Dutch producer Deeparture is our guest on the latest instalment of the Select Cuts mix series. The Colorize and Anjunabeats artist delivers a scintillating mix of progressive house gems and sumptuous melodic techno. What’s more, we caught up with the rising producer to get the latest on his pandemic experience, his new remix for Montreal duo HOKI and all that’s on the horizon.
WWD: Thanks for joining us today Dominique. What’s on your agenda this week?
Happy to join in! Due to the enduring pandemic, all my weeks have been pretty similar over the last period. Fortunately, this means a lot of time in the studio during the week! The weekends, I spend doing social stuff (along with even more studio time of course).
WWD: What has the pandemic experience been like for you?
My personal experience has been the following (and let’s start with a positive note☺): The music is still there and more comforting than ever. I see a ton of good tracks being released, I see people coming up with all kinds of creative ways to simulate events (better something than nothing) and I’m being more productive in the studio than ever before. This period feels like a time of self-reflection and a time of resetting myself. Being creative without any external distractions has allowed me to focus on my musical direction and to further build on the foundation for the future. The amount of new releases I have coming up in the next few months is a direct consequence of this.
That being said, I think my experience with the pandemic is similar to all of us that are active in the music industry. It’s frustrating, at times even heartbreaking to see the world where it is right now and to see our beloved scene slowly (seemingly) bleeding out. Of course, I miss performing my music to a live audience as well as I miss being in the crowds myself. Hopefully, we can find safe ways to get together again soon in an event setting and have that magical musical outlet again – a basic human need if you ask me!
Have you taken the time to learn any new skills or added any changes that will stay in your routine moving forward?
When it comes to the music production, I see the ‘learning’ part as an essential aspect during the regular routine. As an autodidact, I’m always trying out new ideas, watching production content of my peers, checking out some new plugins here and there (although I’m a firm believer of mastering the tools that you have first). You learn new tricks on one side and stop using old ones on the other side over time. This way, the production process always stays interesting and it also helps me to evolve my sound in a natural wayl. So in that sense, nothing has changed since the pandemic. My biggest ‘routine asset’ is currently my Prophet6 synth. I almost start every musical concept by jamming it and recording the result. An amazing piece of equipment that produces exactly the kind of sound that I love.
You have a new remix of HOKI ‘The Walls Can Talk’. Can you talk us through your process when you remix other artists’ music?
To me, there always has to be one or a couple of specific elements that immediately inspire me. Something I can use as a basis to give it my own twist. I don’t even have to love the track that I’m remixing, as long as it has that element that gets my creativity flowing. In that sense, my approach for a remix is often quite similar to when I make an original. Instead of finding that initial hook myself, I look for it in the remix track. During the process, I do try to honor the original by selecting some specific elements, twisting them quite a bit (pitching, distorting, stretching) and using them, sometimes in an unrecognizable manner.
What inspired you in the original track?
Overall, I loved the original track. It had a very haunting atmosphere that spoke to me instantly. HOKI’s vocals in particular really got my attention and I felt I could create my own kind of vibe around it and turn it into a more dancefloor oriented version. The tricky thing is always if the vocal will still sound good when you speed it up quite some BPMs (from 109 to 122). Luckily, in this case it still sounded really nice at a higher tempo. Remixing this one came really naturally. After creating the right chord structure around the vocal, I created the growling bass sound you hear throughout the track and laid a setup for the arrangement. After that I jammed for a while on my Prophet and came up with the hook sound you hear throughout the track and that finally opens up at the drop part. In the end the framework sounded strong enough to work on its own as well, so we decided to also release a dub version. I’m very satisfied with the end result and I hope it also resonates with the listeners!
You also recently had the opportunity to remix Lane 8. How did that come about?
I actually started sending my music to Lane 8 quite some years ago, as I was always a big fan of his music since his first releases at Anjunadeep. He was one of the first few industry ‘pro’s’ who started supporting my music through his famous seasonal mixtapes. We connected really well and I can certainly say that his guidance has had quite an impact on my development as a producer. Fast forward, I’ve released 2 EPs at his This Never Happened imprint and got the opportunity to do a remix of Shooting Arrows from his latest album. Definitely really proud to be featured!
Who are the artists inspiring you in 2020?
That’s honestly an impossible question for me, as there are so many different artists that are doing a great job. I don’t tend idolize anyone in particular, but I appreciate a lot of different aspects from different producers within different genres. All the way to film composers like Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg to the melodic techno/progressive house producers, to ambient music, to even hardcore/hardstyle & drum&bass producers. Impossible to make a list without forgetting to mention a ton of people I admire musically.
You’ve recorded an exclusive mix for our Select Cuts series. Can you set the scene for us? Finally, what future projects do you have coming up?
My mixes are always a healthy blend of my own new productions and other new music that I’m currently into. I also always do my best to create a bit of a storyline/buildup throughout. To me, artist mixes are always a great way to discover new music and those hidden gems. This mix, of course, features my new remix for HOKI, as well as another world premiere of a track called Satellite, together with vocalist Insali. I recorded this one together with her in the Cloud9 studio in Amsterdam a while ago and am excited to announce that it will be released the 16th of October on Armada Electronic Elements! I will also feature another new track that will be released on my new This Never Happened EP soon. As for other future projects, I have EPs coming up on Songspire, Colorize, Zerothree as well as some other big projects I cannot tell too much about yet. So the pipeline is nice and full for the coming period!