Sunday, September 4, 2016

#BassMondays - Desaturate (Interview + Dubplate 015)

Music gives an additional amount of happiness when it's shared. And this is how we came across Janko Dragovic aka Desaturate, from Serbia. A talent with no musical boundaries, who recently released his debut album, "False Dichotomies" with two brilliant DnB tracks. And we couldn't be any more excited to share his music with you guys. A few questions to know him a little more and an exclusive mix set by him, enjoy!

01. Tell us the story behind the new alias 'Desaturate' and the choice of music you're leading with it.
A : The idea behind the Desaturate alias came from the fact that the electronic music today is oversaturated with disposable tracks with little artistic value and producers/DJs whose primary concern isn’t music but rather fame, money, sex etc. My attempt with the Desaturate project is to try and shift the balance towards a more artistic approach with little hype and a simple focus on quality music that takes you on a journey, without genre restrictions.

02. We'd love to hear & divulge into the 'bass' side of Desaturate a little more. When and how did you discover Drum & Bass and how did you progress with it?
A: My first forays into the DnB sound came in the early 2000s when I discovered the music of LTJ Bukem and Big Bud. Hearing the productions and mixes of those two legends was nothing short of revolutionary in my mind as the combination of dynamic drums and deep atmospheric melodies really struck a chord with me (and still to this day I love their music that introduced me to the DnB sound). 

I started producing and playing DnB together with Igor (my partner in crime in the Progress Inn project) sometime in 2003 and ever since then both of us have stayed true to the primarily ‘liquid’ sound. And even though at many points the focus was firmly shifted towards the 4x4 spectrum, DnB and liquid funk have always remained in our hearts as very special and something that we will love, cherish, produce and play for a long time to come.

03. You recently released your debut LP 'False Dichotomies' through Bandcamp, which features a whole spectrum of styles from you. Tell us more about the journey in the making of the album.
A: Ever since I started writing music, almost 15 years ago, it has been my wish to write an album. There is just something very special about an extended musical expression that an individual or a group can present that portrays their perception and gives you an insight into their personality and influences.

After many years of producing all sorts of music for various labels around the world, in the second half of 2015 I decided to shift my focus on writing my first artist album. Thus, ‘False Dichotomies’ was conceived, a concept for an album that would portray a slightly different side to my productions. The name signifies the falsity of many of our views and discussions about music and the arts, as well as many other wide ranging issues. 

I approached the album with no restrictions and simply created beautiful music that will hopefully stand the test of time and still sound interesting for many years to come!

04.'Slow Burner' & 'Pure' are the only two Drum & Bass tracks featured in this album, any particular memories & moments attached to them?

A: ‘Slow Burner’ was born from an older idea I created back in 2010 which I never really finished. So when the time came for me to write the album I revisited that idea and everything just flowed perfectly and I managed to finish it within two days. ‘Pure’ brings together the worlds of progressive and DnB. To me progressive has a lot to do with the journey the listener takes when listening to such music and not much to do with often used sounds or repeating patterns. So this would be progressive DnB if I really had to classify it (I steer away from ‘genre mentality’). It’s a pure expression of my love for those two musical directions and the emotions that can be conveyed by the story telling entwined through them.

Buy 'False Dichotomies'.

05. You've released a lot more 'Progressive House' & 'Techno' material under the Desaturate name, would we be seeing more bass-oriented releases from you on Beatport & the likes?
A: At this stage I cannot make any promises or announcements, but I am working on all sorts of different sounds and productions as well as exploring many different musical directions so anything is possible!

06. For the tech-geeks, what's your music production set-up like?
A: My setup-up consists of a beefed-up MacBook Pro as the hub in which I run Ableton Live and a variety of software from the Native Instruments Komplete 10 package. The tactile controls are via the NI Maschine and Komplete Kontrol 49-key keyboard. I also use a couple of portable Zoom recorders for all sorts of live sounds which I incorporate in my productions as well as an acoustic Fender guitar which I use to come up with ideas. I monitor my productions through my trusty Ultrasone DJ1 Pro headphones and a pair of Focal CMS 50 speakers.

07. Can you list 3 'bass' tunes you are feeling right now.
A: 1. Nu:Tone - Cold (feat. Arnold Jarvis)
2. Lenzman - Cherry Blossom
3. Zero T - Piano Clap

08. With the ever growing expansion of features & possibilities in Traktor, especially with the new STEMS format, could we expect you to do a 'live' interpretation of 'Desaturate' in the near future?
A : At this stage I am quite happy with my performance setup, which is running four tracks in Traktor of which one track is a remix deck where I include loops, samples etc. from my own productions which enables me to provide a signature sound and cohesiveness in a set. I definitely do want to do a live Desaturate performance at some stage but for now it’s a bit too much honestly and I have to be careful not to spread myself too much as there is so much I want to do and not enough time to do it all in!

09. What's the funniest / craziest thing that has ever happened to you during a gig?
A: One of the funniest (funny now, was a bit traumatic then!) things that has ever happened to me is that my laptop was once knocked off the stage in Perth, Australia, by one of the more over-zealous ravers who was enjoying the set way too much! The place was packed and there were people all around me. Sort of like boiler room but in 360 degrees. Luckily the cables that I used were quite long and it was a sturdy MacBook Pro with an SSD drive so the music and the set were remarkably uninterrupted and the raver quickly helped me to pick it up, apologised and put it back in place. I nearly had a heart attack, but no harm was done and the show went on successfully to the end.

10. If you weren't in the music business, what would your alternate career choice be and why?
A : I also wear photographer and graphic designer ‘hats’ at times and if I didn’t do any music I would definitely dedicate myself more to those two professions.

11. You just found out that your last gig ever is tomorrow, what would be your closing track?
A: The Doors - The End

Connect with Desaturate :
 - Facebook 

Dubplate #015 - Desaturate



1. Zero T - Piano Clap [Soul:r]
2. Calibre - All You Got [Signature]
3. Lenzman - Cherry Blossom [Metalheadz]
4. Anile & Blu Mar Ten - Lyssakses [Medschool]
5. Phors - Holding On [Fokuz Recordings]
6. dBridge & Calibre - Ponderosa [Exit Records]
7. Actraiser - Altima [Fokuz Recordings]
8. Beta 2 & Zero Tolerance - Perseverance [Liquid V]
9. SpectraSoul - Dark Hour [Critical Music]
10. Break - Late Drop [Critical Music]
11. BCee & Lomax - Unbreakable [Intrinsic Recordings]
12. The Vanguard Project - Driftwood [Spearhead Records]
13. BCee feat. David Boomah - Typical Description (Calibre Remix) [Spearhead Records]

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