Danny Wolfers has been transcending the realms of electronic music production for a couple of decades. His fascination with outer space and the wonderful obscurities of analogue machinery underpin his extraordinary discography with an incredible nine albums to his name to date.
As Legowelt, the focus in recent years has slowly shifted from creating electro inspired records to the recent gritty analogue sounding Chicago house and techno, full of tape hiss and infectious acid and synth lines. His recent albums for Clone Jack For Daze and his own label along with EP’s for New York based label L.I.E.S., both as Legowelt and together with partner XOSAR as Trackman Lafonte & Bonquiqui, have been hugely well received and are some of our favourite records of the past year.
Danny has taken a few moments out of programming the newest addition to his insane studio at his home in The Hague in Holland (a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak by the sounds) to answer some questions and supply us with the latest episode.
Where have you been playing and what projects have you been directing most of your energy towards lately?
I just came back from New York and tomorrow I am going to Stockholm and from there to Moscow. I have been starting this new project which is real hardcore new age music…not that music that your divorced yoga teacher or sherry soccer Mom listens to in her search for spirituality, but the real original freaky mind transcending stuff like Iasos – he calls it Inter Dimensional music…music that can expand or tune your consciousness or even destroy it it’s so powerful, using extreme frequencies and sonic colours…so yeah I’ve been deep into that lately.
You’re known to have an incredibly high output across a number of different aliases, how many of those are still active and how much music do you make that never even sees the light of day in terms of a release?
A lot of these aliases are just one off projects, I guess there are some that return now and then like Nacho Patrol cause that is really a different style then the usual stuff…but I try to focus mainly on Legowelt. I got cassettes, tapes, hard disks, folders and DATs full of unreleased stuff, but a lot of that is really crap so its good that those things stay hidden!
Tell us about your connection with XOSAR.. we know you have worked with her on a few projects now like the Trackman Lafonte & Bonquiqi record for L.I.E.S. and the Xamiga records for Rush Hour and M Division. How did that musical connection come about? And just what exactly is ‘Surfer House’?
Me and XOSAR have a lot of the same interests and since we are both electronic music producers a musical collaboration was pretty obvious. She brings a more interesting exotic vibe to the music…I learned a lot from her techniques which come from a different angle (such as using Ableton and more hardcore Electribe ESX programming) and her very peculiar unique melodies that seem to come from an alien world or different dimension….
Surfer house is what the record companies came up with you gotta ask that to Creme Organization and L.I.E.S. PR offices ha… We also do a lot of surfing here in The Hague beach Scheveningen so it might have something to do with that too…a laid back vibe of sand, sun and salt and riding the waves…
What is the balance like between making your own music and finding and playing other peoples music for you? Do you feel like you need a healthy dose of the latter to remain inspired, or do you find your own inspiration from other areas?
I try to listen and be open to a lot of different music, I think you have to as an artist else you will wind down in vicious circle of artistic inbred or something….cause as a producer you should always expand your thing trying to push yourself to new levels.
I always check the new releases on record stores and see whats going on in the land of music and when I am at a club I can just stand or sit in a corner and listen to the DJ and learn from all the records I hear…but I am into a lot of music styles I get a lot of influence from different styles like 70s deep ghetto soul, psychedelic afrofunk, hardcore new age, arabic music – all kinds of stuff!
Much has been made about your incredible studio full of synthesizers, drum machines, mixers and effects units etc. Is there one synth or piece of gear which you’re especially excited about at the moment, or any new additions to the lab which you’re currently trying to master?
I just got a Sequential Circuits Six Trak synthesizer a few weeks ago, its nothing special for the more elitist analog freaks but I really like it and I wanted one for a looong time after I played Mr.Palermo Magic Touches one in San Fransisco… sadly it broke down a few days after I got it but its repaired again now just waiting for it to arrive back in my house…meanwhile I went deep into my Dave Smith instruments Prophet ’08, thats a really great modern analog synthesizer, really well designed and a great sound no matter what people say…people that are saying this thing sounds whack probably don’t know how to program it cause the presets sound pretty lame…boring old outplayed Prophet 5 sounds but once u start programming it you enter a world of analog magic entrancement..it also just looks awesome!
What can you tell us about this mix? Are there any main ideas in the mix or any artists or music featured which you would like to make special mention to?
I just jammed it out of my sleeve. I think I played a lot of tracks from this Swedish guy White Savage, a.k.a. Mr. BMX, from Stockholm, and a lot of vocal deep house mixed with real raw rhythm tracks, just cause I felt like that.
What do you have coming up that we should be keeping an eye out for?
Well lots of stuff, there should be a new releases on L.I.E.S. and a split EP with Willy Burns on a new New York label called Beyond the Speaker with some Korg M1 house organ tracks…I am also doing a release on the legendary PPU records, its a real freaky deep funk label from Washington D.C. I am really excited about that cause I have been a big PPU fan for many years…You should check it out!
Also a few remixes and of course my new age ambient project….just keep on eye out on www.legowelt.com
Redshape – Bulphead
Cliff Lothar White Savage – Running Out of Time
El Barrio – Across 110th
Aron Fit Siegel – Tonite
Terence Dixon – Halftime
BMX – pfx
Houz Mon – Fear of the World
Basic Channel – Q.1.1 II
Two Of A Kind – Kinda Large
Jackmaster Hater – Drum Track
Osunlade – Envision
Kerri Chandler – I Found U
Slave 2 Knowledge
Anette Party – Morena
SilverMane – Reality
Gesloten Cirkel – Yamagic
Xosar – Nitedreams
Terrence Dixon – Computer Rights