Antarchitecture - Sweden’s Beatmaker Loves Space and Takter (011)
by David Hicks
The tenth guest on The Rec Show was a Sound Wizard who hails from Sweden 🇸🇪. He has a dope ear for beats can be seen killing it on his YouTube channel weekly and hear him on all DSPs. Check out Antarchitecture. Enjoy!
Question #1: For those beat heads that might be sleep, please introduce yourself, tell us what your name means and where your from.
My name is Antarchitecture and I’m a music producer, beatmaker and musician from Stockholm, Sweden.
I came up with the name in 2008. Back then I was writing a lot and was playing around with creating new words. ‘Antarchitecture’ came to me because it is sort of a reflection of how I was feeling at the time. ‘Like an empty building in a frozen wasteland’. Looking back it’s kind of a snapshot into the mind of a young creative.
Question #2: When and how did your musical journey start? What was the moment when you realized creating music was your thing?
I started playing piano and guitar in 2003. And have after that picked up the bass as my main instrument. Was writing a lot of songs in the beginning and soon I wanted to record my ideas. So I picked up a microphone, mixer and sound card sometime around 2005.
From that point I was trying to find myself. And this made me create music in a lot of different genres and styles. I had 5 different MySpace sites because I thought the music was too different to keep on just one (haha). It wasn’t until 2010 when I was starting to look into studying at university that I realized I was much more of a producerthan a normal musician.
I was surprised at how easy it was to find places to study music production. So 2011 when I started my bachelors degree in ‘sound & music production’ is when I decided that music is what I’m going to do, and give my everything to pursue a career in.
Question #3: What is it about the mobile production realm that you like? Why SPs and Akai MPC Live. And how do these devices compliment and help you express your music creativity?
I think its sort of a back to the basics thing really. I started making music on piano and guitar. But soon came to only make music on the computer. Did that for a long time. Picked up a Maschine in 2014 but that still had to be connected to a computer at all time. 2018 is when I first picked up the SP-303. With the limited sample time and no big displays showing the exact sound waves it really transformed how I think about using samples and beat making in general. So then when I could get an MPC Live it was a no brainer really.
Also what I like about these mobile samplers is how they make me play out the beats live. Don’t get me wrong I love my computer and still use it everyday. But I don’t use it the same way as I used to. I now create everything outside the box. And then record the final beat into the computer. More like if it was a tape recorder.
And the way I have things hooked up now is so I can run my bass, synths, guitars, etc., through the computer but only for effects. I have built a plugin library over the years and it would be a shame not to use them (haha). I still kind of wish I had all that equipment as hardware. But even if I could afford it, it wouldn’t fit in my room anyway. So I’ve found a great alternative that works for me.
Question #4: During this pandemic, would you say it has affected your beat creating abilities in good or challenging ways? What is your process of crafting your beats?
My original plan for 2020 were I was going to really try to get more live gigs here in Stockholm. But the pandemic put a stop to that. But what came out of that is I found ways to capture the live essence and share it through social media instead. For example, I created a video for the whole album Vinyl Sim vol. 2 (available on YouTube https://youtu.be/vMba6LAT4EM). It’s made with the SP-303 as the centerpiece and is dedicated to it. I wanted to bring together live music, samples and drum programs with nature.
When it comes to my process of making beats I usually start with digging for a sample. I can dig for records anywhere, YouTube, CD, MP3, FLAC but my favorite is definitely vinyl. When I have found a sample I like I record it into the MPC.
Then I start looking for drum sounds. Can be a drum break or individual samples. I then start jamming with the drums until I got something with a nice groove. After recording that I start cutting the sample.
How I do that really depends on the sample but most of the time I cut on the kicks and snares, on the bass notes or on the piano/keyboard chords. I then play along with the drums till I got something nice going and record that.
Then I start to add my own instruments. It really depends on the sample but some things I like to do is: filter the low end of the sample and add my own bass, add keyboard chords or melodies, different synth parts like a pad, lead, or effects.
When I feel I can’t add anything more I start thinking of how I can arrange the beat. I like to play around with mute and solo on the different parts. As well as filters and other effects. I always play out the beat as if I was playing a live set on a stage. The MPC through the SP-303, recording it to one track in Ableton.
Question #5: You’ve challenged yourself to make 100 beats with SP-303, MPC Live, PO33 K.O., Ableton. Your almost 90% complete with the challenge which is inspiring and motivating. What has been your driving force to complete this challenge?
I started the challenge to get better at making full songs out of the loops. Before I began it I found myself making a lot of beats but I didn’t finished them. And to be honest them beats do nothing good just sitting on a hard drive collecting dust. So with the 100 day beat challenge I saw an opportunity to get better at my craft.
But there has been days when I haven’t felt hundred percent and one of the things that have motivated me then has been to think of the inspiration I’m giving by doing this. I find it’s easy to forget the people around you when you’re in the heat of the moment and everything feels like crap. Thinking of the ones I inspire usually takes me to a better place and I can make another beat.
Question #6. Space is something that interest you according to your social media and beat tape covers. What is your attraction to this?
What I like about space is the endless possibilities out there in the unknown universe. It’s as if the only thing that holds you back is your own imagination. We learn new things about space everyday. Discover new planets, black holes, nebulas, galaxies, and more.
Something that really gets to me is how big the universe is. I mean it takes light thousands, and thousands of years to travel from the stars in the sky till it hits our eyes here on earth. I feel because of the how huge it is the chances that we are the only living life forms out here should be quite low.
Another thing is the beauty of it. The gas clouds that are forming a nebula or a cluster of galaxies. To me it looks amazing. It’s no wonder I like to include them in the tape covers I make.
My latest tape is called Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and located in The Milky Way galaxy. I first saw a picture of it and right away thought it looked wonderful. So I started to read about it and discovered it is a place where new stars are formed. I right away thought of it as a nice metaphor for making music with samples. So I then knew I had to name my tape after it.
— New tape on bandcamp LINK IN BIO (@antarchitecture) April 2, 2021
Question #7: Who are your beat maker superheroes and why? Not super producers in the main stream industry.
The one that lay closest to my heart is J Dilla. The way he flip samples shows that he was on a whole other level than anyone before or after him. How he could just hear a record and micro chop it in his head before even turning on the MPC. And also his rhythm is always perfectly loose. I mean he definitely had an ear for that sweet spot between full quantize and too sloppy. One more thing about Dilla is he had such a great love for music. And maybe that’s another reason to why I feel so connected to his works.
And I feel I also want to mention Dibiase. Because he is such an inspiration in everything he does. He’s not only an incredible beatmaker/sound wizard. He can cook up the most killer beats on any sampler/device you hand him. He also is giving so much back to the community. Having masterclasses, hosting beat challenges, and much more. And I really like that he will call out the bullshit when he see it. For example that’s how the SP404 vs. Koala beat battle started. There was someone on facebook who was saying you can’t make real beats if you don’t have a 404, especially not on silly little app for $4. Oh was that guy wrong. Dibiase round up the best SP404 producers and put them against the best Koala producers. He even got Elaquent to judge the battle. And as it turned out, Koala won, fair and square.
— New tape on bandcamp LINK IN BIO (@antarchitecture) April 1, 2021
Question #8: Finally, what advice would you give to the younger you when you first started out making beats. And how can the internets find you?
In the beginning I was really afraid of sampling. I literally thought if I used an uncleared sample I was gonna instantly get sued. So what I’d tell my younger self is ‘don’t be afraid to create your art, no matter how you make it’.