Down the Production Hole with Echologist

Words by: Lisa Loco
Posted: 12/4/11 13:31

Down the Production Hole with Brendon Moeller aka EchologistThe infinite answers to our six studio-centric questions just keep on coming as we trip back Down the Production Hole, this time with Brendon Moeller aka Beat Pharmacy aka Echologist...

Rolling the rhythms since the mid-90s, Brendon's depth as a genre-splicing producer spans the globe and a whole boatload of labels. And to top it off he has a new album out this month - his seventh in total. Created under his experimental Echologist alias (and what sounds like a full moon), it is called Subterranean and will be released on his own Steadfast imprint.

Oh yes, we're about to reach a new peak as we dive deeper than Richard Branson's new frikin' submarine. Here, Brendon talks about carving out his atmospheric ‘dub techno sound', the muse, mediocrity, and managing your very own groove.

He also has plenty to say about jamming Vs programming, as you'll find out, below... (Did we mention that he likes to JAM?)

First can you tell us something about your frames of reference/what you think makes for a high quality electronic sound recording?
What makes for high quality recordings in music is vision, experience and skill. Nowadays your budding young musician is completely unaware of the importance of paying dues. It takes years of practice and making lots of mistakes to understand all aspects of music making.

Experimentation and research lead to enlightenment. Unfortunately we live in a time where instant gratification seems to override this. Everybody has more to process and less time to process it properly, hence mediocrity.

What's your current music production set-up like?
My current music set-up consists of a MacBook Pro running Ableton Live 8. Other than all of Live's great VSTs and plug-ins I use Zebra2 and an effects plug-in called CamelSpace. I have a Roland Juno-106 which I use regularly as I feel music creation must be about jamming, NOT programming.

I think there must be a physicality to music, especially dance music. How can one programme a stomping techno track sitting down? My studio is arranged so that I am always on my feet. I use a MOTU, Fast Track interface, a Novation Launchpad, an Evolution UC-33e and a Korg NanoKey in my studio and on stage to make sure that it's always about jamming, not programming. I use Event 20/20 monitors and a pair of Sony headphones for my mixing and monitoring. 

Within that set-up what is/are your most essential tool/s of the trade?
My favourite bit of kit is my Juno-106, simply because I can spend hours jamming with it. It's a real instrument made to be jammed on. On stage, my essential tool is the UC-33e controller, which I have used for years. Nine faders and 24 knobs ensure that I can really get into jamming rather than programming.

Can you reveal a secret about your production technique/s?
My favourite weapon is Ableton's ‘Reverbflange' effect, which has pretty much helped me create a signature dub techno sound that I think is evident in many of my tracks.

Do you have a general top tip for budding producers?
Remember, music is about jamming, NOT about programming. Get physical with it. Experiment with it, have fun with it. Get lost in it. Also, it ain't about having the latest or best equipment. Ask any experienced musician/producer, the more you know, the less you need. Get creative with what you have. Find a way to do things your way. This will inevitably help establish YOUR sound, which in this time of saturation and homogenisation is bloody essential.

Finally, what's your take on the future of electronic music production?
I have probably harped on this quite a bit here already, however I cannot help but again emphasise the importance of jamming and improvisation in music. Technology has made many aspects of composing, recording and performing much easier, but we cannot forget what it means to be a musician and that is to play, to JAM!

I hope to see DJs/producers/musicians onstage with laptops and controllers jamming. That is my dream and hope for the future of electronic music...

Artist: Echologist
Title: Subterranean
Label: Steadfast Records
Release Date: April 25th 2011

1. subterranean
2. slow burn (filter dub)
3. lunar cycle
4. ritual (phased rework)
5. deliberate
6. swell (modular take)
7. junkyard
8. creation

Echologist Online
Web Site Myspace Facebook Soundcloud Discogs Profile Biography


Roberto Capuano
Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson