Recently, techno stalwart 2000 And One released his latest EP, 'The Eye Within', via his shared label Intacto. The search for groove within the cavities of one's own mind is a theme clearly prevalent in the release, as each track takes us deeper within ourselves, to the true source of the rhythm. In other words, it's an EP that pays tribute to the jackin Detroit techno that started it all and adds a modern edge. We thoroughly enjoyed the ride and asked him to give us the rundown of how this fine piece of work came to be.
Words and photos by 2000 And One
For this particular EP, I wanted to focus on two of the main sub-genres in Techno. Those that I fell in love with from the start, late 80’s early 90’s, Detroit Techno and the Chicago “stripped house” Jack. So basically this project contains rough sketches that were made over a period of 20 years. In general, I almost never start a tune from scratch and finish it in a straight fashion. Those rare occasions I do, it is always due to deadlines from record companies, hahaha.
Ever since I recorded my first 2000 and One EP, January 1990, I started to collect a sound/midi library of most of the used drum patterns and synths. The stems were recorded on DAT at that time and MIDI files were saved via Atari ST through Steinberg Cubase onto 3”5 floppy disks which I later converted on Mac HD into Logic in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Over the last 5 years, I’ve recorded over 50GB of sound files from DAT to HD. Ranging from Drums, Synths, Pads and audio fx to unfinished tracks.
For the drums, I use the Arturia Drumbrute, Roland TR-808, and the TR-909.
The latter is knowing for its famous characteristic kick drum which is dominant in 90 percent of my tracks. The TR-909 (kick) drums where processed trough a Mackie VLZ mixing unit which gives it its typical distortion. Then recorded into Live via RME Fireface. Over the decades I recorded a vast range of distorted TR-909 kick drums, as I was part of that whole scene who created those first overdriven TR-909 kick drums. We accidentally plugged the TR-909 into the turntable input of cheap Alecto DJ mixers, which completely ‘ruined’ the sound of the machine, but we loved it at that time and it’s now very common in all techno tracks. Roland TR-808 and Drumbrute drums I kept them rather in place eq wise as they are warm and round and I like it that way.
Basslines are of course the Roland TB 303, Roland SH 101 and as I am very fond of FM synthesis, the David Smith Evolver.
While the TB 303 is mostly known for its resonating filtered sound I used it for this project rather steady and static, more like a deep, square, round sub-bass. It is all about the unpredictable patterns you create while using the internal TB 303 sequencer. It adds that magical layer of funkiness in the low end. In this case, I sampled an old recorded audio 4 bar squeeze into Live.
As for the SH 101, it’s a whole different ball game. Here I used the, what I call, fun filter knobs, which are frequency, resonance, and noise. Hooked up syncing with the TR 909 using the rimshot trigger option, as on each rimshot pattern played it moves up to the next note programmed in the SH 101 local step sequencer.
Evolver FM lead bass was synced with Live using ERM midi clock to get that perfect DAW external hardware sync.
Used pads, strings, and chords are all pulled out of the sound library I created over the past 3 decades. Recorded from most of the synths I owned at that time like JX-10, Juno106, MKS 50, D 50, Waldorf Wave, DX 100, TX 81 Z, etc…
At my house, I have a small room where I recorded most of the patterns and make audio stems of it. Whereas the mixdown is done at my more acoustic sounding audio studio elsewhere in the city of Amsterdam.
2000 And One’s ‘The Eye Within’ EP is OUT NOW on Intacto Records. Get it here.