A Made Up Sound (2562) – Interview & Spotlight @ Dubspot



[A Made Up Sound - "Crisis" (A Made Up Sound, May 2010)]

One room with concrete floors, sheathed in near total darkness, speakers churning out hard kicks with the steady resolve of factory lines. Another with hardwood floors and bright projections, its air filled with subtle but constant percussive shifts and remnants of acoustic instrumentation. These two moments both featured A Made Up Sound behind the decks and represent the extremities of this particular techno identity.

Dave Huismans, otherwise known as 2562 and A Made Up Sound, is a man fond of experimentation. One mood will deliver zealously cranked out grey loops in an unwavering 4/4 resolve. Another will take casual deviations down different paths in search of random encounters. A swing rhythm with the abandon of a free spirit pieced together from a broken recording could also be expected. He likes to push the genre to its fringes while keeping his eye on the mainland as to not lose his way.

“Some have really embraced the aesthetic of broken rhythms and bass and react to it or come asking what the tunes are; others only get down with a four to the floor kick and go to the bar when it’s not there for more than a record or two,” the producer says of crowds expecting techno. “It’s a challenge, I like trying to find a good middle ground and keep the party live without compromising.”



[Music: Basic Soul Unit - "Jak'd Freq (A Made Up Sound Puur Natuur Mix)" (Creme Organization, May 2010). Image: AMUS at Bunker by Seze Devres]

And people are receptive. The Dutchman was invited to play his first U.S. set at Brooklyn’s The Bunker last month followed the next day by a performance in Philly at SINErgy. But this acceptance wasn’t immediate and didn’t come about until the success of his dubstep alias 2562: “The thing with techno is that it has existed for so long that it’s became a bit more fixed in what works and what doesn’t work with most DJs and on the dancefloor and in record shops. Some of the techno I made before the 2562 stuff came out was quite off-beat and broken. Therefore it was hard to get it released.”

Although it took the inclusiveness of dubstep to reward his desire to create a unique identity, A Made Up Sound sees vast potential to get creative within techno, saying, “I believe it is innovation and soul that define the true techno spirit, not the 4/4 kickdrum, the 909 or what works in ‘techno’ clubs these days.”

And dubstep crowds are certainly open to his work under A Made Up Sound. He said that when performing as 2562, he can drop records from his techno alias easily: “It’s no problem, I do it all the time. An exception is the rare occasion where I’m booked at a party full of chainsaw-wobble-fans who start screaming for ‘dubstep’… but this doesn’t happen very often, it sorted itself out quite naturally.”



[Music: A Made Up Sound - "Untitled (Original Shortcut)" (A Made Up Sound, Feb. 2010). Image: AMUS by Rene Passet]

Of course, A Made Up Sound tracks like “Untitled (Original Shortcut)” walk in lockstep with the staticy synths and heavy syncopation of something like “Dinosaur” by 2562. But it’s also not difficult to see a song like “Crisis” – with its rolling progression and driving rhythm – be paired with other artists who have abandoned any remnants of dubstep for a full immersion into techno like Ramadanman and Applebim on “Void 23″ or Martyn in general lately.

Although A Made Up Sound has been around longer than 2562, this alias has seen a slower pace than that of his younger reincarnation. There’s only one AMUS album, compared to two under 2562, and it was a series of experimental sketches. “I simply don’t have a sense of direction for a full A Made Up Sound album in mind yet and I’m happy exploring on the 12″ format for now,” he explains.

Performing under an alias with smaller name recognition has its ups and downs, too: “There’s less of a stable audience coming for me but also less pressure and a better chance to be taken at face value. I’m always chuffed when, like in Philly, people come and ask me what my name is; it means they hadn’t heard of me before and were simply enjoying my set for what it was.”



[Commix - "Change (A Made Up Sound Remix)" (Metalheadz, Oct. 2010).]

The one LP, Shortcuts, was “a collection of short, experimental sketches I made four years ago in one month’s time. One little electronic track almost every evening after my day job. It was about generating ideas fast and not looking back, just having fun sketching really. As I’m still happy with the results, I decided to release them after all. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it; it’s just nice to make the music available to those who are interested.” It was released on A Made Up Sound, a label bearing the same name which he created to put out his own work.

While the production of AMUS’s singles may take a more refined approach than the creative exercise of Shortcuts, they do begin at the same place: sampling. “Sampling records and reshaping the samples are the base of what I do,” he informs us. And it’s obvious in some tracks, like “Sunday“, one of his earliest, which sounds as if it were built by a broken beat crate digger. But it’s less apparent with something like his remix of Commix’s “Change“, with it’s fuzzy aura and organesque melodies. “Even when you hear synths in my music it’s quite often sampled. I just like that way of working, feel like I know better what I’m doing and have more control.”

This dedication to sampling my be a result of the old-fashioned setup he uses to make his music. Nearly all the software and hardware AMUS uses is over ten-years-old: “Once in a while I have a sudden urge to get with the times, but that usually results in me feeling it only slows me down, which of course is only due to a lack of perseverance in getting to know the new stuff inside out. Then again: if it ain’t broke, why fix it? I guess my point is: much more important than having the best or newest gear is putting the time in with whatever you use, know it inside out and do something creative with it that’s really you. I’m hardly the first to say this, but it’s the human that makes the music, not the gear.” - MS

A MADE UP SOUND CHATS WITH DUBSPOT

DUBSPOT: It seems you have an identity of pushing each alias to the fringes of their
respective focuses, but they both have a meeting ground. How do crowds expecting
techno respond when you enter these overlapping areas?

A MADE UP SOUND: It’s funny, it seems to change over time and now kinda splits the audience in two halves sometimes. Some have really embraced the aesthetic of broken rhythms and bass and react to it or come asking what the tunes are; others only get down with a four to the floor kick and go to the bar when it’s not there for more than a record or two. It’s a challenge, I like trying to find a good middle ground and keep the party live without compromising.

DS: Do you still start with samples when making a track? I noticed it was more
prevalent in earlier tracks like “Sunday”.

AMUS: Always, sampling records and reshaping the samples are the base of what I do. I agree my last couple of AMUS releases have leaned more towards the machine-aesthetic, it’s always coming in waves, sometimes more this, sometimes more that. But even when you hear synths in my music it’s quite often sampled. I just like that way of working, feel like I know better what I’m doing and have more control. I’ve actually got a new project in the pipeline that is 100% samplebased, more news on that soon.

DS: You referred to the Shortcuts album as a series of sketches. Do you think
there’s a more focused effort along the lines of a 2562 album for AMUS in the
future?

AMUS: Maybe, but not for a while. Not this year, probably not even next year. I simply don’t have a sense of direction for a full A Made Up Sound album in mind yet and I’m happy exploring on the 12” format for now.

DS: How do you approach a track?

AMUS: Grabbing a few newly made sounds together and starting to build, destroy, rebuild… often I don’t have a clue what I’m gonna make beforehand, the ideas come while I’m playing around. The sounds kinda give directions as to where I can take them.

DS: What is your production setup?

AMUS: I’m pretty much the opposite of a gear freak and don’t like to talk a lot about my studio, but since you’re a music school related publication let’s at least say it’s very basic and very old-fashioned. Almost everything I use already existed ten years ago, both the software and the few bits of hardware I own. I don’t take pride in that or something, it is simply what works for me. Once in a while I have a sudden urge to get with the times, but that usually results in me feeling it only slows me down, which of course is only due to a lack of perseverance in getting to know the new stuff inside out. Then again: if it ain’t broke, why fix it. I guess my point is: much more important than having the best or newest gear is putting the time in with whatever you use, know it inside out and do something creative with it that’s really you. I’m hardly the first to say this, but it’s the human that makes the music, not the gear.

DS: As many dubstep artists have begun producing straight techno tracks, do you find
the need for an alias becomes less important?

AMUS: At the risk of sounding pedantic, what others do isn’t of my concern. A Made Up Sound has been what it is for years and hopefully will be for years to come.

DS: How often can you get away with playing AMUS tracks when performing as 2562? Do
you find its getting easier to incorporate?

AMUS: It’s no problem, I do it all the time. An exception is the rare occasion where I’m booked at a party full of chainsaw-wobble-fans who start screaming for ‘dubstep’… but this doesn’t happen very often, it sorted itself out quite naturally.

DS: Your set in Brooklyn seemed harder and more stripped down than your set in
Philly. Was that a trick of the environments or did you gear the sets in
different directions?

AMUS: I’m impressed you made it to both! Big ups… I never prepare a set beforehand or play the same set twice, because I never know beforehand what kind of party and audience it’s gonna be. Those factors will always influence my set. That, and I think it’s kinda weak when people like yourself come to see me twice in a short time and hear me pull the exact same tricks. It’s just less fun for everyone.

DS: How much of those sets were your own material?

AMUS: Not that much. In both cities I played for about three hours, which compared to one hour sets gives a better opportunity to go across the board and dig deeper into the past. Especially in Philly I played quite a lot of vinyl I bought in the 90’s as a youngster. In shorter sets I usually put the emphasis on new material I am excited about.

DS: Was this your first time performing as AMUS in the US? What is your impression?

AMUS: Yeah, it was. Although it is my longest going project I could sense it is a lesser known name than 2562, which means there’s less of a stable audience coming for me but also less pressure and a better chance to be taken at face value. I’m always chuffed when, like in Philly, people come and ask me what my name is; it means they hadn’t heard of me before and were simply enjoying my set for what it was.

DS: What’s in the future for AMUS and the label?

AMUS: I’ve been working on number 005 and started a few other tracks, but I’m gonna take my time with them. 004 (Demons/Extra Time) and Rear Window on Delsin Records only just came out, so I’m not in a rush.

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