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ANTANA [Interview]

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Antana is a DJ duo made up of two childhood friends who share a passion for techno/melodic techno. Prior to forming the group, they had been making music as solo artists for several years. They eventually decided to combine their talents and experience to create Antana, with the aim of introducing their musical universe to a wider audience.

Since their inception in the music industry, they have been influenced by artists such as Bodzin, Solomun, Tale of Us, and Adam Beyer. Their music is a blend of progressive sounds and captivating melodies, creating a unique atmosphere for crowds worldwide.

The duo started performing in local clubs in their hometown and quickly gained popularity due to their energy and stage presence. They have recently launched a professional DJ career and are seeking to perform in notable festivals and clubs across the country and beyond.

Their target audience consists of individuals seeking an immersive and emotional experience through music. Their unique style and stage presence make them perfectly suited for the most demanding electronic music events.

With their passion for music, talent, and infectious energy, Antana is ready to inspire and captivate crowds worldwide.

This week finds Antana making their debut on Wout Records with 'Érudit', Progressive Astronaut caught up with the duo to learn more about the release, their background, working as a duo, DJing, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Guys, thanks for talking to us today. How are you and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi, we are really happy to talk with you today. As for the music we have been listening to in these last days, it's difficult to choose because we have listened to a lot of tracks. But if we have to choose one Airsand & TuraniQa - The Answer

How was your summer and what gigs have stood out for you these last few months?

Our summer went quite well; we had a lot of work. As for the concerts, our set with Answer Code Request was memorable and Also the one with Joachim Garraud we did at La Ciotat, and the set that stood out for us this season was Tale of Us at the Arènes Antiques d'Orange.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your production work and otherwise, please.

Our days are quite simple, like everyone else. A good breakfast and a coffee, followed by some exercise or work because we don't make a living from our passion, which is music, yet. As for production, we like to come together in the evenings to compose together.

Tell us about growing up in France and how it affected your journey into electronic music. Who from your hometown inspired you when you first discovered your love for electronic music ?

Growing up in France was quite cool. We originate from a small seaside town in the south. In our hometown, there aren't really any well-known DJs in electronic music, but just a few kilometers away in Marseille, we quickly discovered NTO and Worakls, who partly influenced us to become DJs.

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in France, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

If there was a club that you had to visit, although unfortunately it no longer exists, it would be the SPARTACUS club in Cabriès, which hosted some of the biggest techno DJs and enabled us to have our first gigs. But aside from that, there are several others like La Villa Rouge in Montpellier. However, if we were to take you somewhere in particular, it would be to festivals such as Les Nuits Sonores in Lyon or I Love Techno.

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

You can find us on social media platforms like Instagram under the name Antana_ofc, as well as on Soundcloud and all streaming platforms.

How did you guys meet and eventually start collaborating? And what musical projects were involved in prior to ANTANA?

We met at our town's college, where we became friends right away. Afterward, we somewhat lost touch due to our different academic paths. Eventually, at the age of 18, we reunited at music festivals, which brought us closer and helped us reconnect.

In my case (Lewis Foster), I saw (Atime) working on music production with Ableton, which he had started during college. This inspired me and contributed to bringing us closer and led us to start making music together.

As for (Atime), before ANTANA, I had two solo projects under the names "Even Midnight" and "Atime," and I had the opportunity to sign with several labels.
(Lewis Foster) I started with another friend, and we created the group "Influences," where we also signed with a few labels before going solo. It was during a gig where we were doing a back- to-back set that we began discussing the ANTANA project.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within your production dynamic?

Over the years, we've developed a real bond, going beyond the stage of mere friends to become like actual brothers. Consequently, every time we create together, there's a natural alchemy that takes place for us. This makes managing balance and compromise in our production dynamic feel more natural and seamless.

Do you have different roles in the production process? And if so elaborate please.

No, there are no specific roles; it depends on our inspirations.

Working as a duo is an interesting dynamic. Do you guys share a studio where all the sessions are together or do you produce separately and pass files back and forth? And if you have done both, what do you prefer and why?

We each have our home studio, so there are times when we work alone due to our respective lives. However, we still try to work together as much as possible because it's more interesting. It allows us to be in sync, get each other's input, and also enjoy great moments together as friends.

Your bio states you have a unique style and stage presence, tell us about that, what is it that sets you guys unique?

I think what makes us unique on stage is our chemistry. Many people tell us that we exude something special because we are passionate and close-knit. I believe the same applies to our creations; people can feel our emotions through our music.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone teach you or are you self-taught? What would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

We are self-taught! The advice we can give is, first and foremost, do what you love. Never give up and always believe in yourself and your dreams. Music is, above all, a passion and something that should be fun, not a burden. Don't do it to make it big but to share your emotions.

You have a new EP entitled ‘Érudit’ out now on Wout Records, tell us about the tracks and how they showcase your current sound.

Our EP 'Érudit' represents an evolution of our current sound towards a more melodic direction. The tracks in this EP reflect our desire to explore new avenues while retaining our signature sound. We have worked on richer sound textures and more elaborate arrangements, which, we hope, create a captivating sonic experience for our listeners. Ultimately, 'Érudit' is an expression of our passion for electronic music and our desire to share emotions and stories through our
sound.

Let our readers inside your studio, what is your current setup, and what tools are featured heavily in the writing of the ‘Érudit’ EP?

We work on a MacBook using the Ableton software. We heavily rely on Serum as we really love this VST. Additionally, we use the Push controller and Novation keyboards. However, from time to time, we also use synths like the Roland JU-06A. And, of course, a good amount of coffee is a key part of our creative process.

This is your first appearance on Wout Records, what was it about the label which gave you confidence to do an original project with them right away?

It's a very new label, but they put a lot of effort into promoting their artists. We appreciate their style and the other artists signed with them. We see a lot of potential for this label in the future.

Let’s look a bit more at production, once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on?

At first, we let our close circle listen to it, and they provide initial feedback. Then, we make an effort to play it in clubs to see how the audience reacts.

How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you’re satisfied with a piece?

It depends on the sound. Each piece is different, and the level of improvement and refinement required can vary based on the specific composition. »

What does this process look like in practice?

In practice, this process may involve steps such as track mixing, mastering, adding or removing musical elements, and adjustments to fine-tune the sound quality and artistic expression of a piece.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

What we enjoy the most is the creative process, the melodies, beats, and everything that surrounds it. What we like a bit less is the mastering process.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it? And how do you function as a duo while DJing?

We operate a lot based on feeling, selecting our tracks based on the emotions we sense from them. Regarding our functioning as a duo, as we mentioned, there aren't really strict rules between us. We are like brothers, so the most important thing for us is to see the crowd enjoying our set and having a good time.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks, and also, your work as a producer?

Working as a DJ has had a significant impact on our perspective on music, our way of listening to tracks, and our work as producers. When we're DJing, we are constantly searching for tracks that will resonate with the audience, creating a memorable dancefloor experience. This has honed our ear for identifying musical elements that work well in a club context, such as grooves, impactful melodies, and seamless transitions.

As producers, this experience as DJs has also influenced our approach to music production. We are more conscious of how our music may be received on the dancefloor. We look for elements that will get people moving while still infusing each track with our unique touch. Overall, our work as DJs has made us more aware of the functional aspects of music, while continuing to express our creativity through our productions. It's an interesting synergy between both aspects of our music career.

How much prep do you put into the tracks you choose to play?

The preparation for the choice of tracks depends on the set, our preferences, the audience, and the venue where we are performing. If we weren't DJ/Producers, we both come from the restaurant industry.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book, and what set times would you ascribe to the
artists?

For the artists, we would choose: Tale of Us, Paul Kalkbrenner, Stephan Bodzin, Carl Cox, and Sam Paganini. And for the set times, it would be as follows: 10 PM - 12 AM: Carl Cox, 12 AM - 2 AM: Bodzin, 2 AM - 4 AM: Tale of Us, 4 AM - 6 AM: Paganini, and 6 AM - 8 AM: Paul K.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

The book that had an impact is "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins, as it provides valuable lessons on personal development and motivation. As for the films, while none, in particular, have influenced us, we have a particular appreciation for movies like "The Fifth Element," with an incredible soundtrack, and "Interstellar," which stands out for both the film itself and the soundtrack. »

Current Top five tracks in your sets?

Here are the current top five tracks in our sets:

Antana - Time
Antana - Space
Steve Levi - Yes
Anyma - Walking with Ghosts
MONOPHASE - Last Shred of Light

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Well, if we can wish for something, it's to advance in our career and have doors open for us. All we can tell you for now is that other projects are in progress, and new signings with other labels are on the way. Thank you very much for this interview, and we hope to see you again for what's to come.

'Érudit' is available now via Wout Records: https://shorturl.at/cguBN

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