May 17, 2011

Colin Fisher, aka Soundprank, is a name heard all over the progressive house community these days. With the backing of prog heavyweight label Anjunadeep, it seems the sky is the limit for the Canadian. Learn more about his unique approach to production in our exclusive interview.

Jaytech & Soundprank - Pranktech (Original Mix) [Anjunadeep]
LessThan3: How did your relationship with the Anjunadeep label begin? Did you find them or did they find you?
Colin: My relationship with Anjunadeep began when I was contacted last year by one of their A&R. I was asked to remix the Solarity tune Start, and that spurred work on an EP and so on and so forth. I’m very fortunate and grateful for the opportunity.
LessThan3: Tell us about your experience DJing with the crew of Anjunabeats at the Miami Ice Palace event. How well do you know the other artists there and what is the story behind your Jaytech collaboration?
Colin: I’ve become friends with many people at Anjunadeep and I really enjoy working with them. The Miami gig was fantastic; it was an absolute pleasure to hang out with Jaytech, James Grant, Above & Beyond, and other Anjuna artists. I don’t know many of them very well as we all gathered from afar, and I’m still fairly new to the scene having been producing as Soundprank for only a year now. All the Anjuna artists share a commonality in that we love music. I’m inclined to think that’s a huge catalyst because as soon as we all got together, it wasn’t like we felt that we were total strangers. The Jaytech collab Pranktech was the result of being asked to help with the collab EP which was a blast. Anjunadeep and Jaytech approached me and we discussed ideas and basically started to develop the theme of the track. I’m really happy with the end result as it’s really different sounding from the norm and you can hear both of our influences in it.
LessThan3: What’s it like having such a huge label like Anjunadeep take such a liking to your work? Are you excited, overwhelmed, or both?
Colin: It’s totally inspiring and liberating to know you have the support of an amazing label with kind-hearted folks who run the ship. It’s great as they have the same ambition and drive to get the best music out.
LessThan3: You’re a representative of the next generation of young EDM stars. What kinds of new techniques and technologies do you think this next generation will bring?
Colin: I don’t have any special techniques really, just that I listen to what I’m manipulating until I like what I hear. In terms of tech I use Ableton for producing and a selection of plugins I’ve collected over the past few years as well as samples. Most of my tracks have sounds that are completely custom-fabricated to fit the track, so it’s the result of experimentation mostly that gets those sounds. Most of the time I take a synth or sample, maybe put a delay on it with some reverb and then I’ll sample that, which becomes the base palette to which I’ll add colors by way of sounds. I’m also a huge fan of resampling stuff to get different timbres and shifts in the frequencies; more often than not you get this result that’s impossible to get with just using plugins and synths alone.
LessThan3: Your training as a jazz musician truly shows in your top-notch progressive house productions. How do you as an artist forecast prog’s growth? Do you think it struggles to get recognition in a club scene dominated by hard beats and loud bass?
Colin: Thanks very much! I think that there’s one portion of the population who enjoys loud beats and bass for the energy and it’s more of the sound they want to have when they’re partying or clubbing. The other portion likes that as well, but they want to have more of a listening experience akin to going to a rock concert when they hit the clubs. Progressive music today has more of a role in telling a story then just providing beats and bass. With this style of music, it’s accepted and widely acknowledged that the track will have a theme and direction but will also tell a story all on its own. There’s a level of depth, musicality and sophistication that reveals itself which many people identify with.
LessThan3: In our recent interview with Japan’s Otographic Music artist Shingo Nakamura, you were mentioned as one of the artists he would most like to collaborate with. What do you think it is about your tunes that make artists want to work with you? Do you have desires to work with other established names out there? What would you look for in terms of complementing the Soundprank sound?
Colin: That’s way cool! I can’t really say what it is with my sound; I think it’s just that it’s very accessible to many people. It’s not really trying to be a niche sound so much as it’s just music that I like. I’m just glad people enjoy it and can relate to it in their own way. I always enjoy working with fellow musicians and producers so of course I’d love to continue collab work whenever the opportunity presents itself. I’m currently working with Boom Jinx on some tracks.

I think the Soundprank sound is just an open-minded approach; any kind of melody can work as long as it’s present in a way that makes it totally unique and unheard of. I always gravitate toward using chord changes and countermelodies that are less common so that I’m not recycling what’s already been used. It’s a challenge that I really enjoy, so it’s great to see people get that.

LessThan3: What do you think the future for EDM in America is? Will it finally break through to the mainstream, and if so do you feel that trance, techno, dubstep, electro, or house will take over? Will it be a combination?
Colin: It’s obvious that EDM is hitting North America in a big way. So many tracks now have electronic sounds in them even if they aren’t in the genre, which is great. I think EDM is just another area of music (albeit somewhat new over here) that people are learning to appreciate more and more. I think it’ll be everything under the EDM genre that’s going to start to show up more, as there’s really something for everybody in it. EDM is great because people who are new to the genre end up finding their own style within it that they enjoy and then follow the producers and DJs who support it.
LessThan3: How do you balance your musical career with your university studies?
Colin: It’s not that difficult, actually. For me the music is a way to disengage and unleash my creativity, and so I find when I’m stressed out or under the gun music really helps. I’m also way more productive in the studio when I’m in this mode too.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Colin: Probably some Hans Zimmer or Thomas Newman.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Colin: Bittersweet escapism.
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