Our team had the chance to catch up with the extremely talented DJ and producer DJ ABYSS to find out more about his latest single ‘You Make Me Lose Control’. Check out the full interview below!
Hello DJ ABYSS ! How are you?
I am fine. Summer is coming, the days are getting warmer, the festival season is starting.
Can you walk us through the process of working on ‘You Make Me Lose Control’? How did the production start?
The track was roughly created within a few hours. When I go into the studio, I always first consciously check how I’m doing, how I’m feeling. Then I look for the right sounds and melodies that best express this feeling I have right now. That doesn’t always work. After all, it’s a snapshot. But if it works, most of the time a framework comes out of it, from which I can develop a track. I would say that out of 5 times that I bring in an idea in the studio, once something sensible comes out of it.
I also have a very unique way of producing. I stay in the beginning not more than 1-2 hours on a track, try consciously little to “loop”, so that I remain as long as possible objective to the sounds and melodies. Then it’s break time or I dedicate myself to another track. The next day at the earliest I continue working on this track. So it can be that I work on a track 2 weeks, but only 4-5 days each 1-2 hours. Only when I realize that the track can become something and the rough structure is there, then it goes to the arrangement and mixing.
Are there any specific influences or references you used for the track?
No, not at all. I produced the track at a time when I wasn’t listening to this kind of music at all. The track was created in the late fall. Maybe the track also arose a little from the longing for summer, sun, sea, festival?
Did you find any new processes, sounds or elements while working on the track?
Exactly the opposite is the case. I worked on a number of other tracks on the new album, like “One day” or “Lonley here without you” with new sounds and instruments previously unknown to me. But “You Make Me Lose Control” is one of the tracks on the album that I produced classically with familiar sounds. It is probably one of the more conservative tracks on the album. Happy house with classic beats, piano, acoustic bass etc….
How long did it take you to finish this song?
Actually not long at all. The rough structure was done in a few hours. The rough version then lay around for some time. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when the tracks for the album were selected that I listened to “You Make Me Lose Control” again and found it very refreshing. I also found it super exciting to listen to all of the tracks produced in chronological order and realize that you can really relate to the journey I took musically in the 3 months in the studio. Of course, quite a few tracks have been sorted out in the selection for the album. On the one hand because they were a bit too personal, on the other hand because the number of album tracks is limited of course or finally because I just didn’t find some tracks good enough. That was a time of big discussions, because I threw out a number of tracks against the advice of my team. But there was something about “You Make Me Lose Control” that made me sit down for a few days and finish arranging and mixing it.
What was your favorite part of the production process?
Listening to the track again after a few weeks and realizing that I liked it, even though it was actually already sorted out. And also realizing that this is a very rare musical side of me. I like melodic house a lot, but most of my productions are deeper house, deeper techno or brokenbeat tracks. With these styles, I find it easier to translate my feelings relative intuitively in the studio. With party house tracks I actually have a harder time, for whatever reason that is.
The single is also another announcement for your album – what is the idea behind your longplayer, which will be released in September?
I admire conceptual albums with an idea behind them. Personally, I can’t do something like that. For me, music is far too emotional and a matter of momentum to produce an album in its entirety with an idea behind it. But in my work as editor-in-chief and publisher of Ten Dance magazine over 12 years, I’ve often wondered if these stories behind the concept albums I’ve gotten into the Readtion didn’t come about after the fact to give the whole thing a tangible background. Or if you really managed to develop an idea and then produce a whole album completely planned out. But I guess we’ll never find out.
There is no specific idea behind my releases. I go into the studio, implement what I feel and think. And when there’s enough material to present to the public, then a release comes out. But in the more than 30 years I’ve been active in the techno and house scene and met hundreds of other DJs and producers, I’ve also learned that there is no one ultimate way in the studio. Everybody has to find his own way to express himself through his music or to realize his music. As different as the characters are, so is the way to express yourself in the studio. And with me, it’s a very spontaneous intuitive way. If I don’t manage to put a feeling into an idea and roughly translate it into music within a few hours, then I discard the material. That’s why it’s so important to me as an “in-the-box” producer that the technical side of producing has evolved so much. I did learn an instrument in my youth, had singing at music school and also music notation, but only working with a good DAW, for which you don’t necessarily need a musical education, forms the perfect realization of my music for me.
I can remember my first productions together with the Berlin producer Jay Ray for Mark Reeder’s Berlin label MFS. These production processes with the classic sequencers Cubase and Logic, mixing desk, synthesizers and effects units were an endless and extremely pragmatic way of producing for me. The releases at that time were not bad and also quite successful. But I didn’t really feel comfortable with it. That’s why I started building a studio based on a DAW back in the late 90s. When the first version of Propellerhead’s Reason came out, which I luckily got my hands on quite early through my work with Ten Dance magazine, I also found the first software I felt very comfortable with.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I’m working on the 2023 album, which is also well advanced. But I’m going to take a break over the summer and go to Asia for a few weeks. Let’s see if I can really manage to keep my hands off music for that time 😉