Talking about your forthcoming album, “Soul Matters”, this is not your first experience with a solid imprint like Intec: how did you start your collaboration with Carl Cox and Jon Rundell at Intec?
I met Carl many years ago when he was one of the judges at the final of the young DMC DJ of the year way back in 2001 when I was just 16, after a tough battle with some other great DJ’s I won and took the title! But for me having Carl Cox backing my skills and energy was an equal achievement that I’ll never forget as I had always respected his amazing techniques and presence. It wasn’t until many years later that I was put back in touch with Carl by a mutual friend from another label I was working with around 2009. I had been sending Jon my music for a few years before that and he was always encouraging and positive until one day I had made an e.p with Trevor Rockcliffe that both Carl and Jon wanted to sign. This was the beginning of a great working relationship and the rest is history…
Back to your album, can you please talk us though the general production process and idea behind it? Has making an album been something you’ve wanted to do for a long time?
The production process was and is not so complex for me, I don’t consider myself to be a master in this field but my attention to detail is something I always draw on to get the tracks sounding as good as I possibly can within the realms of my capabilities. With the album I did try and incorporate some different technique’s such as recording my own vocals, stereo field recordings and working with live musican’s, this way I feel the album has an organic feel to it with a balance between digital, analog and audio production platforms.
Making the album was something I had wanted to test myself at for quite a while as I think it stands for a lot more as an artist than just releasing e.p’s in that it takes lots planning, thought, effort and time to truly create a body of work that you can stand back from and really be proud of. Most artist’s are very critical of their own work and I am no different but I can honestly say I feel sense of accomplishment after all the blood, sweet and tears.
Please tell us something particular about the creation of your album “Soul Matters”?
The most particular part of the album is that every track has a personal story or theory behind which I hope the listener deciphers for themselves or simply create their own ideas of what each layer in the journey means or stands for. It was important for me to write the album in this way as I would never feel comfortable not challenging myself by writing 18 tracks of stomping techno, yes that has its place but it wouldn’t test me or show the listener the different shades of Joe Brunning the artist.
How do you approach music production? I mean: totally digital, totally analog, first a rhythm or first a synth. In the end, how are you used to create a track?
I work primarily with software and a few pieces of external hardware, nothing too complicated as I know what works for me and I don’t get wrapped up in trying to use all the latest plug ins etc that often end up making you less productive trying to work them all out. If it isn’t broke there is no need to fix it!
With the album being quite musical I tented to start with strings or pads which were the basis and focal point of the tracks rather than drums and bass which would normally be the protocal if the grooves were intended solely for the dance floor.
Now to your djing side, summer was really intensive in Ibiza. tell us some special moments or a silly one that happened during your performance at Carl Cox’s night at Space?
Playing at Space was an amazing experience and honour too, I think most DJ’s have it on their bucket list to play the club and of course Carls night at least once in their careeers so thanks to Carl and Jon for believing I could make the grade
My set went quite well I think, I did a lot of preparation before hand but on the night itself I tend to play my best with nothing being planned and just go with my instincts moment by moment, track by track. Towards the end of my set I did start to show boat a few special tricks I can do if the moment is right by scratching the CDJ and spinning on the spot. It seemed to go down well as the crowd were cheering and in all honesty if your timing and balance is off even slightly it can look and sound really bad. Luckily I brought my A game and I’m not sure many clubbers had seen techniques like this from a techno DJ before which hopefully made my set stand out.
Joe Brunning for the next 6 months: how are you going to work in the studio and where are you going to play?
After the album is released I have a few more e.p’s signed to come out but I will push them back a few months to let the project have its time and allow people to concentrate and absorb it before moving onto something new. I’d like to take a short break from production but in all honesty I don’t think that will happen as I am always making music, its part of me now and there is no end in sight! There are some great labels I have contact with so look out for more e.p’s in the next 6 months and maybe another album after that…
DJ wise I don’t have much in the pipeline, I am always looking to play as I am actually a DJ first and foremost. Hopefully the album may bring some gig interest!
Thank you Joe, was a pleasure for us spend quality time with you!
No thank you, the pleasure is mine
Interview by Gill