EMBASSY – new techno from an old head
EMBASSY is the techno project of… well we’re not saying because it’s a secondary project of a pretty awesome and well known bass music producer from Cape Town and he’s not that keen on connecting the two acts. It’s probably the worst kept secret around but it’s understandable. He wants EMBASSY to stand alone on its own merit as a techno project and not confuse fans. Fair enough.
EMBASSY will be playing at Soul Sequence next weekend at the iconic Fiction Groove Bar on Long Street and he recently released his first EP.
READ: Soul Sequence is kicking techno into overdrive
We used next weekend’s Soul Sequence party as an opportunity to chat to EMBASSY about his first tracks and why the new techno project?
Coming with a fresh perspective on a genre is always good in my opinion and it also makes it very exciting for me as a DJ “
How long had you been toying with the idea of starting a techno project before the first track(s) came together?
I’ve dabbled with the idea of a side project for some years now. As much as I love producing heavy bass music I also needed an outlet for my other ideas and influences and that’s why I started EMBASSY as a means to put my other ideas out there with no expectation or pressure to produce a very particular sound.
Coming from a bass and electro production background, did it feel any different the first time you played out as EMBASSY?
Interestingly not at all. I found the energy in the crowd the same and I use my same technique and style of mixing music as Embassy, so I felt very comfortable with it. Playing certain clubs in Europe for the past 3 years where techno is big, I have had to adapt my sets anyway and for that reason I’m very comfortable DJing as EMBASSY.
I saw that you played on the ‘secret stage’ at Grietfest. That must have been quite a contrast to your usual bass heavy sets, just in terms of the contrast of styles?
Yeah, it’s a completely different atmosphere in a VIP area where people want to take a break from the madness and just have a few drinks and party. I started my set with disco and kept it fun and slowly drew the people closer and closer to the dance floor and got them in the mood for some darker techno vibes.
With electro it’s quite hard finding a futuristic sound in analog, but with techno I feel there is no other way than analog”
Techno has become a sort of throw-all term for any slightly darker and/or minimal electronic music. Would you call EMBASSY pure techno? Do you care about genre labelling?
It’s very important to me that EMBASSY doesn’t get pigeonholed. I’m not a purist, so no. I wouldn’t say it is pure techno. My first EP definitely leans towards big room techno, but I would like to use as EMBASSY as a creative outlet of many ideas and genres. I would love to have an album with techno, electronica and even ambient tunes on. I started my musical journey with quite experimental stuff and always loved the idea of telling stories through music and having a cinematic element to the music. I’m getting back to my roots and having a lot of fun with it.
You’ll be playing Soul Sequence on 28 October. A) As a matter of interest how many EMBASSY gigs have you done so far? B) Is it a new rush for you, getting to play a techno gig and a pure techno party?
I’ve played seven shows so far and it’s a helluva rush. It’s so refreshing getting up there and playing to people with no idea or expectation what you’re gonna play. It’s also cool playing techno in a totally different way. The way I mix is unusual and I’ve developed my own unique way of transitioning tracks and when I tried it out with EMBASSY I was pleasantly surprised how well it works with techno.
Soul Sequence takes place at Fiction which you co-own and they’re very much pushing a different style of techno to the deep house/techno elsewhere. Is this more up your alley in terms of the genre too?
I’ve always leaned towards the darker side of any genre. I always try and avoid the ‘fluffy’ side of genres, so I guess this is very up my alley. I feel I have the advantage of not being in the techno click. I don’t know what’s considered mainstream, overplayed, cool/not cool or ‘relevant’ to other techno producers and DJs.
Us producers and DJs tend to get influenced a lot by each other and the technical aspect of music. This in turn can benefit you with shared knowledge and opinion, but can also be to your detriment, because the crowd doesn’t care how a track is made, just whether they can dance to it. Coming with a fresh perspective on a genre is always good in my opinion and it also makes it very exciting for me as a DJ and producer exploring a new genre.
Final question: you’re an accomplished producer but I’m sure it took a fair amount of trial & error before you were happy with your EMBASSY signature sound and the overall production. What’s the biggest production difference, producing techno as opposed to the electro bass music?
The idea and sound of EMBASSY came very naturally and I’m very comfortable with where I’m at. The biggest difference is that EMBASSY is 90% analog. With electro it’s quite hard finding a futuristic sound in analog, but with techno I feel there is no other way than analog. It’s also been an amazing crossover using only analog and now I’m using more and more analog for my heavier bass orientated project.
Soul Sequence at Fiction on Friday 28 October
The next Soul Sequence event takes place at the end of this month. We’re definitely going to be checking it out.
- 22:00 – 23:30 hAaS
- 23:30 – 01:00 DeFuse
- 01:00 – 02:30 EMBASSY
- 02:30 – 04:00 LifeHack
- R30 before 23:00
- R50 after 23:00
Visuals by Pupil Visuals
CONNECT WITH SOUL SEQUENCE
Checkout the tunes of EMBASSY on Soundcloud below.