Interview | Neve
Sound Engineer, Producer, Label Boss, DJ and event promoter, Andrea Recla, aka Neve, agreed to catch up with Unchained crew Kian Chong for some milk and cookies in the lead up to his 2nd release on Unchained Recordings.
[Kian] Hey man! Hope you’ve been keeping well. How are things where you’re based at the moment?
[Neve] Hi, nice to meet you! I’m fine, after a summer season of work in a theatre, I’m moving to Milan. It’s in a red region which is the maximum level of lockdown, but with work you can move. This year has been a crazy one, in March I lost my work and my house in Milan and am now going back there. I work as an audio engineer and you know it’s a really hard period. We all need to be lucky and stay strong.
[Kian] With a lot of Europe heading into a second lockdown how are you going to be spending your time indoors this time round?
[Neve] In the first lockdown I was locked in my studio. I turn negative periods into productive times. I’ve finished a lot of music that went out in September on my label ‘The Dreamers Recordings’, and going on with ‘Flowrida EP’ on Unchained (and there will be more to come). With this new lockdown I’ll be far from the studio, but I’ll bring with me the necessary hardware to throw down ideas, and mainly keep on building my house/ garage/ beats live set. It will be a different lockdown as I will be alone, but I feel I need it.
[Kian] “Flowrida” features a strong 90s aesthetic over halftime, breaks and drum and bass. Will we be seeing more of this diversity in your future productions?
[Neve] For sure. I get bored making the same sound or tune every time. I feel like a researcher that keeps on trying to find new things and flavours. I work as a producer for different projects, bands, singers, etc etc. so I don’t have limits. I make MUSIC or better, I try to make GOOD MUSIC. Obviously I’ve got my sound, forged from working in the audio world for years (I’m 36 and I bought my first guitar when i was 16). As a DJ in Italy, I tend to play all kinds of dnb, because we need to make the people happy and enjoy this genre. I change my set depending on the type of crowd /party. This is reflected in my own music: I make my weapon for my set and I’m ready for every dnb situation. I don’t want to force one sound on the people, I just want them to understand that in dnb you can find flavors of any genre (reggae, house, techno, tekkie, rock, etc etc). This is the strongest point of the dnb world, and can only be explained well on a sound system. Btw after years of dnb I’m now enjoying making house music.
[Kian] Would you mind giving us a breakdown of your production set up? Are you more of a digital or hardware kind of guy?
[Neve] I’m totally into hardware and vintage gear, mainly from the 90’s. I love to tweak synths that were quite uncontrollable in the 90’s, but now there is the technology (and the controllers) to control them. I spend all my time making patches and programming patches in old school environments. The more I’m not looking at a computer monitor, the happier I am. My future is LIVE with HARDWARE.
[Kian] You wear a lot of hats in the music industry, from label management, A&R and music production to name a few. How do you balance your time and manage burn out?
[Neve] It’s really hard to push a catalogue and your friends, while pushing yourself. It’s a big time commitment, and what comes back is always smaller than what you put in. But I love this music, and I feel an energy that pushes me to keep on doing what I’m doing. We are in the 5th year of the label since we started. I’ve learned a lot and I can now start to teach those who need help. I’m now starting to work with one of the biggest FM radios in Italy and I don’t have much time for other things. However up until now, I’ve spent most of my time in the dnb world.
[Kian] Mind sharing your top three tips for dealing with writers block?
[Neve] Making music is a path where you grow. Apart from the technical part, you are mainly looking for Ideas. If there aren’t any MUSICAL IDEAS all round, don’t WASTE time. Make new patches on your synth, make drums, make snares. So when you have a new idea and you have all your sounds ready to go, you don’t need to waste time being technical in creative moments. My best ideas come whilst playing and listening to different music. When I don’t have any good ideas to finish, I take my time playing sports or playing video games because I know that new ideas will come. I’m happy when there’s something to write down. It’s like, “Oh yeah a pause! Thank god!” 😀 because I put a lot of time and effort into my music. Most of my free time is used to master the TDR catalogue or manage it.
[Kian] Could you name three up and coming producers currently on your radar?
[Neve] There’s a lot of young talented producers all-round. The producers on my radar are on The Dreamers catalogue, don’t let me say what is my favorite please :D. But for the next two releases we will work with Samurai Breaks and Chu Hi. I’m trying to catch Lakeway and A.Fruit, lets see if they are happy to work with us!
[Kian] Lastly, if you were in charge of organising a drum and bass supergroup, who would make the cut?
[Neve] I’ve made it 😀 In the last couple of years I’ve tried to bring all-round a TDR night with the best producers on the label: NEVE – KIRIL – WASABE – SYNTH ETHICS – HLZ . Actually this PROJECT has stopped but yes, I’ve done the dream team! 😀
Some additional words:
[Neve] I’m really happy to work with Unchained because we are friends first. We’ve never met in person but since the beginning our labels have been in touch and we’ve grown together, sharing similar visions on music. Last march they organized a China tour for me that was obviously cancelled, but we will be back on this when times are better. It’s always a pleasure to see people dance your music on the opposite side of the world, it really is AMAZING!