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Radeckt [Interview]

30 min read

Since emerging in 2016 Danish artist Radeckt has forged a distinctive sound which focuses on inventive use of melody and rhythm, drawing the lines between global dance cultures without adhering to any fixed formula. On the strength of releases for MoBlack and TAU, Radeckt made his microCastle debut in August of last year with 'Illusions of a Romantic'. A four-track affair that masterfully balanced rich production with fire-starting spontaneity. A strong 2022 schedule has seen the Copenhagen resident with a consistent stream of superlative releases via Acrylic on Canvas, Frau Blau and Nandu's Out of Options, the latter of which landed with a resounding thump. Now, following a contribution to Volume Four of TAU's popular 'Spektrum' series, Radeckt returns to microCastle with a five-track showcase entitled 'Jackal'.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Radeckt to learn more about the release of 'Jackal', his studio process, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Thomas, thanks for joining us. How has your year been so far? And what are your plans for the coming week?

Hi guys. You are so very welcome. It has been a busy year, where I have been trying to be focused on looking a little more forward than usual. Non the less a good year.

First of all, how did you come up with your artist-name?

I needed to be creative because I previously used my given name, so I put together this weird hard to pronounce name by some of the letters which form my full citizen name. I ended with Radeckt because I felt it associated with my vision and sound profile for the project.

Which producers/musicians have had the biggest influence on you, electronic or otherwise, and why?

It’s a very hard question. I have been listening to various genres throughout my life and my genre preferences have changed radically from when I was young. But to mention a bit from the electronic world, I have been following Jimi Jules for years, his playful work with recordings, synths and percussion is a true inspiration. The whole try to have fun instead of being limited by a box or genre mantra – still struggling with this myself. Denis Horvat is a close friend and has been a sort of mentor for asking advice regarding mix and processing of sounds, not to forget I obviously love his aggressive synth style.

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

Culture Box is a must, it's the longest existing electronic club in Copenhagen I think. Hangaren, an old hangar, and a new club named Module in the city center would be the choices of clubs. The Peccavi crew which is four people: SKARN, CERJ, Aja Gulris and Only Ollie, are some of the people I really respect in the booth. They go to great lengths to adapt their sets to which hours we are in and the evening.

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

In my studio which I share with Nandu and Tripolism, in the gym, at a friend's for dinner or at home binging some tv series with my girlfriend.

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

I began exploring with Nandu actually. We just jumped blindfolded and experimented. Sure, we could have learned a lot of things faster if we had someone to help us now and then, now there is a lot more on YouTube and tons of masterclasses etc. there's no excuses, just go for it. I really appreciate that we are self-taught and had to use our imagination and logics to figure something out. It formed our workflow, ways of thinking and sound in a special way, I think.

You have a new EP ‘Jackal’ out this week on microCastle, tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your current sound.

Its an extract of me getting back to my original vision of Radeckt. Percussion and metallic synths/sounds. I had for a while been experimenting with softer sounds and tracks because I thought I had to change my sound. It didn’t always work and instead of working frustrated I began to just produce and let the track decide how it ended. These tracks are a result of a not forced workflow.

This is a much anticipated follow-up to last years ‘Illusions of a Romantic’ which was also released on microCastle last year, how does this release differ and how would you say your sound has evolved since then?

I think I hold on to a lot of my core essence in both releases. So I don’t how much they differ from each other actually. The thought of trying to make different arrangements and themes is a factor in my opinion. Another thing I have been working on the last two years, is to limit my tracks in every production. Doesn’t always work, but it has formed the more intimate sound design in three of the tracks on the Jackal EP.

We don’t see many colabs from you but there is one on this EP with Auggie entitled ‘Vela’, a track which Trikk was playing, how did this partnership come to be? And how quickly did that track come together?

I admired Auggië for a while and was thinking why not send him a message. He was up for it instantly and I forwarded the stems from an old project which I put aside shortly after. We sent it back and forth between each other a few times to make changes. I think it was finished in a couple of weeks, actually cant remember. It felt like a easy collab – for me at least.

What does writing a track look like for you? Could you walk us through the production process on one of the tracks from your microCastle release? Maybe ‘Jackal’ as it’s such a distinctive sounding track.

Usually I have an idea for a beat or a melody recorded or written down. I begin with creating this, then I do the atmosphere or textures. The next step is to have enough elements to feel the main part of the track is there in a 4 bar loop. Then I start to arrange and add sounds or effects as I go. That’s a pretty typical process for me.

The five tracks on ‘Jackal’ form a whole or a unit I think. Was this your approach in the first place or did you have to adjust some of the tracks so this aforementioned unit came to existence?

Not at all. These tracks are simply just chosen from my demos with Mitch from microCastle to form the EP. So I guess the unit feel came naturally when choosing which tracks we should release together.

Which one of the tracks from the 'Jackal' release is your personal favorite or do you feel tied to the most, and why?

Definitely, Jackal. It’s the most unique track and I had such fun producing it. It's a very distinctive track and pushes the sound of Radeckt a bit – which I really like.

Let’s talk about production a bit more for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired the tracks which make up your ‘Jackal’ EP?

My inspiration comes from being an interactive human being in a very big and interesting world which provides a lot of impressions. Everything can simply ignite my inspiration, and when an idea hits whether I'm biking, at a dinner, on the toilet or in the gym, I instantly need to write it down or record it. Inspiration and sounds are everywhere, if you use your imagination there's musical elements to find wherever. Hope it answers your question.

For you to get started on a track do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called ‘visualizations’ of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?

I always have some kind of idea about where I want to go or end up. Most times it ends up somewhere else though. Point is, no idea, no process.

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?

Its important for me to have energy in the process of creating, if I'm tired, worn down or hungover I never feel like opening Logic. Good sleep, exercise and nutritious food are keys for me. When these three factors are present its usually inevitable that I need to create. Coffee is just a good friend by my side, not necessary.

Especially in the digital age, the writing and production process tends towards the infinite, I think. What marks the end of the process for you? How do you know when a track is done?

When I listen through a track several times and don’t get an idea for an element more somewhere. You can always change a little here or there but I try to leave it as is and only do minor changes if it really helps the track dynamics or makes room in the mix. All your good ideas shouldn’t go into one track. And it is probably only you who hears and thinks that little hat effect panned left is SO important. I also have a hard time thinking that it will make your track hit of the year.

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you’re satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practice?

I listen to it like crazy the first two days after it's been finished to change the mix or do small arrangement updates. Then I usually start to send out it out as demo or feedback promo. I'm insanely impatient with this, haha. Then I usually don’t do anything before I need to deliver and make the premaster, unless something is way off.

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

I love the work with processing drums and sound design. My weakness is creating and playing melodies, I'm no Bach. So it’s usually a little more demanding for me playing synths and putting together chords in interesting variations. But I have no one to do it for me, so.

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

I would really love an original Arp 2600.

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?

Wow never had this question before. I'm keeping it electronic:

19-21 Maribou state

21-23 Mano le Tough

23-01 Keinemusik

01-03 Trikk

03-05 Âme

Something like that? – maybe a bit boring but, definitely some of the names which I have been looking most towards when on lineups as well as have had beautiful experiences with.

What artist would you want to play a b2b-set with and where?

Âme or Dixon wherever. Those guys has been defining for the scene and me for the last decade, so it would be an absolute honour to share the booth with either of them.

Outside of electronic music what genres or bands do you enjoy the most?

I listen to a very broad spectrum of genres in general. But I can mention a few artists who are at the top of my favorites at the moment: Masego, The minds of 99, Harry Styles, Beyonce, Tame impala.

If you could travel anywhere for one day, all laws and limitations void, where would it be?

Somewhere far far out in the universe to a planet not discovered yet, to hopefully find more or new life.

What is one superpower you would like to have and how would you use it?

To be able to heal deadly deceases and do exactly that.

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

Its going to be an interesting year – for me as well. A lot I cant give or know the answers to yet. There are a few tours in the pipeline with my agency and I have 2 remixes and a EP lined up and confirmed for now. That’s what I can share for now.

Thank you guys!

'Jackal' is available now via microCastle: https://bit.ly/3Yy8wZr

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