DanceTrippin asks... Bastian Bux
This week marks the start of a busy Amsterdam Dance Event programme for a familiar face, Bastian Bux. As many descend on Amsterdam
for the first time, Bastian will be making his impressive third appearance - the Suara Night ADE 2016 and Elrow presents ADE After Hour Madness - with thousands set to be bedazzled by his creative craft.
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We caught up with the Elrow resident just in time.
Firstly, how much are you looking forward to this year's Amsterdam Dance Event?
A lot. This will be my third ADE but I feel like it is my first, for many reasons. This will be my first time playing not only for an ADE event, but in Amsterdam in general. I've been in this city so many times but this year feels special. My schedule looks intense and interesting, I'll play at two of the most important events of the week and I'll meet personally some of my greatest heroes. I'm really excited about the next few days.
It's a week today until the Suara Showcase event, with a host of big names joining you on the label's night. How much are you looking forward to this?
I'm extremely looking forward to the Suara Showcase event. When I play for a Suara night I always feel free to express exactly what I want, and it feels great to do it for an important event like this during such an inspirational week where you are surrounded by people who also love and live for the music, both the public, the artists, friends and partners that will be there. This time is even better because I'll share the stage with some great artists that I've never seen playing live yet. I'm sure I'm gonna' learn a lot.
What major influences along your journey would you say have heavily influenced your music style?
There are a lot and they are changing every time. It has always been difficult for me to choose just a few. At the beginning, about twelve years ago, I was really influenced by the French touch big guys like Daft Punk, Mr.Oizo, SebastiAn, MSTRKRFT... I still love this sound that has been followed by names like Justice, Kavinsky or Breakbot. I think that this mix between indie-rock and electronic music has been an important influence for me. I was playing and producing house music at that time but I felt like my favorite songs had something else, more melodies and less drums, but it was so hard to produce for me. Then I discovered the progressive house sound thanks to John Digweed's sets and I have no shame to admit that the early Pryda/Cirez D and even early Deadmau5 influenced me a lot and showed me the melodic side of electronic music. Now some of my biggest influences are names like Maceo Plex, Adriatique and I really, really like Mind Against, both in what they produce and what they play.
This year has been a very successful one, releasing 'Oracle' earlier this summer, and 'Protest' this month, are you pleased with how this year's panned out?
I think so, but I have to be honest, I'm not living in this moment of my artistic life as I did years before, where I had a lot of "objectives". It may sound "hippie" but I became pretty tired of the anxiety I felt while pursuing things so hard. I felt like I was not deciding nor controlling what I was living. I was not responsible for my own happiness so... I decided to just enjoy what I can control and what I like to do most: music. Since the moment I decided to focus on enjoying creating music, losing sight of the business, labels and objectives side, my career started going well. Now I look back and of course I feel it's been an amazing year... and of course I want more! But I keep my head focused on being authentic and happy with what I do; that's what pleases me the most.
You mentioned a lot of emotions ran through you regarding current affairs in the world, when curating the 'Protest' EP. What are your reflections on the state of the world right now?
I have an internal battle because I'm a super optimistic person but at the same time it is so hard for me to trust in humanity. We the humans are able to do the most amazing and the most terrifying things, we have this potential and the power to decide what to do at the same time. I think that we are in the middle of a critical and historical moment that will decide if the future will be bright or dark, or if there will be any future at all. I always say that we have the responsibility to learn, search and discover all the amazing and positive things that happen everyday. The world is never 100% f***** up. There are always good things happening, but we have to find them... That's why I rarely watch TV news: they always show you the f***** up side. We learn from what we see... Maybe if we could see the good side, we would learn the good things.
You played in many different countries and continents around the world, none other than being apart of the famous Elrow parties. Is there something particularly unique about the vibes to these parties?
For me what makes Elrow special and unique is the integration of the public as part of the show. There are no barriers between the performance and the crowd. That's what makes the difference, and the vibes are the result. Everybody has fun, because having fun is losing a bit of your consciousness in a good way, and this is exactly what happens at Elrow. You enter another world, another dimension, somewhere that keeps your senses away from regular reality.
Next Thursday you'll be playing at Amsterdam's DEPOT warehouse venue. Are you excited to be playing in such a venue?
If there's a word to describe the fullest excitement, I need it now to answer to this question properly. I mean YES with capital letters.
In a music world predominantly focused on digital and not analogue, do you have a preference between the two?
I prefer analogue but I can't afford it yet as much as I would like haha. No, seriously. This is something that has been growing inside of me. At the beginning I was like "oh man this is a stupid debate because you can get the same results on both sides" and this is a true fact, but only when you look at it from an economic or business perspective. If you look at it strictly from an auditive and sensitive perspective, there are notable differences. For me it is not about what's better, but what you like the most. I prefer analogue when it comes to soundsources, summing and mastering, and I prefer digital for arranging, editing and composing. I'm investing into more analogue stuff at the moment, just because I like it more, not because I think it’s better. I've done 95% of my music in a digital environment, but I want to explore the other side.
What's your studio set-up like? How do you both get the maximum output of a studio session?
My studio is quite simple. I have a PC, a good A/D D/A converter, a mixer, a Nord Lead that I love and two pairs of speakers plus a couple of different headphones; everything inside an acoustically treated room. I also have three different microphones that I use a lot to record random things that I transform into textures. I divide my time in three different kinds of studio sessions. One is the "provisioning days", where I just listen and get some new music, new sounds, I test new software, record things or play around with synths to create my own sounds or select the ones I like the most. Another one is the "creative days", where I lose myself creating new ideas without thinking on anything else other than being creative. I don't spend any time looking for sounds or getting inspired or thinking on what label my project would fit. I just create and force myself to "finish" a rough demo that I usually keep inside a folder for one week or two. Last but not least I have my "technical days", where I open one of those rough demo's project and I clean it, I mix it and I arrange it from a technical perspective. I like to separate my creative days from my technical days because sometimes you lose your perspective and this can drive you crazy. I never know what kind of day I'll have tomorrow. I let my mood decide. When I don't feel inspired I go for a provisioning, when I feel resolute I go for a technical day and when I feel in a good mood to create I turn off my phone and start a blank project. I think that's my way to get the maximum output of a studio session. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to do anything, and I just leave the studio. I think that this is the best thing you can do for your music, sometimes. Staying away from it. Perspective is the key, and the only way to get it is moving.
Aside from electronic music, what is your favourite thing to do or aspect about Amsterdam? Is there anything you've been meaning to do?
I love to go out for a walk when I travel, and Amsterdam is one of my favorite places to do it because it is so flat. I love the fact that is maybe the most comfortable capital in the world to explore by walk. I also love the sneakers shops. I'll need to keep my credit card in my hotel room.
What else is on the cards for Bastian Bux 2016 and beyond, do you have any exciting EPS/collaborations coming up?
Yes! I've been working with Coyu in the studio for the first time and the experience has been so good. We just finished a remix together that will see the light in a couple of months and we are working on original stuff. It has been always difficult for me to collaborate with others in the studio but the experience with Coyu has been super inspiring and I can't wait to spend more time with him. Also I just finished a lot of solo material that we are currently trying to find the best options to release. I'll release a remix for a non-electronic artist called Bearoid and I think that is everything for 2016.
Is there anything long-term in the future you're inspired to achieve?
I'm currently working on my live set. It is something really important for me and I'm taking care of every single detail because I want it to be loyal to my idea. I do enjoy playing DJ sets and I want to do it in the future but I need to do something else and I think that a live set is the next step for me. I hope this is not a long-term thing though because I would want to have it ready for the next spring. My live set and more and better music is what I want to achieve in the future. I don't look farther than this. Everything will be good in the future if I feel good every day.