After three successful inaugural releases of 2022, Dutch-Canadian electronic music producer apaull, released the White LeBaron EP, his first release of 2023. It is executive produced by Abe Duque and is on the furnace room record label.A convertible symbolizes freedom and luxury. Built on the economical, utilitarian structure of the Chrysler K-car, the LeBaron was cold steel transformed into nascent, entry-level luxury. An enduring ephemera, if that’s possible, to mask the real pain that lies just below the surface.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing apaull and this has been the result.
WHO MUSIC – Interview with apaull
Hello! Where can we find you right now? How did you start your day?
Well, it’s 6:30 am and in a total cliché move, I am in Starbucks enjoying my first coffee of the day and answering questions for a few interviews.
When did the idea of launching a project like yours begin to form? Has it always been something you wanted to do?
I have always wanted to create music. My father was a professional musician and I come from a pretty musical family. While I played piano and drums from a young age, university studies and then a career as an environmental scientist took so much time that music was set aside. The desire to create music always lingered and so when I finished my PhD and sold my environmental consulting company, in my mid-fifties, I bought Ableton Live and Push and got to work.
How would you define the sound of your latest work?
There are echoes of the Orb and Skinny Puppy in the White LeBaron EP.
Notionally, this is a techno EP, perhaps a bit off the beaten track. The title track includes (me) singing which may be a bit unusual for a techno track. The two remixes, of this track, from veteran LA producer Developer, bring the track back into more conventional and DJ- friendly territory. The final track, Honeywagon, is techno but with some housey vibes.
What artists are you interested in these days?
Lately, I have been listening to a wide variety of electronic, hip-hop and metal music. industrial music. On the electronic dance music side I have been exploring new works by artists such as Skrillex, Deadmau5 and mau P. As I start pulling together DJ sets I have been exploring the back catalogues of such greats as Christian Smith, John Selway, Abe Duque, Green Velvet and DJ Hell.
How do you manage to combine such disparate genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?
I don’t set out to have my music align with anything in particular. There are so many genres and sub-genres it is difficult to keep track of them.
In general, I try to write techno tracks but leave myself pretty unconstrained to see what comes out. I work with my Executive Producer, Abe Duque, on an almost weekly basis. He provides input to help me shape my tracks musically and sonically. I am really focused on creating my own sound so that when people hear they will go “Oh, that sounds like apaull”. Sometimes Abe says “That sounds like apaull.” That makes me smile and lets me know I am on the right track.
How would you define your sound?
My sound is heavily influenced by 1980s and 1990s electronic music, with interests ranging from Depeche Mode to Skinny Puppy. I try to write techno tracks but sometimes they veer into the house and even ambient territory. I don’t think my tracks sound like anything else out there and that can be good and bad. It is good because it means I am creating my own sound. It can be bad because it can be challenging to get DJs to play it. I keep working on my craft and hire remixers to help with this.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
I am working on an EP called Depths, which will be released in mid-May, just before Detroit’s Movement Festival. It includes the title track, four remixes by venerable and veteran New York City producer, John Selway and another original track.
I am also working on an as-yet-untitled, album that I am looking to release in late September, just before the Amsterdam Dance Event.