Recently, Cromby debuted on Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound alongside vocalist Tee Amara with a luminous new single, "Que Sientes." An emergent anthem overflowing with the energy that has come to define the Belfast producer’s ascent as one of the most versatile talents in club culture, "Que Sientes" is contemporary electro brimming with character, skillfully remixed by Ecuadorian underground talent, Nicola Cruz.
Raw in dancefloor intent, "Que Sientes" erupts with no hesitation atop Dance Mania-indebted drums, blending Tee Amara’s Spanish-language vocal performance with a seductive acid squelch. Written and recorded in Berlin during lockdown, "Que Sientes" is the meeting of two friends and lifelong dancefloor enthusiasts from across the world, fluid rave sensuality rendered ideal for Cromby’s already legendary closing sets at Panorama Bar, or any other high-voltage dancefloor.
Complementing the Latin flavor of Cromby’s original production, French-Ecuadorian cult favorite Nicola Cruz applies his precision percussion and further cosmological atmospheres to "Que Sientes." A deeply trippy take, Cruz’s result is late-night house psychedelia rendered both mechanical and mystical.
“I produced more music than ever during the past year, but it was always the collaborations and studio hangs with friends that really stood out. Tee Amara is an amazing vocalist and artist in her own right, and I feel like you can feel that energy captured on ‘Que Sientes’, even without the club to inspire us. I’ve long been a fan of Phantasy and sensed collaboration has always been at the heart of the label, so I’m extra pleased this record ended up there.” - Cromby
Below, he breaks down the process of the EP's creation for the latest installment of our How It Was Made series.
Words and photos by Cromby
1. MPC 2000xl
This has been my workhorse for the last six or so years. Yeah, it's old and sometimes quite long in its ways, but once you get to know it inside out, there's no groove quite like it. I’ve used it on every track I've made in that time period. I used to use it to sequence absolutely everything in my studio. The timing is so good in that aspect, not one bit of latency. But it was holding me back a little. Now I’ve found the perfect combo of having it sequence all my drums and sequencing my synths via Ableton. So, for "Qué Sientes" I started with this and built up a drum groove which I used for the basis of the track.
2. Novation Peak
This is a synth that admittedly I took a while to warm to, but now couldn't do without it!
It goes so deep I guess it was a little daunting at first, but once you get stuck into the capabilities it's mind-blowingly good. For "Qué Sientes" the choppy high synth sounds you hear in the track come from this, as well as the main melody. What I love about that part is how it morphs gently throughout the track using the LFO’s the synth has to offer.
3. Moog Minitaur
My first ever synth and one that I still use for the bass in every single track I make. You can make any kind of bass sound really easily and this is one of the reasons I love it. And of course, it always retains that fat Moog richness. The bassline in "Qué Sientes" was written with the Minitaur in conjunction with the arp in Ableton.
Tee Amara actually recorded all the vocals for this track using her computer's built-in mic. Goes to show you don't need fancy equipment to make a good track!
Cromby feat. Tee Amara "Qué Sientes" is out now on Phantasy Sound. Grab it here.