Sometimes you just need a tune that can blitz the floor. While there's no shortage of those, it's always nice when a producer with an uncompromising style like Kommune1 bubbles up and brings some freshness to the table. Frail minds that can't process heady techno & house need not apply to this one; those brave enough for a gauntlet of raw 4×4 stompers read on. Kommune1 offered to engage us in some Q&A and we were more than happy to pick the brain of an up-and-coming UK producer who has been scooped up by the likes of Lone and Blawan. He obviously knows his stuff and then some, so read and listen to get educated.
EARMILK: Thanks for answering our questions. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Kommune1: I’m Daniel (Danois) Martin, a 24 year old producer in the fields of house and techno. I’ve been composing music now for 2 years, and started off making future garage tracks. Then slowly progressed into a more house orientated sound from that, losing the reverb and looking back to mainly Chicago house of the mid to late ’80s and the UK rave/Madchester scene. A love for hard-house, acid-house and techno has without a doubt influenced the sound of my recent tracks.
EM: You've said that "MOTUS" and "Shadowkick" are coming out on Magic Wire with a remix by Lone. That's a great addition to the label's sound, and you can see the similarities in influences. How did you two link up and any other labels you're looking at/looking at you?
K1: The case with “MOTUS” was just simply sending it out to big names either by email or Soundcloud and Lone (Matt) got back in touch and said he really liked the track. And I was in absolute shock as I’ve always listened to Lone ever since Ecstasy & Friends, truly stoked! And in regards to other label interest, I’ve been spoken to but nothing is set in stone. So watch this space!
EM: You've had DJ support from the likes of Ben UFO, Dark Sky, and others – Blawan gave "MOTUS" a play during a Boiler Room set and people went nuts. You say you are "basing the project on the sounds of New York, Detroit, London, Paris and Berlin." Who from those scenes would you say has influenced you?
K1: Where to start!? So many fantastic musicians have hailed from all of these fantastic and vibrant places. New York is such an important one, as it not only gave birth to hip-hop, but also punk and disco. The influence that disco had on music then-on was substantially important, it was the foundations for Chicago house music and people like Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle paved the way for people who wanted to create the beats of disco, but stripped of its flamboyance. I feel like the scenes within house and techno have an undoubtedly punk ethos in regards to the whole “Do it yourself” philosophy. Obviously Detroit has Motown, and techno, although I find the root of techno belongs to German artists such as Kraftwerk, whose albums Computer World and The Man-Machine still hold up strong today as a glimpse of the future of music.
I’m hugely influenced by art just as much as music. I’ve always used both visual and sound-based arts as a creative stimulus, and this is where a lot of my influences and ideas come from. Artists such as Bruce Nauman, Werner Herzog, La Monte Young, Bas Jan Ader and Eva Hesse are always people I turn to when I’m looking for that stimuli.
EM: Apparently you're a hip hop fan too – you've said that it taught you a lot about sampling and sound design. Any producers or sounds in particular?
K1: I adore hip-hop, its influence on the music making process. Its use of samples was completely linked to the early house producers who sampled soul and disco records. I love the sound of Illmatic by Nas, its drums and bass are so heavy. All the jazz and soul samples were perfect for the music, subtle yet said so much. It was as if you could hear the decay of New York and its musical past on that record for me.
I share a love for hip-hop which sounds as if it were created in a basement or someone’s bedroom. Something as simple (and effective) as some soul samples, a drum break and some “rough and ready” vocals give off such atmosphere as well as the sense that it wasn’t created in a fancy studio with expensive equipment. More so that the house and techno movement of the mid-to-late ’80s, hip-hop truly showed off just what people could do on a budget, which means a hell of a lot for my generation of musicians who depend on a simple setup somewhere in their house.
EM: Hope it's not unfair to say a lot of your music is dancefloor-oriented. What's the club scene like near your area, and practicality aside where's your ideal locale for the best nights?
K1: The club scene where I am is dead. It’s truly depressing, as all the clubs are playing the same chart shit. The style of music I listen to is nowhere to be seen, no nights, nothing. I definitely make music made for the city mentality.
EM: Any other collaborations in the works besides the one with Ghostek? Remixes?
K1: The collaboration with Ghostek has been a fun experience, it’s something I always wanted to do. Bouncing ideas off one another is an exciting way to produce music as it’s a fresh approach to arrangement, composition or sound design. I think we’ve both come out of it learning new techniques and methods that will aid us in the future as producers, and that’s what it’s all about. I’ve done a few remixes for artists, but mainly from back in the day when I was entering remix competitions, had nothing formal offered to me as of yet, but I’d be more than happy to rework another artists track, as I always enjoy finding new possibilities within the sounds and I strive to make the track sound like a completely different piece of work.
EM: This one's always hard, but it's also hard to resist: favorites/tracks of the moment? Anything/anybody we should look out for this year?
K1: I’m not usually a person who is up to date with all the modern releases, but the new George Fitzgerald Child EP is fantastic. All the elements I love about house, with perfect 4/4 beats and basslines that are reminiscent of the early ’90s scene. I enjoy individual tracks but I’m undoubtedly more of an album man, just love the progressions and looking at something as an overall piece rather than one good tune.
On the player at the minute for me is:
Nitzer Ebb – That Total Age
A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP
Actress – RIP
Liaisons Dangereuses – Liaisons Dangereuses
Eleven Tigers – 111
Shlohmo – Bad Vibes (which was my favorite album of last year)
EM: Thanks again for talking to us – anything you want to add?
K1: Thanks for taking the time to read my babble and I hope you get an insight as to what helps me create my sounds. Follow me on SoundCloud for new tracks and exciting news which will be coming soon.
As if Kommune1 hadn't shared enough wisdom, he was kind enough to drop the infectiously bouncy "Communiqués for Tape" exclusively on EARMILK. It seems challenging to not move during this track, though that's not unusual for his production. High potency seems to be the standard for Kommune1, so do as he says and follow on SoundCloud to catch the next move.