“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Bob Marley

As a young boy in the ’80s I discovered the world of music. First as a radio listener and later during piano and drum lessons in the local music school. At the age of 14, in the beginning of the “MIDI age”, I purchased my first synthesizer, a Yamaha DX 27. Its FM sound architecture remained something of an enigma to me and it had no sequencing capabilities. My second one, the Ensoniq ESQ 1, was a big step forward: It offered subtractive synthesis and an internal 8-track MIDI sequencer. With this early “workstation synthesizer” I started songwriting and it was a great adventure.

Remember the Days

During that decade, music television channels started business. We kids admired the glossy pop music videos of stars such as Sade AduLisa Stansfield, Incognito, and Level 42, but also the producers behind the scenes namely Trevor Horn or Nile Rodgers. Many friends of mine started learning music instruments to escape from teenage days’ reality. We formed our own bands to spend the afternoons in smoky rehearsal rooms.

Street Music – a Strong Influence

Back in the days, I spent the summer holidays in Antibes/Juan-les-Pins in the French Riviera, where “Jazz à Juan“, the oldest European jazz festival, is held every summer. It was great to get tickes for the international stars like Kid Creole & the Coconuts or Oscar Peterson, but one summer night I unexpectedly found a strong inspiration on the beach promenade: Three young musicians played some latin and jazz standards – just two funky guitars, one groovy bass guitar, and a drum machine. That’s all? Yes! It was very simple but pure and beautiful Bossa Nova and Samba music. I really loved the intensity and the musical sense of their performance. This warm summer night must have been 20 years ago, but the memory is still alive and a strong influence for my music.

School years ended and we all left our hometown. My keyboards attended me through different cities and apartments. After MIDI, the following years brought the next revolution in music production – HD recording. Now it was possible to record songs digitally and come closer to the sound quality of commercial productions.

Studio Insights

Over the years computer performance became better. Software companies such as Steinberg, Propellerhead, and Emagic offered virtual studios including complete mixing consoles, digital sound processors, synthesizers, and samplers. Now every talented guy had the chance to become a successful music producer.

At this time I started working in a regular job. In the evenings I assisted in a small recording studio where I learned a lot. For example the pros and cons of digital and analog equipment. I think it’s a big advantage even for today’s laptop musicians to hear what you can achieve with analog studio tools. In addition it is important to find out how to prepare your home studio for professional recording results.

Urban Phunk Society: The Story of the Chillout Music Project

The late ’90s were characterised by an extremely diversified music scene. Surrounded by D’n’B artists, Trip hop acts and Techno DJs, I decided to form my own music project and called it Urban Phunk Society. I was happy to get in contact with my creative partner Frank and 5000records’ label owner Sascha. Together we contributed some lounge music tracks to 5000’s bossa-tronic compilation series. Thanks to Sascha, the music project Urban Phunk Society entered even more balearic music compilations of different labels.  Back then, we received promising reviews in some club music mags.

Pop Music Inspiration – an Anecdote

I love classic pop songs, and good songwriting always inspires me. So one day in the home studio I heard Duffy’s “Warwick Avenue” on the radio, a heart-on-sleeve ballad and a worldwide top ten hit in 2008. It has a special mood, a feeling that touched me immediately. In the record store I found Duffy’s album “Rockferry” and played “Warwick Avenue” several times … What a cool track and a real earwig! When you listen to Urban Phunk Society’s We Never Started that was recorded at this time, you maybe will notice the reference to “Warwick Avenue”. Thank you Duffy for this beautiful song. You’re the inspiration!

The Beat Goes on

Today, I’m still in music production. There is an ongoing interest in studio technology and the output of today’s music scene. In 2014, I started a collaboration with the Munich- and Ibiza-based Karmaloft label using their capable distribution channels for the music of the still existing project Urban Phunk Society. Clap your ears on some classic chillout tracks or watch some music videos.

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