Why did you decide now was the right time to do your next album? Was there a certain catalyst?
It was a combination of a couple of things – first of all I finally got most of the contributions together and secondly I felt that it was the right time to move on with what I was doing with my remixes and singles and develop that sound further into an album project.
Tell us about the writing process: where and when it took place, your mental state…
I finished all the tracks in my studio at the beginning of this year. Some of the tracks had been lying around for up to three years in some cases but the finishing process only took place earlier this year. I had my mind completely focussed on the album for a certain amount of time, which was the best thing to do really. In the past I have always had distractions in the form of pending remixes or things to do but I totally put everything aside apart from working on getting the album finished in that period.
Did you decide from the start it would be heavy on collaborations, or did it just happen that way? Was there any plan for it at all before you began making it, anything you wanted to say or achieve specifically?
I really enjoy working on remixes and trying to create something entirely new with the given parts you get from the artist. The idea was to go in that direction with the album with the difference being that the initial idea came from me in all of the tracks.
The album is vocal-heavy too. Original vocals have been pretty big recently… what draws you to using them?
I like to take the harmonic presets and ideas which the singer comes up with and work a completely new instrumental around it. This is also why some of the original ideas or sketches of the tracks on the album have been totally different from what the finished versions turned out to be.
Who wrote the lyrics here – the featured artists themselves?
Yes, that’s right, I don’t write any lyrics.
I like to take the harmonic presets and ideas which the singer comes up with and work a completely new instrumental around it.
On a wider note, do you think house music can or should be politically or socially motivated when it comes to lyrics, or is ‘Oh baby!’ and so on just fine? Does there need to be a bigger meaning?
I wouldn’t want to limit a singer in terms of what they want to do with the lyrics. If they should happen to be politically or socially motivated I’m happy with it as long as the message can go with my ethics as well of course. If I get vocal parts which are more in the direction of your ‘Oh baby’ example I tend to use them in a different way, almost like another instrumental track.
With so many collaborators throughout, were you conscious of making sure the album still sounded like a Deetron record with your own personality and style?
This would be the aim of course but I’m afraid I can’t really judge that myself and it’s not something I can plan either. People keep telling me they can hear my sound both in my remixes and tracks as well but I can’t seem to figure out why exactly that is. It probably just happens naturally.
How do you share the roles when you’re working with someone else? Who does what?
There are no set rules really and it varies from case to case. Most of the time though, when working with vocalists, I send the artist a very basic first version of the track and they come back with a vocal take. I then continue working on the track and send it back to them throughout the process of getting to the finished versions, which in many cases have next to nothing to do with the original sketch. That’s also why I really enjoy working with collaborators – I believe it fuels the creative process.
What is it you like about working with others? Do you like getting the best out of them or do they bring the best out of you?
That’s what I’m hoping for at least!
Is the album writing process different to writing a 12″, such as your recent big hitter with Ben Westbeech?
I really enjoy working with collaborators – I believe it fuels the creative process.
‘Rhythm’ was always going to be a part of the album so it was created during the album writing process. We only decided for it to be a single when Stefaan from Music Man and I met in June to finalise the selection for the album. Generally speaking it’s a lot more challenging to work on the long-play format, as opposed to just releasing a single track or EP with remixes.
How did that one come about, were you looking to work with a singer?
I’ve remixed Ben’s ‘Falling’ for Strictly Rhythm a few years ago and it turned out really well. We’ve been speaking about working together ever since and finally the opportunity came about for the album. It was one of the few cases where the original instrumental almost stayed the same in the finished song, it just clicked really.
There seems to be a tendency for certain producers to lean towards a more accessible, pop-house sound this year. ‘Crave’ on the album could well be played on the radio in 2013… was that in any way the intention? What do you make of people who have such intention?
Andy and I started to work on this tune in 2010 and it was released last year so it was hardly influenced by any current short-lived trends or intentions to get radio plays. But some people have said that it could do really well on the radio, so let’s see what’s going to happen with it.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished remixes for Close aka Will Saul on K7!, Jimpster on Freerange and Hercules & Love Affair on Moshi Moshi. In terms of DJing, I’ve got a nice set of tour dates coming up all across Europe after having kicked the tour off last weekend with an all night long set at Trouw in Amsterdam and a set at Panoramabar.
Music Over Matter is out now on Music Man. The album launch party will be held at Fabric, London, on Saturday November 23rd. Find Deetron on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.