18 juni 2014


Donna Byron, a 21 year old producer and music fanatic from Amsterdam had the pleasure of doing the podcast this month. Donna aka Phoebe Ohayon disappeared off my radar quite a while ago. During that time both our tastes in music evolved and Phoebe popped back on my radar using a different name. A different name with the same skill set that plays techno in stead of more melodic stuff. Donna made a tightly mixed 2h podcast and did a small interview with me. Find out below why she switched names, what her thoughts were behind this mix and why she loves koala bears.

Hi Donna! Listening to your set, you seem to be quite comfortable playing techno. Now I remember being at one of your gigs ages ago and you didn’t play techno back then. What happened between then and now?
A lot has happened over the years. Music wise, I have learned and developed a lot. A few years ago I played music I grew up with; spacy melodic electronic music. So it was understandable that I wanted to play and produce this kind of music. Over the years I found out that producing this kind of music was not my thing. It didn’t feel natural at all. I started listening to different kinds of electronic music, began experimenting with different styles, did research on the history of techno and house, and I was intrigued by all of this. What I find fascinating in the old techno and house records is the art of simplicity, the raw edge, the groove and the use of hardware. Ever since then I took my productions to a different place and my musical mind and hearing were in line. So I swapped my spacy melodic pads for the 303 and 909 and started playing again.

Besides spinning music you also study music. How did that come to pass? Does it help you move forward as a producer/dj?
I currently study a course called “E-Musician” at the conservatory in Haarlem. But I started off with Ableton Live courses a few years back. After those courses I was eager to learn more, so I joined SAE and did another course there. I wasn’t finished learning, after SAE, so I decided to do auditions for studies in electronic music. A friend of mine was studying at the conservatory in Haarlem and he recommended it.

Ever since I started the course at the conservatory, I noticed that my hearing abilities were improving. My ears have developed in many ways. From harmony theory to mixing and sound design, my ears can hear so much more than before. The E-Musician course is quite diverse and its also a bit more focused on pop music, especially with subjects like audio recording, music theory, solfeggio, songwriting and all that stuff. Nevertheless it certainly helped my musical brain to get to the next level as a producer. Besides that it also opened new doors for me. I found out that I love microphones and recording with other musicians. In this process of recording you are a part of making, producing acoustic records and making technical decisions that can “make or break” the sound. I’m really intrigued by the whole audio engineering world. It’s so much fun!

I feel it has been quiet around you for some time. Why did you decide to switch between alter egos and style in music? Did the previous alter ego bore you?
My first year at the conservatory was pretty hard. I didn’t have time for record digging, promoting my DJ career or playing at clubs. It’s still pretty busy but my priorities have changed a bit.
I decided to start playing again with this new style that I feel really comfortable with. So I thought: new style, new name! And besides that, I always found it a bit scary to play under my own name. When you play under a different alias it just makes it a bit less scary!

Can you tell us what your thoughts were behind the set and how you recorded it?
In this set I wanted to mix up the old stuff with the new. The set begins with a track from Dei Sub called Ten Nine Eight and was released in 1996. That track is pretty timeless if you ask me. If somebody told me it was released in 2010 I would believe it. The quality of the creativity in these records is amazing and I just love to mingle these in my sets. Besides, it’s also nice to show that there is more than Afrojack or Deep House. I think it’s healthy to have a broad look; this applies to everything, not only in music.

I think there’s about half an hour of acid mixed into the first hour of the podcast. Are you as crazy for acid as miss Kraviz is or are their other subgenres of techno you adore more?
I have to say I just love the modulation and the filter that make the sound of the 303. Can’t help it! But acid is one of many. I’m also really fond of the Detroit and Chicago stuff. I also can get my Minimal, Chicago House or Dub Techno hype on if I’m a day off. And sometimes I feel like playing some jazz. But not to worry I also have my Britney Spears and Spice Girls days!

What are your plans for the near future?
Perform as much as possible. Continue with producing, and then release my first EP. I already have some records, but I want to make sure my first EP is a banger!

I always round up the interviews with the same question… What’s your favourite bear species?

Uhmmm… When I was younger I had this adorable stuffed animal koala bear, so I think I’m gonna go for the koala bear. He has a bit of a weird nose, but still cute!

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten