INTERVIEW: DAVE LECK

How have you been spending your time during lockdown?

 

Working mainly and doing as much music as I can. I work as an IT analyst for a non for profit organisation called ‘Beyond Blue’ who help those who struggle with anxiety and depression. As you can imagine during these times there is a desperate need for these services. 

 

What is your electronic music origin story?

 

I have always loved the melancholy and emotive music of the 80s, the Cure, U2, Depeche mode etc. When I walked into a nightclub called ‘Pure’ in Melbourne during the 90s and heard what I now know to be an 808 drum kit through a massive sound system, my life was changed. It sounded like something from outer space, so utterly different, intruiging and beautiful. Being a guitarist and musician I sold all of my electric guitars, amps and started buying synths, drum machines and samplers and have been exploring this world every since. 

What do you feel motivates or inspires you to continue creating music?

 

Two things inspire me mainly to continue creating music. One is the timeless realm I can enter when creating music being totally absorbed with a playful and joyful energy. The other is the satisfaction of constantly developing and refining my sound to be able to capture and effectively use that creative energy. This requires multi-faceted knowledge and the repetition and refinement of workflow. When I can see and feel my own progress and trajectory, there is a pull to reach higher and always get better.

 

In the studio, what is your set-up?

 

I have a MacBook Pro using Ableton Live, Push2, Allen & Heath Xone K2, Adam A7x monitors with Sonarworks, Audient iD14 interface, Roland System-1. On the plug-in side, Omnisphere, Arturia V8 Collection, Spitfire LABs, Soundtoys, u-he Diva, Repro1, Spire, Valhalla reverbs, Waves are my main ones.

Do you have any secret weapons in your plug-in collection, that have helped take your production to the next level?

I am loving the move from manufacturers to create more simplified plug-ins that can save time and increase productivity in the studio. Examples are the various volume shaper plugins like Cableguys Shaperbox and Kickstart. Previously you would would have to create a subchain with a compressor and dial in the settings, now it's quick and easy to get the same effect. The same thing with parallel compressors too.

 

Tell us a bit about your creation process.

I usually start with the melodic and emotional/atmospheric aspect of the song and build from there. In regards to my drums, fx and over all mixing I am constantly upgrading my samples and sound design and learning new techniques. I utilise a template and pull these elements in once I have the melodic, chord parts down. There is always more to learn and that’s what keeps it interesting. I am also lucky enough to be able to garner production feedback from Melbourne progressive legends GMJ Music and Matter which has really taken my productions to the next level.

​As an artist you had an interesting experience of rebranding. You went from David Leckenby to Dave Leck. Can you tell us something about this process and what motivated your decision? What was the outcome of your change?

 

I am getting some help right now with my marketing and branding efforts. The name ‘Dave Leck’ was suggested as a part of a branding exercise and it just feels snappier and more memorable. I think it's close enough to my name, so I believe most people who knew me will easily make the connection. 

 

What advice would you give to beginner producers?

 

Keep the playful and inspiring energy at the centre and build your workflow around that. There is so much to potentially learn so it can easily become overwhelming. At the beginning finish as many tracks as you can so you practice going through the entire process from idea conception to final master over and over again. It's important not to get too perfectionistic at this stage. Be yourself and enjoy the ride, it's a long journey to get good results.

 

Melbourne has of late become quite a hotspot for Progressive sounds. Whats it like to make music in this city and what is happening there?

 

Yes there is an incredible about of talent here which is inspiring. GMJ Music and Matter are making waves all around the world with their label meanwhile recordings, and now the deeper meanwhile horizons. Local producers who are killing it at the moment are Eric Lune, Mike Rish, James Beetham and Karl Pilbrow but there are many others. Andrew Cook is a local DJ and promoter  who is putting on progressive events of the highest international standard attracting the global dance music elite (many of whom are here)

You're locked down on a desert island, you take 5 albums with you, what are they?

As I am not really a nostalgic person musically speaking I would take a playlist of tracks that are inspiring me right now.

Here are Dave Leck’s Desert Island Essentials:

 

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Be sure to check out Dave's exclusive guest mix for the EC Podcast!

INTERVIEW: RANJ KALER

How have you been spending your time during lockdown?

 

Through lockdown I've been mostly teaching myself my way round Ableton. I only started the day after my club closed back in March 2020. Apart from that my day has been mostly consisting of eating and watching tv. Normality can't come soon enough.

Would you say the ‘mood’ of lockdown has changed the style of music you are producing?

 

Well, I haven't experienced making music while the clubs have been open but I would guess my productions would be a touch funkier and probably slightly faster.

 

What is your electronic music origin story?

 

Way back in the 80's it started I heard Yellow Magic Orchestra from my friend John who was 5/6 years older than me. That led to an obsession with Electro and Freestyle as well as Soul and Funk from that era. My first decks were bought for me for my 13th Birthday and three years later I got a job warming up at a Cinderella Rockafellas and I hadn't stopped working at clubs until COVID hit.

What would be your top 5 desert island discs?

 

WOW this is a hard one. It changes daily. Sasha GU SanFran (especially CD2) Involver 1, Orbital In Sides. Depeche Mode Violator and Pet Shop Boys Disco.

What do you feel motivates or inspires you to continue creating music?

 

I love doing it. At the moment it's an addiction. And having a finished product that people would enjoy is a beautiful bonus.

 

In the studio, what is your set-up?

 

I believe in getting my head round what I've got and mastering it before expanding. At the moment I have Ableton, a Push 2 and a Technic Deck. I use Arturia and the free BBC Spitfire plug in.

Do you have any secret weapons in your plug-in collection, that have helped take your production to the next level?

No secret weapons but I do have secret combinations of effects.

 

Tell us a bit about your creation process, we could use your upcoming release ‘Morning’ (Emotional Content Recordings) as an example.

So, I never have a plan. I let these things happen organically. I always start differently too.  Sometimes I start with a loop. Sometimes a synth. For Morning it started with that kick. Played with pattens on the Push and once I had a good rhythm, I just built on that throwing different things at it and see what sounded good.

​Finally, how do you see the future of clubbing evolving post lockdown?

Honestly it won't get back how it was until it goes completely. Dancefloors will have capacity limits and in turn that will kill the atmosphere.  More sit-down events will take place. The real clubbing experience will move to outside which probably means it will become seasonal. One thing is for sure it's going to be a whole new ball game.

Cheers Ranj. Thank you for gifting ECR with such a beautiful release. We can't wait to see what the coming months and years bring in the way of productions from you. For now we'll let everyone enjoy Morning/I Forgot, a couple of luscious, ethereal, breakbeat, productions...available now on Beatport

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