Pitch Perfect PR
We talked with Terje about his new EP and upcoming LP and remix projects, as well as his Olsen record label and the venerable Norwegian disco scene, which has also produced similarly revered cosmic compatriots Prins Thomas and Lindstrøm.
Tell us a little bit about 'It's the Arps.' What inspired you to make an entire EP using only one synth?
As soon as I discovered that my favorite drum machines -- Roland 808, 606, Korg KR55, etc. -- were made from the basic waveforms [sine, triangle, pulse, noise], I wanted to do this project. As a DJ, I love finding music that sounds newer than it actually is, like Mort Garson tracks from the '60s that almost sound like today's minimal music, so making club music for today's dance floor on a synth from 1973 excites me.
Are you planning to do the same thing with other synths or instruments?
Probably. The best thing about this project was the limitations. They forced me to be creative. I discovered that I actually made music quicker this way, rather than having sample CDs with zillions of different kick drums, snare drums, etc. I'd love to do an EP with sounds from an acoustic piano -- I'm quite used to tweaking samples, so it would be interesting to see if I could make convincing non-piano sounds with it, like kick drums. The kick drum is important [laughs].
Are you working on an LP?
Yes, but very on and off. Don't know when it will be finished. I find it more natural to make short projects than a full album. Maybe if I think of an album as an extensive project based on one idea instead of a "journey" through all my different sides and inspirations, it could be easier to pull it off. I'm not in a rush, though. I enjoy just doing EPs, singles and remixes.
What else are you working on?
Besides a few remixes, edits and a few of my own tracks, I've also mixed down a couple of albums for Prins Thomas and Lindstrøm. I'm also trying to work on a live set, but as I'm falling more and more in love with analog gear, it's getting more and more complicated. Setting up the Olsen label also took some effort, but it was mostly labor of love.
Tell us a little about your introduction to disco. What are the clubs like in Norway?
My first disco record was a 10-inch from Bjørn Torske called 'Sexy Disco,' which was a sample of D.D. Sound's 'Burning Love.' I didn't know this at the time and thought Bjørn had played all the instruments himself. I wish I had moved to Oslo a bit earlier; people say that there was a nice and eclectic house scene from 1996 already. Then unfortunately dull deep house came and killed most people's interest in electronic music. Now everything's fine again. We even have three nice clubs for electronic music, plus a bunch of small bars where you can get away with playing everything from Bollywood via joik to "speed Balkan boogie," our national specialty.
Listen to Todd Terje Songs | Buy Todd Terje Albums