Down the Production Hole with James Blonde & Lonya

Words by: Lisa Loco
Posted: 11/2/10 10:02

James BlondeHere we go again, Down the Production Hole, this time around to find out what  James Blonde  and Lönya know about sound. This production duo comprises musicians who originally hail from Israel, and are now workin' the world while hooked up with Sweat Lodge agency. Berlin-based ‘007', Mr Blonde, James Blonde, is a mastermind behind various initiatives, including the label Konsequenz, its new younger brother, Blitz, and the aforementioned tribute to purification, Sweat Lodge, who regularly spins at the city's hotspots.

Meanwhile, you can trace Tel Aviv-based DJ/producer and guitarist Lönya Koval's work to such labels as BPitch Control, Supplemental and Konsequenz, as well as to his own Asymmetric Recordings.

Following on from their debut collaboration on Blitz, ‘Junky Indian', James and Lönya's next big Blitz - ‘Ciao Bella' - gets released this month and is winning great support from the elite. In light of this, James deliberated, cogitated and digested with his partner in crime before furnishing us with the following answers. So scroll down to find out how both he and Lönya find joy in composition, balance, and quality.

First, can you tell us something about your frames of reference/what you think makes for a high quality electronic sound recording?
The principles of good electronic sound haven't changed, despite the transition to the digital realm. That's why that rich and warm analogue sound that we remember from the early days should always remain the reference point for achieving modern quality sound. When you keep this in mind you will keep the initial tracks full of life and colour, having a good balance of frequencies and harmonics, with wide stereo imaging and healthy dynamics.

Lonya What's your current music production set-up like?
For us, the most important element to achieve a good mix and production is the room itself. That's why we chose a space with the right dimensions and invested in a good acoustic treatment for it. The rest is less important. We use different computers, PCs and Macs, and different sequencing software and plug-ins, as each one of them has its own strong and weak sides, but you can usually overcome them. It is good also to constantly experiment with new tools, equipment and techniques. This way you never get stuck in one place, but always evolve and change.

What is/are your most essential tool/s of the trade within that set-up?
We rely heavily on two things: the NS-10 monitors and UAD plug-ins. NS-10's are essential in order to get the levels and frequencies right so they sound good on every system, and UAD plug-ins give you analogue-like tools that create warmth and depth. Cambridge EQ is usually used on every channel in the mix. Also we try never to neglect NI's Reaktor, it is an amazing and versatile tool.

Can you reveal a secret about your production technique/s?
We usually try to add certain elements and pass them through outboard EQs and compressors, depending on the program material of course. When we return the tracks back they already sound solid and big. Then we cut certain frequencies that are not important for the mix, and make everything blend together better, but keep the rich texture as much as possible.

Do you have a general top tip for budding producers?
What we can generally say is there is no magic formula, except trying to be yourself and working hard. We try to learn from every release how we can get better, but also try not to over think as well, because it usually kills the original vibe of the idea in the end. So we try initially to make good sound selections in the tools we use. Then, if the idea is good, we go for the full arrangement and final edit.

Finally, what's your take on the future of electronic music production?
As obviously it is easier for everyone now to obtain good production tools, more productions will sound the same, which was evident last year. We believe though this is the situation, there are still enough good producers around that are willing to invest serious time in the studio to create things that sound more unique, so the future is not that grim. It's the evolution of music, which can be said about any genre. So good music will always prevail.

James Blonde & Lonya

James Blonde & Lonya - Ciao Bella inc remixes from Chaim,
Oliver Deutschmann, Werner Niedermeier, and Maher Daniel is coming out on Blitz 15.02

James Blonde & Oliver Deutschmann - Milanese Remixes (Quarion & Nick Chacona) / Falkplatz
Zico & Comixxx - Treat Me So Bad (James Blonde & Lonya Remix) / Konsequenz

James Blonde & Lonya - "Junky Indian" EP / Blitz
James Blonde & Sebastian Roya - "Slamboya" / Konsequenz
James Blonde & Remute "Like A Prayer" / Konsequenz
James Blonde & Chaim "Roxy Feeling" EP / MBF
Chaim & Lonya - Peer Pressure - / Supplemental
Chaim & Lonya - We Do  / BPitch Control

Playing now: James Blonde & Lonya - "Ciao Bella" / Blitz
James Blonde latest charts
Lonya latest charts


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