteria" in collaboration with italian producer Dabs has seen the light of the day as well. What we can expect from you? Should we look forward to your solo EP or LP?
I do not dare to make an LP yet but I'm preparing an EP for Eatbrain and a lots of new remixes and collaborations, but now I have no time to spare. I've said "yes" to too many things and now I'm paying for this. Almost every single day I have to write back to someone and tell him: "It is not done yet" :-D
5. I've read in another interview that it was Mefjus who told you, that you should stop using June Miller sample pack and start to wiggle you own sound which was the main impuls for you. Are you in touch with other producers, which are giving you advice? How long on average it takes to produce a track until you're satisfied?
June Miller's sample pack has helped me a lot. It gave me a pretty good idea in regards to what a track should be composed of. The fact that I was stuck on it for a little while I hate to be reminded of, Mefjus has advised me to try it in a different way, because he knew that older tracks I have wiggled all by myself. This has given me a massive kick! Today I'm not in touch with other producers so much because I realise how annoying it can be. I do like to listen to tracks from somebody else, who wants my advice or criticism. But if you are a producer on a high "level" it's just not possible to respond to everyone who needs advice. Mefjus for example wouldn't have time to do anything else than just listen to promos and write reviews. In regards to how long it takes to produce one track - it varies for each track. The older and deeper stuff I have produced in one week, but for example the "Extortion" track took me almost 4 months to finish.
6. Do you have any favourite imprint from which you would like to get an offer to release your track? Did you think about starting your own label?
Critical, Blackout and Invisible. I'm in touch with all of them but it looks promising with just one of them so far. I think that every single producer would like to have his own label in a certain time of his career. Often I'm thinking about it but something tells me I'm not the right person for that. It is a lot of work and responsibility and to be honest it is better to say "f**k that" to this rather than promising something to somebody all the time.
7. What would you advise to young people like you who are starting to produce?
I would advise them to spend more time on producing tracks. I have been always looking forward to release a track, show it to the world and to read a positive feedback! Well.. it is nice, but over time you realise that it is such a bullshit thing to do. Nowadays I'm playing my new track over and over again, usually for a week let's say. After that I come back to the studio and fix all the small mistakes. Another thing (which Rido has taught me) - it is neccesary to hit other labels up as well! If you send them some rubbish once, they are not going to put your name on blacklist, so you might as well try :-)
8. Most producers do start with DJing first and after a few years they try to produce their own music. You took the opposite approach. I have seen quite a few excelent producers which were not ready to perform and have spoiled the overall impression of their gig. Was it difficult for you to perform as a DJ inmediately or have you started to play in front of the crowd only after you were confident with your DJ skills.
I started to produce way before I was even allowed to a club. But standing behind the decks was a dream! First time I was really nervous, but absolutely happy. I was doing pretty well from the beginning .. I mean to match the beat, not to mix like a hero. I do not understand how they can be such great producers and have such a problem with DJing. To me matching beats seems to be easier than to make the samples sound good. Fortunately most of producers are playing pretty good DJ sets as well.
9. What would you do if you were the richest person in the world?
I'd feed the poor! But first, I would buy a studio and I'd organise a party with the largest line-up and a free entry. Welcome drink would be a bottle of rum! And you know me, I mean it, seriously :D
10. Would you like to say something to your fans?
Not really to be honest, they know I like them :-D
1) Emperor - Passed Up
2) ACray - Nuclear Whatever
3) Hypoxia - Badass
4) Mefjus - Surrounded
5) Neonlight & Wintermute - Influx