Tomy DeClerque

by the partae

Where are you currently based, and what’s the local music scene like?

I’m from Koper in Slovenia, and have my studio in Izola, which is a just outside of Koper. It’s based on the Slovenian coast and only a small town, so there is no big music scene here, especially now that one of the biggest and best clubs around Ambasada Gavioli closed down after 22 years of running.

I had been a resident in the club before it closed, and we had some great parties in there, especially because of the clubs location… we had people coming from Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and even Austria.

Now the club is closed there aren’t many local events, and we need to travel to Italy, Croatia or inland Slovenia. There are a few promoters throwing the odd local party, but for now the only one with a constantly good lineup is the Reload Events which are run by Damir.

For those not already familiar with your sound, how would you describe your music genre?

Well … they call it techno ? ? ? but overall I like music with energy and power, and I’m not talking about high bpm or screaming sounds.

Energy and power can be anything that makes you move and want to dance. Also I’ve got a bit of a commercial background from working at a radio station, and I think it left me with some timbre when it comes to the way I produce music.

When working on music I always try to imagine what would I wanna hear on the dancefloor, and what would make me get crazy, then when I play the track in a club and see the reaction from the crowd … I know from their response if I did a good job or not ?

How did you get into music?

I was always interest in electronic stuff, and by that I mean equipment and gear. When I was a kid I got a Fisher turntable that didn’t have many controls on it, and when I got a bit older and saw a pitch slider on Technics 1210’s… something inside me said hmmmm. I then disassembled my Fisher and integrated the “pitch” knob, and after doing this realised pitch control was for matching the speed of 2 tracks played on separate turntables at the same time aka “beat matching”.

Learning to beat match sucked me in to DJ’ing and the through that I discovered House and Techno. Years later I wanted to do some “digital DJ’ing”. So bought an AKAI S3000 sampler which took me almost 2 years to pay off working at the radio station, but soon after getting the sampler I realized it couldn’t do much more then just play samples of tracks… so instead I started to create my own sounds with it, and eventually I was able to make whole tracks.

You have been a regular artist on Carl Cox’s label Intec, could you tell us about your new release on the label?

Anyone who follows my work knows each track on every EP I do is different … I don’t like to repeat old ideas. That’s why I’m always testing out new music software and equipment, and trying different approaches to how I start work on a new track. Often I experiment with different ideas until I stumble across something particular.

When I’m really happy with a track and think there is something a bit different about it, then I know it’s a track to be sent to Jon Rundell and Carl Cox, as their Intec label is where you will hear great releases of all different styles. Some other label’s try to keep a regular sound where all the releases sound similar.

My latest release on Intec was made using a test copy of some Roland software where you can have all their legendary synths for a monthly fee.

First I tested the SH101 plus SH02 and with those created the two tracks on my new Intec release. One of the tracks was titled “X0X” because there were all the sounds from 909,808,101,303 so … X0X ?. The other which is titled “Accident” was intended to be called “Acid End”, but the auto correction spellchecker/predictive text kicked in, and because I liked my “accidental” title I left it that way.

Looking through your back catalogue I can see you have previously collaborated with the likes of UMEK and Cristian Varela, do you have any new collaborations planned for 2018?

I have some new tracks I’m work on with a couple of friends that I hope will be finished soon … lately I’ve been very occupied preparing a new setup for my live gigs. For now my live setup is a secret project, but very soon I will be announcing more info.

Can you talk me through your studio set up and any specific bits of equipment essential to your sound?

The studio setup involves a lot of equipment including Roland TR-8, Drumbrute Drum Machine, System 1M Synthesizer, SH-09 Synthesizer, Korg MS -10 Synthesizer, Nord Modular Synthesizer, DX7 Synthesizer, and a slowly growing Modular Synthesizer. I also have lot of outboard processing equipment that’s all connected to a Midas Venice F24 Mixing Desk.

Software is also a big part of my set up and I use a lot of Soft Synths plus VST plugins, which are all driven by Ableton Live. I don’t have all my bits of software open at the same time, but when i need something I know where to get it. A lot of times just messing around with my virtual instruments and VST plugins can turn into something interesting, which often then evolves into a track.

Outside of electronic music what are your other interests, and do they influence your sound?

Well I listen to all kinds of music… if it’s good, then it’s good, no matter what the genre. I even work with some musicians/artists that are completely off the electronic music spectrum, and we learn from each other, which definitely helps influence other projects.

Right now I’m also involved in a pop project with a Slovenian singer called Lea Sirk, where I’m trying to use my “techno “ and “electronic music” influence in a ”pop” way. I like to work with her because she is an amazing singer who is extremely professional, open minded and lets me experiment with her voice, but if its to be officially released she must like it at the end.

Apart from the new EP on Intec do you have any other forthcoming gigs or releases we should be watching out for?

The biggest thing so far is that I’m playing the Awakenings Festival this year… this is extra special for me because I’m planning to use the new live set up that I talked about earlier. I’ll be announcing more closer to the time, but what I can say is that it’s a real hybrid between a DJ set and preforming my own music live. It will be a musical experience that is impossible to be repeated, because it will be based on kind of controlled randomness… so each gig will be a unique experience even for me ?

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