With “Into The Abyss”, DJ ABYSS launches his new album and takes listeners on an unforgettable journey through the colorful facets of Deep House, Techno, Breakbeats, Melodic, House and Progressive House. His productions are full of feeling at the moment and touch all the senses. Driving arrangements, infectious beats and a wide range of melodic-delivering synths make the album a fantastic showcase of the Berlin artist’s work. The new album is completely hybrid and finds its listeners both at home and on the dance floor.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing DJ ABYSS and this has been the result.
Where are you from / how did you get into music?
I come from Berlin Friedrichshain. My path to music was a relatively classical one. I come from a family of musicians.
When I was about 11, I went to music school and had singing lessons and music notation and learned bass guitar.
When I was 16, I moved into my own flat, left the music school and turned to electronic music, much to the disappointment of my family. We went to the first techno parties in Berlin and partied the nights away. In 1991, I opened the first techno club with a few friends in the area of the former GDR, in what is now East Germany.
Can you tell us a little about your experience during the album process in the studio?
The production of new tracks constantly brings new experiences. But it’s not so much the personal experiences in the production process. After more than 25 years in the studio, I have quite established processes. But of course, every new track you produce is a new step in your own musical development. That’s why I always advise every new musician to finish tracks, even if you don’t release them.
Unlike my personal work in the studio, the constant development of technology changes studio productions a lot and always brings new experiences because of the constantly new possibilities. When you spend several months in the studio in the process of an album production, it is always accompanied by several technical updates of the software, especially in DAWs. In the final process of mixing and mastering, you should of course do without updates to the software, but in the whole process of creating an album, it always brings fresh new things and experiences to the production process.
Who have been your main inspirations (both musical and in “life”)?
In the production of the album “Into The Abyss” I didn’t really give any inspiration. The album was made at the end of the Corona period, when I was mainly sitting at home like everyone else. Surprisingly, I wasn’t listening to any other electronic music at the time. I was listening to other music outside of electronic music. I’m relatively broad in that respect. When I’m in the studio, I don’t listen to much other music. I know that it is inspiring for many others. But I find it rather disadvantageous. If I hear a good track and try to make something similar because I find this tarck very beautiful, it doesn’t work. I went a bit crazy with it at the beginning of my studio career in the mid-90s. There were such great productions in the 90s and I thought I would like to do something nice like that. But that was the wrong way for me. Because that’s the music of another artist. For me, it only works when I go into the studio very intuitively, listen to myself and let myself be inspired by instruments or certain sounds. And it often helps me when I update my DAW or the VST instruments and get new fresh sounds there.
And how have they affected the sound of Into The Abyss ?
The sound of “Into The Abyss” is very different from my earlier productions. On the one hand, I took the freedom to do what I like. So there are tracks on the album from Melodic House to Techno, Trip Hop and Drum&Bass. On the other hand, this is the first album in a very long time. Due to the technical changes, the basics of the production have improved a lot. This makes “Into The Abyss” sound completely different from my earlier releases.
You have been in the game for a long time – how has your sound evolved so far?
The whole thing has changed fundamentally. You used to have to make strong compromises because of a lack of technical possibilities or because of limitations in the technical capabilities of the systems at the time. I was already doing hard disk recording on a PC at the end of the 90s. Of course, that was a technical challenge and pushed the systems to their limits. Today, that is no longer a problem. Instead, there are other things that influence my sounds. The abundance of sounds that today’s software brings is unfortunately oversaturated with bad sounds and instruments. There are few good sounds and instruments. You spend a lot of time sorting through them to find the few good sounds, instruments and plug-ins. If you bought a high-quality hardware synth in the past, you might have had 200-300 first-class sounds on it. Today, you buy a DAW and find 10,000 sounds there, of which, in my opinion, at most 100-200 are good. Finding them is quite exhausting and time-consuming.
What inspired you during the production of the tracks like Azowax or One Day ?
The idea or inspiration for a song always comes relatively spontaneously. Sometimes it’s the beautiful weather you see out of the window when you get up in the morning. Sometimes it’s an argument with a friend or relaxing after a workout. It’s certain moods or feelings I have before I sit down in the gym. These have a decisive influence on what happens in the studio afterwards. That’s the reason for producing a melancholic trip-hop track or a happy house track or even a dark techno song. As a result, the basic ideas for songs always come to me quite spontaneously and in a few minutes. So I collect a few dozen ideas, which I then listen to later. Then I work on the good ones. That’s how all my songs come about.
What projects are you working on right now?
I am currently working on the 2023 album. The first single will be released at the end of 2022.