From Oslo With Love: Finnebassen
For a small place, electronic musically Norway and more specifically Oslo hugely punches above it’s populations weight. With a smorgasbord of talent coming from or based in the city from Todd Terje to Prins Thomas and Lindstrom the place has pedigree. Another name you’ll probably be seeing added to that exulted company is fellow Norwegian producer Finnebassen who’s innovative brand of electronica saw him have a break through 2012 that introduced him to an international audience outside of his native Oslo. With a string of beatport hits last year and confirmation as Sankeys Ibiza’s resident for this summer as well as a series of festival bookings across Europe the future looks very bright for the 25 year old Scand. So with a big year ahead we chatted with the talented producer to find out his creative processes, who else’s work he’s loving at the moment and why Oslo has become such a hotbed of electronic talent.
How would you describe your sound to someone on who had never heard your productions previously?
I’d say have a bass driven 4×4 deep sound. I try to vary the bpm of my productions and not stick to just 120. I play around with different genres so it’s hard to put my sound into one box. I think you can hear my “signature” in all my productions though.
Who would be your clear inspirations musically? As well as a very classic house sound you’ve also sampled 90s R&B in your music too, are there any other genres that you have felt directly influenced by?
I’d say blues, jazz, soul, funk, r&b, rock, pop… it doesn’t really matter what genre it is. Good music is good music. But I play the guitar so that’s probably the biggest musical influences come from. Sometimes I just let iTunes pick a song and I just jam to it. But then again i’m definetly inspired by the producers in the biz as well.. Maceo plex, Blondish, Solomun, Balcazaar & Sordo, MAM, Betoko, Adriatique, Shall Ocin, Terje Bakke, Daniel Bortz, Chopstick & Jonjon, Adana Twins… I could fill the whole page. If its not musical inspiration it’s the way some of them produce or how they take chances with bpm (not just staying between 115 and 120).
How in touch are you with the scene in Norway, and does it have much of an influence on your music? Do you think that coming from a country with a relatively small scene for electronic music has been a hindrance for your career?
I play in Oslo every week, and if I don’t play I go out and listen to other DJ’s. (If I’m not playing abroad). There are heaps of good DJ’s here. And even though it’s a small scene (compared to London, Berlin etc) the level is VERY high. I think it’s the Berlin of Scandinavia. The other capitals in Scandinavia doesn’t even come close to having the same level when it comes to bookings and club culture. There are several big international bookings every week and the sound systems are tuned to play club music. I have played in a lot of countries this past year and I think that VILLA and JAEGER in Oslo is in the top 10 of all the clubs have played so far. Another thing is that the dj’s have very unique styles here, a lot of interesting song choices and determination to keep things sounding fresh. When you think about it, Todd Terje, Lindstrøm, Diskjokke and Prins Thomas all come from Norway, and several of their friends are excellent DJ’s as well. So for a small scene I think its a lot of quality. So if anything I’d say the scene in Oslo has given more than, London or Berlin ever could. And helped towards a style that I think I could have only developed here.
Do you have a specific process to production and a structure to the way you make music, or does it follow a variety of patterns?
To some degree there is a standard form. But every song is unique, Sometimes I just mash it out. Sometimes I make a track, leave it for a while, start working on it again, and then strip all the synths and start in a new key and start over. I try not to get to analytical when it comes to how I do it. It’s a casual, spontaneous thing. But I try once in a while to learn a new way of doing a thing I know how to do already… for example programming drums or a synth.
Your productions tend to be very driven by bass. Is this something you have always aspired towards or is it more a reflection of where you are at presently?
I’m not sure. I love big bass lines, then again that sound maybe a little over now. Or maybe not. But big bass lines that have too much melody is kind of dead now I think. I try to keep things simple nowadays and the bass more subby. But I don’t have all the answers… I just make what sound good then and there. Its not rocket science.
What other producers and DJs are you feeling right now?
I think I mentioned some of them in the question before but to name a few I have to say, Betoko. He is killing it right now. Karmon is a monster as well. I’m not a fan of every track they do, but their level of production and their sound is always spot on. Blondish is a big inspiration as well. Their ability to go big with a track or mellow and beautiful is a skill that all producers should aspire to master. And my absolute fav at the moment NICO STOJAN! My god what a monster. Of the 6 last songs from him I have bought every track. It’s like what I had with climbers a year ago. Every track is just sounding amazing. That funky tacky, big sound is what I love nowadays. Also keep an eye out for Jon Celius. This will be a big year for him.
What lies in the future for Finnebassen? Where do you see yourself as an artist in five years time?
Tough question. I hope I can do several kinds of genres. I hope to do more indie inspired music probably under another name, and I also hope to have a band to play live with. I want to go more organic with the music. Maybe I will start making darker music. I don’t know. But I hope I can do several kinds of music. Unless Finnebassen just goes crazy well. Haha..
And finally, dream situation time. You can go back to any period in clubland history, and play at any club. Who would you have playing alongside you and what tune would you drop that would define the evening? Or have you been lucky enough to have had this moment properly?
I have no idea. I feel this I a tricky question where I should name some legendary party and some legendary track to brag and show of my knowledge of the house biz! Haha… fact is I don’t know! I’m young and my biggest inspirations are the guys going at it today. I would love to play with Art Department one day… Solomun, Maceo Plex…. Daniel Bortz. Venue: It doesent matter what venue… as long as the people there are there to dance and not stand around and order champagne. As for the track…. My favourite track: Lee Foss – Things fall apart (Seuil’s Remix)