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Go BackWILL DANCE MUSIC STILL BE AROUND IN 10 YEARS?- Funk D'Void doesn't know the answer, but the deviant weegie does have a new album, "Volume Freak"

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For DJ/ producer Lars Sandberg (a.k.a. Funk D'Void,) his cosy alias is curiously created from a George Clinton character ("Sir Nose D'Void of Funk.") Lars in turn originates from Glasgow in Scotland. Looking at some D’Void history we can see that, with a strong musical background, Lars grew up listening to hip-hop and electro, but soon caught the contagious house bug… Then there was Detroit techno and its extreme orbit of influence; Lars cites Derrick May's 'Nude Photo' as being the record that influenced him the most. Following a job as Record Buyer for 'Fopp Records' Lars commenced production in 1994. Initially recording with his friend Ken Sherman as `United States of Sound' on Glasgow label Bomba, Lars soon started submitting tracks to Soma Records and thereby Funk D’Void was born...

Then followed the acclaimed Funk D'Void Soma single 'Jack Me Off' and the debut album 'Technoir' released in 1997. Funk D’Void’s second album was aptly titled ‘Dos’ and showcased a self reflective series of string-laden techno treats and included the huge hit ‘Diabla.’ His ‘Heavenly’ mix of this track was regarded as the best track of 2001 by the likes of Pete Tong, Carl Cox and a host more moguls. Furthermore Lars is also well known for working with long-time friend Nigel Hayes, they form the production act Chaser and have released many tracks together.

Back to 2004 now and we find that Funk D'Void’s new single is already causing a deep stir... Lars has just unleashed his latest dance floor devastator; the single 'Emotional Content' from his forthcoming album 'Volume Freak' is massive! The track has already been named as a major tune of 2003 for selected DJs with advance promos, and is still topping charts this year.

So enough of the introductions and on with the all-important content as it comes courtesy of the emotive Funk D’Void, as he corresponds from Barcelona

Hello Lars, how are you and what are you doing this week?
“I’m fine thanks, I’ve just moved into a new studio space and bought a new house.”

Francois Dubois, Chaser, X-Funk, Lars Sandberg a.k.a. Funk D'Void- You seem to love the anonymity of an alias?
”Sometimes when I want to work with another producer, or when I want to try a different production style I prefer to use another name. Funk D'Void is my main one though.”

You're living in Barcelona now, but where were you born and raised and how did that affect your music development/ sound?
”I was born in Glasgow, Scotland and grew up there. I went to a school in England for a few years, but returned back when I was fifteen. I don't think it had as much of an effect as did the music I was listening to back then at the time. It encompassed everything from early hip-hop to Chicago house, Detroit techno to jazz-funk.”

How does Glasgow compare to Barcelona?
Glasgow has better food [!]. Warmer people, a wider variety of clothes shops, better bars, ah the list is endless... But the weather sucks. Barcelona is has a more relaxed way of life, less stress and great, long summers. I love both cities equally.”

Your third Funk D Void album, 'Volume Freak' is scheduled for release in February, what does it represent to you in words?
”A more approachable sound, with a couple of vocal tracks brought in. Still lots of melodies, bass lines and strings of course. I wrote it during a difficult year for me personally, but it sounds like exactly the opposite because it’s not ‘dark’ at all!”

You must be very happy with the responses to your first single 'Emotional Content,' from that album?
”Sure. I needed to write a track that people would react to, in a good way (Thank God!) There was a lot of pressure after the success of ‘Diabla’…”

You're signed with Soma Records and share considerable history together, is this still important to you?
”My surrogate family! I miss them loads, it always gets emotional for me when I return home. I used to share a studio in their office; it was a great laugh. Without them, there is no me.”

We use terms like 'techno' and 'tech-house' all the time, but as Intec's DJ C1 once admitted these terms are almost impossible to define, would you agree?
”Not really, we've got loads of sub-genres to reference, and I've worked in a record shop so I've never had a problem in describing different styles of genres - except when describing my own music! I've been classed as ‘tech-house,’ though I'd like to think I do other styles as well.”

How is the djing going? Does it work hand in hand with your production?
“Great! It always keeps me on my toes, getting a feel of what's working and what's not. I'm still getting a high from playing, so that's good. Other djs give me an idea of what to produce next, they’re my main inspiration.”

Do you still play records or are you veering towards CDs/MP3s etc, and do you think it matters?
”Fuck the format! I play whatever's good. I use CDs and vinyl, but no MP3 yet. I don't have the time to convert everything yet.”

What bit and pieces do you always keep in your studio?
”All the Roland analogue stuff, I use Logic as a sequencer. The rest is a secret.”

Will you be doing a 'Volume Freak' DJ tour?
”Hell yeah! I want people to get into the new LP. I'm already thinking about what the next one will sound like. It will be quite different, that's for sure. I feel a big change happening!”

All in all, was 2003 a good year for you, personally and professionally?
“It was up (becoming a father,) and down (family tragedy,) but I've come through it and I'm a fighter, so now I'm more focused than ever. I can't believe I'm still getting respect, so I'm thankful for that. I always play from the heart, and I will keep doing so.”

Any notable plans for 2004?
”To finish the ‘ChaserLP, the fourth ‘FunkLP and start producing bands. I want to watch more films, and loose my god damn paunch!”

What other DJ's have you heard out lately who rock hard?
Marco Nastiq, Tin Ton Ton, Richard from Amsterdam and George from Athens.”

What interview question do you wish you'd get asked more often?
“Do you think dance music will be around in ten years?”

What's the answer?
“Fuck knows!”

Funk D Void Versus Chicco SecciEmotional Content’ was out 19th January on Soma Records. The album 'Volume Freak' is to be released in February
Listen to a sample of Lars’ single, ‘Emotional Content’ click here
More on:

Funk D Void’s Tour goes like this:
Fri 23rd January Nitsa, Barcelona
Sat 24th Otv, Zagreb
Sun 25th Soma Party At Midem T.B.C
Sat 31st Rise, Plantage, Amsterdam

Fri 6th February Disco Noir, Foundation, Newcastle
Sat 7th Polar TV, Berlin
Sat 14th Rohstofflager, Zurich
Fri 20th Funky Buddha Lounge, Brighton
Sat 21st Fabric, London
Sun 22nd Sunday Sonic, Notting Hill Arts Club, London
Fri 27th Ulicit, Stockholm
Sat 28th Honeycomb, Edinburgh

Words by Lisa Loco