EXCLUSIVE: Talking to Jason Fernandes

Having released music on Carl Cox‘s Intec, Adam Beyer‘s Drumcode and his own labels Subfigure and Skyline Type Grooves amongst an array of other quality techno record labels, he is regularly releasing music and touring internationally.

We set down with London born techno, electronic music producer, DJ and artist Jason Fernandes to talk about his sound, gear and more. Find out below..

Hey Jason, how are you and what are you up to today?
I am great – busy as always. Today I am going through promos and finalising a remix in the studio.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Deep, twisted, driving, often-groove-licked, techno.

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Prodigy – The Fat Of The Land
Faithless – No Roots
Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Booka Shade – Movements

But there are many DJ sets, live performances, compilation mixes and so on that have also been hugely influential.

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Honestly, this is hard to pinpoint. There are so many good artists at the moment. I’m mainly playing stuff from newer artists, who are trying to break through and are clearly putting in the hours in the studio. You can hear the difference! There are a handful of established techno artists like The Advent who probably put in more hours in the studio regularly than anyone I know, and make tracks unlike anything else I hear. Loco & Jam have a fresh, groove-heavy sound. Truncate is ultra-reliable for a stripped down, rawer techno sound. I’ve just signed an EP to my label from Highestpoint, who make really solid techno tracks. Alan Fitzpatrick, Dense & Pika, Victor Calderone, Roberto Capuano, The YellowHeads…the list goes on. Beyond techno, the list is even longer. Beyond music…well you get the idea.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
My Moog Voyager is pretty much owed a salary right now.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
Getting heard. There are so many people making music right now it’s mystifying. It’s a wonderful thing, but definitely creates a challenge for one to be heard. But that sort of competition is a good thing. Ideas flow, you often hear or see something cool, which in turns inspires other ideas. One problem, in a time when we have so much good music and artists, you do seem to hear the same thing over and over again – at times anyway.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
Hearing, seeing and feeling things. The more places, art, culture you are exposed to, usually the more fruitful you are in the studio. A techno track isn’t complicated. But the feel of the track will always mimic where I am emotionally in that moment. You can hear those who simply follow the formula, and those who put some soul into it, no matter how deep and dark a track is, or groovy and upbeat.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
I pick my moments carefully these days. By that I mean when to start to make a track. I need to be in the right frame of mind. Working at night is completely different to working during the day. I mainly work at night right now, into the early hours. The techno flows more freely at this time. Process wise, I try to always do something different, so its not exactly the same thing every time. Generally, I get the bass and rhythm flowing first. Leads must gel nicely with that. A good track could have only three or four elements, although by the end there are always more.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
My last one was pretty cool, in Westerunie, Amsterdam. There was a great crowd, great DJs and a great system.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
An astronaut, or a mad man. Yeah, probably a mad man, locked away somewhere.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
There is always new music coming out on my label Subfigure, or Skyline Type Grooves, as well as on various quality techno labels.

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