Finland and quality trance music have now since years a very tight relationship. We try to discover why with talented producer Allende.
First of all thank you Anssi for dedicating some of your time to answer our questions.
You are certainly not new to the scene since you are now releasing music since more than 5 years, but I believe you have remained, as written on Discogs by an user, an undiscovered gem within the realms of trance and progressive trance. Why don’t you tell more about yourself to start this interview off.
You’re welcome! My first release was in 2005, but I’ve been producing well over 10 years and been very active in the demo scene before the first official release.
It’s not very easy to standout, when there are millions of talented producers around and I haven’t really been able to find as much time for producing as I’d like to.
We have to admit that for a blog trying to promote what we think is quality trancey music, it has become extremely frustrating to rarely be able to promote melodic trance given all the crap released daily on Beatport. Do you just care about the music you are producing or the current status of melodic trance music is a concern also for you?
Not really to be honest, at least not any more. Even though that oldschool, atmospheric, mysterious and hypnotic trance has a place in my heart, and is something I try to mix in with my own sounds, it’s certainly not sacred or anything. I don’t mind all the popish dance music being categorized under trance, but it might make it harder to find what you’re looking for.
Everyone is throwing around the words pure trance and real trance, and unless it’s really that early 90s what started it all trance, it might be a bit arrogant to think the music you like is somehow better or more real than what someone else is liking. I think there’s room for all types of music.
Some Finnish producers like you have however managed to stay far away from what we now define as ASOT Pop-Trance, is this just casual or you actually collaborate or draw inspirations from for example Orkidea or Miika Kuisma, just to name two producers that are certainly well known to our readers?
There’s something about us finns that makes us drawn to darker and melancholic music, whether it’s trance, metal or even more traditional rock music, it usually has a sad and minor tone to it. They say it’s the long dark and cold winter that does that, who knows.
You mentioned Orkidea as an inspiration for us and I think that’s absolutely spot on. During late 1990s and early 2000s, Orkidea hosted a very popular trance music show on finnish national radio, which in my opinion has had a massive impact on finnish trance producers and djs. The type of trance he played was mysterious, atmospheric, hypnotic, maybe a bit progressive and had a melancholic vibe to it.
On your website in the past you were updating a blog where you posted some interesting thoughts about the relationship between labels and artists. 5 years ahead has the situation changed or what you described in your post is among the reasons why many artists have launched their own label in the past couple of years making the market even more fragmented?
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to be as active in the scene for the past few years as I was 5 years ago, so I don’t know really know what the situation is right now. But in my understanding it’s the same or worse. I can’t remember when was the last time I got money from my music, nor is it even something I would think of when signing a track.
I think right now it’s more important that you just find a label run by friendly nice people, who will promote your releases the best they can.
In retrospect I think the tone of the blog was a tad too negative, but I was just frustrated on how stuff was working in this ‘business’. I’m hoping to continue writing the blog next year, but perhaps with more positive topics, will see.
Given the experience you have acquired, what advices would you give to a new producer (yeah, another one!) that would like to get his tracks released?
If just getting your track released is your #1 goal, then just send the best track you have to every possible (new and small) label you can think of, and I’m sure one of them will pick it up sooner or later.
However in few years you might realize that just being signed doesn’t matter at all, but what matters is the music, and that it represents you, and is something you can stand proud behind. To me that’s more important than deejays playing your tracks, or people praising your tracks. Unfortunately sometimes you can only choose either one.
And how to actually develop your skills to the point where you can make the exact sound you want, that’s just practice practice practice. Make as much music as you can, listen to as much music as you can, but at the same time try to avoid the urge to release every song and melody you make. When you think your song is ready, give it time, listen to it for a week or two, maybe a month, and if it still holds up after that, it’s ready.
Talking about economics and the music industry struggling to keep up with changes, in 2012 you have managed to get released your remixes of Stretching Time by Orkidea and The Secret by Way Out West that were already finalized since years. Was this a frustrating experience for you or when you worked on these tracks you knew this could have happened?
The ‘Way Out West – Secret’ remix was just a bootleg I did for fun and I was 99% sure it wouldn’t see a release. So it being released was a big and pleasant surprise.
I don’t exactly know what happened with the ‘Stretching Time’ remix, it was suppose to be featured in the Metaverse remix EP part 3 that for some reason never saw the light. My remix got luckily released later on, but few remixes on that same EP never did, including remixes from my fellow finns Matti Laamanen and Syna.
I think the worst thing with release dates getting delayed, is that the track may not be as fresh anymore and all the hype and anticipation has faded away.
Looking at the tracks you have released, we can see you have done a lot of remixes. Any specific reason behind that?
Not really, back in the day I just accepted all remix requests I got offered. I stopped doing that in about 2009 when I wanted to focus more on my own productions.
But of course if someone like Orkidea, who is one of my heroes, offers me a remix opportunity, there’s no way in hell I’m going to pass that one.
In the past decade lot of producers that were doing this profession full time had to reduce it to an hobby for obvious reasons. What about you? When do you find the time to produce? Are you djing and touring as well?
I was never even close doing this professionally and I don’t think even the biggest names could live with producing only. These days, all the money is in gigs and your music is just promotional material.
These days I actually don’t find any time to produce, my regular day job is taking all my day time, and when I finally get some free time I’m too tired to concentrate on music or have other things to do instead. I’m also only djing with our “Beach X” band and those gigs are very rare and don’t affect my free time.
Finally what are your plans for the near future? “Surprisingly”, you have not yet released an artist album.
I have tons of unfinished and potential singles on the works, some for more than 7 years already, so my #1 priority is to finish as many of those as I can.
Releasing an artist album has been a dream and a goal of mine since I started producing, and I’ve actually been writing some tracks specifically for an artist album for quite some time. However it’s something don’t wanna half-ass and release a quick digital only compilation of random tracks. As long as CDs are still even a little bit relevant I’m not going to do an artist album until I find a label that gives me the opportunity to do physical CD release.
And last but not least why don’t you recommend us some underground artists or releases (new or old) that you enjoy and would like to take this opportunity to give them more exposure. A list would work, but just answer as you prefer.
A fellow finn Arto Kumanto is someone who definitely needs more attention. His tracks may not be that dj friendly, but man are they beautiful and atmospheric. “Welcome the New World” and “Long Count” are my two favorites from him. And another one would be my good pal Beetseekers if you don’t already know him. He hasn’t been that active recently, but there’s plenty of gems to dive into in his discography.
For more check out my monthly radio show “98th Avenue” 98thavenue.allendemusic.net It’ll at least give you some tracks you won’t hear in any of the major radio shows.
Thanks a lot Anssi for your time and be assured we will keep following you.
Thank you! You guys are doing valuable work covering the more unknown talented artists and giving opportunities and attention for people who don’t want to follow the trends and jump on the latest bandwagon just to be heard.
For more information about Allende, check out: