SHA Interview // Funk D’Void
With his contribution to the revered Balance Series hitting shelves later this month, it was only right was had a chat to Funk D’Void about what to expect. SHA’s Craig asks the questions..
Hello Lars and welcome to SHA. How are you today?
Thank you! I’m about to go out and play some table tennis with some friends…it’s my current thing – I’m mad about it!
This September will bring the release of the 22nd mix compilation in the revered Balance Series and it’s now your turn to provide the soundtrack. Quite an honour and we are sure you must be delighted. How did this opportunity arise?
I was surprised and of course delighted – I have to thank Shane Buckland for that, he was the guy that made it all happen by singing my praises to them.
You follow a distinguished list of dj’s to mix for the series. From James Holden, Henry Saiz and Agoria to Joris Voorn, Nick Warren and Deetron, it seems everyone has at least one favourite in the 21 mixes thus far. What do you think your contribution now brings to the table?
I made it from the heart, putting together tracks that moved me in some way over time and also I didn’t want to worry about if people would like it or not, so I put a lot of trust into my personal taste. I didn’t want to put anything too experimental either, it would have come across as false. I think I’ve made my personal mark on this release by the selection of tracks, I found my “balance”.
One of the refreshing things about the Balance Series is artists are not confined to just one mix to express themselves. You have opted to showcase no less than 45 track over two mixes which features several exclusives including new work from Joris Voorn, Arkist, Lee Webster and an unreleased remix of your own seminal ‘Diabla’ from Psycatron. How did you go about making your choices for this mix, was there any tracks that never made the final shortlist?
I had about 80 tracks initially and of course it was a mission to get the final selection to fit together, there are licensing issues also that come into affecting your decision. It was the first time I had edited tracks on a compilation so I could fit in so many tracks – it was crafted as a studio mix. The Balance releases are tangible works of art so I didn’t want any sloppy live freestyle mixing going on the CDs!
You have been involved with music since childhood as your mother was a professional pianist. How did this rub off on you and lead to you making your own steps into music and DJing?
I toured with my mother all during my childhood at her concerts, and one time she brought a synthesiser home and left it in the living room (which I played with for hours, spellbound) so I guess that’s what got me into it in the beginning. I was a big 80s synth pop fan (still am) and that shaped my sound, along with Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Miami Bass and then after that discovering Chicago house and Detroit Techno it was all clear to me where my life was headed. DJing came first in 1986 when I was 15 years old, then in my mid-twenties I started building my studio which was a small midi-based set-up of a few keyboards and a couple of drum machines.
Your major breakthrough came in 1995 via Soma Records, a then young Glasgow label starting to make waves in the techno scene. This relationship has lasted through the ages and amongst a number of singles and remixes, you also released your first two albums ‘Technoir’ and ‘Dos’ on the label. How did you first get involved with Soma?
I’d known Slam since going to their parties when I was younger, and had always respected what they’d done for the scene…they really kickstarted the whole vibe back then with amazing events. At a house party I gave Stuart McMillan a C90 cassette with “Jack Me Off” on it and the next day he told me that he loved it and if I could come up with a B-side to complete the EP for releasing on Soma. A big moment!
You also have a second moniker, Francois Dubious which, despite a challenging upbringing of busking and fine wine, allows you to explore a somewhat deeper expression. Francois has been quite active this year with several releases on labels like Komplex De Deep, Audio Tonic and your own Outpost Recordings. Can we expect more from Francois in the pipeline?
I will keep Francois going…like fine wine, he’s getting better with age. I started feeling the deep vibe more in 2005 so came up with this project which had some success, giving me the chance to get more musical with my sound. Right now I’m working on relaunching my label Outpost with a new look and direction.
I couldn’t help notice you post on facebook about beatport’s interesting new genre names which included chillwave, complextro and romantic techno. What do you make of this seemingly incessant need derived from the industry to label music in such a way (and can we expect any romantic techno from you soon?)
I prefer the term “luxury techno”, of course nothing to do with the abhorrent VIP culture we have today, but techno with class! Sub genres are necessary but a lot of websites & journalists take the piss sometimes, it’s a joke!
You are also good value on twitter where recent questions posed include asking followers for their ‘fave arnie quote’ and ‘top 5 celebrity big brother contestant wishlist’. A lot of artists seem quite removed from their social media pages but you really have the personal touch. What do you make of all the social internet influx of today?
Again a necessary tool in today’s ADHD society. Unfortunately rattling on about your current release on Beatport isn’t as interesting as watching two cats give each other a cuddle. I like to write, so Twitter is a good diary…at least to remind where I was that night when something interesting (or embarrassing) happened.
Finally what else do you have coming up in terms of production, the label and gig-wise?
Remixes for Christian Smith, Alexander Kowalski, Paul Loraine and Child, more FDV goodies for Outpost and global gigging as per!! Weekend Warrior over & out!