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Interview: Fuenka

18 min read

Fuenka have exploded onto the progressive scene with their intelligent, dark, melodic and mesmerising club sounds. Taking influence and infusing several styles of electronic dance music, they have found themselves gaining the attention of the worlds leading names in a broad spectrum of musical genres as they turn their hand to remixing and collaborating with some of the worlds most distinguished acts, such as Paul Thomas, John 00 Fleming and Space Motion. Their recent remix of Lil Kwan Point Zero has become one of the most sought after unreleased reworks of late 2019. With a consistent string of original, collaborative and remixed material on the horizon and a string of international debut live performances, there is no doubt that Fuenka are a force to be reckoned with as they take huge strides in the worlds most reputable charts and playlists. Looking to continue their upwards trajectory as 2022 begins, Fuenka now takes to remixing D-Formation and Matan Caspi for long standing Spanish imprint Beatfreak Recordings, we had a chance to catch up with the guys for an exclusive interview leading up to the release. Enjoy!

Hi Guys, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

SB: Hey, thanks for having us. The last piece of music we listened to would be a new single we have just finished for UV, it is out very soon and is our first vocal track, so we are super excited.

What are your plans for the coming week?

JL: This week we have quite a few guest mixes to get done, so there will be a lot of track hunting going on.

How did you come to settle on Fuenka as an artist name?

SB: We had been brainstorming name ideas for quite a while and everything we thought of was taken, so we decided to just make something up and ended up with ‘Fuenka’.

How did growing up in the United Kingdom influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

JL: Growing up near London, it was all Garage and Drum and Bass. It wasn’t until we discovered Ibiza that we both found the music we love and take influence from today.

Who from your home country inspired you the most when you first discovered electronic music?

SB: It would have to be the Toolroom progressive house days with artists like Mark Knight, Funkagenda, Paul Thomas etc. That's when we both really started getting heavily into the progressive scene.

What are your favourite venues to play in the UK and why?

JL: It has to be Ministry Of Sound, it’s such an iconic venue and the vibe is always amazing.

How did you meet and eventually start collaborating? And were you releasing music in a solo capacity before your partnership?

SB: Jimmy was running a Festival called Dance Crusade with his friend and they booked me to play there. A few years later we met up again and decided to start working on music together and that’s when ‘Fuenka’ was born. We have both released music in the past as part of other projects and released on various labels.

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

SB: I think we are quite lucky, it’s very rare that we disagree on ideas for tracks, we know what the ‘Fuenka’ sound is and we really work towards that.

JL: I think we really trust that whatever decision the other person makes will be the right one and I think that’s very important.

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

JL: Tbh we are both involved in every part of the process, we have a great working relationship.

You have a new remix of D-Formation and Matan Caspi, out this week on Beatfreak, tell us about the remix and please walk us through the production process on it.

SB: I always think when doing a remix that you have to respect the original track, using the elements that you love but taking them in a new direction, moulding them to your own sound. It was key for us to keep that amazing melody in the breakdown but surround it with our driving progressive sound.

What was it about the track that made you want to take on the project?

JL: We absolutely loved the original version of the track, it was something we always hoped we would get the chance to remix, so when D-Formation asked us it was a very quick Yes.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favour physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of the remix?

SB: It's pretty basic tbh, MacBook Pro, KRK Rokits, Native Instruments sound card and Keyboard and lots of Digital Plugins. Pigments and Serum featured heavily in this remix as they do in a lot of our Productions.

Do you find it more difficult to come up with original tracks than remixing a track from another artist?

JL: I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s more difficult but it definitely takes more time, its always easier and less time consuming when you have great parts from a remix pack to get the creative juices flowing.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

SB: It would have to be the Moog One polyphonic analog synthesizer.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

JL: Obviously with covid road testing hasn't really been possible, so feedback from friends has been key. I would say Paul Thomas is someone we always go to for feedback, he has supported us massively since we started this journey and we value his opinion very highly.

What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?

SB: The pandemic has definitely given us more time to concentrate on music, it’s been a difficult time being stuck in doors not being able to travel, but having that extra time to spend with family and my now 1 year old son has been priceless.

What is the current state of the pandemic in the UK?

JL: It has been a long time since life has felt normal but things are slowly starting to head that way again now so fingers crossed the end is near. We can’t wait to get back to performing live.

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?

SB: This is a great question, there are many great artists around right now making some amazing music, but i think our perfect night would be.

6pm - 8pm Guy J 8pm - 10pm Anyma 10pm - 12am Cristoph 12am - 2am Artbat 2am - 4am Fuenka

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

JL: Everything you do in this industry is a risk, you are only as good as your last record so consistency is key.

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

SB: It's not a film or book but I have just finished watching Afterlife 3 on Netflix. It's a show that will have you laughing and crying at the same time. It really is a masterpiece.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

JL: Golf & Relaxing with family.

SB: Spending time with family & football.

What does 2022 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

JL: We have a lot of new music lined up for this year, some exciting collaborations and some really cool gigs in the pipeline. It all starts in February with the release of this remix and our first vocal track with Diana Miro.

Fuenka's Remix of D-Formation & Matan Caspi is available for pre-order now via Beatfreak: https://bit.ly/3rdIigs

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