Hailing from Melbourne, Retza is a producer and DJ who has the underground heads listening, following his every move. With a multitude of releases on labels such as All Day I Dream and Get Physical Music, Retza has gained support from the underground DJ elite including Kasey Taylor, Lee Burridge, Uone, Jamie Stevens, YokoO, Steve Ward and many more besides. International appearances at festivals such as Rainbow Serpent, CHI WOW WAH TOWN and Let Them Eat Cake have brought his sound to global audiences, laying the foundation for a stellar career ahead. He now makes a welcome return to YokoO’s recently-launched Satya label with the Feel EP…DMCWORLD checks in for a world exclusive…
Hi Retza, great to have you with us today! How are you doing and whereabouts are you speaking to us from right now?
Reporting from Melbourne, Aus. Life is good considering the circumstances, definitely a slower pace of life in a big city. It has been a good time to get fit, strong and healthy, pick up some new hobbies and of course more time to work on new music.
How has the music scene been there in recent times given the effects of the pandemic?
The music scene has taken a massive hit. Covid has been tough on us like many other places in the world. There is no shortage of talent here and keen party goers but we need to wait until it’s safe to do so again. I’m looking forward to things opening up again so our scene can flourish once more. Summer cannot come quicker.
We’re pleased to be speaking with you around the release of your four-track ‘Feel’ EP on Satya, the label recently launched by YokoO. We have to say congrats as this is a seriously good EP. Can you tell us a bit about this release and the inspiration behind it?
Thanks very much! I am super happy with the result. I completed the EP over the past year or so. It was definitely tough to produce music for a dance floor when we don’t have access to any. The whole idea started from when I borrowed a friend’s synth and made a bunch of pad & stab samples. It was the catalyst behind all of the tracks in the EP. The names have no important origin other than they came to me when I was saving the files. I always struggle with track names, it gives me the most anxiety out of the whole process ha!
The ‘Feel’ EP marks the second release on Satya. You also featured on the label’s first release that was a four track VA. What’s your connection like with YokoO and the label?
We have known each other for a few years now. A Musical connection that has flourished into a great friendship. We have collaborated on a few EPs over the years and so it is only natural to release music on his label. Julien has always been a huge support of mine, which I can’t thank him enough for.
When did you first get into music production and the life that goes with it and what was it that lured you in?
I first started producing when I was around 20, 10 yrs ago now. I loved music, especially electronic music, and wanted to create some myself but didn’t really have any friends at the time that were as keen. The natural process was to do it solo where I could come up with all the elements myself, I didn’t need a band! I was obsessed and a few yrs later found I was making some half decent stuff. I suppose others did too!
Can you tell us a bit about your studio setup?
At the moment I don’t have much of a fancy studio setup. My speakers and computer are all I have, all in the box so to speak. I’ve learnt it’s not what you have but what you do with it. I’ve owned synths and outboard gear in the past and found it only got dusty, probably because I wasn’t very good at using it. I like to be creative within the limits that I have set. Too many synths and plugins can be overwhelming. Sometimes too many options is not a good thing, for me at least.
What’s your creative process like when it comes to making music and how do you usually approach making a track?
It usually starts with a coffee and inspiration from a track or album that I’ve heard. I then start with drums, it is the bed of the track so if the drums aren’t sounding good usually the track won’t. Then a bassline, then pads, then the arrangement, then questioning everything I have done, deleting it and starting again. This process is quite common for me, it repeats until something sounds good but I have become more efficient over the years!
Thank you very much for chatting with us today Retza! We wish you all the best with this latest EP and look forward to hearing what’s next. To round off, is there anything else upcoming from yourself that you’d like to share with us?
Nothing officially locked in yet but I have been working on a heap of new music lately so I hope to be releasing more in the near future. Thanks so much for having me.