Technasia: “I have a love/hate relationship with Ibiza”
For a long time, Technasia was one of the scenes most dynamic duos but these days Charles Seibling is strictly solo under the moniker. A permanent resident in Ibiza this summer, Technasia performs weekly at Vista Club for Reverse whilst also being heavily involved in the festival season. We chatted to Charles recently about his love for the industry, his production methods and the weekly residency within the world’s biggest club…
How did you get into dance music at first, what sort of things and where?
I first started to go out in the Paris club scene in the early ‘90s. 91-92, around that time. Mostly house clubs at the time, with that new amazing sound coming from the US east coast, early garage, tribal, Chicago house, etc. Sneak, Owens, Masters At Work, I had the chance to see them all at the time. I was also going to the legendary Laurent Garnier Wake Up parties at the Rex Club. I was still a student but I was spending most of my time on clubbing or producing in my bedroom with two drum machines and a Roland synth. It’s only when I got my first sampler, an Akai S3200, that I started to put my tracks into shape as I finally understood that the music was mostly based on sampling. That was a couple of year before I released my first record in 1996.
And when did you decide to start making it? How did it go?
My dad took me to a Depeche Mode concert in 1984 and since then I’ve been obsessed with electronic music. It all looked really fucking cool and sounded magic to me at that time. So that year I asked my parents to buy me my first synthesizer, and I spend the next few years doing covers of the tracks that I liked on the radio. I was also studying piano, so that gave me a solid base for doing music production later. When I met my former partner, Amil Khan, we started Technasia in 1995 in Hong Kong. He invested money into a proper studio setup, proper monitors, some FX units, a good mixer. That was the little help I needed to turn all these ideas, the inspiration I was getting from my early clubbing experience, into proper tracks.
How long did it take you to really find your own sound? Or are you are still searching?
Music production is a constant evolution for most artists, or else you just end up repeating yourself, doing the same shit over and over again, until people get bored with it, and ultimately yourself. I do take a lot of time to finish a track, it sometimes takes me years in fact. I like to let the idea/demo rest for a long time. I listen to it once in a while, add some things to it, then let it sleep again, and the day when I’m 100% sure this is the right idea, I start the finishing process.
Are you hardware or software man? Why? Have you got an ideal bits of kit you would like to buy?
I like small setups, always did. Even back in the 90s when everybody was only working with an army of synth, FX and samplers, I was already working in the box with a Performa Apple computer. I do have a few bits of hardware that I’ve kept for many years, but 99% of my work is still done in Cubase. And no, I don’t care about that super sounding expensive compressor, that famous crazy priced mixing console. I know some absolute classic tracks made with a 4 channels tape recorder, a drum machine and a SM58 mic. I don’t believe that the quality and price of your gear can make your sound amazing. But knowing very well what you work with does.
Art through limitation. Does it take you a long time to make a track or are you someone who works quickly? Do you have a proper studio or can you work on the road?
I have my studio at home in Amsterdam. I’ve never liked to work anywhere else than in my home. I like to be able to stop making music anytime, and go and cook some food, or watch TV, call some friends and go back to work. My baby girl also comes and plays in the studio while I’m working at times. I can’t just treat music like a 9 to 5 job, going to a place, work 6 hours and leave. I need to live with it 24/7. If I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, I need to be able to get to the studio real quick to let it out.
Cool. What are your aims when it comes to DJing – to amaze, educate, edify, entertain?
Entertain and give my 100% best for every show. That’s the least thing a DJ can do for the public that paid the fucking ticket to enter the venue. You can’t always be at your best of course – and it’s not even always your fault if you’re aren’t – but you can at least try. This is something many DJs have forgotten. But educate or edify? I would never be pretentious enough to think I have the right try to educate anyone. The pleasure of listening and dancing to electronic music can’t be taught in my opinion. it’s a very personal journey.
You’re playing Reverse a lot this summer – how do you like Ibiza? Do you stay and explore or holiday on the island?
I have a love/hate relationship with Ibiza, and it’s always been that way. I’ve been coming here for a pretty long time, and actually played for the first years of Cocoon Ibiza back in the early 2000s. It’s always been a great place for electronic music artists and for pushing electronic music to the limit, but at the same time, like for anything that acquired too much power, it also can be quite an arrogant and navel-gazing place. I live here all summer long, and in Amsterdam in winter. One of the most positive points we’ve seen in recent years is that Ibiza has finally opened up many electronic music styles. Today it is without a doubt one of the most diverse place for electronic music in the world – as opposed to a few years ago, when trance and commercial house were dominating the island.
What else have you got coming up/are you excited about?
I’ve never been a prolific producer. I do release one, sometimes two tracks a year at max, but I always make sure those will be bombs. I’m currently working on my next track together with Green Velvet. So stay tuned, it will be out in a few months.
If you could own one track no other DJ could ever play, what would it be and why?
French Kiss, well, because I’m fucking French!
Technasia plays Reverse at Privilege throughout the season. Find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/thereverseworld