111 – San Soda

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San Soda may have had his biggest year to date in 2013, adding to an already packed tour schedule the re-release of his beatless cover of E.S.P’s ‘It’s You’ on Defected which blew up more than anyone could have ever imagined. Whilst FCL – his collaboration with long time home town friend and mentor Red D – edged it’s way closer to becoming a household name last year, San Soda has continued to impress with his incredibly diverse selections and ability to hold crowds for hours on end with some of the best disco and house you have probably never heard before.

To celebrate his return to Australia this weekend for shows in Melbourne and Sydney, we’ve enlisted the Belgian DJ to put together our 111th episode of the series and answer a few questions. His exquisite hour long musical odyssey will be a trainspotters delight and proves once again why he is one of our personal favourite DJs here at the MDC!

I see you played in Sochi last weekend as part of the Winter Olympics.. did you get to hang out and watch some curling?

Unfortunately I was there only for one day and most of the time was spent on waiting in line to receive the many security passes you need to get around. In the afternoon I did get the chance to have a look at the Olympic village and take the cliché picture at the Olympic flame.

You took it a little bit easier on the release front last year, with only a couple of remixes and an FCL EP seeing a release, was that planned or have you just been having too much fun on the road?

The busy year was indeed to blame for a lack of quality time in the studio. It did allow me to buy some studio gear that I really wanted. I’ve also switched apartments recently and finally have a basement I can use as a studio without bothering any neighbours so I’m very excited to make use of it this year!

Tell us where your live set is currently at.. How has it grown since you first debuted it a couple years ago?

It definitely hasn’t been a priority of mine since I feel I still have many stories to tell first as a DJ and as a producer. The live sets I have done so far were great fun though, so it’s definitely something to pursue once I’ll have more time on my hands. The last shows were already more ‘live’ than in the beginning using no computer but sequencing everything on the MPC and bringing the more portable synths from my studio with me. This way every sound is created or triggered on the spot, which made it more exciting and creative.

There is the usual amount of new uninspiring music being released at the moment but thankfully a smattering of top quality records surfacing as well. Who are some new artists or labels that you’ve been impressed with of late?

Can’t get enough of Glenn Underground’s latest output on Stricly Jaz Unit. I’ve recently started taking piano lessons and the way he integrates his keyboard playing in his productions is very inspirational. Been playing the first Seven Davis Jr. EP a lot and some other labels/artists I’m really feeling at the moment are Soundway, Sofrito Specials, +++, Hazylujah, Lord Echo and Truncate.

Do you feel any pressure to play ‘It’s You’ in your sets even so far down the track from its release then re-release? Also considering its widespread success is there plans for a follow up record in a similar vein?

I stopped playing it a couple months after it got released. Usually I never play my own productions so this was already quite exceptional. There’s no pressure or elaborated plan to do a follow up record but we did just finish another song from the same recording session that we’re pretty excited about!

Who are some of the artists featured in this mix?

Placebo, Congress, Sam Sanders, Larry Heard, Glenn Underground and Fela Kuti.

What else do you have planned studio wise this year, have you got any more collaborations on the cards?

It will be a challenge for me to say no to DJing sometimes and arrange enough time in the studio but I’m planning to finish some new material before the summer. My sound developed quite a bit since I last released solo so I’m excited to focus on original material again rather than remixes and lame remakes.

What can we expect from San Soda and his USB’s in Australia this time around?

30 minutes of exactly the same kind of music, mixed harmonically at exactly the same tempo and bit rate.

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