Welcome back to another edition of our exclusive feature, The Director's Cut. This time, we are joined by the elite techno artist known to the world as Flug. Over the past 10 years, he has become one of the most solid and consistent artists in the game, with releases on top labels, gigs at the top clubs, and support from the all ends industry. It's been three years since his debut album In Safe Hiding, and in that time, his latest work stands to bridge the gap between the studio and the club, as each track on the album was written on the road using field recordings, and then later processed in the studio. Below, he walks us through his unique creation process, giving key insights to the brilliant album.
How to listen: There are a couple of ways to proceed. First, you can listen to the whole album, which you will find below, and then read the notes. Or, read the notes as you listen to each track. This will completely change your perspective on the whole release itself and bring you closer to the artist and their work.
I needed an intro for my set at DGTL Barcelona last year. A few hours before the set I sat all by myself in the terrace at home, and a lot of noise from an avenue close to my house inspired me, so, I took some samples from the air and then I did this intro, I also added some pads to create a tension, I used this intro a lot in the last year and I love the way that this track creates an intriguing atmosphere.
This track was done just after listening to a powerful set by Chris Liebing In Budapest, I felt especially inspired by a track that I heard in his set that night, and the track had a really nice repetitive lead line.
The hook of this track reminds me of the early ’90s; it's a strong synth lead processed by reverb and a little delay.
My original idea was to create tension from the bright and metallic percussion upfront the kick drums exactly until the first drop, and then this repetitive but incisive sound appear and changes completely the mood of the track. When you play this track you can feel how the listeners are surprised by this sound and make a high endorphin effect.
I made this track in Asturias in my parent's house, it was honestly one of those tracks that you only need 20 or 30 min to finish. My dad was watching a documentary about outer space when I was working on it, and I made a pause when they were talking about Mars.
About the composition, It’s a 6 Channels track, is really simple but complex due to the groove, every channel has that swing that I love to use in the right way, sometimes.
I did the arrangement in a super easy-going way, just up and down the volume of the channels, I felt that the track didn’t need big changes, just I kept the groove and the flow from the first loop.
I’ve been playing it since I made it in almost all my sets.
Sometimes an easy and non-complex composition is great, just like a good dish of pasta and parmesan.
A DIFFERENT CHOICE
Yes, definitely one of the most trippy and mental tracks of the ep. I made this track when I was back in the hotel after a weekend that I played in 3 different cities. I was super tired, but I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to open my laptop and start a new loop. I was in a hotel with a wonderful view of the mountains of Innsbruck, and I felt myself part of the place. This brought me to this mental and hypnotic path that converted this track into a psyche mantra.
This was a weird experience, a lady in my plane started suffering from a hyperventilation attack. We were still waiting to departure and I was making this track, imagine me with my headphones, my computer, a hard drive, and a small keyboard all in the seat table, almost dancing, super focused when I begin to hear loud voices and I realize that something was wrong. This woman was being helped out of the plane because she was not ok to fly.
Definitely an acid banger. I love this track. This pumping jacking techno defines me as an American guy. It's warm, it's groovy and it's addictive.
I don’t really remember if I did this track after or before a gig in Fabrik Madrid, but I remember I was listening to some Truncate’s track, a guy who knows exactly how to do these kinds of tracks, I felt inspired and I did this one.
Well, this is one of those unhappy anecdotes with a good end, I was going back home, waiting for my flight in Dusseldorf airport watching Matrix (the second one). My Barcelona-Dusseldorf the day before was with Eurowings and the normal thing is to fly back with the same airline. So the screen showed 2 different flights to Zurich (my connection to BCN): one was from Eurowings and another from Swiss. I obviously went to the Eurowings door and after my boarding pass failed many times, the girl at the desk told me this is not your flight, your flight was that one, and as a joke, she pointed me to a plane already in the air. So, unfortunately, I couldn’t get home and had to buy another ticket for the DAY AFTER and to book a hotel room! Of course, I made some music that night and this is the result.
NO, I haven’t had an overdose ever in my life… well honestly yes, a “pizza” or “dulce de leche” overdose.
Jokes apart, one of my colleagues had one, and yes I was there luckily to help him, I will not mention when or who, but it was not a cool situation to deal with, especially if it's a good friend. Anyway, after I made sure he was ok, I finally went to my hotel room and I was completely exhausted, but as a nightmare, I couldn’t fucking sleep. So, as music always bring me some peace, I started the track as an ambient track but it slowly changed into a hard track, and I think it represents a bit all the situation around me that day.
SEQUENCES FROM THE BASEMENT
I started this track as a live improvisation on my analog rhythm. I was playing at the great basement club called Shelter in Amsterdam.
It was some time close to 7 am and I started to play this track originally called “the chord” as part of my hybrid sets.
It was an easy 5-sound track: kick, sub, hi-hats, some claps. I have this chord sound setting in a completely different way, and I did something by mistake: I pasted a completely different setting pattern, trying to copy a HiHat Line into another hi-hat sound in the Chord line.
It sounded amazing and people went crazy, even I was surprised, actually, it took me a bit to fit it good due to the fact that I needed to improve and change some settings like decay, filter, etc. Once I had the sounds rolling well, I saw the reaction of the people and I thought that I definitely needed to save this one as It was, and then finish it in the studio.
BOX IN A BOX
This is probably the most powerful track of this LP. I did this Track in a hi-speed train, in the “silence” wagon, that’s why I called this track: box in a box, because at some point somebody asked me to down the volume of my headphones, and I imagined a wagon with a box In a box treatment, where you can travel for days making music, and seeing those wonderful landscapes, even the main sound of the track reminds me of the sound of train rails.
Probably one of my favorite tracks on this LP, spaciest and energetic, metallic and plastic, I love the way that this track sounds. I played it last year in an amazing location in Berlin, a space called Fernwerk, one of the best places that I had played in this city. The place was BIG and I couldn’t count how many spaces they have but definitely each dance floor was super special.
I remember I started this track just before my gig, and when I was back in the hotel I finished it. I changed it a lot because I liked the percussion part in the beginning but not the sounds; but then this place inspired me, it was mental and I really enjoyed my set there, I caught the vibe and I think I transmuted all this to the track.