We sat down with genre-bending producer Regal and asked him to run us through his latest release “Remember Why You Started” track by track.
“Remember Why You Started” is meant to be a message for everyone, including myself, to look back to your roots – where anything you do is influenced by nothing but passion” Regal explains.
Having been a popular producer since 2012 Regals has found support from the likes of Amelie Lens, Hadone, Nina Kraviz, and Ellen Allien. Alongside his own productions, Regal’s imprint Involve has become established for delivering sharpened 303 infused acid sounds. The imprint has featured releases by Boston 168, FJAAK and Alignment as well as the home for his debut album “Remember Why You Started”.
This first track is a message to old friends and colleagues, people who forgot why they started and now took a different path, people who forgot what loyalty is and disappeared from our lives and don’t seem to be coming back ever again.
This track began with just two elements, the bassline and the vocal. It took me 3 years to find the correct drum sequence. In the beginning, I was planning to make something with a 4×4 kick, but then I decided at the last minute to make it more breakbeat-ish.
Everything in this track is made with sampling and by using digital elements. The bassline is made with Element, a VST from Waves. The vocals are pitched down and have some autotune. The melody is made with ANA2 and the rest of the elements are made with samples and the emulation of the Roland 909, all processed with different fx like distortion from Decapitator. The vocal is taken from an interview with Drake.
Burning Old Idols
At some point in your life, it’s time to break with past idealizations of old idols that prevent you from moving forward and evolving – burn their images, leave them behind and start over with fresh blood and a clear mind.
In this track, I tried to get the 90’s sound from old records, at least in the percussion. The groove comes from the 909 Low Toms and a reverse reverb from a snare tail that I’ve recorded and reversed every 4 bars. At the very beginning, it was more like a dubby Tool track with some Detroit chords on it, but in the end, I decided to replace the chords with a 303 bassline that I recorded straight from the Behringer TD·3.
She Dances Alone
“She Dances Alone” is a love trip. It’s about that moment when you fall in love with that shape dancing on the dark dance floor, surrounded by strobes, and everything around you suddenly disappears. It’s only the two of you, the music and nothing else.
In this track, I tried to mix an aggressive percussion with a distorted kick drum from the 909 emulation with a melancholic melody. The melody was recorded from the Dave Smith PRO2 through my A&H Zed 22Fx mixer. Then on Ableton, the sound was processed with some Beatrepeat effect. Some days before sending the whole album to my mastering engineer I decided to make it a bit groovier and more added a simple 303 bassline done with the TT303.
This track is about being the lord of the night. The club is the dungeon, the DJ is the master, and the crowd are the trapped souls aiming for the catharsis.
This track is pure sampling and sound design. Everything started with the vocal sample from Zebra Katz and a kick drum. After playing a lot with different VSTs I had a bunch of synth noises I wanted to use, so I struggled a bit making the arrangement to fit all those sounds in their spaces. One characteristic sound in this tune is the distorted cowbell from the 707 emulation, in which I used a heavy distortion from Decapitator. The last thing was those rave shouts panned L-R from the VST Rave Generator.
Remember Why You Started
“Remember Why You Started” is about finding back to the roots, to the reason you’re doing all of this. Focusing on what really matters and always mattered over the years.
In this track, I started by sampling the kick from very old vinyl. Then I recorded the bassline from the TT303. For the vocals, I took a small breath part from an acapella with a female voice and reversed it with some reverb from Toraverb. The pads are made with Dune. With these few elements I tried to recreate the atmosphere of those old trippy and bit trancey tracks from the 90’s.
Requiem For A Friend (ft. Fabrizio Rat)
This is Fabrizio’s and my personal message to our agent and honest friend Stefano Brescia. Thank you for your love, you will never be forgotten.
This is a very special collaboration, as this track is dedicated to my friend and booking agent Stefano Brescia (RIP). I started by making all the percussion: most of the elements have a very spacey reverb from Toraverb. After having all the percussion and almost the whole arrangement, I sent the project to Fabrizio and he recorded different melodies with his piano and some others with the Korg MS-20. He sent me back the stems so I fit them into the arrangement and added some other effects like Beat Repeat.
Dealing With My Pain
After losing my grandparents, my agent, my job and my passion last year, I had to deal with my pain, trying to find a reason to carry on despite the ache.
This is the most Tool esque track from the album. The main parts here are the heavy kick and the vocals, sending a clear and strong message. The vocals are pitched down and have some flanger on it. They have also a distortion from FabFilter linked to a low pass filter that allows me to play with the vocals to make them more dynamic. The rest of the sounds are basically samples with many effects. The melody in this case is made with ANA2 and is a discarded melody from the track “Respect”.
Run (ft. Z.I.P.P.O)
Running sometimes seems like being the only option left. Flying away from reality, far away.
This collaboration has been in our minds for many years. It starts with a voice message from Z.I.P.P.O, where he’s asking me to finally send him over the stems so he can continue working on the track. Basically, the workflow was sending the stems back and forth several times. Z.I.P.P.O started with a short loop, then I processed those elements adding distortion and reverb and made another loop. After that Z.I.P.P.O made the final arrangement, while I did the last touch by adding a short breakbeat loop.
This track is about the little demons speaking in your head and the nightmares plaguing you when closing your eyes and letting go and letting your feelings overcome you.
This track started with a Dave Smith PRO2 bassline, with a super heavy distortion from Decapitator and just playing with the filter cut off. Using a metronome, I recorded a 3-minute loop of that bassline. The sound somehow reminds me of a horror film BSO. The melodies in the background were made with the VST ACE and the voices are shortcuts from a male acapella. There is also a short sample in reverse from a sex movie!
Before I Die (ft. Pau Castro)
“Before I Die” are some last words, a testament and a message for those who will be there tomorrow.
One day in the studio I was playing with Ableton, trying to make something more EBM instead of the typical acid, trance and rave techno that I usually do. In the evening I met my friend and great singer from Barcelona Pau Castro and showed him the track. 15 minutes later we were in the studio recording an old track from Pau that he adapted to my track. His voice is processed with some distortion and autotune.
The Last Dance
“Enjoy the Last Dance”, before everything gets to an end.
This track started with a melody that personally takes me to an open-air festival and gives me a happy feeling. The melody was made with the VST from Waves, Element. Using the melody too much made it a little cheesy for me, so I decided to add those raw percussion parts with the vocal sample and tried to use the melody just in some parts of the track. The vocals have some autotune so that each sample has a different tone. Because of this, after some trial and error, I decided to take out the number three and keep just the numbers one, two, four & five.
Cult Of Personality
Cult Of Personality is the track that sums up everything, it’s about succeeding in the process of finding back to oneself.
This track was supposed to be used as a rap/trap instrumental for a friend of mine. But one day I decided to speed up the BPM’s and added some more percussive elements to fill it up. The violin sound comes from an old Orchestra sample and is processed with FabFilter distortion and Beat Repeat. The vocal is from the same Drake’s interview as the first track, so the album comes full circle.
Remember Why You Started is out now on Involve Records.