–by Quincy Tejani, Music Connoisseur–
I always think of deep house being like regular house music but with a lot more soul. This certainly comes across when you listen to 270, an up and coming producer whose emotion and sincerity washes over every second of every track he puts out. We were given the chance to interview 270 and attempt to understand the passion and work ethic that goes into creating such wonderfully layered, sonically pleasing house tracks.
Quincy Tejani: What is it about making electronic music that really touches you emotionally?
270: For me it’s nostalgic and intimate. A lot of big room trance tracks from Europe were on my mp3 player in the seventh grade, along with the pop punk and rap hits of the day that I listened to just to fit in. I would have been embarrassed to show anyone, but it felt pretty cool to have this interesting music that nobody had heard of, so it was kind of like my sanctuary. When I make music, I completely lose track of time and thought, and that’s the best feeling in the world. I’m not writing about some girl or trying to effectively preach the secret to happiness, just in this realm where nothing matters but sound.
QT: Tell us about your creative process. How do you decide how you approach producing a new track? What equipment do you use?
270: First, I approach the kitchen. I like coffee. A lot. A pot or two before a session is a must. And another 10oz serving from the Keurig because that’s f**ked up. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for part of a song before a session, but lately I’ve found that writing part by part in the moment can yield more interesting results. I work quickly with an open mind, throwing in what I know will work while leaving room to experiment and give the gear a chance to do something completely novel. A song comes together within the first couple hours, but it’s just a song until I step away, let it marinate for a bit, then get an idea for a new direction to take it in. In terms of equipment, every track features a Minimoog Voyager Old School, a Lexicon MX200 effects unit, and a homemade sample library. A few VST synths, both by Urs Heckman, almost always find their way into a given track: Zebra 2 which is like a modular synth that can make any sound and Diva which is designed to sound like an analog synth with the control capabilities of digital. The DAW of choice is Ableton. Something is performed in each track, be it a synth, guitar, or live manipulation of parameters so that there is at least one thing that happened fresh in the moment. That’s when music moves me the most, when the artist is just as surprised as you are at what’s coming out of their instrument.
QT: I understand that you’ve been playing music for a long time. Is your “270” project the first time you’ve ever recorded you own music?
270: The first time recording my own music was way back in 2008, when I got a little usb interface and a guitar recording software package called POD Farm. I showed a schoolmate this ridiculously bombastic cover of Raining Blood that had a 5-track guitar ‘solo’, it was pretty hilarious. It’s probably for the best that those recordings never see the light of day, but it got me into just having fun and experimenting. 270 is definitely the first project where I feel the work I’m doing has a quality that I’m satisfied with. You’ll hear nothing final on the soundcloud page; I get excited after everything I do so it all gets posted. My first polished release is going to be a real treat though. A lot still has to get done in terms of putting myself out there, but for now the focus is on the music and generating content. I’m trying not to let thoughts of other things corrupt what I’m doing, keeping the craft pure and pressure-free is very important to me.
QT: Have you done any live shows or are you planning on working towards doing some in the future? What do you hope to get out of this project?
270: I definitely want to perform in the future and with some sort of improvisational element. Having done a couple gigs for fun, my favorite thing to do is create patches on the fly and wait for the right moment to unleash the sounds, or sprinkle in new melodic phrases. As I’m designing artwork and music videos, a visual show is emerging that features 3-D geometric mesh shapes which morph along to whatever is happening musically. Just something simple enough to understand but detailed enough to get lost in. The videos are still in their infancy, but you can find little samples of them on my Facebook page (@270music) that sum up the idea.
In terms of the goal of the project, I’m looking to gain exposure at this point. Most electronic music fans, myself included, are getting tired of the same over-produced sound and long for something more down-to-earth. Yes there are very interesting things going on now, but I feel like a lot of it can be either too drab or too difficult to listen to. I’m trying to keep the melodic sensibility and cinematic feel of the bigger tracks that I fell in love with, while giving it a human signature.
Have a listen to 270’s track “Cerberus” below:
Quincy Tejani is the co-founder of The Violet Wave and is also editor of music. When he’s not listening to or writing about music you can probably find him walking through the forests of Ontario or questioning the inner workings of the universe. He also never turns down a cold Pabst… never.
Facebook: The Violet Wave