House music label Local Talk has carved out quite a niche for their take on the genre. Their expansive catalog contains gems from some serious heavy hitters, and to celebrate all things house music, they asked their golden boy Crackazat to choose from the catalog and add his "magic touch'. The result is a remix album overflowing with deep house disco deliciousness. To get more inside information on this release, we sat down with Crackazat to discuss the process of selecting the tracks, and what house music means to him.
Hi Ben, thanks for sitting and talking with us today. Before we dive in here, let's talk about life since the release of your second album in at the end of 2017. How did it go and what's new?
Hi and thanks for having me. I was really happy with the release of Rainbow Fantasia. Musically I had achieved my goals, and the response was so positive. During 2018 I have spent most of my time working on 'Magic Touch' and doing some select performances of my live show.
You've built a reputation for your eclectic sound, and we love it. How exactly did all of this come to be?
The origins of my sound go way back to my childhood tap dancing to jazz. After playing in rock bands I discovered hip hop, jazz, and funk in my later teens. At this time I also created the Crackazat alias. Finally, I experimented with club music at university where I was also studying jazz and so my current jazz house sound is the combination of the two genres, that have stayed with me into adulthood.
You were given the challenge of selecting your favorite tracks from Local Talk, and putting your own touch-ups on them. What are some key elements that draw you to a track and make you want to remix it?
I'm looking for tracks that contain strong musical themes that speak to me as an artist. A theme could be anything from a chord sequence, a sample, drum loop or melody/bassline or perhaps even the entire song will inspire me.
There is a certain tone to your edits that is instantly recognizable. What were some of the tools you used while working on the tracks? Anything new you've recently added to your arsenal?
I have created my sound using a very minimal toolset that I have developed over a long period. That being Ableton, a midi keyboard and a bass guitar. The edits have the same 'sound' as they have been created within the exact same environment. Many parts I have replayed or re/recorded using my toolset. It was important that they 'sound' like a Crackazat song, the only difference being that they are not original tracks, rather 'covers' of other peoples music.
In your opinion, what makes house music, house music? Who are some of your current favorite artists we should be aware of, who is doing house music the right way?
For me, House music is a feeling, a dance, a beat, a history, and a community. I believe there is no right or wrong house music.
What's next for 2019?
I have just finished my next release that will follow 'Magic Touch'. I am looking forward to performing my live set throughout the year. A slightly more distant goal is to start work on my next concept album.
We have one last question before we let you go. In your years of experience, what is the single most important piece of advice you could give to a new producer just starting out?
I have thought hard about this question and come to the conclusion that you can only give one piece of advice to one person at a time. We all have our own reasons and opportunities to make music, and we will face different hardships and reap different rewards along the way.