The MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire feature series has been a long and extremely enjoyable journey of amazing producers and even better mixes. But today, as we reach the 75th interview and guest mix, MakeItGood and FKOF have teamed up with one of the best DJs out there and have gone all out to celebrate reaching #75… Vandera properly came to my attention when he featured in The Daily Street’s mixtape series. His mix featured 60 tracks, came in at 60 minutes and consisted entirely of tracks in the C-minor key. A concept so astoundingly technical that you’re almost too scared to listen in case it doesn’t live up to how good you think it might sound. Needless to say, Vandera’s TDS mix was amazing. It’s a huge, huge honour to welcome Vandera and a fitting way to celebrate the 75th mixtape. As always, find Vandera on Facebook and Twitter and let him know if you’re as blown away by his FatKidOnFire x MakeItGood mix as we are!
Who is Vandera?
What got you into mixing and producing music?
I played the synthesizer as a kid and, instead of learning to play Abba as my teacher told me to, I was just tweaking the flanger and echo DSP filters on my Technics KN2000 keyboard. I remember I was 11 and improvising with cheesy 90s piano chords and trying to programme drum breaks with the sound bank’s jazz kit. I listened to a lot of house, collected all the Turn Up The Bass cassettes, but it was The Prodigy that ignited my love for breakbeats when I heard ‘One Love’ on my Mega Bass Walkman. I had an infinite amount of respect for electronic music producers. It was kind of a no-brainer to buy decks, learn PC sequencers etc.
How long have you been producing and DJing? Do you use turntables or CDJs – which do you prefer?
It was an obsession with Drum & Bass that got me into DJing. I got some cheap belt drives in ’98 and spent all my money on Good Looking Records and Moving Shadow vinyl. Hospital artists and producers like Klute were big influences to my style then. I love to browse the Discogs market and collect all those classics on vinyl. At home I still play a lot of vinyl, nothing compares to it really. But yes, gigs I do on CDJs now. The demise of vinyl has been dreadful; it’s become an ancient hobby for most of us! But yeah CDs are cheap, light, easy, blahblahblah. I’ll always buy vinyl though!
How would you describe your sound mixes?
I think about the structure of my mixes like I think about my songs; in 16 bar chunks where sound evolves constantly. The theme of my last mix (which you can download here) was to showcase 60 tracks in 60 minutes, all in C-minor. While that mix was one continuous smooth trip, my MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire mix goes through different keys, different tempos and different energy levels. The first half is a good representation of what I play at gigs, from 4x4 to amens to half-step.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be?
Playing alongside the Russians, Giant and Exponaut, in St. Petersburg last winter was incredible. Would be wicked to play alongside Blu Mar Ten someday, I just need to chase and sort out some more gigs here in London.
Who are your top 5 labels and producers at the moment; who’s releasing the best music or deserves attention?
Echodub has been releasing amazing EPs lately, and the guys from Convoy Unltd will soon hit the ground running with their label. In terms of producers, I’m currently feeling Aeolho’s tunes, and Actraiser’s deep stuff is always spot on. Also, the creativity and producion techniques of Blu Mar Ten are just awe inspiring. They have probably influenced my production style the most. Quite excited they want to release a Vandera remix/mashup of one of their tunes in the near future. To be honest though, there are so many musicians deserving more attention out there. Check some of the unknown artists I follow on SoundCloud to hear what I mean.
What does the future hold for UK bass music - where do you see the genre going?
No idea, but there will always be good music. The bass music genre is (in my opinion) the most progressive and diverse scenes in electronic music. Dubstep/ chillout/ garage/ techno, there’s a lot you can do around 140bpm.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers?
Work on your track ‘til it’s perfect, you just need one tune to catch everyone’s attention. Send your best work through AIM/SoundCloud to the labels and DJs you think could represent your sound and see what happens. I listen to everything people sent me through AIM (vanderamusic) and check every new SoundCloud follower. If it’s good I’ll play it at gigs and in studio mixes. What’s forthcoming from Vandera? Besides some scientific papers on radiation and the brain’s response to methamphetamine, there’s a 12” of ‘Move On' that's just released on Subdepth Records with a remix by Dream on the flip. Another 12” with a tune called 'Carbon 11' is coming out very soon on Bassism records b/w a remix by the talented Coleco. And finally, the collab track with Lostlojic ('Volt’) is out on Paradise Lost in a few weeks. In the long-term, the plan is to make lots of money by discovering a non-addictive and safe compound with the same mood-enhancing properties as MDMA. I’ll get regulatory approval, hire Walter White to cook and sell it all, and with the profits I’ll setup a quality record label. All I need is some human test-subjects and some good dubs to sign and release. Hit me up on SoundCloud.
This is without a doubt the one of the best mixes we’ve ever had the pleasure of featuring. 45 tracks, one hour and a seamless combination of bass music subgenres. It does not get any better than this. Grab the download, spread the word and thank Vandera if you’re feeling this truly astounding piece of musical mastery.
01 Poets of Thought - The Rhyme Goes On [-Earth-]
02 DFRNT - Remember When [-Forthcoming Subdepth-]
03 M.I.A. - Sunshowers [-XL-]
04 Regent & Riskotheque - What I Feel Like Doing [-dUb-]
05 Von D Feat. Foreign Beggars & Spyda - Maximum Boost [-Boka-]
06 Lung & Maxx Roach - Booty Call [-Deadplate-]
07 Vandera – Scanners [-Stoke Audio-]
08 Daft Punk - Revolution 909 [-Virgin-]
09 Actraiser - Infidel [-dUb-]
10 Vandera & Lostlojic - Volt [-Forthcoming Paradise Lost-]
11 The Prodigy - Narayan [-XL-]
12 Headhunter - In Motion [-Tempa-]
13 Coleco - Hypnagogia [-Forthcoming Soul Motive-]
14 Vandera - India Joya [-Echodub-]
15 Isotroph - Crossroads [-Echodub-]
16 DFRNT - Headspace (Scuba Remix) [-On The Edge-]
17 By Proxy - 68 (Vandera Remix) [-Car Crash Set-]
18 Vandera - Move On VIP [-Subdepth-]
19 Vandera - Move On [-Subdepth-]
20 Actraiser - Solstice (Vandera Remix) [-Subdepth-]
21 Stumbleine - Ember (Sorrow Remix) [-Free-]
22 Vandera - Pure Light [-dUb-]
23 Think Feat. Novika - Short Warm Moments [-New Moon-]
24 Actraiser - The Watcher [-Gradient Audio-]
25 Dub FX - Intentions [-Convoy Unltd-]
26 Yoru - That Old Thing [-Forthcoming Rudimentary-]
27 Rain Dog - One to Love [-Cut-]
28 Arkist - Trapped in Tivoli [-DecaRythm-]
29 Rusko - Kumon Kumon [-Mad Decent-]
30 Kraak & Smaak - Danse Macabre [-Jalapeno Music-]
31 The Prodigy - One Love [-XL-]
32 Giant - Party Starter [-Hench-]
33 Animistics - Sax Step [-dUb-]
34 Cyrus - Manhattan Blues [-Deep Medi-]
35 Oceania - Sleeping in Time Machine [-dUb-]
36 Different Frequencies - Whatever Next (Animistics Remix) [-Unpopular Music-]
37 Silkie - Lucky [-Deep Medi-]
38 Lung & Maxx Roach - Crisbuit [-Deadplate-]
39 Nitin Sawhney - Nadia [-Zomba-]
40 Andy ‘Sax’ - Hornsman’s Share [-Nuff Powa-]
41 Shareholder Tom - Single Warrior (Oceania Remix) [-Forthcoming Monkey Dub-]
42 UFO - Kiwi Mango [-Subdepth-]
43 Funk D’Void - Diabla (Vandera Remix) [-dUb-]
44 The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up [-XL-]
45 Vandera & Red Eyes - Northern Lights [-dUb-]