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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:13 am 
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Jeff Samuel’s foray into electronic music began in 1995 when he first witnessed a DJ set by Detroit’s Claude Young in Columbus, Ohio., Samuel became enthralled and began to DJ in 1996. Soon after, he purchased his first synth and drum machine.

While attending college in 1997, Jeff began exploring the possibilities of software-based music production where he saw greater possibilities for creativity and workflow. He encountered much scrutiny for attempting to make techno using only a computer. Nevertheless, by 1998 he had started to create his own completed tracks using an early version of Fruityloops (now FL Studio). Music from his first demo was signed to the German label Lo-fi Stereo. The Bidooba single was released in 1999 and featured a remix from Kompakt’s Michael Mayer. Other tracks from the same demo found their way to minimal techno pioneer Daniel Bell, who released them on his 7th City label in 2001.

Jeff pushed into the new millennium continuing his DJ career, releasing more music, and completing his college degree in Audio Production simultaneously. 2002 proved to be a significant year which saw his Digital Self EP on Tektite remixed by Ricardo Villalobos, his abstract material released by UK label Emoticon, and the beginning of a long relationship with Cologne-based Trapez Recordings. He also left Ohio for Seattle where he pursued a career as a Sound Designer in the videogame industry.

Today, Jeff Samuel is a sought-after remixer with a heavy DJ and production schedule who still finds the time to make SFX for videogames. His records are played by a diverse range of the world’s most talented DJ’s including: Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, Francois K, Steve Bug, Akufen, Craig Richards, Mazi, Claude Young, Timo Maas, Josh Wink, Electric Indigo, Michael Mayer, and John Tejada...


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I’ve read in your biography that you were introduced in a US Techno collective in the mid-nineties with artists including Titonton Duvante, the Archetype, and Todd Sines, was that a key-moment in your further career? How did they influence you?

Yes, the ele_mental collective was a huge influence on me. They threw amazing events that were concept-oriented and had great taste in music. They were primarily followers of Detroit techno and experimental D&B. They were interesting in educating people, and forged close relationships with many key artists like Claude Young, Mad Mike and Dego. Richie Hawtin once travelled to one of their parties just to “check it out.”

Seeing Titonton, Charles (Archetype) and Todd perform on a regular basis was very inspiring. Titonton and Charles in particular were heavily influenced by Claude Young’s DJ style, and that was passed onto me. They were experimental and didn’t stick to just one genre, often playing techno, house and d&b in a single set. They are also incredible live performers, and I was able to “study” how techno was made by watching Titonton play live many times. You can certainly hear Todd Sines as an influence in my records (and his own influence, Daniel Bell). I owe my entire career to them.



Nowadays there seems to be an increased interest in minimal music. ( many promoters program mnml on their event, lotsa new labels are founded)… In your opinion, what attracts people in minimal?

I think that minimal leaves more open to interpretation. It allows people to find their own rhythms between the spaces. A small tweak can mean different things to different people.


And how’s the situation in the US these days?

It’s a lot better than it used to be! The interest in this music has grown a lot over the past two years, partly because of Ghostly Intl/Spectral. Through their aggressive marketing, they’ve brought many people into minimal that weren’t into dance music at all before. But there’s still a lot more room for the US to mature. Many promoters and club owners are still pretty unprofessional, and the sound/equipment/environment lacking.

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I have the feeling that, correct me if I’m wrong, there’s a new generation of US-producers coming up for example, Matthew Dear, Matthew Jonson,… they all have something in common, their style resembles that of yourself, Tejada, Bell, Akufen, I would call it, deep, clicky sounds covered with a Detroit sauce….How do you see this things? Is the “Detroit sound/feeling” on his way back?

I’m not sure. Maybe…with Mathew Jonson in particular I think that the “old school” analogue sound is on its way back. The 303 sound is again popular this year and the Alter Ego mega hit “Rocker” is very analogue sounding. The sound I’m hearing in most records isn’t necessarily a Detroit sound like Jonson’s, but a more retro/80’s style.


I was wondering how you approach making music, I mean, what’s your main inspiration to start working on a track?

I tend to just sit down and see what happens. Sometimes there’s a bass-line, rhythm or melody in my head…but usually I’m not thinking of anything. I also don’t want to influence my ears with other music before I work on it. I want it to be as purely “me” as possible. I make the “main body” with 95% of the elements first…then break them all down for arranging later. I’ll make about a CD worth of “main bodies”….then spend a couple weeks arranging them all. I work in spurts, making many tracks in 1 month….then nothing for a few months. When I start to work again, I feel refreshed and not bored.


You also make samples for computer-games, I wanna know more of this (laughs). Do you like 2 play this games yourself?

This is actually incorrect…I make the sound effects but not the music. As you know, I’m pretty busy making music already! I was a big gamer when I was little, but stopped most of it by the time I reached college. Except for that Counterstrike phase, that was evil! I own a GBA that I take when I travel. I like the older games, when they were more simple and…minimal! I love videogames, but don’t have as much time to play them as I used to.


Lately we have in Belgium a lot of discussions concerning the analogue vs digital sound (fe, nothing beats the real sound of a TB-303.)…. You’re mainly a fruity producer, do you stick 2 software or do you sometimes use analogue equipment? What is for you the advantage of using software for producing?

I have always used software. Even when I had a synth and drum machine, I would sample them for using in software. In 1998 my peers told me that I couldn't make techno using only software, but I proved them wrong! Now almost all of those people have moved to software studios. In fact, I have fooled many people who thought I used analog including Daniel Bell and Falko Brocksieper. They couldn’t believe that I used all software! I believe the difference is in the way that you use your tools, not whether you have software or hardware. It’s possible that this is because I picture a studio in my head while I’m working, and picture a real synth when using a software synth. I think newer producers who haven’t worked with hardware can be at disadvantage when they haven’t learned to use the original products the software is emulating.

To me, the possibilities are much greater with software. Sample capacities are larger, and using multiple instances of the same software synth offers a myriad of options. And I just can't imagine doing through my typical sessions on a tiny LCD screen! There's so much that I haven't even discovered within FL Studio that I doubt I'll even use more than half of the features in my lifetime!



You’ve released on major labels like Lo-Fi, 7th City, Trapez, Spectral, Morris…. Have you never had plans to start your own label?

Never. Most people I know who run labels are always in financial troubles. I’ve heard too many horror stories about distributors not doing things on time. It would drive me crazy. It’s not for me.

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Are there any plans for a first LP/Album?

The labels want one, but I don’t think I am ready yet. I plan to do it within the next year. I’m working on a mix CD first, and will start on the LP after that.


Where do you see yourself in about ten years? Any wild dreams, secret ambitions, things you want to do?

In 10 years I hope that I can still be able to DJ and release music around the world. I have a secret ambition to make a full pop album. Not like the current techno tracks with singing, but more like maybe the Notwist. I plan to test my voice privately, but if I don’t like it I will hire a singer. I also want to write a feature film screenplay. I want to work with Bjork, but who doesn’t?


What’s your track top 5 of this moment?

Jonas Bering – Mustang 1966 (Rollmottle rmx) – Sentrall
Frankie - #5 – Frankie Recs
John Tejada – Mono on Mono – Palette
Andreas Tilliander – World Industries – Resopal
Manuel Tur – Gran Tourismo – Cyclik



Thx 4 your time, I really appreciate it! Well, c ya soon in Belgium…..

No problem. I can’t wait for Brussels!

--jeff



Some usefull links:

http://jeffsamuel.com
http://www.spectralsound.com
http://www.kompakt-net.de/


INTERVIEW: Ben Clement, exclusive for www.mnml.nl

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:57 am 
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mnml mmbr
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Tnx for the interview with this amazing producer!!

I was suprised to see that he works with FL studio..

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:34 am 
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Leander_Techno wrote:
Tnx for the interview with this amazing producer!!

I was suprised to see that he works with FL studio..


me too.....loved the interview though...his release on trapez f-Knob (or something like that) is one of my favourites

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:03 am 
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mnml mmbr
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Essaj wrote:
Leander_Techno wrote:
Tnx for the interview with this amazing producer!!

I was suprised to see that he works with FL studio..


me too.....loved the interview though...his release on trapez f-Knob (or something like that) is one of my favourites

Yeah Fcote is awesome..

p.s.: jesse, read your mail mofo :)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:47 am 
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This guy is one of my favorite modern day producers.

And nothing tops the track "foreigner" on trapez 036. Simple, minimal and awesomely repetitive. If i owned it, i wouldnt stop listening to it.

Everything this guy touches is great.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:47 pm 
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mnml maxi
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I've seen Jeff DJ I think 3 or 4 times now... Detroit, Montreal, Toronto...

Everytime he plays, he's always got great technical skill and handle of what he's playing, he's always got the best records.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:57 pm 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:04 pm
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Location: your head
I've seen Jeff DJ I think 3 or 4 times now... Detroit, Montreal, Toronto...

Everytime he plays, he's always got great technical skill and handle of what he's playing, he's always got the best records.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:13 pm 
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mnml mmbr
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Location: Mokum de geksteeeeh
Interesting.

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