Cooking with Stephen J. Kroos
There's a recipe in my inbox. Other producers would call it a remix request. A recipe that could just pop up inside your head. As you're walking, and, before you know it, you're tapping to the beat.
A remix request is like a ready-made package to which I can apply my own twist. The track that pops up in my mind is a discovery. Like the feeling Columbus must have had when he set foot on American soil, thinking he arrived in India, but better.
I leave for my kitchen without saying a word. It's a computer with a keyboard, midi-controller, MOTU-traveller soundcard, and, Ableton Live 9 Suite. Ableton is an inexhaustible source of ingredients. The base is pure and simple; like a good Italian Pasta. Drums, bass (as low as possible), chord stabs, ambient pads, and on top, a sauce of Ableton effects and other plugins. That is pretty much it. Off to the real work.
I start digging through Ableton. Listen to EVERY sound. Click, play a part, to hear the potential of that sound. I love it. I can spend hours listening and trying out sounds all by myself. It is as if I can taste it all, flowing through me. That is where the secret ingredients come from. Me. Music production is very personal. My experience, memories, surroundings in which I felt comfortable, exuberant or... somewhat dramatic.
I can't reveal the secret recipe to my productions. It's just who I am. I have my own signature, or however you would like to call it. What I create, comes from me. Because of that my music never sounds the same. Some songs might even contradict eachother.
What I love to create the most? Techno, house and ambient. For me, that's what got it all started. I believe that I, as a producer, should honor that in every production. Always, out of love for electronic music, will I refer to the music that started it all.
This article has been written by Stephen on request of Loving Music. Stephen J. Kroos provided the opening release for the Loving Music label. Oxymoron / Nervus Vagus is available now.