Beat / I notice a tendency towards more beauty in many current productions. Many of the tracks on Fusion also combine powerful beats with warmth and intimacy.
Len Faki / When you mentioned warmth and intimacy, the first image that came to mind was my mother. She contracted COVID during the album process and unfortunately passed away after a few weeks. It was an emotionally difficult time in my life and naturally had a strong impact on the album. Even during the weeks when there was still hope that she might make it, music helped me a lot in processing this extreme situation. I created two pieces which I named after my mother, „Halide,“ and dedicated to her. The second one was created after she lost the battle. At that moment, my life came to a halt for a short while. However, I soon found myself returning to the studio. I knew that music would help me process my grief.
Beat / There are many personal moments on the album - for example, the track „Liyah.“
Len Faki / „Liyah“ is dedicated to my long-time girlfriend and her horse of the same name. This little Arabian mare became part of our family during the recording of the album, and I have to admit that I wasn‘t particularly enthusiastic initially and rather skeptical because I hadn‘t experienced a deeper connection to animals until then. But now, I‘m fascinated by the energy that arises between horses and their humans. It seems to be just as magical as my connection to music! Only later did I learn that Liyah is an Arabic name meaning „the beautiful,“ „the miracle,“ „the light“ - which, in my opinion, fits the piece very well.
Beat / Techno has always been considered a very purist genre. However, it originates from an incredibly diverse culture.
Len Faki / I grew up with a wide range of influences from electronic club culture. In the beginning, it mainly involkved dancing to hard or Detroit-style Techno sets until the early morning hours and then going to the house afterparty, which featured New York vocal house mixed with rough and jacking Chicago beats. At other times, it meant spending the whole night in the chillout room with ambient music. Over the years, Techno has clearly become my great passion, but house and ambient continue to influence me and have always been part of my musical world, albeit not always noticeable to the outside observer.
However, in my private life, these worlds were always present. The tracks for Fusion naturally developed over a period of two years. I collected all the tracks in a folder, and when the time had come to make a selection, I realized suddenly that the material was almost perfectly split down the middle Techno pieces and more left-field tracks. To be honest, I was as surprised about that as anybody else.
Beat / This diversity is also reflected in the arrangements – they‘re all quite distinct.
Len Faki / I discovered early on that arrangements can be crucial or even decisive for a track. Even with the most amazing ingredients, the arrangement is the foundation of your listening experience. It is an art form in itself. It can be best compared to DJ. If DJ A and DJ B had the same tracks for their sets, I am sure that they‘d still create a completely different dynamic and musical experience. Personally, I see arranging as an independent learning process, and even after all these years, I would never claim that I have completed my studies. I always ask myself: How can the piece unfold best? What do I want to express, and how do I get there? Contrasts were an important part of Fusion in this regard.
Beat / Can you give me an example for that from the album?
Len Faki / „Friedrichshain Funk“ is one of the tracks that, for me, falls somewhere between a Techno break number and electronic jazz. I liked the idea of combining influences from different styles and sounds to create contrasts. Without putting the strumming on the Moog One chords, it wouldn‘t have had this subtle hint of a jazzy experience. And without the real drums, it would have sounded too electronic with the beats.
Beat / There‘s this classic track of yours, „Rainbow Delta,“ which feels close in spirit to many of the new tracks. There‘s already a fusion happening there in some form.
Len Faki / Yes, in a way, I can agree with you there. „Rainbow Delta“ was my first Ostgut Ton release, and I wanted to capture and combine the Berghain and Panorama Bar feeling in a single track. That‘s how this track came about, and I was super happy that it was played by both Techno and House DJs.
Beat / Where do you see the differences compared to today?
Len Faki / My approach has developed significantly in the meantime. Back then, I was still working with Logic, and with the switch to Ableton Live, my ways of thinking, as well as my approaches, and possibilities completely changed. Since I switched to Ableton Live, I have been able to realize sketches and ideas much faster and get into the flow of creation more quickly. You could say that I have become more open and experimental in this process. I allow much more movement within the tracks.
Beat / Were there a „aha“ moment at some point when it comes to production?
Len Faki / I did and I believe this particular method can still be a lot of fun: Take a two- or four-bar drum loop and place the same clip on a track ten times. Then change the loop start points slightly in each clip and add different follow actions as desired. Quickly add a simple beat repeater to the channel, and you can draw a plenty of variety and potentials for new ideas and possibilities from little more than a static drum loop. And all of this without having to resort to any external devices or plugins. You create this large and diverse space just by incorporating Max4Live devices. If I may say so: This is some really crazy, high-quality shit that deserves more attention.
Beat / How do you envision the listening experience for Fusion? Is this an album to appreciate in many small bites or as whole and as a deep immersion experience?
Len Faki / I would be very happy about a deep immersion! However, I find it somewhat unrealistic or reserved for only a few in a time when attention spans have become so short and music is consumed in a completely different way. I would like to see more people spending real time with music, engaging with it, allowing themselves to be carried and inspired by it.
Beat / Fusion was a huge project. Where will the journey go next?
Len Faki / Over the years, I have developed a great passion for editing or often remixing tracks that I play in my sets. A nice side effect of this is that I have, through numerous mixes, accumulated a huge number of grooves and samples – hi-hats, percussion, or other drums and sounds. I have now built up a considerable library of my own. As a result, there is very literally my own sound now which I have created from scratch. This passion has led to a new label project called „Hardspace.“ It is independent of Len Faki and will be launched in September. I believe that there has not been anything comparable in this form before.
Beat / That doesn‘t sound like you‘re planning on taking a break or a step back.
Len Faki / You‘re absolutely right, it is indeed very time-consuming. But it makes me happy to spend a large part of my life on something that moves me passionately. And that something just happens to be music and making music. And yes... sometimes I also feel like a restless seeker.
Find Len Faki’s debut album „Fusion“ here on Bandcamp.
Len Faki is on the road – a lot. Here’s his next dates...
- SAT, 5 AUG – D8 In The Garden - Charlotte de Witte (Dublin)
- WED, 9 AUG – Kręgi Taneczne x FEST Festival 2023 (Poland)
- FRI, 11 AUG – SonneMondSterne (Jena)
- SAT, 12 AUG – Loveland Festival 2023 | Weekend (Amsterdam Sloterpark)
- SAT, 12 AUG – HIDE & Free Your Mind (Utrecht)
- SUN, 13 AUG – Glitch Festival 2023 (Malta)
- FRI, 18 AUG - Pukkelpop Festival (Belgium)
- SAT, 19 AUG – Sommertag Festival (Rhineland)
- SAT, 26 AUG – fabric: Karenn (Live) (London)
- FRI, 29 SEP – Utopia Festival 2023 (Marseille)
- FRI, 13 OCT – BÓNUSZ Electronic Music Festival 2023 (Budapest)
- SAT, 21 OCT – 909 x Loveland (Amsterdam)
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