With a new album imminently on the way, a brand new record label launch and his debut at Germanys legendary Technoclub it's a good time to catch a few words with Pulser...
Pulser is a name that every trance fan should be very familiar with having produced some of the genres tracks that arte forever engraved in the scene as all time classic. The man behind the project Andy Perring has been producing music ever since the early 90ís and under a few aliases such as the Olmec Heads and Insignia, in collaboration with The Thrillseekers, he has logged his reputation as one of the scenes biggest names. Having been around the scene and behind the decks at the worlds biggest clubs for well over a decade itís surprising heís got two debuts coming up soon. The first of which is a very long overdue artist album called íThe Space Between The Starsí, which is a freshly produced album depicting the sound of Pulser today. Its trance how trance should be and an album fans have been waiting for.
The second debut is at Germanys iconic Technoclub on the 20th August and what a time it is for his debut as the Technolcub hosts their annual out door event, leaving the confines of the dark sweaty club room for a bit of fresh air. Itís an event Andy is very much looking forward to and one he will be letting rip with his new tracks from the album. We thought there is no better time to catch a few words from the man himself and you can read what he had to say in this fantastic interview right below.
i:Vibes: How has your summer been? What has been your 2011 most memorable club experience this year so far?
Pulser: Very busy! Iíve got so many things happening at the moment that itís hard to find any time to enjoy the summer weather. Iíve not been touring for a while because of finishing an album, launching a new record label, making videos and a million other things but I do have my own monthly night called Elements at Club Essential here in Riga. I celebrated my first year as Elements resident in June with Rank 1 and Jochen Miller as guests. That was a fantastic night!
i:Vibes: You will be making your Technoclubdebut at the Dance For Love gig. How much are you looking forward to playing here?
Pulser: Iím very much looking forward to playing. Technoclub is legendary and being invited to play the once-a-year, open air event is very special
i:Vibes: What has been your past experiences of playing in German clubs?
Pulser: Iíve been to Germany a few times but Technoclubís Summer of Love will actually be my first time playing there believe it or not.
i:Vibes: The Technoclub has been around since 1984. What do you know about this legendary club?
Pulser: ĎLegendaryí is an over-used word these days but Technoclub really deserves the title. Itís a name synonymous with techno and trance and of course Talla 2XLC. I remember back to the early days in my career, reading about Technoclub in Mixmag and thinking how cool it sounded. Itís always been a club Iíve wanted to play and Iím so happy to finally get my chance to perform in Germany at a Technoclub event
i:Vibes: The maker of the Technoclub is Talla 2XLC. When do you remember hearing his name for the first time?
Pulser: Talla 2XLC is one of the first names I knew about when I started making dance music in the 90ís. My first releases as Olmec Heads were on German labels (UCMG, Colourbox, Noom etc) so I was heavily influenced by the emerging sound of German Trance and Techno and Tallaís name was on a lot of those releases.
i:Vibes: What kind of standing does Talla 2XLC have in the UK?
Pulser: Throughout the 90ís and 00ís Talla was seen as one of the Godfathers of German Trance. I donít live in the UK anymore but I doubt thatís changed much!
i:Vibes: What is your favorite Talla 2XLC track?
Pulser: I thought 'Diskomo Ė Light Years Away' was great and of course 'Come With Me' is a classic from the early days.
i:Vibes: What would a Talla 2XLC/Pulser track sound like in 2011?
Pulser: Iíve got a feeling if we hooked-up in the studio weíd do something pretty cool. We both seem to have a lot of the same influences!
i:Vibes: What can we expect from your DJ set in the Technoclub? Could we expect to hear some of your classics like Open your eyes or My Religion?
Pulser: Iíve got my debut album coming out in August so Iíll certainly be playing some of the new material but Iím in the studio at the moment working on something special for Summer of Love. If you want to hear what it is youíll just have to be there on August 21st ;-)
i:Vibes: What were your early musical inspirations and why did they influence your music?
Pulser: My father was hugely influential when it came to music. I grew up to a soundtrack of Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons Project, Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and a lot of obscure, rock, electronic and experimental music but my main inspiration musically has always been Depeche Mode. Iím a total DM fan! They steered me away from becoming a guitarist like my father and sister are. Synthesizers are way more fun!
i:Vibes: How did you get your foot into the EDM? Was there any particular person that helped you on your way?
Pulser: There were so many people that helped me in the early days but Paul Oakenfold played a big part. Perfecto Records were a big influence on me. Paul was the first major name to support the Olmec Heads and that really helped us get a foot in the door of the big labels.
i:Vibes: What is the meaning behind Pulser?
Pulser: To coin a phrase ďI could tell you but then Iíd have to kill youĒ ;-)
i:Vibes: One of your most famous tracks is Open Our Eyes (Insigma) which you produced with Mr. Thrillseeker Steve Helstrip. What has made this track so timeless and unique?
Pulser: I have absolutely no idea. Insigma came about by accident really. I donít think either of us saw it as a big track until we saw the likes of Tiesto and Oakenfold playing it in every set
i:Vibes: When you look back on this the making of this track, what was the most difficult thing that you guys had to get this track perfect?
Pulser: We never actually worked on the track together at any point. When I wrote the original Open Our Eyeís I didnít think it was anything special but Steve saw something in it and worked his magic. Steve has always been a master at arranging tracks for maximum impact and he gave it the epic feel.
i:Vibes: You also worked together with Lange on his 2008 debut album Better Late than Never. What was it like working together with him and what makes Lange so special as a producer?
Pulser: As artists that have only ever worked on singles and remixes targeted at the dance floor itís not the most natural thing to write an album so it really helps to have some support especially a few months into writing when you can get lost in yourself.
Lange has never needed anyone to show him what to do or how to do it because heís one of the best producers in EDM. During the BLTN sessions my role was simply to mess about and annoy him for a couple of weeks. That was a joke, but in all seriousness, weíre old mates and I think some of my very basic ideas kick started a few of his and some of those ideas ended up as tracks on the album. As for what makes him special as a producer? Well, Lange understands perfectly how to create interest and energy in every track and writes some very memorable melodies. Seeing first-hand how intricate and precise he can be when programming, producing and engineering his tracks should be a lesson for anyone making EDM. He certainly knows how to produce.
i:Vibes: What was your inspiration for My Religion which you wrote for the Global Gathering event?
Pulser: I donít know about inspiration but I had just bought a Roland JP8080 and thatís the first thing I used it on. I wrote it on the day of my second ever appearance at Godskitchen and I rushed all day to finish so I could play it that night.
I remember playing My Religion to Lange and Westy (Olmec Heads) in the car on our way to the club and they were saying nice things about it but when I played it in my set the crowd reaction was amazing. It was one of those rare moments when everything comes together.
Godskitchen and Armada were just starting up as labels and both wanted to sign the track so I decided to split it between them. It was the second release on Armadaís A State of Trance label and when Godskitchen chose My Religion as the anthem for the Global Gathering fesitval it was perhaps the biggest honor Iíve had to date
i:Vibes: What can we expect from your long awaited debut album?
Pulser: I was away from the trance scene for a couple of years and that gave me the time and confidence to try out a lot of new ideas and ways of working in the studio without worrying too much about the next single.
The album came together over 18 months and I think it shows a real evolution in my sound musically and technically. I didnít set out to write a trance album. If I did it would never have been finished because the temptation to release a track hot off the desk would have been too much so I decided to write whatever and whenever without restricting myself to genres or deadlines and that gave me a huge enthusiasm for writing again.
Of the 50+ ideas that formed the body of work from that 18 month period, I selected 15 new tracks for the final album release. I think those tracks best reflect where Iíve been, where I am and where Iím going as a musician and producer. There is a strong trance feel to a lot of the album and also hints of House, Progressive, Techno and Electropop. Thereís a subtle dark theme running throughout the album but itís ultimately uplifting so when you finish listening to the whole thing you feel youíve been somewhere. I only hope people will listen to the whole album and not just cherrypick a couple of tracks.
Iíve focused a lot on making the actual songs themselves important because they do mean something to the songwriters and to me personally. I think too many artists, especially in Trance tend to treat vocals as just another instrument. The songs are key on this album. Itís for listening to.
Iíve worked with several amazing and talented vocalists and songwriters including Molly Bancroft (who you probably know from Gabriel & Dresdenís ĎTracking Treasure Downí), Madeline Puckette and Manya and I also collaborated with a brilliant Scottish Electropop duo called Blacktzar on something that is as close to a pop track as we dare go and my old mate Mike Koglin also makes an appearance on a track called Chemistry.
The album is called the ĎSpace between the starsí and is released on Black Hole Recordings on August 29th. There will be a CD release and various track exclusives and bonus tracks on iTunes and Beatport. I think the album will surprise a lot of people but hopefully in a good way. There are definite hints of the old Pulser sound of Cloudwalking and My Religion etc dotted throughout the album but itís more forward looking and experimental.
i:Vibes: In 2009, you relocated to Riga. What were the main reasons for doing this?What is it like living in Latvia?
Pulser: My girlfriend is from Riga. Itís as simple as that! I love it here. Itís a beautiful place, especially in the summer but being so far north, the winters are extreme. I live in the city center and everything is close. Riga is very historic and was part of the Soviet Union. I love all that kind of thing. The architecture, the history, the people but it just feels like home now. The beach is 15 minutes away and the club is at the end of my street. What more could you ask for? lol
i:Vibes: You have played in many of the top clubs in the world like Passion and the Gallery (UK), Spundae and Circus (LA), Zouk (KL), GAS (Sydney), Gaudi Arena (Moscow), Plaza of Nations (Vancouver), Max Bell Centre (Calgary), or Fabrik (Madrid). What has been your most crazy experience as a DJ?
Pulser: There have been a few moments but January this year was crazy for sure. I have my own club night residency (Elements at Club Essential) here in Riga and was reunited with Steve (Thrillseekers) onstage for the first Insigma set in years. Iíve seen the photos, heard the stories and had the bruises but I honestly canít remember any of it. Iím not really a party animal like some DJs I could mention but I think that weekend was off the scale.
i:Vibes: What is your overall impression of the German trance scene? If you could have the pleasure to work with one German producer, who would you take?
Pulser: Germany has always played a part in my life musically. From listening to Kraftwerk as a kid to discovering PVD in the mid 90ís to signing my first ever record deal with a German label in 97 and I think it still generates some of the coolest and most original electronic music. For me Trance started in Germany. Before the Goa scene, before the Dutch domination of 99 so it always will be special to me and true to that thought Iím happy to have collaborated with one of Germanyís finest (Mike Koglin) on a track for my album.
i:Vibes: What are your 5 alltime favorite tracks?
Pulser: 1. Depeche Mode Ė World In My Eyes 2. Air Ė All I Need 3. Age Of Love Ė Age Of Love 4. Push Ė Strange World 5. Fictivision Vs C-quence - Symbols
i:Vibes: What are your hobbies?
Pulser: Iím a bit of a geek when it comes to computers. Iíve custom built them for some well known producers over the years before they succumbed to the lure of the Mac. I also do a lot of website design and coding and designed a few sites for producer friends as well as my own but that tends to take up a lot of time and I can lose myself in it for weeks on end. Iím only doing my own essential updates at the moment but I count learning things like HTML5 and Jquery as hobbies.
I guess my newest hobby is my favorite. Iíve recently got into film making with DSLRís and Iím currently working on some videos for the album. Iím spending hours directing, filming, editing and working on CGI. Itís a big learning curve but itís having the same impact on me as when I first got into making music and itís the ultimate goal for me to bring the music making and video making together on all my future tracks. Maybe one day Iíll try something a little more ambitious than music videos because I really enjoy thinking visually. Iím slowly being drawn into shooting with old anamorphic lenses and trying to achieve that old skool, sci-fi, cinematic look of films like Blade Runner and (the original russian film) Solaris. I love the process of learning all this stuff but with running the new record label (Toneplay Records), my own club events (Elements) and of course the studio and DJ stuff my days are pretty full these days.
i:Vibes: If you had to play one last track in your last ever DJ set what would you play?
Pulser: There could only be one choice really. Cloudwalking