Born in Ecuador, raised in New York, Carlos Abraham Duque Alcivar (Abe Duque) is a pretty unique DJ/producer/promoter/label owner/live act and life commentator. (Just check out his video diaries on YouTube, which are far more fascinating than your average clubland clips.) He was behind the tables at infamous hangout Limelight during its ‘club kid' period, and nowadays targets his marketing using a machine gun that, as a former US Marine, he knows exactly how to use.
Abe Duque the man who's been everywhere... Read the interview Here
A master of reinvention, myriad aliases, and an initiator of party concept Abuse Industries, Abe started producing in the late 1980s and has fired off work across a range of labels, from his own imprints, Tension/Hollis Haus/Rancho Relaxo and Abe Duque Records, to Tresor, to DJ Hell's Gigolo. He's also co-produced an album with Hell, remixed Pet Shop Boys, Chemical Brothers and Miss Kittin, played keys for techno act Program 2, collaborated regularly with Andy Orel and Blake Baxter, and around this time last year laid down his third album, Don't Be So Mean, on Process Recordings. Next up, in 2010, his Live and On Acid project is scheduled to surface, featuring flashbacks from Limelight, plus a live component.
In the meantime, here and now, as he joins us Down the Production Hole, Mr Duque asks such pertinent questions as: ‘When all is possible what is actually remarkable?' and ‘Will remarkable drown in a sea of mediocrity?' ... Well, we may not quite know the answers but here, in typical style, is the Hole truth, according to Abe...
First, can you tell us something about your frames of reference/what you think makes for a high quality electronic sound recording?
Funny but these days it is very easy to achieve a maximised sound. Which leaves room for plenty of nuance. I use crappy speakers as a frame of reference. If it sounds good on my 80's car sound system then it's gonna rock in a club.
I am lucky to test my new shit in actual clubs, and that is just the best. There is a disconnect between the sound in your studio and that of an actual club full of people vibing. Now that is the frame.
What's your current music production set-up like?
I have a studio full of old synths and drum machines. I also have lots of acoustic instruments like guitar, piano, bass, Latin percussion drums etc... Live mics, old tape machines, outboard effects, and I even have several computers. I use everything I can to achieve my sound. There is no only way.
What is/are your most essential tool/s of the trade within that set-up?
I just got a really nice video monitor, a big one. That's great. I also love all my old Roland and Korg gear, like my MS-20 and my 808. These machines have a soul.
Can you reveal a secret about your production technique/s?
Less bass is more bass.
Do you have a general top tip for budding producers?
Not really. All the best producers I know are so self-driven that they wouldn't give a shit about my top tip. Believe in your thing, really believe in it, that is your best hope and my top tip.
Finally, what's your take on the future of electronic music production?
Well I am a little bummed out by the prospect... I can't see too many exciting things out there. I mean I have heard many talking about how house is the new hot thing these days. What? Really? I fear the whole electronic scene music thing may have a crash of sorts. It surely exists in a bubble, driven by quick and cheap access to laptops coupled with over-the-top hype machines. When all is possible what is actually remarkable? Will remarkable drown in a sea of mediocrity? Sad. Maybe live musicians will have their glory days back? Maybe music becomes noise pollution. Maybe I know not the future. Buy my records come to my shows.
"Following My Heart / Disco Nights" - Process Recordings - PRCS131
"Dont be so mean" - Process Recordings - PRCS118CD
"Following my heart" - Abe Duque Records - ADR063
"Tonight Is Your Answer / Life Is So Good To Me" - Process Recordings - PRCS117
"Don't be so mean - Abe Duque Records - ADR062
Hypocrisy - Process Recordings - PRCS134
Playing Now: Following My Heart (Oliver Huntemann Remix) on Process Recordings