In honour of Thoughtless' milestone, Pred has released a mix compilation called 'Era One,' which features various tracks from the label layered together using Ableton. "I wanted to challenge myself to tell a story with 50 tracks on the label," he tells Spinner.
With individual tracks only playing on their own for 45 seconds or less, Pred explains his rationale: "Who wants to hear a normal mix CD with 10 tracks? Hasn't that been done to death? I wanted to push myself."
Not only was Pred trying to represent his label's musical diversity with 'Era One,' but he was also taking a cue from the memorable techno mix projects of Richie Hawtin (2001's 'DE9: 'Closer to the Edit') and Joris Vorn (2010's 'Balance 014') that layered hundreds of tracks.
"Richie's and Joris' CDs weren't confined to catalogues from one label, and so that's another defining factor with my project and what it represents for the label," says Pred. "I tried to constrain myself to parameters of what would be possible with a mixing setup, which meant I couldn't layer more than three tracks, because it's rare that I would have more than three CDJs in a DJ booth."
With Mutek festival fast approaching, Arthur Oskan, Billy Dalessandro, Dega Soundsystem, XI and Knowing Looks (all on the Thoughtless label) are preparing for their performances. Pred says he's looking forward to supporting the Thoughtless contingent, seeing old friends and making new ones. "Alain [the festival director] does such an amazing job curating the festival and exposing new talents to people -- and that's what I try to do with Thoughtless."
"It's always inspiring to attend," he continues. "I get to hear new artists who I might be interested in. These kinds of festivals, like Sonar and ADE, are hubs where people come from all over. So, I'm going to meet people from the rest of the world. These gatherings are an efficient way to get the word out about what we're doing."
Since the release of 'Era One,' Pred has been getting positive feedback while Oskan's 'Fat Mobile' EP has also garnered support from heavyweight DJs, including Laurent Garnier, Josh Wink, Danny Tenaglia and Paco Osuna.
"We're getting some momentum and I'm gearing up for touring during the summer festival season here in North America," says Pred, who's attending Mutek this year as a label rep rather than a performer. "At the end of May, I have my twelve-inch called 'Lesser Lights' due out on Cynosure Recordings, Mike Shannon's label." In addition, Pred mentions his new project, Solvoid. "I'll be working on a bunch of new material, so I'm looking forward to that."
There's lots on the horizon for Pred, so much so that he sometimes flirts with the idea of leaving his Canadian home base behind. "I'd be lying if I didn't say that there's a part of me that thinks about going to Europe," he says. "But there's another part of me that's had this defiant attitude that I want to be able to find success on my own terms without going where the grass is greener.
"There a lot of inspiring things here [in Toronto], a lot of talented artists and it's more multicultural."
By the time 'Era Two' rolls around who knows where Pred will have set up shop. But he needs another 50 releases under his belt before that day comes, so he's got more than enough time to sort out travel plans.