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Interview With DJ Rocca Who Takes Inspiration from 90’s British IDM in Code 041 EP on 12″ Vinyl.

Kono Vidovic March 28, 2023 262 6 5


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DJ Rocca’s latest EP, titled Code 041, is a departure from his previous disco, house, and balearic-inspired tracks. Instead, he drew inspiration from 90’s English IDM music, which was characterized by ambient music, German electronic, sampled breaks, dub reggae, and electro. This time, he based almost all the tracks of his EP only on drum machines and synthesizers. In this review, we’ll delve deeper into the EP’s four tracks, namely Code041, No Gym, The Bigger Lake, and Omega, and talk to the artist about his creative process and the inspiration behind each track.

THE THEME OF THE EP.

I wanted to make a different EP, instead of Disco, House or Balearic, I was inspired by 90’s English IDM music, that British side of techno, that was looking at ambient music, German electronic, sampled breaks, dub reggae and electro. For this reason I based almost all the tracks of my EP only on drum machines and synthesizers

CODE041.

This track is based on a TR808 drum kit. I turned on my beloved drum machine and programmed a simple beat. After that I played an arpeggio with my Juno 60, just to have an electro style track of bass and drums, to operate on. My intention was to work on the sort of things that marked the beginning of hardcore in the UK, as for bleep music and reggae samples, so I played a simple one finger tune on the Matrix 1000, delayed it through a Boss delay DE-200. Later I grabbed some vocal samples from my reggae/dub collection, but felt my track needed more. I programmed another arpeggio on the Korg Poly61 and some chords on the Jupiter, but something was still missing. Then I thought to get inspiration from my records collection, listening to some Idris Muhammad albums. Here I found a great fender rhodes sample and fed it into the sampler, then worked it on the keyboard. With all these elements I was able to close the piece with that sound I wanted

DJ Rocca - Code 041

NO GYM.

NO GYM is also based on TR808 drums, but with a different approach. I recorded all the individual drum sounds with a little bit of saturation, then loaded them into my sampler and turned down both the snare and the clap a bit. This time I wanted to add the Moog bass, always programmed with an arpeggio through the beat step pro, just to have the basis to work on: drum and bass ready. For the music lines on top of the beat, I used the same method as the previous track: inspired by UK bleep music. A simple melody from a Roland JV2080 through the Boss delay, and a few spare notes from the Matrix 1000. The groove wasn’t enough rich for my taste, so I used more drum samples: some extra percussion from Sequential drumtracks, and some ethnic percussion, inspired by Photek’s ‘Rings Around Saturn’. The vintage pads of the JV2080 are always very useful to give the track a 90’s flavor, so I played that sound called “Fooled Again” on top of everything.

THE BIGGER LAKE.

For this track I was totally inspired by the first Autechre album, especially in regards to the drum programming, but also James Stinson’s project ‘The Other People Places’ for the atmosphere. Obviously TR808 for the drums, and this time a bass line, but not an arpeggiated one, made with the Jupiter 6. The beginning of this song features a highly effected percussion sample from a record by French percussionist Guem, over which I played a dramatic melody on the Roland D50. The continuation is marked by a splash of bleeps and a syncopated arpeggio in backbeat, composed of two overlapped musical lines played on the JV2080. For the pads I based myself on both a vintage and a virtual instrument: a Korg Trident and a Steinberg plugin called Padshop, both very characteristic for having in the track that retro-futuristic feeling, typical of the German cosmic sound of the seventies. Just to complete the track, I found more useful bleep sounds from another vintage synthesizer, this time virtual: the Promars Compuphonic, one of my most sought after gear!

OMEGA.

This track was not the label’s first choice…they chose another track, but after a day, the boss wanted to swap the previous one for “Omega”. In fact it’s the song that deviates the most from the concept of the EP, but it’s always a song that distinguishes my style, therefore very representative to be within this work. Basically Omega is a broken beat kind of track, which was composed with a UK garage grammar. For the drums I used both a TR808 and my TR707 modded with TR909 sounds, but also that classic Lyn Collins snare and hi-hat sample, all quantized swing. The biggest inspiration for “Omega” comes from jazz… lately I’ve learned a lot from a great Italian pianist (Franco D’Andrea), so I wanted to play a jazzy chord progression on Fender Rhodes and piano. There are a couple of bass lines, one from the Moog Voyager and another from a Kontakt VST, and the pads are from the Matrix 1000, but also from a great digital instrument, the virtual Synclavier emulation, just to get that kind of Wally Badarou’s flavor in my track.

DJ Rocca - Code 041

End conclusion.

DJ Rocca’s latest EP, titled “Code 041,” is a fascinating deviation from his previous disco, house, and balearic-inspired tracks. By drawing inspiration from 90’s English IDM music, DJ Rocca crafted his new EP almost exclusively with drum machines and synthesizers, giving it an old-school, retro-futuristic vibe. Each of the four tracks has a distinct personality and a unique flavor, all while maintaining an overall theme of 90s IDM music. From “Code041” to “No Gym” to “The Bigger Lake” to “Omega,” DJ Rocca has successfully managed to blend different elements from different genres, and create something that is uniquely his. The EP is a great example of how artists can incorporate classic sounds and techniques while still remaining relevant and fresh. DJ Rocca’s creative process is an inspiration to all aspiring producers, showing how important it is to pay homage to one’s musical roots while continuing to explore new and exciting sounds. Overall, “Code 041” is an excellent addition to DJ Rocca’s discography and a must-listen for fans of old-school IDM and electronic music.

Last words.

We had the pleasure of speaking with DJ Rocca about his latest vinyl release, and it’s clear that his passion for music shines through in every track. We want to thank him for taking the time to share his insights and inspiration with us.

For anyone who loves electronic music, this vinyl is a must-have. From the hypnotic beats to the intricate melodies, each track is a journey through the unique soundscapes that DJ Rocca has crafted. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to add this incredible release to your collection, buy it now and experience the magic for yourself!


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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco
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Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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