Elec­tronic artist not into crank­ing out fast tracks

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By An­thony Au­gus­tine

TRENDS in elec­tronic mu­sic come and go. If you’re an artist look­ing to build a ca­reer in­stead of cater­ing to what’s hot at the mo­ment, it can be a strug­gle to cre­ate an iden­tity and push your sound for­ward.

Lars Sand­berg (a.k.a. Funk D’Void) has man­aged to not only craft thoughtful, for­ward-think­ing techno and house since the early ’90s (when he re­leased some sem­i­nal tracks on Soma, the label that is home to Daft Punk’s early record­ings), but he may be more rel­e­vant now than he has ever been.

“I’ve al­ways been a fan of cre­at­ing mu­sic that stays pure to your in­ner voice — as soon as you start bow­ing down to fash­ions or cur­rent trends, I feel that your mu­sic comes across as con­trived,” ex­plains the Glas­gow-born Sand­berg, who will head­line the Satur­day-night por­tion of the Man­i­toba Elec­tronic Mu­sic Ex­hi­bi­tion (MEME) at the Cube in Old Mar­ket Square. “I think I’ve carved out a cer­tain sound over the years that can be rec­og­nized.”

Not con­tent to just fire out tracks at a rapid pace, the Barcelona-based pro­ducer, DJ, label owner and fa­ther has been able to cre­ate a bal­ance be­tween time in the stu­dio, life on the road and look­ing af­ter his chil­dren. By con­sciously side-step­ping the lime­light, he has avoided the ego-driven side of the mu­sic busi­ness.

It may be his time away from the stu­dio and DJing that keeps his pas­sion alive, not the num­ber of tracks he re­leases in a year.

“I take long sab­bat­i­cals from mu­sic in or­der to keep my love for writ­ing tracks hun­gry,” he says. “My key to suc­cess is qual­ity, not quan­tity.”

Also re­leas­ing deep, house-flavoured cuts un­der the alias Fran­cois Dubois, Sand­berg has run his own label, Out­post, for the past cou­ple of years. It gives him more con­trol over his own ca­reer and al­lows him to work at his own pace.

“I should have done it years ago,” he says. “It’s tough, but I love the freedom. I’m glad that I have some mileage with my name, though; th­ese days it’s im­pos­si­ble to break through. I’ve got a lot of in­spir­ing artists on my label now — most of them are pretty low-key, but their mu­sic def­i­nitely isn’t.”

Out­post may be the ve­hi­cle for some of his tracks, but he also has an al­bum slated to be re­leased on the Scot­tish Soma label, a 12-inch-sin­gle set for Guy J’s Lost & Found label and a num­ber of remixes on the hori­zon.

Around for both elec­tronic mu­sic’s boom and bust, Sand­berg has seen and heard it all. While techno and house con­tinue to evolve, he can rec­og­nize the cycli­cal pat­terns that tend to emerge in pop cul­ture. Man­i­toba Elec­tronic Mu­sic Fes­ti­val Satur­day, 10 p.m. The Cube, Old Mar­ket Square Free

“It’s just mor­phed into dif­fer­ent pho­to­copies of past styles, pas­tiched or re-pack­aged for new crowds,” says Sand­berg. “Pro­duc­ers have more tools to ac­cess the his­tory, di­gest it, sam­ple, copy and mix the ex­ist­ing tem­plates.

“I love ana­logue house at the mo­ment, though. I’m a big fan of old ma­chines.”

While some artists clam­our to get on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list or ma­noeu­vre to get into the spot­light, Sand­berg is con­tent to let his mu­sic and live per­for­mances do all the heavy lift­ing. He strives to re­main au­then­tic and un­com­pro­mised, even if can be dif­fi­cult at times.

“I don’t have a plan. I write mu­sic, play mu­sic and hang out with my kids,” says the down-toearth pro­ducer. “The fame game that ev­ery­body plays is ab­hor­rent to me. Peo­ple that know me re­al­ize that I hate the ego­cen­tric (side of the) DJ busi­ness.”


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Lars Sand­berg, a.k.a. Funk D’Void

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