FD + ArpXP: One More Week
As SunAndBass fades off for another year it was time to catch up with FD and ArpXP about the forthcoming ep linked to the legendary occasion and more besides. As the festival is all about ‘more’: more layers, mystery, electricity, depth, awareness, tangents, immediacy, elemental interactions.
All the good ‘mores’.
Hi so how was SaB this year, what were some personal highlights?
FD: It was a slightly different year as we weren’t able to have Ambra Night open. This could have been a real drag, but luckily there’s another good club in the town, and everyone seemed to really deal with it in a positive way, still really enjoy the festival, even if it hadn’t been how we’d all imagined or initially wanted.
One real positive of this for me was that I listened to a lot more music!
Sounds like a silly thing to say maybe, but with so much outside space at Ambra Night, I personally often spend much of the night outside chatting to friends and hanging out, and not checking enough music! Serious first world problems obviously, but it was cool to hear more music!
ArpXP: This year was my 12th SUNANDBASS and every year is better. I live in Sardinia – Cagliari, in the south – and for me its more than an honour to be part of a big event that represents the best of the music I deeply love in the land I believe to be my nation.
I’m a proud Sardinian, don’t call me Italian, please!
Tell us how the idea of the 12 came about? There’s been other SaB-related releases in case people forget.
FD: I love SUNANDBASS, and have been working closely with the festival for a few years now. I really appreciate what the brand stands for, and also the people who are involved with it. It was already on the cards to keep the label going – because as you rightly say, there’s already been a couple of compilations, and a fantastic remix 12.
I was chatting to Stefano about working with labels, he had lots of my new music and suggested that we should get the label up and running in a new and advanced capacity and did I want to be involved. I of course said yes and then we just developed the idea from there.
ArpXP: I’m a part of the crew since the early days, as a DJ and designer. A few years ago we started asking all the festival’s closest friends for exclusive tracks for a compilation to represent the actual sound of the D&B we play at the festival. It’s not simply ‘liquid’.
We made two compilations with the best names in D&B… Calibre, dBridge, Marcus Intalex, SPY, Skeptical, Fracture to name a few and a 12″.
I think ‘Winter in Sardinia’ , the original and remixed by Calibre, the 12” that came out on SUNANDBASS Recordings before is probably the best track I ever made.
Basically, we want to keep doing stuff like this: music with a very personal approach, with a strong identity influenced by what we think the SUNANDBASS represents.
We – Stefano, FD and I – have a good number of tunes ready, stay tuned because we hope that this release will be the first of many.
From the ep, ‘Since that Afternoon’ is great, is there a story behind it? It’s a wicked tune.
ArpXP: Thanks! It’s a track deeply influenced by a personal moment in my life. It’s not easy to translate that feeling into music, but in a certain way it tells the story of a special day that changed my life.
‘Ambra”s got a magic feel, can you take us into the creation of the tune?
FD: I had the main sample lying around for a while, and knew I wanted to make a tune with it. I can’t remember what order I did it in now, but usually I would get a basic drum loop going to form a rhythm backbone, then start trying to edit up the sample, chop it up, make it my own.
Once that’s done, I’d get some basic bassline to go with it, and just start developing the idea.
‘Ambra’ had quite a few guises, for ages I wanted a vocal for it, but I just couldn’t make it work – and eventually decided that the basic sample was strong enough to carry the tune, and so arranged it to work without one.
It became Ambra when I had the idea to include the crowd noise from the venue. Stefano sent me the microphone recording from the closing night last year and I put it into the end of the track. That moment on the last night of the week is always so special, everyone totally rinsed out but baying for one more tune, one more week – I wanted to try and capture it.
So that’s obviously where the idea for the track and EP titles came from too.
Must asked who’s concept is the cover? So simple and effective.
FD: ArpXP is a great graphic designer and so we spoke about what kind of vibe we wanted the label to have. We wanted an iconic image that would make people think of SUNANDBASS, and the Tavolara mountain is a really obvious one – when you’re at SUNANDBASS, it’s basically impossible to miss, and is such a thing of beauty and mystique in itself.
So we talked about using that as the feature of the design, and Arp made it a reality!
ArpXP: As a graphic designer – see simonedeiana.com – my goal is always to design clean and minimal artworks, using very few elements.
We decided to use the iconic view of the Tavolara, which is a small island off the coast of San Teodoro, SUNANDBASS hometown.
The design has been somehow influenced by the old jazz covers, with a typical diagonal half-tone effect.
Can you take us into ‘Give It All’? There is no D&B fan that won’t dig this. Random one is that I wish I could hear this back at The End for some reason… same style.
FD: Ah glad you think so – you know that’s my most formative stomping ground! I had the double bass idea in there from quite early on, but to keep the interest going, felt a b-line switch was needed. I always like how in some older tracks, there’s so many ideas crammed into one tune, think ‘This Is LA’ by Lemon D for example. Obviously this tune is nothing like that, or on that level!, but I thought I hadn’t heard so many b-line switches recently so thought I’d give it a go.
I was really happy with the result of the more held bassline and so worked it in.
Again, the original idea was a bit different, with the second drop being the double bass b-line, but then I was so happy with how it sounded that I then made it the second drop too – it felt like it took the track a bit deeper and submersed, but still with a bit more energy.
The SunandBass vibe is unmatchable and one DJ proclaimed on web that he was setting up regular nights to showcase the same vibe he’d just experienced so how does the vibe affect D&B? Feels like it always ignites it
FD: It just seems to feel like such an important and integral thing to the D&B community. Something that so many people look forward to attending, seeing people at, hearing great fresh new music at. From a personal point of view, it’s an absolute honour and pleasure to be involved in, and I look forward to it so much every year – to link up with so many great people, get to go to such a beautiful place, and also to play at a place where people are there just because the love the music and they want to hear the best new music.
I get the impression this is the same thing for most other people that attend and so that’s how it affects D&B I my opinion.
ArpXP: As I said many times before, it doesn’t seem to be only a music festival. It’s that moment when you meet your friends from all over the world, it doesn’t matter if they are music lovers, DJ, producers, promoters, label owners. We’ve built solid relationships, thanks to the friendly atmosphere that we live there for one week.
Any shouts and wishes?
FD: Out to all the SUNANDBASS gang, thanks to them for making it happen – and everyone that attends too and makes the vibe as special as it is!
ArpXP: Thanks to all the people who still support – and buy – the music, who travel thousands of miles to get to the festival. Obviously thanks to Stefano/Delicat, because he made this possible.