FUTR3 – Level Up

Level Up Artwork

TRACKLIST

1. 1Up (Original Mix)
2. Princess (Original Mix)
3. 1Up (Heavy Grinder)

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About FUTR

From the East coast to the West coast, one of the industry’s fastest rising artists is back again to capture the ears and hearts of electronic music fans everywhere with his brand new EP, Level Up. Currently residing between Los Angeles and Los Vegas, FUTR3 brings an eclectic variety of influences and experience to the table with each and every track he produces.

The Level Up EP is an epic explosion deriving all your favorite old video game sounds into a dance floor frenzy. We start off with the Electro banger “1Up” where your body will ignite and have no choice but to get down. We then move into the brilliant melodic bliss of breaks with “Princess.”

We are blessed with the “1Up” remix by the one and only Heavygrinder, who is known for tearing up dance floors wherever she goes. She takes this track to a whole new dimension and warps us into ecstasy.

In 2012, FUTR3 teamed up with Miami music prodigy culineR to be part of the Into VaporEP on our very own Synth City Records. They collaborated on Your Soul Calls Outwhich was an Electro masterpiece and a huge chart topper.

Take a listen to this uplifting and innovative EP and prepare to fall in love:
https://soundcloud.com/synthcityrecords/sets/futr3-level-up-ep

FREE download by FUTR3 and Falcone if you sign up for the FUTR3 mailing list at

www.FUTR3.com

Remix of Waves by Mr. Probz and Trophies by Drake

Q & A

Where do you live and how would you describe the scene there?

Well I actually travel a lot. I haven’t been anywhere longer than a couple months for the last year. Mostly Vegas, LA, and home to see the fam in Iowa. But I spent a lot of time in the Bay area, as well as Grass Valley and Reno towards the end of last year. It was great up there; the scene is one of my favorites out of everywhere I’ve been. The people there love music and really enjoy a good show. Vegas is really fun, too and LA always has amazing artists to hang out with and trade ideas and new tips on production and gear, always new collaborations to work on. I spent a lot of time at the icon school and with the students there last September. That was a lot of fun, and great to be around new and creative talented artists and seeing all kinds of techniques and software I may never have heard of anywhere else.

Where are you from and how is the scene there different?

Well the town I grew up in was kind of an unusual place. In fact Oprah recently did an episode on it, calling it one of the most unusual communities in America. Maharishi Maheshyogi, the guy who taught the Beatles meditation in the 60’s, started a community there in a college that had gone bankrupt, turning it into a school for children from preschool all the through college, teaching aryavedic medical practices, transcendental meditation, as well as basic schooling and more common classes such as business management. So I grew up with a lot of mantra’s and meditation and healing practices. My boy Lincoln’s mom used to play us these eastern ‘bajans’ as lullaby’s at night when we’d have sleepovers. It’s a small town, but surprisingly a lot of successful kids have come from there. Max and Danny Steinberg have become fairly well known poker players, Max being on the cover of Bluff Magazine recently, my boy Djemba Djemba has been working with Diplo and Mad Decent, there’s just a wealth of talent exploding from the place.

How has this influenced your style?

Well I definitely have always been drawn to eastern melodies, minor melodic scales, and generally mysterious and tripped out music. The fact it was a small town definitely gave me a lot more time to work.

How would you describe your sound?

Well I’ve always bounced around to many different styles of music, from grunge rock to heavy drum and bass, metal, house, pop/electro, IDM, dub step and glitch.

How did you come up with your name?

It actually came up as a reminder for myself. I wanted to know how to create the life I wanted but kept getting impatient and losing sight. I realized that I was too focused on the current moment and its instant gratifications, and realized that I can use the current moment to create the life I want, setting up my future through the actions I take today and doing it out of excitement of how sick its gonna be and gratitude for the process of getting there… but I kept forgetting all that and just getting caught up, so I used the name as a reminder for the joy of the process of working your ass off to make something awesome.

What is your fav artists to listen to while driving?

To be honest I mostly listen to tracks I find searching through forums and blogs, and often times its bootleg remixes by up and comers or new artists I’ve never heard of. Keeps music new and fresh and always engaging and intriguing, it’s so easy to get bored in music these days. I’ve really been enjoying ‘Au5’, and ‘Lets Be Friends’ lately though, but when all that gets old my “Nirvana – Lounge Act” Pandora station never fails to satisfy.

Over the years what progression of dance music genres have you fallen in love with to bring you to where you are now?

Well originally it was jungle and DnB, my brother produced jungle in a dos program called Fasttracker2 when I was younger and that really started it for electronic music for me, loved Aphex Twin – Square Pusher – Amon Tobin – Plaid – Boards of Canada. When fruity loops came out it was super easy to make trance and house on, and kinda setup in a way where I would just go with that. So I started to fall more into 140 bpm truancy ts-404 tracks, after that I shied away from electronic music for a while, although Chicago house was running rampant in my home town and all my friends were house dj’s from age 14 to 19 when I switched back to rock full force for 5 years. In 2008 I heard this electro that I hadn’t heard anything like, it had emotion but this glitchy and aggressive bounce to it. After I went on a heavy electro bender, I heard some dub step that reminded me of the IDM I used to listen to mixed with the DnB I used to love making, and even included the half time break downs I used to throw in my DnB (back in the FastTracker2 days), which made Drumstep. I was like “Wait? You mean their coin that stuff I’ve loved for years, but their updating it and making it more aggressive? Yes. From there Glitch Hop, Moombuhton and Tech House, and then Trap. All these genres influence me for sure, and lately I’ve been doing a lot of fusion in my EDM tracks, mixing rock and vocals with 3 or 4 different styles of EDM (Trap, dubstep, Breaks and Glitch for example)

Who would you say are your major influences?

Nirvana, Aphex Twin, and Gandharva Veda.

What do you love about performing and what are your favorite gigs?

Engaging the audience is probably one of the most amazing feelings in the world, its like you’re partying with all the people in the venue all at once, like you’re on a night out with your closest friends and everyone gets laid, except everyone is a couple thousand people. My favorite gigs are the ones where the people are there because they love music, not because their searching for something they haven’t found. There’s something really spiritual about it, like that love for music is amplified in the entire room.

How did you get into making music?

Well, when I was 5 I started jamming on all the white keys at my boy Lincoln’s moms house, I figured out if I play only the white keys in the middle it would almost always sound good. So I played in C Major a lot. lol After that my older brother started playing guitar, and I thought it was so cool I wanted to learn too. Got a guitar a few years later, started learning and singing while playing. Then at 12, once again, my older brother was producing Jungle and Drum N Bass in a dos program called fastracker2. That’s when I picked up electronic music production. I started taking all my brothers tracks shortly after he left to move to Boulder and ripping out all the song arrangements and making a new song with all the samples he had gathered for the track I just deleted. That got me into electronic music and from there it just kept going, learned to DJ on my friend Dane Dallards Technique MK2’s at age 15, learned about audio recording and engineering at 17 and went to school for it at 18, played in rock bands.

What do you use to make music?

A fork, a blender, and a wood block run through one of those cardboard tubes with a spring. We used to play with this when we were kids.

What process do you go thru to make a track?

I have a 3 step process actually that I try to follow the guidelines of. Never ends up playing out the same but it always ends with 3 layers of production. The writing and melodic/rhythmic creative process is the first part. This is where I write and get creative with about a 4 bar loop, maybe I’ll make two 4 bar loops of separate parts, or variations of the first part. Eventually when I have all my melodic and rhythmic foundation complete, I give a basic song structure and move to phase two. Although phase two is a creative part, it’s also much more a refinement of what came out of the first step. I might have 7 melodies and 4 rhythmic sections that match, but create so much chaos that you can tell what’s going on in the track, phase 2 is trimming that down, setting up transitions between parts, adding effects in those transitions and sweeps and such, and minor arrangements stuff like hi hats dropping after 16 beats of the drop, and then an arp synth I make in phase 2 drops another 16 beats later to emphasize the main riff and carry the track. Little things like that, and a lot of refinement, also more creativity. Sometimes I leave a track in phase two and come back a month later after finishing other work, and completely change the song structure and create an entire new part. This is where creativity and objectiveness kind of join hands to create a practical, yet out-of-the-box arrangement for the track that is still pleasant and not exactly abstract. Phase 3, clean up the mess and finish the track. This is where I clean up the mix, make room for the more dominate and pleasing sounds, just making everything sound smooth and finished in general. Sometimes I’ll even export all my separated tracks as audio field and pull them into a new session for phase three so that I have a different perspective of the track (Viewing as wave forms, instead of midi and waves), this makes it easer to cut out reverb tails and delays in little transitions where I might want a sudden break of silence for a 1/4 bar or something. It also helps me mix better because I don’t have a long list of plug-ins on every track to concern myself with while I’m struggling to finish the track, I have it all printed on the audio and if the sound still doesn’t sound right after so post processing of eq and fx, I’ll drag the specific track from the project version in phase 2, and pull that one channel into phase three to refine it better for the mix down process. Then I get faded.

How do you decide which tracks to play when DJing to get the dance floor jumping?

Well, first and foremost I play tracks that make me start jumpin. If I’m not loving it no one else is going to, at least not as much as they could. It does depend on the crowd, because sometimes I’m in an area where what gets me goin doesn’t get the locals excited. So I’ll figure that out when I get there and how people respond, and find something in the vein of what they like that makes me wanna start jumpin. I think too many artists and DJ’s worry so much about what other people are gonna like they forget what they like, but that’s the most important part. Cuz we’re all people, we’re likely to feel similar things when we listen. So my inner excitement is kinda my gauge.

Who is your favorite DJ right now and why?

Well to be honest I haven’t seen anything too impressive for a while, not to sound like a portentous snob, but I haven’t really seen any DJ’s push the envelope with their performance. Mostly just sticking to 2-4 decks a mixer and some effects, maybe some samples. I wanna see some people wiggin out on stage doing more than that, creating music on the fly, looping sections of tracks and jamming effects on them in a way that doesn’t put people to sleep. Playing dubstep sounds live from midi controllers, creating a live show experience like a band does. Bring that energy and that push. Now that I think of it, there is one guy who’s performance I love, and that’s Rusko. So much energy, so excited about what he’s doing and he interacts with the crowd through the whole show. You really feel that excitement that you do at a big rock show when the singer comes out with a squirt gun and shoots the audience with vodka… I mean water. Anyways, definitely Rusko is my favorite out of every DJ performance I’ve seen, although DESTROID kills it live with midi guitars and KJ Sawka on drums, that shits mental.

How long have you been producing and/or Djing?

I’ve been producing EDM since… well since it was just called electronic music, or to most people “techno”. Started in DOS in the program FastTracker2 in 1996. And three years later learned to DJ. I’ve been producing electronic music the whole time, but DJing mostly as a hobby while I played out as a rock band. As I was saying earlier, I learned to DJ on a pair of Technique 1200’s at my boy Dane Dallards house, scratching using the line/phono switch and mixing disco house and Chicago house at parties in my little home town.

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