With releases on VIVa, ElRow, Baumhaus and Scalectric, Spanish producer Ekai has certainly been making the right moves in the tech house scene. We caught up with him following the release of his ‘Fresh’ EP to discuss what went into the EP, plus a deeper look at the main man himself.
Hi Ekai, great to have the chance to talk to you today. You’ve just released your latest EP over on Scalectric alongside Xar Lee. How did this collaboration come about?
Hey guys! First of all thanks for the interest and giving me an space to talk about myself. The collaboration with Xar Lee came because I released an EP on his own imprint, Scalectric Music, two years ago and we made a good relationship. After an hiatus of any release on Scalectric because he was focused in Gameboyz (which is his parallel electro-infused project) he decided to take back the label with a new perspective based on rising producers combining with well-known producers with unique style a bit out of fashion. I’m very fan of this kind of projects, call me dreamer, because I can see that the tech-house scene is focused only in big names, and this way of acts are killing the scene. Week after week we can see new releases of big names which honestly are bad, created in big labels making the snowball bigger, so that’s why I accepted Xar Lee’s collab purpose.
Talk us through how you went about creating the two original tracks. I’ve seen you’re quite a hardware head, is the EP solely hardware production?
Xar Lee sent me two tracks, they were very advanced nice ideas. I worked on both of them and we quickly ended ‘Fresh’ so after listening the two tracks of the EP, we saw that second one wasn’t as good as ‘Fresh’. So we discarded and we start doing ‘Panic’ which is a track that combines ghetto-house beats with an actual tech-house breakdown to make some dance floor damage. In both tracks you can hear my 808 and 909 combined with acoustic drums samples. For the basslines we used the Juno-106 which is one of my favorite synths and for the acid parts we used the Korg MS-2000. Also I used the Korg Minologue for some weird fx.
Why do you prefer to make music this way?
Honestly, I prefer signing records only myself, but It’s a fact that I’ve made loads of collabs and at this moment I’m doing more, but only with close friends. Sometimes people add me on Facebook and in the first line they say ‘hey collab, bro?’ hahaha…
How did the remix from Sishi Rosch come about?
Xar Lee and I are very fans of Sishi’s music and he was the first name of the posible remixers for ‘Fresh’, the main track of the EP. We thought that his ghetto influenced rhythms could give a nice twist to the original. We asked Sishi because we have some relation with him and Diego Moreno, his pal on Digital Delight which is their imprint, so we wrote to him explaining Xar Lee’s thoughts for Scalectric Music and he join us remixing ‘Fresh’.
Do you think you would collaborate with Sishi in the future?
It would be nice, I think we have some aspects of our music that they are quite similar so I think that we could make a banger for sure!
With a collaborative project, what would you say are the best and worst things from it?
The best and also the worst thing with a collaborative project is that there are two or more different minds producing for a single idea in an art which is more subjective than objective, so this can be conflicting but also positive because sometimes magic happens and that’s awesome!
There is certainly an old school feel with this EP, who were your biggest influences when first getting into house music and how do you think it has affected the way you make music today?
He will not be the first but for sure that is one of the biggest: Miami’s finest Jesse Perez. He is so original and talented. He has signed records on the main labels without renouncing to his roots and his style. He has affected me in the way that I don’t adapt my music to please the labels, maybe this is a longer way to achieve success but at least my music will be recognizable.
Going back to collaborations, who would you say is your dream collaborator and why?
If I must choose one, that will be without any doubt, Anabel Englund, her voice and also her attitude is amazing. I think that she is a breathe of fresh air. When I listened for first time ‘Reverse Skyding’ my mind went crazy even before knowing how she looks and now as I follow her in the social medias I can see that she doesn’t care about what people can think about her and this makes her georgeus.
And finally, if you had to save one piece of kit from your studio, what would it be and why?
That is a very hard question to answer but maybe I’ll save my 808. This drum-machine is one of the sexiest things ever made. Thanks for this nice interview it was a pleasure answer the questions.